Muhammad and Massacre of the Qurayza Jews

In AD 627, Muhammad committed an atrocity against the last remaining major tribe of Jews in Medina: the Qurayza. He beheaded the men and the pubescent boys and enslaved the women and children. In doing this, he wiped an entire tribe 'off the map' to use the recent language of the President of Iran. To understand how and why this atrocity unfolded, some straightforward history of early Islam is helpful. Background The immediate background of this mass extermination and enslavement is the Battle of the Trench (or Ditch), in February—March—April (the exact calculations vary), AD 627. This battle—though it ended up being a siege—pitted the Quraysh (a large tribe in and around Mecca) against the Muslims and Medinan non—Muslims. The Quraysh had allies: the Ghatafan (northern Arab tribes to the east of Medina and Mecca) and an assortment of smaller tribes. As for the Muslims, prominent Islamologist W. M. Watt says that on the eve of battle, Muhammad's army...(Read Full Article)