The Battle of Yarmuk, 636 AD

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Posted by pancho from ( on Wednesday, December 04, 2002 at 1:43AM :

In a book not written by Fred Aprim that describes the clash of Islam and the Byzantine Romans that won Syria and Iraq for the Muslims...we learn this startling fact....Khalid Ibn al Walid, known as the "Sword of Islam", head of the Muslim army that conquered Emesa in Syria, did the gentlemanly thing.

Before mentioning what it was it would be good to point out that Heraclius, the Christian emperor had decreed a few years earlier that all Jews must convert. Lest you think Heraclius was interested in increasing the numbers of Christians...this kind of thing, done periodically, was a set up. No sooner did a few years go by than the officials would swing by to visit these new made Christians and determine their conversions had been "insincere"...which meant prison if not death AND...confiscation. Pretty neat.

Anyway, it was the Muslim custom to levy a tax on citizens of conquered cities...they prefered this way to pay their armies rather than the C hristian method of just killing everyone and stealing what they could...which they advertised in all their brochures as "slaying the infidel"...guess for whose greater glory?

Anyway, the Muslims were received as liberators by the Jews of course but also by Christians who knew what was what. After taxing the people of Emesa and promising to protect them from a Byzantine counter-attack....Walid and his army were forced to evacuate the city. Before leaving they returned the tax money because they had not been able to fulfill their promise to protect the citizens.

I like that.

Later they came and chased out the Christians and took all of Mesopotamia. They didn't "slaughter" everyone they ran into...just enemy soldiers who happened to be Christian...nothing personal, just business. Does the government here execute Christians or prisoners on death row?

-- pancho
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