(Peninsula News Service/PNS) — The coalition of Arab and Byzantine forces today found the body of Muhammad, the self-proclaimed “Messenger of God,” in a fortified bunker underneath his mosque after a fierce battle in central Medina.
The body was decapitated, and a spokesman for the Byzantine military said that Muhammad ordered one of his closest aides to behead him so that he would not fall into the hands of “monkeys and pigs,” as he called Jews and Christians. Two of his wives and several of his followers who surrendered when coalition forces stormed the mosque complex early this morning identified the body.
The death of Muhammad marks the end of a two month military campaign involving 30,000 Byzantine troops, 15,000 Arab warriors, and 3,000 Jewish fighters to bring an end to the reign of terror that Muhammad and his cultists had imposed throughout Arabia.
The mosque served as Muhammad’s base of operations for raids and battles that he launched after arriving in Medina seven years ago.
Military spokesman Maximus Eladas Epinicus said that at least 2,700 of Muhammad’s zealots were killed in fierce fighting, which began five days ago when coalition forces attacked the sprawling valley of Medina from the northwest passage and from the rugged lava fields and mountain passes of the southeastern sector of the valley.
Sporadic fighting still continues in some villages and clan compounds where Muhammad supporters have holed up and have vowed to fight to the death. Military commanders told journalists embedded with Byzantine forces that they expect the holdouts will be crushed before the day is out.
Eladas Epinicus said that the “pincer” strategy was decisive in overcoming Muhammad’s defenses. While the Byzantines invaded from the north, the Arabs and Jews, led by Meccan general Abu Sufyan, attacked the valley from the southeast. The latter attack threatened Muhammad from the rear, forcing him to move thousands of his fighters from the north end of the valley to defend the southeastern flank. This created an opening for the Byzantine army to storm across a wide trench Muhammad had dug along the north and west sides of the valley. Military strategists had worried that attacking the valley from the southeast would fail due to the rugged terrain, but Abu Sufyan succeeded. “It was an amazing accomplishment, worthy of Hannibal,” said Eladas Epinicus.
At a separate press conference at the Meccan camp, Abu Sufyan said that he will personally certify that the remains are that of Muhammad tomorrow morning. He stated that the cult leader had been his next door neighbor in Mecca, and he would easily recognize him. “Following the certification, his remains will be burned and the ashes scattered in the Red Sea. The Byzantines have a ship waiting at Jeddah to take the ashes out to sea for dumping,” he said.
Muhammad’s cult of “submission” to Allah was one of several apocalyptic movements to emerge in Arabia over the last two decades, but was the only one that resorted to violence to impose itself. Jewish and Christian scholars have said that what Muhammad preached was a mix of heretical Christian beliefs and distorted Jewish prophet stories, and that his Koran was little more than a manifesto of hated against anyone who refused to accept him as “the last and final prophet.”
Arab, Jewish, and Byzantine sources said that an aggressive de-Islamification of Arabia will begin immediately. All mosques will be destroyed, and the core followers who were not killed in the fighting will be rounded up and held for trial for crimes against humanity.
Authorities said that many of the fighters who surrendered claimed that they had been forced to join Muhammad’s cult, saying that Muhammad threatened them with death if they refused and warned them that their women and children would be enslaved. Eladas Epinicus said all war prisoners will be investigated and only those suspected of crimes will be held. He said that a magisterial court will be set up in Medina to evaluate the captives. Those suspected of crimes against humanity will be sent to Constantinople for trial.
Several of the elite of Muhammad’s followers were killed in the fighting, including Abu Bakr and Uthman, but others were captured when they attempted to flee. Among them were Muhammad’s propagandist Hassan Thabit and his military chiefs Ali, the son of Abu Talib, and Umar, the son of al-Khattab. They were captured while attempting to escape through the lava beds on the western edge of the valley.
Authorities said that a team of forensic experts that accompanied the Byzantine army will soon begin excavation of the mass grave of the Qurayza Jews and of other victims of Muhammad’s terror reign. An estimated 900 men and boys were beheaded last year after they briefly sided with a failed Meccan attack on Medina. Though the Qurayzas changed their minds and insisted on neutrality, Muhammad allegedly used this as a pretext to slaughter them. However, people familiar with the massacre say that he killed them to seize their property in order to pay his people for fighting the Meccans.
In that attack, which took place in March of last year, Abu Sufyan led a force of 10,000 Arabs in the hope of killing the cult leader, but the attack was stopped by a three-mile long trench Muhammad dug along the north and west sides of the valley. In anticipation of further attacks, Muhammad expanded the width and depth of the trench over the last year and built up the ramparts along the inner rim. The Byzantine army was able to cross the trench, however, using bridges attached to state-of-the art siege towers. After Muhammad was forced to shift some of his fighters to the east side of the valley, the siege towers were moved in, the bridges were lowered, and Byzantine cavalry and infantry poured across.
Speaking to journalists in Constantinople, Byzantine Emperor Flavius Heraclius Augustus said that it became imperative for Byzantium to join with the Arabs and Jews against Muhammad because “he had become more than just a regional threat, but was a threat to Byzantiuim as well.” He praised the valor and discipline of his troops and also the steadfastness of the Meccan coalition.
The emperor stated that the de-Islamification program will extend to Abyssinia. Many of Muhammad’s followers had emigrated there and were allowed safe haven after Abyssinia’s Christian ruler mistakenly believed they belonged to a Christian sect persecuted by polytheist Arabs. “We have been in communication with the Abyssinian ruler over the last year,” the emperor said, “and he has agreed it is urgent to purge Abyssinia of Muhammad’s cult.”
In an exclusive interview with PNS, Abu Sufyan said that Muhammad caused severe harm throughout Arabia that will take decades to heal, but “with his death the healing can now begin.”
He said that the Meccans have themselves to blame for the emergence of Muhammad’s cult, stating that Mecca could have prevented all the horrors that Muhammad brought if it had taken action against him when he first began agitating against their way of life. “We did not do so out of fear of sparking a civil war with his clan. We failed to act in time, and we paid a heavy price. Instead of a war with his clan, we ended up with war all over Arabia.”He said that Muhammad refused to accept any idea about God other than his own and reviled the Meccan tradition of openness. “He was very dangerous,” the Meccan leader said. “He had a genius for turning people against each other, particularly children against their parents.”
After ten years of putting up with Muhammad’s divisiveness, the Meccans decided they had to kill him even at the risk of sparking a conflict with his Hashimite clan. However, Muhammad was able to escape to Medina, and from there he waged war against Mecca and against everyone who rejected his cult.
The Meccan leader said that the Kabah has always been accepting of every religious belief. He pointed out that in addition to the idols of the polytheists, the temple also houses images of Jesus and Mary and also an image of the Jewish prophet Abraham.
“Our temple has always been a temple of tolerance, and so it will remain,” he said.
This article may be used in whole or in part provided the following attribution is given: F. W. Burleigh is the author of It’s All About Muhammad, a Biography of the World’s Most Notorious Prophet. He blogs at www.itsallaboutmuhammad.com.