Bookmark and Share



























Open the online Arabic language course






Muslim Ethnic and Religious Cleansings



Ethnic/Religious cleansings
By Muslims
Armenians
Turkey, 19th and 20th centuries
Assyrians
Turkey, 20th century
Greeks
Turkey, 20th century
Christians and Jews
North Africa, 20th century
Iraqi Christians
21st century
Mellah
By Christians
By Jews

Ethnic/religious cleansings performed by adherents to one form of radical understanding of Islam, or a combination or radical understanding of Islam and nationalism.
First, it must be underlined, that all examples of ethnic/religious cleansings performed by Muslims, have met resistance from many Muslims themselves. Among the ones helping and resisting the atrocities, Muslim individuals are in majority.
The clearest examples of the phenomenon belong to the 19th century; while in the 20th century, it has largely moved to Europe, which is beyond the scope of this encyclopaedia.
Previous to this, a form of apartheid has been applied to non-Muslims living in societies ruled by Muslims, in which legal rights have been inferior for non-Muslims.
The most important examples belong to the brief period of changing the Ottoman Empire into a national state of Turkey. In this process, three nations were removed, or killed, from Turkish soil. This relates to the genocide of the Armenians and Assyrians and the ethnic cleansing of Greeks, in the period between 1915 and 1923. In North Africa, Christians with a European origin and Jews with pre-Islamic origins were directly or indirectly forced to leave their home countries upon the establishment of independent Muslim national states.
Muslim cleansing on non-Muslims happens in our days too. Iraq and Palestine are the main examples, and from these two countries the difficulties between Christians and Muslims have risen to a level that many Christians have felt forced to emigrate.
A milder form of Muslim cleansing against Christians may be alleged to happen in central Egypt. Attacks on Christian interests, from homes to churches, have caused Christians to find new homes in other parts of Egypt.

7th century: Jews of Yathrib
Between 625 and 625, practically all of the Jews living in Yathrib for centuries were driven out, enslaved or executed by Muhammad, the founder of Islam, who had been granted saftey in Yathrib in 622 (hijra). The number of Jews cleansed from the town now known as Medina (short for Madina ar-Rasul, "Town of the Prophet"), can have been between 6,000 and 15,000.
Following the Battle of Badr and the Battle of Uhud, two Jewish tribes, the Banu Qanuqa and the Banu Nadir, were driven out of Medina, leaving only one Jewish community, the Banu Qurayza. Not long after, after the Battle of the Trench the Qurayza were accused of having cooperating with the Meccans, an accusation often has been debated, but it is far from unlikely due to the atrocities that Muhammad had committed on the Jews just two years earlier. A massacre was carried out either by his command or by his acceptance, in which between 600 and 900 men were beheaded, all women and children enslaved.

Late 9th century: Nusayris
As many as 60,000 followers of Nasir the Kurd, now called Nusayris, are killed by the acceptance or even command of the Abbasid rulers in Baghdad. To what extent this was a normal conflict in a time of brutality, or a action on the Nusayris for their leaving the fold of Islam, is difficult to ascertain from extant sources.




By Tore Kjeilen