Islamic teaching does not justify ISIS persecution of Christians, study says

An Islamic State flag hangs on the wall of an abandoned building in Tel Hamis in Hasaka countryside after the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) took control of the area March 1, 2015. | REUTERS / Rodi Said

Islamic teaching does not justify the Islamic State's (ISIS) persecution of Christians, based on a study on Prophet Mohammed's previously untranslated writing.

Rice University professor Dr. Craig Considine, who authored a study on Prophet Mohammed's writings from 622 to 632 AD, says the writings indicate that Christians who lived in Arabic communities were protected. Considine says the writings, which contain covenants with monks and Christians, were written so that the prophet could establish alliances in his new community, according to the Daily Mail.

The documents studied contain the prophet's covenants with the monks of Mount Sinai, the Christians of Persia, Christians of Najran, and Christians of the World. Dr. Considine said the documents were found in different monasteries all over the world and in ancient books.

Dr. Considine thinks the covenants were written to protect and defend Christians instead of attacking them. The writings also prove that ISIS' atrocities against Christians are not justified in the Islamic teaching, the Independent relays.

"Even as they honor and respect me, so shall Muslims care for that people as being under our protection and whensoever any distress or discomfort shall overtake (Christians), Muslims shall hold themselves in duty bound to aid and care for them," Prophet Mohammed wrote. "For they are a people subject to my Nation, obedient to their word, whose helpers also they are."

The covenant goes on to say that for the prophet's sake, it is proper for Muslims to protect, help, and provide comfort to the Christians. Considine said three other covenants written by the prophet express the same thought, clearly reflecting that Christians in Muslim communities have the right to practice their own religion.

Considine said the covenants show that Prophet Mohammed did not want to harm Christians, or encroach on their property. He also said the prophet's message speaks of peace and compassion --- two things that the world badly needs right now.

The covenants are significant because they could be the answer to Islamophobia and Islamic extremism, Considine adds.

"Religious Pluralism and Civic Rights in a 'Muslim Nation': An Analysis of Prophet Muhammad's Covenants with Christians' was published in the February edition of the journal Religions.