Muhammad and his band of immigrants arrived in Medina in 622 completely dependent on the hospitality of the three Jewish tribes that lived there alongside the Arabs. In less than two years, two of the tribes that had welcomed him, the Banu Qaynuqa and the Banu Nadir would be evicted, losing their land and their wealth to the Muslims as soon as their guests gained the power to conquer and confiscate. Muhammad accomplished this by deftly exploiting his opponents divisions.

The prophet of Islam chose the order of the doomed tribes carefully. He knew that the other two tribes would not come to the assistance of the first, for example, since they had been aligned against one another in a recent war. He also knew that the third would not assist the second – due to a dispute over “blood money.”

The last tribe to remain was the Banu Qurayza. Like the others, the Qurayza were a peaceful community of farmers and tradesmen who eventually surrendered to Muhammad without a fight. Although the prophet of Islam had been wise enough not to order the wholesale slaughter of the first two tribes following their defeat (which certainly would have stiffened the resistance of the Qurayza), there was no practical reason for Muhammad to repress his genocidal urges once the last tribe had surrendered their wealth and power.

Over 800 surrendered men and boys (and at least one woman) from the Qurayza tribe were beheaded by the prophet of Islam in a bloodbath that is of acute embarrassment to today’s Muslim apologists. It is an episode that is not only completely at odds with the idea that Islam is a peaceful religion, but also the claim that it is the heir to Christianity, since even that religion’s most dedicated critics could hardly imagine Jesus and his disciples doing such a thing.

It is only in modern times, as Islam finds itself having to compete with morally mature religions in open debate, that the story of the massacre has become controversial. Some Muslims deny the episode, largely on the basis of mere inconvenience. Others are unaware of it altogether. But, not only is the incident well documented in the Hadith and Sira (biography of Muhammad), there is even a brief reference to it in the Qur’an (verse 33:26).