Congressman apologizes to Muslims for smearning Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) has apologized to Muslims for remarks he made in a speech to a pro-Israel lobbying group that described a treaty signed by Prophet Muhammad as “treacherous.” However, he failed to retract his specific allegation about the Prophet’s actions. Lantos’ response came after hundreds of Muslims called, faxed and e-mailed his office to express outrage at his remarks.
In a letter to CAIR, Lantos wrote:
“…let me make very clear that I intended no offense to Muslim believers nor any defamation of the Prophet Muhammad…and I regret any pain caused, however inadvertently. I fully respect Islam as one of the world’s great religions and civilizations and as a faith that provides spiritual comfort and uplift to hundreds of millions…Making a historical judgment on the events of 628-630 A.D. is well beyond my Congressional responsibilities. I had no desire to do so, and, to the extent that I allowed for such an understanding of my intent, I regret it.”
“We thank all those who took the time and effort to express their outrage at these defamatory remarks. May Allah bless them for defending Prophet Muhammad. While Representative Lantos says he had no intent to defame the Prophet Muhammad, he does not clearly retract his false allegation that the Prophet’s actions were 'treacherous,’” said Awad in response to Lantos’ letter. Awad also criticized representatives of the pro-Israel lobby for continuing to promote this slur against the Prophet Muhammad as an anti-Muslim “talking point.” CAIR has requested a meeting with Lantos to discuss a full retraction of his allegations.
Lantos’ offensive remarks, which were made in March but just recently came to light, were included in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Lantos said: “So let me sketch for a moment how we in Congress see the last few months. Arafat walked away from a dream deal. Apparently, his approach to the peace process was based on the Treaty of 628 at Hudaibiyah, which was a treacherous treaty. Islamic forces made truce with non-Islamic elements, and they had no intention of keeping that agreement. They went on to attack, and destroyed those with whom they had made the treaty.”
In an August 2nd letter to Lantos, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote: “The Prophet Muhammad never broke any agreement, regardless of strength or weakness. There is not one shred of evidence to back up this false allegation…The Quran states: 'Yes, whoever fulfills his pledge and fears Allah much; verily, then Allah loves those who are the pious’…'And fulfill (every) covenant.’”
In 1996, U.S. News & World Report editor-in-chief Mortimer Zuckerman claimed the Prophet Muhammad had a “doctrine” of deceit in making treaties with enemies while he was weak and violating them when he was strong. The magazine’s editors later wrote: “...We deeply regret any ambiguity in the language; Mr. Zuckerman meant no insult. He was referring to Mr. Arafat's reference to the Prophet and did not intend to state that this was the doctrine of the Prophet...it was the Meccans, not the prophet Muhammad, who broke the peace of Hudaybiah of 628.”
In 1999, Rep. Jim Saxton (R-NJ) clarified similar offensive remarks claiming the Prophet Muhammad upheld terms of a treaty only when it was politically expedient to do so.