“This is Mohammed’s judgment day,” whispers the Jewish prince Eitam on the way back from the funeral of Ka’b ibn alAshraf, who was murdered yesterday on Mohammed’s order. “Call Umar ben Jahash,” he snaps at his aides. “Get ready,” says Eitam to the Jewish muscleman. “I meet Mohammed outside the fortress a week from today. Your job is to crush his head with a heavy metal meat grinder hidden in a hatch high on the wall.”
For Mohammed, every meeting with the chiefs of the Banu Nadir is an opportunity to observe the weaknesses of his adversary, and a chance to preach his new religion. Every such meeting begins with the monologue:
“O people of the Book! [The apostle] has now come to you making clear to you the teaching of the Right Way, after a long break in the series of the apostles, so that you may not be able to say, ‘No one has come to give us good news or to warn us.’ Now someone has...
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