The persecution of Christians in the so-called Islamic State is not justified by Prophet Mohammed’s writings, according to research.
The study into the works of the Muslim prophet written between 622 and 632 AD indicates Christians living within the “ummah” – Arabic for community – were protected and defended.
Craig Considine, the paper’s author, considers the prophet’s vision of a Muslim nation to be one with religious pluralism and civil rights.
“The research clearly shows that contemporary Islamic states that mistreat and discriminate against Christians cannot be justified in light of Prophet Muhammad’s covenants,” he said.
Dr Considine, from Rice University, Texas, believes the rediscovery of these documents could ease anti-Muslim sentiments.
He said they could be viewed “as a kind of medicine to cure the diseases of Islamic extremism and Islamophobia”.
“His message radiates compassion and peace. This is what American society – and indeed the world – needs now more than ever,” he said.
According to Dr Considine, the documentshave been located in monasteries around the world and in books which have been out of print for centuries, and in many cases they were never translated for a wider audience.
But, he said: “Scholars and believers are turning to them now because of the widespread violence against Christians in places like Iraq and Syria.
“The Prophet Mohammed did not want to inflict harm on Christians, nor interfere or encroach on their privacy or private property.
“For the state to give preference to one or more groups means devaluating citizens based upon their ethnic or cultural backgrounds.”