ISIS is going directly against the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad by persecuting Christians, according to an American professor who has studied the prophet's apocryphal scriptures.
Craig Considine, a sociology professor at Rice University in Texas, came to the conclusion after studying the texts of covenants between Muhammad and Christian groups in the Middle East between 622 and 632 A.D., according to the Independent.
The agreements show that the prophet was willing to work with Christians, wanted to afford them protections under Islamic law, and forbade attempts to force them to accept Islam, Considine said.
"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, for they are a people subject to my Nation, obedient to their word, whose helpers also they are," the Muslim prophet wrote in an agreement with Christians in Persia, according to the documents.
The covenants and pieces of correspondence were collected from "obscure monasteries around the world," according to Christian Today. Most were out of print for centuries, while others had never been translated to another language, the report said. The texts are not part of the Quran, Islam's holy book.
Considine said the documents could provide a tool for moderate Muslims to oppose terrorist groups, like ISIS, which have engaged in the slaughter of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq, Syria, Libya and other countries. Although hard numbers are impossible to calculate, human rights groups estimate ISIS has killed tens of thousands, mostly Christians, and caused innumerable others to flee their homelands to escape violence and persecution.
Over the past year, videos have surfaced showing ISIS beheading Coptic Christians in Egypt, executing Christians by firing squad, killing children and forcing Muslim children to take part in the murder of Christians and others deemed heretics and apostates.
"Scholars and believers are turning to [the documents] now because of the widespread violence against Christians in places like Iraq and Syria," Considine said.
Considine published his research in a paper titled "Religious Pluralism and Civic Rights in a Muslim Nation: An Analysis of Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with Christians." The prophet's correspondence and covenants with non-Muslims illustrate his vision for "pluralistic society" where people were given equal rights, the paper argues.
“His message radiates compassion and peace," Considine said. "This is what American society -- and indeed the world -- needs now more than ever."