Author Topic: Surreal and Suicidal: Modern Western Histories of islam  (Read 473 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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Surreal and Suicidal: Modern Western Histories of islam
« on: October 06, 2013, 06:14:37 AM »
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles."
George Washington

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
Benjamin Franklin

Offline Oceander

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Re: Surreal and Suicidal: Modern Western Histories of islam
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2013, 09:46:46 AM »
A clear view of history - real history - is a must, and the West has been shamefully self-decieved about the history of Islam and its conflict with the West; however, in seeking to expose the real history of Islam, one should not tip-toe around the real history of Christianity either. 

Certain it is that Christianity was not the cause or source of the Middle Ages.  The Middle Ages were probably caused first and foremost by the economic collapse of the Roman Empire.  However, in many respects the role played by Christianity was more palliative than remedial; that is, while Christianity in many respects may have made the suffering of the average person a little easier to bear - palliative - it also did its fair share to tamp down those who were trying to rebuild and expand the economic and material accomplishments of the Roman Empire - remedial - inasmuch as Christianity has an inherently hierarchal structure that depends heavily on appeal to authority - to someone else's say-so - to justify the actions it takes, a structure that tends to become dominated by the interests of the "old ways" and the "established ways" of doing things, coupled with the fact that Christianity held a stranglehold on the reins of political power throughout much of the Middle Ages.  That is no longer the case, and hasn't been the case for about 300 years now, which is why the war between Henry VIII and the Pope (a) could never happen today, and (b) seems asinine and absurd today.

The Crusades must also be seen in light of Christianity's control over political power.  The Church got involved in the Crusades initially in part because the lay powers that wanted to attack Islam needed to know that they wouldn't be reviled by the Church as murderers and warmongers if they went ahead and attacked.  Of course, that wasn't just all about rational self-defense, it was also about adventurism and pillaging - the East has always held the allure of riches - and getting political cover from the Church was certainly the best way to legalize your own pillaging.

Christianity also contributed to the Middle Ages through the Wars of Religion - a period of about 120 years (ca. 1524 to 1648) during which most of Western Europe was at war with itself as a result of the protestant reformation and the Roman Catholic Church's counter-reformation.  Islam had precious little to do with the internecine bloodshed between, e.g., Calvinists and Roman Catholics.

The essential lesson to be drawn from the last 1500 years or so of history, right up to the present day, appears to be this:  when religious institutions control the reins of political power, bloodshed and mayhem inevitably ensue.

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Re: Surreal and Suicidal: Modern Western Histories of islam
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2013, 10:57:41 AM »
Battle of Tours (732 A.D.)

The Battle of Tours (often called the Battle of Poitiers, but not to be confused with the Battle of Poitiers, 1356) was fought on October 10, 732 between forces under the Frankish leader Charles Martel and a massive invading Islamic army led by Emir Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi Abd al Rahman, near the city of Tours, France. During the battle, the Franks defeated the Islamic army and Emir Abd er Rahman was killed. This battle stopped the northward advance of Islam from the Iberian peninsula, and is considered by most historians to be of macrohistorical importance, in that it halted the Islamic conquests, and preserved Christianity as the controlling faith in Europe, during a period in which Islam was overrunning the remains of the old Roman and Persian Empires.


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