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  #1  
Old 09-22-2017, 10:41 AM
Narble Narble is offline
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Is the West kidding itself about the good intentions of Islam?

I have a comment to make on this article.

I watched an documentary by a historian on the history of Islam, Judaism and Catholicism. Please keep in mind as I continue my post that the Catholic church's beliefs and practices are actually much different than others that are unfortunately lumped under the convenient term of "Christianity"...so my distinction here and why I will not use the term "Christian" as broadly as some unfortunately do. I am specifically referring to the Catholic church in my post.

What I learned from this documentary was that the Muslim population learned about holy war (jihad) from the Catholic church's crusades. Before then, it was not a part of their practices. They were attacked under the Catholic church's greedy need to conquer at all costs and gain wealth & more power, which as with any military type campaign that has this goal, means to slaughter all and do all the evil that goes with it. Anything goes to reach that ultimate goal. If it is done under a powerful entity (religious or not), there is even more zeal, as those fighting under that name want status, riches and fame as well. These reasons are not biblical ones by any means...to conquer for fame, riches and egotistic power. These are unarguably historically Catholic reasons, though.

Anyway, my point is, based on this historian's findings, that Catholics fought their holy wars first against the Muslims (Crusades) and the Muslims fought back using the same idea of holy war.
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2017, 11:04 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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Welcome to the SDMB.
Here is a link to the column being discussed,
  #3  
Old 09-22-2017, 12:56 PM
Harrkev Harrkev is offline
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Hmmm. Narble, I think that you missed something. First, I am *NOT* an expert on the crusades. However, the stated purpose was to **RECLAIM** lands that had been attacked and taken by Muslims. If the Muslims were all-peaceful, there would hardly be a reason to retake lands that were never conquered by the sword in the first place.

I am not saying that Wikipedia is exactly the ultimate reference source and completely infallible, but it is a good starting place.... Violent conquest has been part of Islam from the beginning, whether you use the "Jihad" term or not.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_...tary_campaigns

Last edited by Harrkev; 09-22-2017 at 12:56 PM.
  #4  
Old 09-22-2017, 01:01 PM
Harrkev Harrkev is offline
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Now for a different context.

Now, for a different context to this, we need to ask a different question: how well does Islam play with others? The answer is generally not good. How tolerant are they of other opinions? Not at all. Period.

Islam is SO tolerant that you can be KILLED for blasphemy or changing religions..

"A new Pew Research Center analysis finds that, as of 2014, about a quarter of the world’s countries and territories (26%) had anti-blasphemy laws or policies, and that more than one-in-ten (13%) nations had laws or policies penalizing apostasy. The legal punishments for such transgressions vary from fines to death."

Guess which countries these are? You will never guess…

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank...and-blasphemy/


Next, let's look at the Asa Bibi case. This is about Pakistan, not exactly a hot bed of violent activity, but generally considered a "mainstream" Muslim country.

Asia Noreen Bibi is a Christian in Pakistan. She is currently waiting EXECUTION for blasphemy against Mohammed.

Yup, she was tried and convicted without any hard evidence, just the word of Muslim women who were mad that she would dare drink from the same well as them.

"The general population was less sympathetic towards Noreen. Several signs were erected in Sheikhupura and other rural areas declaring support for the blasphemy laws, including one that called for Noreen to be beheaded.[27] Mohammad Saleem, a member of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan Party, organized a demonstration in Rawalpindi and led a small crowd chanting, "Hang her, hang her."[12] In December 2010, a month after Noreen's conviction, a Muslim cleric announced a 500,000 Pakistani rupee award (the equivalent of $10,000)[7] to anyone who would kill her.[3][41] One survey reported that around 10 million Pakistanis had said that they would be willing to personally kill her out of either religious conviction or for the reward.[7] The village mosque in Ittan Wali was reportedly indifferent towards Noreen's plight; its imam, Qari Mohammed Salim, stated that he had wept for joy on learning that she had been sentenced to death and threatened that some people would "take the law into their own hands" should she be pardoned or released."

So, yeah, all they want is peace, and the execution of anybody who would dare be accused of blasphemy.

Where is this peace and tolerance that they are supposed to practice? The GENERAL POPULATION is OK with this, as it is a part of both their culture and legal system.

So, a poll showed that 5% of the general population of Pakistan (10 million people) would be willing to kill an accused blasphemer with their OWN HANDS. What could possibly go wrong bringing them into a country with free speech?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asia_Bibi_blasphemy_case
  #5  
Old 09-22-2017, 01:31 PM
Superdude Superdude is offline
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That's been hashed out many times on this board, Harrkev. There are fundamentalist Christians who believe that their God wants them to kill others with different values and beliefs. Would you consider the Westboro Baptist Church representative of all Christians? There are radical extremists in every faith, and in groups without a religious figurehead.
  #6  
Old 09-22-2017, 02:00 PM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
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Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
That's been hashed out many times on this board, Harrkev. There are fundamentalist Christians who believe that their God wants them to kill others with different values and beliefs. Would you consider the Westboro Baptist Church representative of all Christians? There are radical extremists in every faith, and in groups without a religious figurehead.
I was going to bring up The Klan, they do consider themselves to be Christians ... I can't blame whatever denomination spawned such a hateful group nor the entire Protestant movement ...

Just repeating what I've heard ... our problems are with the Jihadists, which is just a tiny minority of Wahhabists, which in turn is a minority of Sunnis ...

I think it's wrong to blame all of Christiandom for the acts of The Klan ... thus I think it's wrong to blame all of Islam by the acts of Jihadists ...

Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world ... I understand it's not the Garden of Eden there but she's hardly a terrorist hot-spot ...
  #7  
Old 09-22-2017, 04:55 PM
Ramira Ramira is offline
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Funny....
Of course the well-known nature of the peaceful (oh no, actually not peaceful) forced conversions to the Christianity in the early Europe are so well known...
Or the bloody suppression of anything the Christian church hieararchies decided was heritical - the real reason for the success of the Islamic take over of the Levant and the Egypt from the eastern Roman, not any great war genuis, only the promises to the local 'heretical' christians and the jews to leave them alone. The focus on the tax payments and the contract law.

silly hypocritical faux argumentations.
  #8  
Old 09-22-2017, 06:09 PM
Kimera757 Kimera757 is offline
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Centuries before the Crusades, Muslim warriors emerged from Arabia to conquer neighboring lands, ranging as far west as Spain, losing only to Charles Martel (otherwise the history of France would have been quite different) and ranging far east as well. While many motivations explain why this conquest occurred, religion was one of the reasons behind it.

Of course, the very fast Muslim expansion stopped. Perhaps the enthusiasm for religious conquest waned after a while? Or did it have something to do with political splintering?

But I don't see this as startlingly different from the history of Christianity. Perhaps because Christianity effectively "took over" a strong nation (Rome) that had already conquered so much territory and so many people that a sweeping conquest beyond Rome's borders would have been difficult early in Christianity's history. Certainly missionaries were extremely effective at converting areas the Romans had never conquered, such as Ireland, Scandinavia, and Ukraine, despite often having no military power whatsoever, then destroying local religions and imposing tithes on the people.
  #9  
Old 09-22-2017, 06:58 PM
Ramira Ramira is offline
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Originally Posted by Kimera757 View Post
Centuries before the Crusades, Muslim warriors emerged from Arabia to conquer neighboring lands, ranging as far west as Spain, losing only to Charles Martel (otherwise the history of France would have been quite different)
For accuracy it is to note that this MArtel story is romantic fiction.

The brief holding of the mediterranean France showed well it was beyond the long term range of the old Ummayads.

Quote:
But I don't see this as startlingly different from the history of Christianity. Perhaps because Christianity effectively "took over" a strong nation (Rome) that had already conquered so much territory and so many people that a sweeping conquest beyond Rome's borders would have been difficult early in Christianity's history. Certainly missionaries were extremely effective at converting areas the Romans had never conquered, such as Ireland, Scandinavia, and Ukraine, despite often having no military power whatsoever, then destroying local religions and imposing tithes on the people.
You can read about the Conversion crusades of conquest in the Europe itself.

"no military power" is a fiction as presenting no conquests by sword and by fire of the lands beyond the old roman sphere - the conversion of many portions of the north and the eastern europe was military as the poor old prussian pagans could attest to you.

Last edited by Ramira; 09-22-2017 at 07:00 PM.
  #10  
Old 09-22-2017, 10:58 PM
rowrrbazzle rowrrbazzle is offline
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"Is the West kidding itself about the good intentions of Islam?" About a very militant minority of Muslims? Yes.

http://amp.timeinc.net/time/4930742/...ce/?source=dam

Quote:
Yahya Cholil Staquf: Radical Islamic movements are nothing new. They’ve appeared again and again throughout our own history in Indonesia. The West must stop ascribing any and all discussion of these issues to “Islamophobia.” Or do people want to accuse me — an Islamic scholar — of being an Islamophobe too?

-snip-

Yahya Cholil Staquf: I’m not saying that Islam is the only factor causing Muslim minorities in the West to lead a segregated existence, often isolated from society as a whole. There may be other factors on the part of the host nations, such as racism, which exists everywhere in the world. But traditional Islam — which fosters an attitude of segregation and enmity toward non-Muslims — is an important factor.

-snip-

Interviewer: I would guess that you and I agree that there is a far right wing in Western societies that would reject even a moderate, contextualized Islam.

Yahya Cholil Staquf: And there’s an extreme left wing whose adherents reflexively denounce any and all talk about the connections between traditional Islam, fundamentalism and violence as de facto proof of Islamophobia. This must end. A problem that is not acknowledged cannot be solved.
Read the whole thing.
  #11  
Old 09-23-2017, 07:50 AM
Budget Player Cadet Budget Player Cadet is offline
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Originally Posted by Ramira View Post
Funny....
Of course the well-known nature of the peaceful (oh no, actually not peaceful) forced conversions to the Christianity in the early Europe are so well known...
Or the bloody suppression of anything the Christian church hieararchies decided was heritical - the real reason for the success of the Islamic take over of the Levant and the Egypt from the eastern Roman, not any great war genuis, only the promises to the local 'heretical' christians and the jews to leave them alone. The focus on the tax payments and the contract law.

silly hypocritical faux argumentations.
Just out of curiosity, got anything from the last century or so?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
That's been hashed out many times on this board, Harrkev. There are fundamentalist Christians who believe that their God wants them to kill others with different values and beliefs. Would you consider the Westboro Baptist Church representative of all Christians? There are radical extremists in every faith, and in groups without a religious figurehead.
What percentage of Christians find the WBC representative of their beliefs?
  #12  
Old 09-23-2017, 08:08 AM
Ramira Ramira is offline
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
Just out of curiosity, got anything from the last century or so?
Just curious, do you not understand the comparative frame of reference of history to history or is it just emptyposturing?
  #13  
Old 09-23-2017, 08:14 AM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
What percentage of Christians find the WBC representative of their beliefs?
And moreover, when's the last time that the WBC has executed anyone for their lack of faith or sent a suicide bomber somewhere?
  #14  
Old 09-23-2017, 08:21 AM
Ramira Ramira is offline
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When was the last time white Americans lynched a black american? When was the last time white americans killed out of the race prejudice a minority?
  #15  
Old 09-23-2017, 08:55 AM
Budget Player Cadet Budget Player Cadet is offline
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Just curious, do you not understand the comparative frame of reference of history to history or is it just emptyposturing?
The past was harsh and barbaric. Christianity has largely gotten past that step. Islam, in many places, has not. What kind of weak-ass gotcha is that, anyways? "Sure, my religion is responsible for numerous atrocities every week the world over, but look at what this other religion did 500 years ago!" Every single person condemning modern Islam will gladly condemn the actions of Christianity in the past. In fact, many of them will gladly condemn the actions of Christianity today insofar as Christianity is responsible for awful things (like the abusive cultishness of the Quiverfull movement, the dominionists, the anti-gay movement, etc).
  #16  
Old 09-23-2017, 09:05 AM
Ramira Ramira is offline
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The subject was the past. The response was about the past, that history.

Move goal posts for your own prejudcies as you like but waving strawmen around is of no interest.
  #17  
Old 09-23-2017, 10:59 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Originally Posted by rowrrbazzle View Post
"Is the West kidding itself about the good intentions of Islam?" About a very militant minority of Muslims? Yes.
This is the kind of pointless straw man that stops this kind of conversation getting anywhere. Nobody, nobody, would disagree that there is a militant minority of Muslims who believe in some kind of radical islam, because we all see the same terrorist incidents, we all know about ISIS.

What we're discussing here is about generalizing about all Muslims on the basis of some minority.
The vast majority of Muslims are peaceful, but yes, right now, the religion has a higher proportion of violent extremists than any other religion, both these statements can be true at the same time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet
The past was harsh and barbaric. Christianity has largely gotten past that step. Islam, in many places, has not. What kind of weak-ass gotcha is that, anyways? "Sure, my religion is responsible for numerous atrocities every week the world over, but look at what this other religion did 500 years ago!"
But we're talking about whether the religion itself is fundamentally bad or good.

Christianity is a good example here: the Bible contains various God-endorsed genocides, and people once took it quite literally. But societies and theologies moved on, and although the book hasn't changed, we focus on the peaceful parts now, and try to derive some metaphor from the other bits.

Islam has kind of gone the other way, being quite enlightened compared to Europe during Islam's golden age, now not only do many take the book literally, but a minority derive an evil message from it.
But it's not really the book; you could find inspiration for the same acts from the bible, and in many parts of the world people still believe the bible tells them to murder gays, for example.

Last edited by Mijin; 09-23-2017 at 11:00 AM.
  #18  
Old 09-23-2017, 01:45 PM
Merneith Merneith is offline
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Originally Posted by Ramira View Post
For accuracy it is to note that this MArtel story is romantic fiction.

The brief holding of the mediterranean France showed well it was beyond the long term range of the old Ummayads.
Charles Martel was a real guy who really did stop the real advance of the real Ummayad army at Tours, a real city, on the 10th of October, 732 (really) and then proceeded to sack the Ummayad-held cities of Agde, Beziers, Villenueva, and Nimes. Charles didn't hold Nimes (the former Narbonensis), but Pepin the Short (another real guy, and the real son of Charles Martel(also a real guy)) took it from the Ummayads in 752.

Following the Battle of Tours (real event) the Ummayad caliphate stopped its advance (yes, really). After that, the Caliphate was beset by a large revolt in 739 (the Berber revolt) that eventually led to Morrocan independence.

While that was happening, in the East, the Caliphate was attempting to expand into the Caucassus region, all the way to Samarkand (a real place, I've always wanted to go there), and eventually fell apart due to internal infighting.

There's no question that the Ummayad Caliphate was ultimately destroyed by internal revolts but it's ridiculous to dismiss the Battle of Tours or its historical impact as a "fairy tale".
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Old 09-23-2017, 04:24 PM
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I think he meant that the Islamic advances into France were not territorial ambitions. I've read that they were mainly looting and pillaging trips, and that at least part of the reason why the Moors were defeated is that individual soldiers wanted to retreat with the booty they had already secured. That's mentioned on Wikipedia, but there's no cite. It may be another of those romantic myths about the battle though.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Tours

Quote:
The battle was still in flux when – Frankish histories claim – a rumour went through the Umayyad army that Frankish scouts threatened the booty that they had taken from Bordeaux. Some of the Umayyad troops at once broke off the battle and returned to camp to secure their loot. According to Muslim accounts of the battle, in the midst of the fighting on the second day (Frankish accounts have the battle lasting one day only), scouts from the Franks sent by Charles began to raid the camp and supply train (including slaves and other plunder).[citation needed]

Charles supposedly had sent scouts to cause chaos in the Umayyad base camp, and free as many of the slaves as possible, hoping to draw off part of his foe. This succeeded, as many of the Umayyad cavalry returned to their camp. To the rest of the Muslim army, this appeared to be a full-scale retreat, and soon it became one.[citation needed]

Both Western and Muslim histories agree that while trying to stop the retreat, 'Abd-al-Raḥmân became surrounded, which led to his death, and the Umayyad troops then withdrew altogether to their camp. "All the host fled before the enemy", candidly wrote one Arabic source, "and many died in the flight". The Franks resumed their phalanx, and rested in place through the night, believing the battle would resume at dawn the following morning.[citation needed]
Following day

The next day, when the Umayyad forces did not renew the battle, the Franks feared an ambush. Charles at first believed that the Umayyad forces were trying to lure him down the hill and into the open. This tactic he knew he had to resist at all costs; he had in fact disciplined his troops for years to under no circumstances break formation and come out in the open.[citation needed]

Only after extensive reconnaissance of the Umayyad camp by Frankish soldiers – which by both historical accounts had been so hastily abandoned that even the tents remained, as the Umayyad forces headed back to Iberia with what loot remained that they could carry – was it discovered that the Muslims had retreated during the night.[citation needed]
Look at all those "citation(s) needed"!

Last edited by glowacks; 09-23-2017 at 04:27 PM.
  #20  
Old 09-23-2017, 04:33 PM
Ramira Ramira is offline
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Originally Posted by Merneith View Post
Charles Martel was a real guy .
Yes indeed.

The raids that are fictionalized and blown up into a great world historical battle however were not Ummayad advances, they were raids.

So yes you have repeated some half understood histories and missed the point.
  #21  
Old 09-23-2017, 05:41 PM
Merneith Merneith is offline
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Originally Posted by glowacks View Post
I think he meant that the Islamic advances into France were not territorial ambitions. I've read that they were mainly looting and pillaging trips, and that at least part of the reason why the Moors were defeated is that individual soldiers wanted to retreat with the booty they had already secured. That's mentioned on Wikipedia, but there's no cite. It may be another of those romantic myths about the battle though.
Bolding mine.

Well, in that case the "fairy tale" is on the Muslim side.



From the Wiki page that glowacks linked -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiki cite on the Battle of Tours

The Umayyad troops, under Al-Samh ibn Malik al-Khawlani, the governor-general of al-Andalus, overran Septimania by 719, following their sweep up the Iberian Peninsula. Al-Samh set up his capital from 720 at Narbonne, which the Moors called Arbūna. With the port of Narbonne secure, the Umayyads swiftly subdued the largely unresisting cities of Alet, Béziers, Agde, Lodève, Maguelonne, and Nîmes, still controlled by their Visigothic counts.[37]

The Umayyad campaign into Aquitaine suffered a temporary setback at the Battle of Toulouse (721). Duke Odo the Great broke the siege of Toulouse, taking Al-Samh ibn Malik's forces by surprise. Al-Samh ibn Malik was mortally wounded. This defeat did not stop incursions into old Roman Gaul, as Moorish forces, soundly based in Narbonne and easily resupplied by sea, struck eastwards in the 720s, penetrating as far as Autun in Burgundy in 725.[37]

Threatened by both the Umayyads in the south and by the Franks in the north, in 730 Odo allied himself with the Berber commander Uthman ibn Naissa, called "Munuza" by the Franks, the deputy governor of what would later become Catalonia. To seal the alliance, Uthman was given Odo's daughter Lampagie in marriage, and Moorish raids across the Pyrenees, Odo's southern border, ceased.[37] However, the next year, the Berber leader killed the bishop of Urgell Nambaudus and detached from his Arabs masters in Cordova. Abdul Raḥman in turn sent an expedition to crush his revolt, and next directed his attention against Uthman's ally Odo.[38]

The Aquitanian duke Odo collected his army at Bordeaux, but was defeated, and Bordeaux plundered. During the following Battle of the River Garonne, the Chronicle of 754[39] commented that "God alone knows the number of the slain".[40] The Chronicle of 754 continues, saying they "pierced through the mountains, trampled over rough and level ground, plundered far into the country of the Franks, and smote all with the sword, insomuch that when Eudo came to battle with them at the River Garonne, he fled."

There's a map on that Wiki page which can show you some ofthe cities mentioned. Autun, which the quote above shows was conquered in 725, is pretty much smack in the middle of France. Tours is northwest of Autun, in the Northren part of France.

So the Ummayad forces had been occupying large swathes of French territory for years before the Battle of Tours. Martell may have caught the Ummayads when they were out on raids but to pretend like the Ummayad forces had no major presence in the region is absurd.

The Frankish forces killed the Ummayad governor, Abudl Rhaman al Ghafiqi, and then called a halt to the fighting when daylight fell. The Ummayyad forces ran away in the night. In the aftermath of the Battle of Tours, the Ummayad army retreated beyond the French Pyranees.

It might make some people feel better to pretend that the Muslim army ran all that way because they were just too cool to fight some stupid Frankish loser who wasn't really all that special anyway and who even cares, right? but ... come on.

The Ummayad army came back in 735 and, after some back and forth, were kicked out for good by Charles' son Pepin. I would be willing to listen to arguments that the Battle of Tours, in and of itself, is not as decisive as legend makes it out to be. It certainly wasn't the end of the discussion. But to pretend like the Ummayads weren't hurting, afterwards, doesn't pass the smell test.
  #22  
Old 09-24-2017, 09:15 AM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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Is the West kidding itself about the good intentions of Islam?


In order to answer that, one must first ask this question: what good intentions? We're talking about a religion that has a fundamental core that says convert everyone to Islam and kill anyone who doesn't. It's really hard to say that a religion like that has any kind of good intentions, not to mention ludicrous.
  #23  
Old 09-24-2017, 10:33 AM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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The fight against ignorance is going to be a long, long haul.
  #24  
Old 09-24-2017, 11:15 AM
Ramira Ramira is offline
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Originally Posted by Merneith View Post
Bolding mine.

Well, in that case the "fairy tale" is on the Muslim side.
Your introduction of prejudiced knee jerking as a strawman on any scholarship is noted.

However a muslim 'side' or scholarship has not one thing to do with this or even my comment, purely based on the modern european and very Western historians.

The same page:
Quote:
Objecting to the significance of Tours as a world-altering event[edit]
Other historians disagree with this assessment. Alessandro Barbero writes, "Today, historians tend to play down the significance of the battle of Poitiers, pointing out that the purpose of the Muslim force defeated by Charles Martel was not to conquer the Frankish kingdom, but simply to pillage the wealthy monastery of St-Martin of Tours".[71] Similarly, Tomaž Mastnak writes:

Modern historians have constructed a myth presenting this victory as having saved Christian Europe from the Muslims. Edward Gibbon, for example, called Charles Martel the savior of Christendom and the battle near Poitiers an encounter that changed the history of the world. ... This myth has survived well into our own times. ... Contemporaries of the battle, however, did not overstate its significance. The continuators of Fredegar's chronicle, who probably wrote in the mid-eighth century, pictured the battle as just one of many military encounters between Christians and Saracens – moreover, as only one in a series of wars fought by Frankish princes for booty and territory. ... One of Fredegar's continuators presented the battle of Poitiers as what it really was: an episode in the struggle between Christian princes as the Carolingians strove to bring Aquitaine under their rule.[72]

The historian Philip Khuri Hitti believes that "In reality nothing was decided on the battlefield of Tours. The Moslem wave, already a thousand miles from its starting point in Gibraltar – to say nothing about its base in al-Qayrawan – had already spent itself and reached a natural limit."[73]

The view that the battle has no great significance is perhaps best summarized by Franco Cardini[it] says in Europe and Islam: "Although prudence needs to be exercised in minimizing or 'demythologizing' the significance of the event, it is no longer thought by anyone to have been crucial. The 'myth' of that particular military engagement survives today as a media cliché, than which nothing is harder to eradicate. It is well known how the propaganda put about by the Franks and the papacy glorified the victory that took place on the road between Tours and Poitiers ..."[74]
The broad consensus of the European historians is not in the support the mythology of a great invasion stoppage inflating the significance of the raiding party.

If anyone should have a credit for no great Ummayad expansion reprise in the 800s, it is the Basque highlanders saying fuck you to both the Franks and the Muslims and fighting of any real control by both (the same ones who massacred Rolland but the later medieval Francphile propaganda gave the credit in chanson to muslims). But it does not as easily fit into the black and white narratives.

The rest of the prejudiced tinged commentary insterting enormous strawmen of comments not at all made is not of any interest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clothahump View Post
Is the West kidding itself about the good intentions of Islam?


In order to answer that, one must first ask this question: what good intentions? We're talking about a religion that has a fundamental core that says convert everyone to Islam and kill anyone who doesn't. It's really hard to say that a religion like that has any kind of good intentions, not to mention ludicrous.
Oh wonderful more of the gross prejudice and ignorant comment. Of course since all replies are masqued to him, it is not purpose a reply in factual correction.

Last edited by Ramira; 09-24-2017 at 11:17 AM.
  #25  
Old 09-24-2017, 11:41 AM
AK84 AK84 is offline
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I have been on this site for 9 years. Was a lurker for many years before that. I never thought I would see "Cecil" even entertain such a ridiculous question. Just the fact that the owners of the site felt the need to even discuss such a question and bestow it with a seriousness that it does not deserve, is horrifying.

I guess I should not be surprised; same week that some poster in all seriousness asks about an oncologist in a burqa.
  #26  
Old 09-24-2017, 11:58 AM
mikecurtis mikecurtis is offline
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Originally Posted by Clothahump View Post
Is the West kidding itself about the good intentions of Islam?


In order to answer that, one must first ask this question: what good intentions? We're talking about a religion that has a fundamental core that says convert everyone to Islam and kill anyone who doesn't. It's really hard to say that a religion like that has any kind of good intentions, not to mention ludicrous.
Didn't Islam rule big chunks of "Christian" Europe for like a thousand years without forcing conversion or killing off all the infidels? What do you say to that?

mc
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Old 09-24-2017, 01:16 PM
Hector_St_Clare Hector_St_Clare is offline
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Originally Posted by Clothahump View Post
Is the West kidding itself about the good intentions of Islam?


In order to answer that, one must first ask this question: what good intentions? We're talking about a religion that has a fundamental core that says convert everyone to Islam and kill anyone who doesn't. It's really hard to say that a religion like that has any kind of good intentions, not to mention ludicrous.
I don't have a particularly favourable opinion of Islamic theology, but "that says convert everyone to Islam and kill anyone who doesn't" is absolutely not normative Islamic doctrine.

Islamic doctrine explicitly forbids forcible conversion of Christians, Jews, and "Sabeaens", I'm not sure if it's clearly known who that last group are. Other groups such as Hindus, Zoroastrians, etc. are not explicitly addressed, and there have been differences historically in how Muslim societies have treated them, but forcible conversion on the lines of "convert or die" has absolutely been the exception much more than the rule. You can see this by the fact that Hindu, Animist, and Zoroastrian minorities have existed in Muslim dominated environments for many centuries- often subject to certain legal disabilities, but certainly not wiped out by force.
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Old 09-24-2017, 01:18 PM
Ramira Ramira is offline
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Didn't Islam rule big chunks of "Christian" Europe for like a thousand years without forcing conversion or killing off all the infidels? What do you say to that?

mc
You may add to this the Middle East itself and Africa and other regions.

No non-Christians survived the Christian conquests in the europe - the pagans were converted by the penalty of the death. It is the same in the Americas, it is the same with the Reconquista, it is the same of all of the areas of the direct control where full rule could be imposed.

of course there is the built in incentive system in the islamic legal rulings, for the non focus on the conversion for the improved tax base for the rulership in having the non muslim subjects, and the built in system of 'people of the book' and 'peoples of accords' (that have signed peace treaty to accept the Islamic rule) that are due protection if they pay taxes.

as an economist, I am perhaps cynical in the analysis, but the economic incentives I always find to be useful for understanding the long-term trends and the long term incentives even if episodic rulers may deviate.

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Originally Posted by Hector_St_Clare View Post
I don't have a particularly favourable opinion of Islamic theology, but "that says convert everyone to Islam and kill anyone who doesn't" is absolutely not normative Islamic doctrine.

Islamic doctrine explicitly forbids forcible conversion of Christians, Jews, and "Sabeaens", I'm not sure if it's clearly known who that last group are. Other groups such as Hindus, Zoroastrians, etc. are not explicitly addressed, and there have been differences historically in how Muslim societies have treated them, but forcible conversion on the lines of "convert or die" has absolutely been the exception much more than the rule. You can see this by the fact that Hindu, Animist, and Zoroastrian minorities have existed in Muslim dominated environments for many centuries- often subject to certain legal disabilities, but certainly not wiped out by force.
Yes these minorities continued but not one native minority religion in the European realm survived (and only the non-native jews with long episodes of the expulsions). Even intra-christian minorities and deviations were bloodily suppressed. Post religion they change it only to politics but the same attitudes continue. (and no, the Sabaeans are not clear and thus are the gateway to others)

I do not attribute great morality, but rulers had the useful and the intersting economic incentives and a built in structure to use to rationalize and to legimitimate minorities. Unlike the eradicationist tendency of the european christianity.

Last edited by Ramira; 09-24-2017 at 01:23 PM. Reason: added
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Old 09-24-2017, 01:19 PM
Hector_St_Clare Hector_St_Clare is offline
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Originally Posted by Ramira View Post
Or the bloody suppression of anything the Christian church hieararchies decided was heritical.
There's a good point here which is that most religious repressions, historically, have been directed internally, towards dissidents who were promoting heretical doctrine. (E.g. Muslims suppressing Muslim heretics, Christians persecuting heretical Christians, Zoroastrians persecuting their own heretics, etc..)
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Old 09-24-2017, 01:30 PM
Ramira Ramira is offline
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There's a good point here which is that most religious repressions, historically, have been directed internally, towards dissidents who were promoting heretical doctrine. (E.g. Muslims suppressing Muslim heretics, Christians persecuting heretical Christians, Zoroastrians persecuting their own heretics, etc..)
Yes although in the Islamic tradition there is surprising indifference to heritical tendencies except the very most extreme that took aim at the basis of rulership. Kharijites survive in the Maghreb unmolested after they gave up any tendency to challenge the emirs. In the maghreb too old Shia style traditions survive like Achoura without any great care from the Malekite Sunni schools. And of course the various Sufi tariqas.

There is the greater tradition of 'doing a deal.'

Perhaps the anti-capitalist can be then critical of the transactional focus in Islamic traditions, showing the mercantile origin.... :^)

The rigid intolerance in the doctrine and the practice of the Salafistes and in the most particular the Takfiri salafistes, it is really a kind of Innovation in a Roman Church kind of style which is ironic given their attitudes, but they are the ones importing alien habits in their faux purism.
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:13 PM
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Oh wonderful more of the gross prejudice and ignorant comment.
Wow. A statement of fact is now "gross prejudice". How about a cite showing me to be wrong. Start with this: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pa.../violence.aspx
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:33 PM
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Wow. A statement of fact is now "gross prejudice". How about a cite showing me to be wrong. Start with this: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pa.../violence.aspx
End with this:http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.co...ble_quran.html
  #33  
Old 09-24-2017, 10:44 PM
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Wow. A statement of fact is now "gross prejudice". How about a cite showing me to be wrong. Start with this: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pa.../violence.aspx
I can do this, too. http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/06/14/...-christianity/

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=124494788

Quote:
"Much to my surprise, the Islamic scriptures in the Quran were actually far less bloody and less violent than those in the Bible," Jenkins says.

Jenkins is a professor at Penn State University and author of two books dealing with the issue: the recently published Jesus Wars, and Dark Passages , which has not been published but is already drawing controversy.

Much to my surprise, the Islamic scriptures in the Quran were actually far less bloody and less violent than those in the Bible.
Philip Jenkins, author of 'Jesus Wars'
Violence in the Quran, he and others say, is largely a defense against attack.

"By the standards of the time, which is the 7th century A.D., the laws of war that are laid down by the Quran are actually reasonably humane," he says. "Then we turn to the Bible, and we actually find something that is for many people a real surprise. There is a specific kind of warfare laid down in the Bible which we can only call genocide."
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...-most-violent/
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Clothahump View Post
Wow. A statement of fact is now "gross prejudice". How about a cite showing me to be wrong. Start with this: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pa.../violence.aspx
You realize of course you just cited a website rife with gross prejudice, right? I'd believe a foxnews cite before that garbage. Hell, I'd believe timecube before thereligionofpeace.com
  #35  
Old 09-25-2017, 06:36 AM
Hector_St_Clare Hector_St_Clare is offline
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This is a really dumb comparison (comparing the Quran to the Bible) because, 1) Islamic doctrine isn't based wholly on the Quran, and 2) Christian doctrine isn't based wholly on the bible.

At a minimum, Islamic doctrine draws on the Quran + the hadiths, and Christian doctrine (for most Christians historically, anyway) draws on the Bible plus early tradition. (A lot of the sources for Christian doctrine are extra-biblical, and while I don't know much about Islam my understanding is that a lot of the Islamic sources come from the hadiths as well).

There's also the point to be made that most of the bloody material in the Bible is in the Old Testament, and there's a lot of internal debate within Christianity about the role the Old Testament plays today (or ever did), and the way in which it's to be read. Sufficie it to say the majority position historically was yes, the Old Testament is to be included as sacred scripture, but no, it's not to be read as a stand alone document but only in the light of the new.

It seem to me that the *first three or four centuries of Christianity* were less militant than the first three or four centuries of Islam, although a sophisticated Muslim polemicist could and presumably would argue that's because Christianity mostly lacked political power until the mid fourth century, and thus didn't have either the ability or the responsibility for running a state and making tough decisions about what to do. It's always easier to be a pacifist when you're out of power than when you're in power. After St. Augustine wrote his very influential justifications for war, religious persecution and so forth in the fifth century, things changed, to put it mildly.
  #36  
Old 09-25-2017, 08:42 AM
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Considering that there have been times in history in which the Islamic world was generally less violent and more tolerant than the Christian world, and considering that Judaism, whose scripture (the Old Testament) is as violent or more so than any other scripture, is generally less associated with violence than either of the other Abrahamic religions, then I'm highly skeptical that the content of scripture has much if anything significant to do with the overall level of violence and tolerance in majority-one-religion societies. Rather, I think issues of geopolitics, history, and non-religious aspects of culture are far better explanations for these variations in associations with violence than specific doctrinal or textual characteristics of any of the religions.
  #37  
Old 09-25-2017, 10:10 AM
Hector_St_Clare Hector_St_Clare is offline
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Considering that there have been times in history in which the Islamic world was generally less violent and more tolerant than the Christian world, and considering that Judaism, whose scripture (the Old Testament) is as violent or more so than any other scripture, is generally less associated with violence than either of the other Abrahamic religions, then I'm highly skeptical that the content of scripture has much if anything significant to do with the overall level of violence and tolerance in majority-one-religion societies. Rather, I think issues of geopolitics, history, and non-religious aspects of culture are far better explanations for these variations in associations with violence than specific doctrinal or textual characteristics of any of the religions.
Judaism of course was never in power after 70 AD (with the exception of brief periods in Khazaria and I think Yemen), so they didn't have much opportunity to repress anyone.
  #38  
Old 09-25-2017, 11:14 AM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is online now
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Judaism of course was never in power after 70 AD (with the exception of brief periods in Khazaria and I think Yemen), so they didn't have much opportunity to repress anyone.
That's true, but I think it supports my point -- the explanation of variations in violence and tolerance is better explained by geopolitics (including who has the power), non-religious culture, and other factors, rather than text and doctrine of religious scripture.
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Old 09-25-2017, 04:11 PM
Harrkev Harrkev is offline
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That's been hashed out many times on this board, Harrkev. There are fundamentalist Christians who believe that their God wants them to kill others with different values and beliefs. Would you consider the Westboro Baptist Church representative of all Christians? There are radical extremists in every faith, and in groups without a religious figurehead.
Riiiiiiiight. You said "there are." OK. How many? How many dozens of people are in Westboro? What percentage of all Christians?

"There are radical extremists in every faith, and in groups without a religious figurehead." There is a big difference between "there are" being 0.5% and "there are" being 50%. If you cannot see this, then I weep for our future.

We are talking about a MAJORITY of people in Pakistan OK will killing a woman accused of blasphemy without proof, and a sizable percentage (5%) willing to kill her with there own hands. There is a HUGE difference between a few loonies here and there, and the majority of the population.
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Old 09-25-2017, 04:30 PM
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With over a billion followers of Islam, if that religion REALLY wanted to convert or kill all non-Muslim people, we'd have been dead already.

My point is that a subset of a religion doesn't speak for every member of that faith. The Westboro Baptist Church isn't representative of all of Christianity any more than radical Islam is representative of all Muslims.

If you want to persist with this particular bogeyman, feel free. But don't pretend that it's those of us who can separate the radicals from the whole of Muslims are the ones with the problem.

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  #41  
Old 09-25-2017, 04:40 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is online now
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Riiiiiiiight. You said "there are." OK. How many? How many dozens of people are in Westboro? What percentage of all Christians?

"There are radical extremists in every faith, and in groups without a religious figurehead." There is a big difference between "there are" being 0.5% and "there are" being 50%. If you cannot see this, then I weep for our future.

We are talking about a MAJORITY of people in Pakistan OK will killing a woman accused of blasphemy without proof, and a sizable percentage (5%) willing to kill her with there own hands. There is a HUGE difference between a few loonies here and there, and the majority of the population.
So criticize those specific Pakistani Muslims -- those views are certainly worth criticizing, just like the views of most Christians at the times in history in which most Christians held very similar views. Polling shows that American Muslims are more tolerant of homosexuality, for example, than some American groups like evangelical Christians and Mormons: http://www.pewforum.org/2015/11/03/c...cal-attitudes/

That sounds to me like it's something about the country and culture/society of Pakistan, and not something about Islam, that drives these sorts of attitudes.
  #42  
Old 09-25-2017, 06:47 PM
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That's been hashed out many times on this board, Harrkev. There are fundamentalist Christians who believe that their God wants them to kill others with different values and beliefs. Would you consider the Westboro Baptist Church representative of all Christians? There are radical extremists in every faith, and in groups without a religious figurehead.
Do you see what you did, Harrkev? You forced Superdude, a friend and noted jerk (still buds SD?) to get all rational and nice. This isn't his way, which you'd know if you weren't new. but you made him play against type, like Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time in the West. Are you satisfied? Does this make you happy?
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This seems to be pretty definitive.
posted by logicpunk at 10:07 AM on December 20, 2007 [3 favorites]
  #43  
Old 09-25-2017, 08:56 PM
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Do you see what you did, Harrkev? You forced Superdude, a friend and noted jerk (still buds SD?) to get all rational and nice. This isn't his way, which you'd know if you weren't new. but you made him play against type, like Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time in the West. Are you satisfied? Does this make you happy?
Dropsy, I'd be insulted if you didn't still think of me as a jerk. I have a lot of friends who hate my guts. I consider that a compliment.
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:46 AM
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I strongly suspect that if Mecca had been invaded by the Christians the Muslims would have come up with the notion of a holy war first. Circumstances make holy wars, it's nothing inherent in Christianity.
  #45  
Old 09-26-2017, 11:23 AM
Hector_St_Clare Hector_St_Clare is offline
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Considering that there have been times in history in which the Islamic world was generally less violent and more tolerant than the Christian world, and considering that Judaism, whose scripture (the Old Testament) is as violent or more so than any other scripture, is generally less associated with violence than either of the other Abrahamic religions, then I'm highly skeptical that the content of scripture has much if anything significant to do with the overall level of violence and tolerance in majority-one-religion societies. Rather, I think issues of geopolitics, history, and non-religious aspects of culture are far better explanations for these variations in associations with violence than specific doctrinal or textual characteristics of any of the religions.
OK, I think this is very clearly not true. Ramira pointed out correctly above that medieval Muslim states were generally more tolerant of non-Muslim religions than Christians were of non-Christians, and she also made the case (which I'm not qualified to comment on) that Muslim states were more tolerant of Muslim heresies than Christian states were of heretical Christians. To the extent that's true, there are clear theological reasons for that. The reason Christian states persecuted Christian heretics were because you can make a very good case for doing so based on Christian scripture and tradition. (St. Augustine famously made that case, and I think if you read his argument you'll be impressed by how strong it is, even if you disagree with his conclusions). Likewise the reason (well part of the reason) Muslim states tolerated Christians, Jews, and Sabaeans is because there's explicit religious instruction for doing so. Ideologies do matter, and that includes religious ideologies.
  #46  
Old 09-26-2017, 12:09 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is online now
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OK, I think this is very clearly not true. Ramira pointed out correctly above that medieval Muslim states were generally more tolerant of non-Muslim religions than Christians were of non-Christians, and she also made the case (which I'm not qualified to comment on) that Muslim states were more tolerant of Muslim heresies than Christian states were of heretical Christians. To the extent that's true, there are clear theological reasons for that. The reason Christian states persecuted Christian heretics were because you can make a very good case for doing so based on Christian scripture and tradition. (St. Augustine famously made that case, and I think if you read his argument you'll be impressed by how strong it is, even if you disagree with his conclusions). Likewise the reason (well part of the reason) Muslim states tolerated Christians, Jews, and Sabaeans is because there's explicit religious instruction for doing so. Ideologies do matter, and that includes religious ideologies.
Different Christian and Muslim states treated various groups differently, some better and some worse, and they all had leaders who claimed to have religious textual support for their actions. IMO, if one spends a little effort, one can find textual support in religious texts for almost any position, including directly contradictory ones, and history (in my understanding) bears this out.
  #47  
Old 09-26-2017, 10:14 PM
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Different Christian and Muslim states treated various groups differently, some better and some worse, and they all had leaders who claimed to have religious textual support for their actions. IMO, if one spends a little effort, one can find textual support in religious texts for almost any position, including directly contradictory ones, and history (in my understanding) bears this out.
Very true. We ought to cast aside the ghosts that still haunt organized religion. But what is lost must be "replaced" in some sense. It holds much power to fear a god. In the secular West, what are we replacing the fading crescent of religious dogma with? Without it, we rely on the rational choice of peace. We are not always rational creatures. Religion ought to teach us to avoid conflict, as any true follower of Jesus (or Muhammad) would tell you.
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