Friday, July 31, 2009

What Golden Age? And For Whom?

Muslims love to talk about their Golden Age. A time that peace, love and mutual understanding ruled the entire Islamic world. President Obama in his speech to Cairo University reinforced this.

Yet what were the true facts about this time and what rights did a non-Muslim have under this system?

Mohammad and his followers conquered the Arabian Peninsula by force. Starting in Medina, then on to other cities. He could not convince the vast majority of the people to follow his new religion on words alone. This conquest was brutal, being the work of barbarians and not men following a Religion of Peace (Muslims love to call Islam that).

From The Golden Age of Islam is a Myth
The hatred of Western Civilization, and the corresponding urge to glorify anything outside it, especially if it can be depicted as a victim of the West, is a well-known phenomenon of the contemporary liberal mind. One of the forms it has taken in recent years is the attempt to artificially inflate the historic achievements of other civilizations beyond what the facts support. The noble savage myth is a commonplace; what is more complex is the myth that has been bandied about concerning the supposed "golden age" of Islamic civilization during what we know as the Middle Ages.

The myth of an Islamic Golden Age is needed by Islam’s apologists to save it from being damned by its present squalid condition; to prove, as it were, that there is more to Islam than the terrorism of Bin Laden and the decadence of the oil sheiks. It is, frankly, a confession that if the world judges it by what it is today, it comes up rather short, being a religion that has yet to produce a democratic or prosperous society, or social and cultural forms admired by neutral foreign observers the way anyone can admire American freedom, Japanese order, Israeli courage, or Italian style.

Some liberal academics openly admit that they twist the Muslim past to serve their present-day intellectual agendas. For example, some who propound the myth of an Islamic golden age of tolerance admit that their goal is,

"to recover for postmodernity that lost medieval Judeo-Islamic trading, social and cultural world, its high point pre-1492 Moorish Spain, which permitted and relished a plurality, a convivencia, of religions and cultures, Christian, Jewish and Moslem; which prized an historic internationality of space along with the valuing of particular cities; which was inclusive and cosmopolitan, cosmopolitan here meaning an ease with different cultures: still so rare and threatened a value in the new millennium as in centuries past."

In other words, a fairy tale designed to create the illusion that multiculturalism has valid historical precedents that prove it can work.

To be fair, the myth of the golden age of Islam does have a partially valid starting point: there were times in the past when Muslim societies attained higher levels of civilization and culture than they did at other times. There have been times, that is, when some Muslim lands were fit for a cultivated man to live in. Baghdad under Harun ar-Rashid (his well-documented Christian-slaying and Jew-hating proclivities notwithstanding), or Cordova very briefly under Abd ar-Rahman in the tenth century, come to mind. These isolated episodes, neither long nor typical, are endlessly invoked by Islam’s Western apologists and admirers.

This "golden" period in question largely coincides with the second dynasty of the Caliphate or Islamic Empire, that of the Abbasids, named after Muhammad’s uncle Abbas, who succeeded the Umayyads and ascended to the Caliphate in 750 AD. They moved the capital city to Baghdad, absorbed much of the Syrian and Persian culture as well as Persian methods of government, and ushered in the "golden age."

This age was marked by, among other things, intellectual achievement. A number of medieval thinkers and scientists living under Islamic rule, by no means all of them "Muslims" either nominally or substantially, played a useful role of transmitting Greek, Hindu, and other pre-Islamic fruits of knowledge to Westerners. They contributed to making Aristotle known in Christian Europe. But in doing this, they were but transmitting what they themselves had received from non-Muslim sources.

Three speculative thinkers, notably the three Persians al-Kindi, al-Farabi, and Avicenna, combined Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism with other ideas introduced through Islam. Greatly influenced by Baghdad’s Greek heritage in philosophy that survived the Arab invasion, and especially the writings of Aristotle, Farabi adopted the view — utterly heretical from a Muslim viewpoint — that reason is superior to revelation. He saw religion as a symbolic rendering of truth, and, like Plato, saw it as the duty of the philosopher to provide guidance to the state. He engaged in rationalistic questioning of the authority of the Koran and rejected predestination. He wrote more than 100 works, notably The Ideas of the Citizens of the Virtuous City. But these unorthodox works no more belong to Islam than Voltaire belongs to Christianity. He was in Moslem culture but not of it, indeed opposed to its orthodox core. He examples the pattern we see again and again: the best Muslims, whether judged by intellectual or political achievement, are usually the least Muslim.
Read the full article. The author goes on to describe the other "achievements" the Muslim world brought to the West and where they originially came from.

OK, you say. Muslims didn't actually invent these things. The Romans didn't invent many things either, they borrowed the inventions of others, and made them their own.

That is true.

Muslims still cry out that the "Golden Age" was one of Equality, and Universal Brotherhood.

Let us now examine this:

And Dhimmitude For All
“A thing without a name escapes understanding,” warns preeminent Islamic scholar Bat Ye'or of jihad and dhimmitude—the Islamic institutions of, respectively, war and perpetual servitude imposed on conquered non-Muslim peoples. Both, Ye’or notes in an essay entitled “Historical Amnesia,” are in the process of globalization.

This is not the benign economic globalization that most Westerners laud. Islamic jihad and dhimmitude trade in every available means—military, political, technological and intellectual. And if the towering collection of 63 essays (including Ye’or’s) contained in the new book The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims is to be believed, these specific Islamic processes are globalizing at a disturbingly rapid pace. The book, courageously assembled by JihadWatch director and FrontPage columnist Robert Spencer, provides historical and contemporary profiles of jihad and dhimmitude.

In six sections, the book delineates how Islamic ideology has affected non-Muslims both historically and in the contemporary world. The first three sections cover the myth vs. historical realities and Islamic law and practice regarding non-Muslims. The last three sections cover how the myth of Islamic tolerance has affected contemporary geopolitics, power politics at the United Nations and, finally, academic and public discourse. It is Ibn Warraq's forward and the latter 400 pages in which this book really shines. He explains:

Islam is a totalitarian ideology that aims to control the religious, social and political life of mankind in all its aspects; the life of its followers without qualification; and the life of those who follow the so-called tolerated religions to a degree that prevents their activities from getting in the way of Islam in any way. And I mean Islam, I do not accept some spurious distinction between Islam and 'Islamic fundamentalism' or Islamic terrorism'.

The September 11, 2001 murderers acted canonically. They followed Sharia, a collection of theoretical laws and ideals “that apply in any ideal Muslim community.” This body of regulations, based on divine authority, according to devout Muslims “must be accepted without criticism, without doubts and questions.” It sacrifices the individual's desires and good to those of the community.

“Expressing one's opinion or changing one's religion” are punishable by death. That apostasy is not today mentioned in the legal codes of most Islamic countries, Warraq notes, hardly implies freedom of religion for Muslims in those states; their penal codes are filled with Islamic laws. The myth of Islamic tolerance is defied by the massacre and extermination of the Zoroastrians in Iran; the million Armenians in Turkey; the Buddhists and Hindus in India; the more than six thousand Jews in Fez, Morocco, in 1033; hundreds of Jews killed in Cordoba between 1010 and 1013; the entire Jewish community of Granada in 1066; the Jews in Marrakesh in 1232; the Jews of Tetuan, Morocco in 1790; the Jews of Baghdad in 1828; and so on ad nauseum.

Ironically, despite Islam's immutability, the myth evolved through the Western propensity to criticize its civilization. In 98 CE, Roman historian Tacitus in Germania compared the noble simplicity of the Germans with the vices of contemporary Rome. Michele do Montaigne (1533-1592) in circa 1580 painted noble savages based on dubious secondhand information in order to condemn his own civilization.

Later writers substituted Islam for savages to condemn Christendom and materialism. In 1686-89, for example, Huguenot pastor Pierre Jurieu exclaimed that Christians had spilt more blood on St. Bartholemew's Day than had the Saracens in all their persecutions of Christians. Of course, Islam had claimed millions of lives—in 1399, Taimur killed 100,000 Hindus in a single day. But during the 17th century, and later the Enlightenment, writers perpetuated the “two ideal prototypes, the noble savage and the wise and urbane Oriental,” substituting Turks for Muslims, and Islamic tolerance for Turkish tolerance.

Actually, 18th century Turkey was no interfaith utopia. In 1758, a British ambassador noted that Sultan Mustafa III had non-Muslim Christians and Jews executed for wearing banned clothing. In 1770, another ambassador reported that Greeks, Armenians and Jews seen outside their homes after dark were hanged. In 1785, a third noted that Muslim mobs had dismantled churches after Christians had secretly repaired them.

“The golden age of equal rights was a myth, and belief in it was a result, more than a cause, of Jewish sympathy for Islam,” Bernard Lewis wrote in 1968 in the Encyclopedia of Islam. “The myth was invented in 19th century Europe as a reproach to Christians—and taken up by Muslims in our own time as a reproach to Jews....”

Until the late 19th century, Jews in North Africa, Yemen and other oriental Muslim lands, were obliged to live isolated, in special quarters, and “were constrained to wear distinctive clothing.” They could not carry arms (including canes), and could not give sworn testimony in Muslim jurisdictions. Even in 1968, an Egyptian sheikh explained at Cairo's preeminent Islamic University of al-Azhar, “we say to those who patronize the Jews that the latter are dhimmis, people of obligation, who have betrayed the covenant in conformity with which they have been accorded protection.” The late president Anwar el-Sadat declared in 1972, “They shall return and be as the Koran said of them: 'condemned to humiliation and misery'.”

Western failure to recognize this subservient condition, much less its historical or contemporary results, has put democratic civilization in danger. Organizations have been founded to promote jihad and dhimmitude through the imposition of the Sharia. The International Institute of Islamic Thought, for example, was established in 1981 to Islamify Western history and thought. Similarly, the Organization of Islamic Conference ruled in 1990 that the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam—implementing the Sharia—supersedes the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Even Arabist calls for universal mobilization of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are a form of jihad, as was Egyptian attorney Fouad Abdel-Moneim Riad's call to treat all Israeli civilians as war criminals. The notion here—categorization and demonization of all infidels—is fundamental to jihad. Thus when church spokesman Archbishop Desmond Tutu supports Riad's pronouncement, he too supports jihad.

In this context, “Servile flattery is the ransom [paid to avoid] economic and terrorist reprisals.” Thus Western thinkers succumb to jihad and dhimmitude when we refuse to identify the Turkish perpetration of Armenian genocide, or (conversely) present Andalusia—complete with harems, eunuchs, and Christian slaves—“as a perfect model of multicultural societies for the West” to emulate in the 21st century.

The West has built historical negationism as the “cornerstone of its economic, strategic, and security relationships with Muslim countries.” One sign is the increasingly hostile international attitude towards Israel. Failing to recognize the Muslim jihad against Israel, which “symbolizes the liberation of the Jewish people from dhimmitude in their homeland,” also adversely affects remnant indigenous Christian communities throughout the Middle East. Their dhimmitude has deteriorated since the Armenian genocide and the 1933 massacres of Christians in Iraq. Historical amnesia, Bat Ye'or warns, allowed the decolonization of Arab Muslim nations to be accompanied by re-introduction of jihad, dhimmitude and sharia.

Only testimony can counter the pathological trends. Thus, Walid Phares and Bat Ye'or tackle the forgotten tragedy of the Middle Eastern Christians—10 to 12 million Egyptian Copts; 1.5 Lebanese Maronites, Orthodox, Melkites and others; 7 million Anglican, Protestant and Catholic southern Sudanese Africans; 1 million Christian Syrians; 1 million Iraqi Assyrians, Nestorians, Chaldeans, and Jacobites; 500,000 Iranian Persian, Armenian and Assyrian Christians; and perhaps 100,000 Christian Arab Palestinians. Patrick Sookhdeo and Mark Durie also cover the alarming rise of anti-Christian persecutions in Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan and Indonesia. After September 11, 2001, attacks on Christians increased precipitously.

Ironically, what caused obfuscation of minority Christians' situation was 19th and 20th century Christian involvement in the Arab-Islamic jihad—against Zionism and Israel. Whereas Christian oppression in the East is “rooted in the doctrine of jihad” and dhimmitude, projecting all evil onto Israel and Zionism prevented testimony and hid Eastern Christian history and suffering.

But for decades, secretly or openly, Middle Eastern Christians have praised the Israeli liberation model, and hoped to emulate it. The Arab reaction has been to falsely claim the Middle East as an Arab and Muslim region, denying the rights of all non-Arab, non-Muslim populations, to isolate these minorities from one another and somehow eliminate them within predominantly Arab and Muslim states.

Another arena requiring testimony is dhimmitude in Western institutions. This is “epitomized,” writes Mark Durie, “in the slavish attitude adopted by Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,” in a 2002 statement to the Organization of the Islamic Conference Symposium on Human Rights in Islam in Geneva. Like a dhimmi, she affirmed the greatness and moral superiority of Islam, implying inferiority of non-Muslim infidels, and denied any possible voice of protest against Islamic abuses of human rights.

Not surprisingly, Islamism is growing at the UN, too. On August 5, 1990, explains David Littman, the 19 members of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI). This document very specifically subjugates all human rights to those accorded by Islam. [1] The CDHRI totally contradicts the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Yet the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in December 1997 published it, establishing its authority as a quotable UN source. For example, the 26-member Sub-Commission on Human Rights referred to it in the preamble of a resolution adopted on August 21, 1998. [2] That Islamic human rights is gaining ascendancy and credence at the UN should be of concern to all Human Rights activists and organizations.

Dhimmitude is also developing at universities and in governments worldwide. This owes to the nearly ubiquitous influence of Edward Said, according to Ibn Warraq, despite his “third world intellectual terrorism.” The tautology-filled Orientalism accuses orientalists of somehow preparing the ground for western imperialism, but haughtily dismisses “books and journals in Arabic (and doubtless in Japanese, various Indian dialects, and other Oriental languages)” revealing “contempt for the non-European, negative attitudes toward the Orient far greater than that of some imperialists he constantly condemns.” Worse, Said ignores innumerable orientalists—including the German school that created the Middle Eastern, Islamic and Arabic Studies field—and hailed from a nation with zero imperial interests.

The Dhimmi Contract

We are seeing in Europe the effects of the Dhimmification upon that continent. No go zones for police, women forced to wear the Hajib, the implementing of Shar'ia Law, the ending of Free Speech, the crimes against: Jews, Homosexuals, Christians, and Women.

Already here in the United States groups like CAIR, under the disguise of trying to fight discrimination, are in reality trying to impose Shar'ia Law on this nation, destroying the Freedoms granted under the Constitution.

This will be the look of their new America!

Or we can maintain our liberties and freedoms. Learn the truth, stay informed, speak out.

The choice is yours!


krulayar said...


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Findalis said...

And today I saw a bunny, a dragon, a dog chasing a car, and a little kitty in the sky.

It is amazing what you will see in the sky when you look up.

I love watching clouds. It is so relaxing.

MK said...

"......being a religion that has yet to produce a democratic or prosperous society, or social and cultural forms admired by neutral foreign observers the way anyone can admire American freedom, Japanese order, Israeli courage, or Italian style."

Indeed and in all likelihood, it never will.

manaalmahdi said...

Video update: english version

The sign of The Almighty's arrival: A face in the sky video