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Muslim Claims of Accomplishment--What Arab Civilization? | Frontpagemagazine ^ | January 04, 2008 | Peter BetBasoo

Posted on 01/04/2008 5:22:04 AM PST by SJackson


Muslim Claims of Accomplishment


By Peter BetBasoo | Friday, January 04, 2008

EDITOR'S NOTE: There is great need for setting the record straight on the history of the Middle East. The revisionism of the last few years will lead Western Civilization into bondage. The following letter by Assyrian scholar Peter BetBasoo is a very important step in the right direction. It was sent by Assyrian scholar Peter BetBasoo to Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett Packard Corporation, in response to a speech she presented in Minneapolis on September 26, 2001. It is reprinted by permission. Please read and pass it on to others.

Dear Madame Fiorina:

It is with great interest that I read your speech delivered on September 26, 2001, titled "Technology, Business and Our way of Life: What's Next" [sic]. I was particularly interested in the story you told at the end of your speech, about the Arab/Muslim civilization. As an Assyrian, a non-Arab, Christian native of the Middle East, whose ancestors reach back to 5000 B.C., I wish to clarify some points you made in this little story, and to alert you to the dangers of unwittingly being drawn into the Arabist/Islamist ideology, which seeks to assimilate all cultures and religions into the Arab/Islamic fold.

I know you are a very busy woman, but please find ten minutes to read what follows, as it is a perspective that you will not likely get from anywhere else. I will answer some of the specific points you made in your speech, then conclude with a brief perspective on this Arabist/Islamist ideology.

Arabs and Muslims appeared on the world scene in 630 A.D., when the armies of Muhammad began their conquest of the Middle East. We should be very clear that this was a military conquest, not a missionary enterprise, and through the use of force, authorized by a declaration of a Jihad against infidels, Arabs/Muslims were able to forcibly convert and assimilate non-Arabs and non-Muslims into their fold. Very few indigenous communities of the Middle East survived this - primarily Assyrians, Jews, Armenians and Coptics (of Egypt).

Having conquered the Middle East, Arabs placed these communities under a Dhimmi (see the book DHIMMI, by Bat Ye'Or) system of governance, where the communities were allowed to rule themselves as religious minorities (Christians, Jews and Zoroastrian). These communities had to pay a tax (called a Jizzya in Arabic) that was, in effect, a penalty for being non-Muslim, and that was typically 80% in times of tolerance and up to 150% in times of oppression. This tax forced many of these communities to convert to Islam, as it was designed to do.

You state, "its architects designed buildings that defied gravity." I am not sure what you are referring to, but if you are referring to domes and arches, the fundamental architectural breakthrough of using a parabolic shape instead of a spherical shape for these structures was made by the Assyrians more than 1300 years earlier, as evidenced by their archaeological record.

You state,

"its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption."
The fundamental basis of modern mathematics had been laid down not hundreds but thousands of years before by Assyrians and Babylonians, who already knew of the concept of zero, of the Pythagorean Theorem, and of many, many other developments expropriated by Arabs/Muslims (see HISTORY OF BABYLONIAN MATHEMATICS by Otto E. Neugebauer).

You state,

"its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease."

The overwhelming majority of these doctors (99%) were Assyrians. In the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries Assyrians began a systematic translation of the Greek body of knowledge into Assyrian. At first, they concentrated on the religious works but then quickly moved to science, philosophy and medicine. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Galen, and many others were translated into Assyrian, and from Assyrian into Arabic. It is these Arabic translations which the Moors brought with them into Spain, and which the Spaniards translated into Latin and spread throughout Europe, thus igniting the European Renaissance.

By the sixth century A.D., Assyrians had begun exporting back to Byzantia their own works on science, philosophy and medicine. In the field of medicine, the Bakhteesho Assyrian family produced nine generations of physicians, and founded the great medical school at Gundeshapur (Iran). Also in the area of medicine, (the Assyrian) Hunayn ibn-Ishaq's textbook on ophthalmology, written in 950 A.D., remained the authoritative source on the subject until 1800 A.D.

In the area of philosophy, the Assyrian philosopher Job of Edessa developed a physical theory of the universe, in the Assyrian language, that rivaled Aristotle's theory, and that sought to replace matter with forces (a theory that anticipated some ideas in quantum mechanics, such as the spontaneous creation and destruction of matter that occurs in the quantum vacuum).

One of the greatest Assyrian achievements of the fourth century was the founding of the first university in the world, the School of Nisibis, which had three departments, theology, philosophy and medicine, and which became a magnet and center of intellectual development in the Middle East. The statutes of the School of Nisibis, which have been preserved, later became the model upon which the first Italian university was based (see THE STATUTES OF THE SCHOOL OF NISIBIS by Arthur Voobus).

When Arabs and Islam swept through the Middle East in 630 A.D., they encountered 600 years of Assyrian Christian civilization, with a rich heritage, a highly developed culture, and advanced learning institutions. It is this civilization that became the foundation of the Arab civilization.
You state,

"Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration."

This is a bit melodramatic. In fact, the astronomers you refer to were not Arabs but Chaldeans and Babylonians (of present day south-Iraq), who for millennia were known as astronomers and astrologers, and who were forcibly Arabized and Islamized - so rapidly that by 750 A.D. they had disappeared completely.

You state,

"its writers created thousands of stories. Stories of courage, romance and magic. Its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things."

There is very little literature in the Arabic language that comes from this period you are referring to (the Koran is the only significant piece of literature), whereas the literary output of the Assyrians and Jews was vast. The third largest corpus of Christian writing, after Latin and Greek, is by the Assyrians in the Assyrian language (also called Syriac).

You state,

"when other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others."

This is a very important issue you raise, and it goes to the heart of the matter of what Arab/Islamic civilization represents. I reviewed a book titled HOW GREEK SCIENCE PASSED TO THE ARABS, in which author De Lacy O'Leary lists the significant translators and interpreters of Greek science. Of the 22 scholars listed, 20 were Assyrians, one was Persian and one an Arab. I state at the end of my review:

"The salient conclusion which can be drawn from O'Leary's book is that Assyrians played a significant role in the shaping of the Islamic world via the Greek corpus of knowledge. If this is so, one must then ask the question, what happened to the Christian communities which made them lose this great intellectual enterprise they had established? One can ask this same question of the Arabs. Sadly, O'Leary's book does not answer this question, and we must look elsewhere for the answer."

I did not answer this question I posed in the review because it was not the place to answer it, but the answer is very clear, the Christian Assyrian community was drained of its population through forced conversion to Islam (by the Jizzya), and once the community had dwindled below a critical threshold, it ceased producing the scholars that were the intellectual driving force of the Islamic civilization, and that is when the so called "Golden Age of Islam" came to an end (about 850 A.D.).

Islam the religion itself was significantly molded by Assyrians and Jews (see NESTORIAN INFLUENCE ON ISLAM and HAGARISM: THE MAKING OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD).

Arab/Islamic civilization is not a progressive force, it is a regressive force; it does not give impetus, it retards. The great civilization you describe was not an Arab/Muslim accomplishment, it was an Assyrian accomplishment that Arabs expropriated and subsequently lost when they drained, through the forced conversion of Assyrians to Islam, the source of the intellectual vitality that propelled it. What other Arab/Muslim civilization has risen since? What other Arab/Muslim successes can we cite?

You state,

"and perhaps we can learn a lesson from his [Suleiman] example: It was leadership based on meritocracy, not inheritance. It was leadership that harnessed the full capabilities of a very diverse population that included Christianity, Islamic, and Jewish traditions."

In fact, the Ottomans were extremely oppressive to non-Muslims. For example, young Christian boys were forcefully taken from their families, usually at the age of 8-10, and inducted into the Janissaries, (yeniceri in Turkish) where they were Islamized and made to fight for the Ottoman state. What literary, artistic or scientific achievements of the Ottomans can we point to? We can, on the other hand, point to the genocide of 750,000 Assyrians, 1.5 million Armenians and 400,000 Greeks in World War One by the Kemalist "Young Turk" government. This is the true face of Islam.

Arabs/Muslims are engaged in an explicit campaign of destruction and expropriation of cultures and communities, identities and ideas. Wherever Arab/Muslim civilization encounters a non-Arab/Muslim one, it attempts to destroy it (as the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan were destroyed, as Persepolis was destroyed by the Ayotollah Khomeini).

This is a pattern that has been recurring since the advent of Islam, 1400 years ago, and is amply substantiated by the historical record. If the "foreign" culture cannot be destroyed, then it is expropriated, and revisionist historians claim that it is and was Arab, as is the case of most of the Arab "accomplishments" you cited in your speech. For example, Arab history texts in the Middle East teach that Assyrians were Arabs, a fact that no reputable scholar would assert, and that no living Assyrian would accept. Assyrians first settled Nineveh, one of the major Assyrian cities, in 5000 B.C., which is 5630 years before Arabs came into that area. Even the word 'Arab' is an Assyrian word, meaning "Westerner" (the first written reference to Arabs was by the Assyrian King Sennacherib, 800 B.C., in which he tells of conquering the "ma'rabayeh" - Westerners. See THE MIGHT THAT WAS ASSYRIA by H. W. F. Saggs).

Even in America this Arabization policy continues. On October 27th a coalition of seven Assyrian and Maronite organizations sent an official letter to the Arab American Institute asking it to stop identifying Assyrians and Maronites as Arabs, which it had been deliberately doing.
There are minorities and nations struggling for survival in the Arab/Muslim ocean of the Middle East and Africa (Assyrians, Armenians, Coptics, Jews, southern Sudanese, Ethiopians, Nigerians...), and we must be very sensitive not to unwittingly and inadvertently support Islamic fascism and Arab Imperialism, with their attempts to wipe out all other cultures, religions and civilizations. It is incumbent upon each one of us to do our homework and research when making statements and speeches about these sensitive matters.

I hope you found this information enlightening. You may contact me at for further questions.

Thank you for your consideration.

Peter BetBasoo is an Assyrian from Iraq and the co-founder and director of the Assyrian International News Agency ( He can be reached at


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: armenians; assyrians; islam; jews; korananimals; trop; wot
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To: Slapshot68
“Just think where they might be had Islam experienced a reformation similar to that of Christianity.”

Islam is undergoing its reformation NOW! However, that’s not a good thing. A reformation restores the faith to its core values, and islam’s values are evil. The last 400 years of relative peace with these people were an anomaly; they have always been at war with us, and always will be; until either they or we are destroyed.

41 posted on 01/04/2008 6:40:45 AM PST by ROLF of the HILL COUNTRY ( Terrorism is a symptom, ISLAM IS THE DISEASE!)
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To: SJackson

And then there’s FGM, the ritualistic mutilation of young girls, a practice that is reported to be on the rise in Britain.

42 posted on 01/04/2008 6:41:24 AM PST by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( "Do well, but remember to do good.")
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To: SJackson
the Arabist/Islamist ideology, which seeks to assimilate all cultures and religions into the Arab/Islamic fold

The left and the Islamists have the same first goal -
Destruction of Western Civilization.

Leftists are too short-sighted, however, to realize that they won't be able to replace our culture with a Secular Socialist one because the Islamists will enslave them first.

43 posted on 01/04/2008 6:47:04 AM PST by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: brwnsuga
What would life be like without Arabic numerals?

About just the same, because what the Arabs call "Arabic" numerals, were in fact invented in India. Look it up.

44 posted on 01/04/2008 6:47:14 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: kipita

I wouldn’t know about the 12,500-year-old events, but the Hyksos invasion of Egypt was probably by Arab invaders. Pre-Islamic, around the 17th century BC, but it appears they took over a flabby, complacent Egypt without much of a fight.
Eurabia, take note. :(

45 posted on 01/04/2008 6:48:53 AM PST by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( "Do well, but remember to do good.")
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To: CarrotAndStick

Thanks for the education... however, I think that using “Arabic” numbers is much simpler than Roman numerals.

46 posted on 01/04/2008 6:52:36 AM PST by brwnsuga (Proud, Black, Conservative!!!)
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To: Slapshot68

Such a reformation would not be possible, as Islam today is the same as the Islam of Mohammed: designed to offer three choices: convert, submit (dhimmitude) or die. The only reformation is conversion, which is a death sentence.

47 posted on 01/04/2008 6:53:03 AM PST by jagusafr ("Bugs, Mr. Rico! Zillions of 'em!" - Robert Heinlein)
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To: 2banana

“Among other rules for non Muslims in Muslim Spain; Christians and Jews could not bear arms — Muslims could; Christians and Jews could not ride horses — Muslims could; Christians and Jews had to get permission to build or fix places or worship — Muslims did not; Christians and Jews had to pay certain taxes which Muslims did not; Christians could not proselytize — Muslims could; Christians and Jews had to bow to their Muslim masters; Christians and Jews had to live under the laws set forth in the Koran, not under either their own religious or secular law; Christian’s and Jew’s word in a court of law was not equal to a Muslim’s Word; Christian and Jewish families had to give up a son for conversion and military service in Muslim armies and the most beautiful and largest Christian Churches were converted to Mosques. And the list goes on.”

Just change Muslim to democrat or RINO and you can see why so many of us are concerned about the future.

48 posted on 01/04/2008 6:57:51 AM PST by A Strict Constructionist (We have become an oligarchy not a Republic.)
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To: massgopguy
As I heard one person put it....

“Italians! The fun fun people who brought us organized warfare, organized religion, and organized crime.”

My reply.....”What can I say? We gots talents for organization; you gonna disagree?”

49 posted on 01/04/2008 6:59:40 AM PST by allmendream ("A Lyger is pretty much my favorite animal."NapoleonD (Hunter 08))
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To: CarrotAndStick
1234567890 - Arabic numbers used by West

ارقام هندي ١٢٣٤٥٦٧٨٩٠ - (Indian numbers - traditional Arabic numbers)

50 posted on 01/04/2008 7:04:04 AM PST by Azeem (Only thing worse than war is peace at all costs.)
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
The Hyksos invasion of Egypt was accomplished with chariots and bronze weapons. Stone spear points on sticks were a poor defense for the Egyptians, although that was certainly the height of technology for the previous few thousand years. The Hyksos were eventually driven out, but Egyptian art and civilization never was as magnificent as when they were technically ‘stone age’ and building huge mud brick palaces that didn’t last, and stone pyramids and Ziggarats that last to this day, and very magnificent artistic styles that didn’t really recover or innovate again (according to some) until the flourishing of realism during the time of worship of Aton.

So it wasn’t so much that the Egyptians were flabby or complacent; they were forcibly introduced to the “Bronze Age”.

51 posted on 01/04/2008 7:06:09 AM PST by allmendream ("A Lyger is pretty much my favorite animal."NapoleonD (Hunter 08))
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To: docbnj

Jonah Goldberg wrote a great article a few years ago about the Arab culture and how for centuries they have contributed nothing to the sciences, art, music, literature, and this is the reason they have evolved into an “honor culture”. Everything is interpreted in relation to respecting or offending their “honor”...they have nothing else but this. As Goldberg said, their culture continues to shrink in the rear view mirror of the west and this is one of the reasons they are so fanatical.

They are total losers on the world stage and they know it!!

52 posted on 01/04/2008 7:08:30 AM PST by Cuttnhorse
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To: massgopguy

LOL! shoes....giggle

53 posted on 01/04/2008 7:14:24 AM PST by Vor Lady (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: SJackson

As a citizen of the State of Georgia, I am demanding that islam be banned in my state. I do not care what the rest of the states do, but if Georgia does not ban it, I will move to the first state that does.

On another note, I just flushed an allah down the toilet.

54 posted on 01/04/2008 7:15:49 AM PST by coon2000
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To: allmendream

Thank you, that’s very interesting.

55 posted on 01/04/2008 7:22:08 AM PST by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( "Do well, but remember to do good.")
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To: coon2000
I am demanding that islam be banned in my state. I do not care what the rest of the states do, but if Georgia does not ban it, I will move to the first state that does.

Let me know when you find that! I'm always looking for good investments. :)

56 posted on 01/04/2008 7:24:18 AM PST by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( "Do well, but remember to do good.")
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To: Azeem
A decimal place system has been traced back to ca. 500 in India. Before that epoch, the Brahmi system was in use; that system did not encompass the concept of the place-value of numbers. Instead, Brahmi numerals included additional symbols for the tens, as well as separate symbols for hundred and thousand.

The Indian place-system numerals spread to neighboring Persia, where they were picked up by the conquering Arabs. In 662, a Nestorian bishop living in what is now called Iraq said:

I will omit all discussion of the science of the Indians ... of their subtle discoveries in astronomy - discoveries that are more ingenious than those of the Greeks and the Babylonians - and of their valuable methods of calculation which surpass description. I wish only to say that this computation is done by means of nine signs. If those who believe that because they speak Greek they have arrived at the limits of science would read the Indian texts they would be convinced even if a little late in the day that there are others who know something of value.

The addition of zero as a tenth positional digit is documented from the 7th century by Brahmagupta, though the earlier Bakhshali Manuscript, written sometime before the 5th century, also included zero.


As it was from the Arabs that the Europeans learnt this system, the Europeans called them Arabic numerals; ironically, to this day the Arabs refer to their numerals as Indian numerals. In academic circles they are called the Hindu-Arabic or Indo-Arabic numerals.



Sanskrit word for
the ordinal numeral (wordstem)
0 śūnya (शून्य)
1 éka (एक)
2 dvi (द्वि)
3 trí (त्रि)
4 cuatr (चतुर्)
5 pañcha (पञ्च)
6 sahs (षष्)
7 saptá (सप्त)
8 astá (अष्ट)
9 náva (नव)

57 posted on 01/04/2008 7:25:09 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: Vor Lady; massgopguy

>> LOL! shoes....giggle

Hey, Etruscans were very proud of their shoes!

58 posted on 01/04/2008 7:26:33 AM PST by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( "Do well, but remember to do good.")
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To: brwnsuga

arabic numerals, invented by the Hindus.

59 posted on 01/04/2008 7:36:48 AM PST by chesley (Where's the omelet? -- Orwell)
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To: SJackson

Three wise men=babylonians not arabs.

60 posted on 01/04/2008 7:51:20 AM PST by omega4179 (Conservatives better get motivated!)
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