Skip to comments.Eastern Islam and the 'clash of civilizations'
Posted on 10/24/2010 9:43:27 AM PDT by neverdem
Globalization is giving a harder edge to the softer strain of Islam in East Asia. Meanwhile, China's rising economic activity in the region is importing a glitzy capitalism and fueling consumerism.
Islam has been an American obsession for at least a decade. The 9/11 attacks and the intractable violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan however much we have been the cause of it have left us bewildered and terrified by this seemingly austere and martial faith.
Islam was spread quickly by the sword from Arabia westward across North Africa, the history books tell us, and is supposedly prone to the extremities of thought to which deserts give rise. But there is a whole other side to Islamic history that has been obscured, even as it illuminates a key strategic geography of the 21st century. While we in the United States have concentrated on the western half of the Islamic world in the Middle Eastern deserts, there is an eastern half in the green forests and jungles of the tropics where global energy routes and merchant sea traffic now intersect.
Islam is only partly a desert religion; it is just as much a seafaring faith, the harbinger not of narrow soldierly thought but of a cosmopolitanism spread by sophisticated merchants over the centuries in the Far Eastern seas. The legendary Sinbad the Sailor was an Arab from Oman based in Basra, in what is now Iraq. His Homeric voyages of the 8th through the 10th centuries encompassed East Africa, the Bay of Bengal and the South China Sea, testimony to the maritime reach of Islam across the longitudes as far as East Asia.
Whereas 20% of Muslims live in the Middle East, 60% are in Asia, according to the Pew Research Center. The Arab world plus Iran, Afghanistan...
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
“however much we have been the cause of it”????? I totally reject this concept, as do the majority of the world.
Wow, Sinbad was really OLD by the time he decided to quit voyaging around the East...
That’s the LA times we all know and love (NOT)...
Mindless...Childish, silly nonsense...Twaddle.
Dude, much of North Africa had been highly civilized for more than a millenium under Greek, Carthaginian, Roman, Vandal and Byzantine rule. Even Arabia had periods and areas of wealth and civilization. Witness Sheba and Petra.
“...essentially virgin area ...so far as high culture is concerned...”———LOL
Glad you caught that obviously ignorant belief of Geertz’s - apparently swallowed whole by kaplan.
You should contact him about that. I will too.
No need to read further. This guy probably believes in moderate nazis as well.
Saint Augustine was from North Africa.
To be fair, North Africa was definitely going backwards from the Roman peak, civilization-wise, when the Muslims showed up, as indeed was Western Europe. But the idea that the area was virgin territory is kind of silly.
Many of the best-preserved and most impressive Roman ruins are to be found in what is now Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
To some considerable extent this is because the area never rebounded and rebuilt, as Italy and Western Europe did. Nobody was building massive new cities and fortifications, so the ruins didn’t get “mined” like they did in Europe.
You can make a decent case that the reason they never did bounce back has a good deal to do with Islam.
Of course-—so many incredible Early Christian fathers...and martyrs to both Roman polytheism - secularism - and then to Islam.
2 more early martyrs: Perpetua and Felicity of Carthage in 202 A.D.
Kaplan has written dozens of informative books based on his travels in Eastern Europe, North Africa, Turkey, Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan. He knows whereof he speaks or writes. So call me a liberal sympathizer, but I will defend his reputation.
Yep - within the universe of those two choices - it's definitely "Chinese".
North Africa was definitely going backwards from the Roman peak, civilization-wise
IN North Africa, the glories of Byzantium still held sway although ecclesiastical arguments and division cause disunity in the face of the marauding Muslims.
Beg to differ. I fully agree that the contribution of Byzantium is regularly slighted in western history.
However, North African under Byzantium was very different from what it was under Rome. A great deal of the back-country had been completely abandoned by the state, and control was limited primarily to cities along the coast, and was often intermittent there.
Again you are wrong.
North Africa under Bzyantium was far better off than the under the depravations of the polytheistic romans esp after the destruction of Carthage and the coming of Christianity. The brutality exhibited by romans against North African Christins in the first centuries is widely known...apparently not by you.
Okay, I get it.
You have a bug up your nose about anything that can possibly be considered Greek.
I would like to point out that I was not referencing the relative humanity or decency of government in North Africa over the centuries, merely its wealth, power and effectiveness.
By the time Justinian I reconquered most of the North African littoral, that had declined quite a bit from its heyday under the Romans. The Exarchate of Carthage was reasonably stable, but was unable to put up any great resistance to Muslim conquest, which was resisted primarily by native Berbers. I would like to point out that the Romans of Caesar or even Constantine would have squashed the Muslims like a bug. That differential is what I am talking about when I refer to a civilizational decline.
As in Syria and Eqypt, and later in Spain, unified resistance in North Africa to Muslim aggression was greatly hampered by the long-standing Byzantine policy of religious persecution of “heretics.” Many of the heretics, not unreasonably, felt they would be better off under Muslim than Byzantine rule. Which they probably were, initially. In the long run it didn’t work out so well.
Kaplan is a muslim sympathizer...and a Chrstian basher who misuses his sources to propagate his myths.
So yes, continue defending him.
Your original statement is patently false so ther is no need to go into a lengthy historical summary to deflect from your original BS:
“North Africa was definitely going backwards from the Roman peak, civilization-wise”
Precisely, “civilization -wise” - North African was in far better moral shape than during the pagan Roman period.
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