Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

War has its roots in the Crusades: U.S. has been drawn into a conflict that began 1,000 years ago
Knight Ridder Newspapers (via Buffalo News) ^ | 10/14/01 | BOB DAVIS

Posted on 10/16/2001 8:12:34 AM PDT by SocialMeltdown

On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was riding through St. Peter's Square in Rome, on his way to announce that he wanted to create a dialogue on Catholic theology and modern thought.

Before he could make that announcement, a Turk named Mehmet Ali Agca shot him. The would-be assassin's reason, written in a letter, was to kill the "supreme commander of the Crusades." While the pope was turning toward modernity, the Turk was still fighting a war that began almost 1,000 years earlier. And now, because of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, America has been drawn into the same war.

The evil hatched by Osama bin Laden and his followers has its roots in an ages-old clash of religions that was most clearly marked by open warfare between Christians and Muslims starting in the 11th century.

It all boils down to one very powerful word: "crusade." The Saudi financier-turned-terrorist-backer bin Laden has been singled out as the prime suspect in the attacks on U.S. soil. To him and his followers, the thousand-year-old clash between Islam and Christianity is still ongoing. To be an American (or a Westerner) is to be a "crusader."

A treatise against the West attributed to bin Laden in the late 1990s was titled "Declaration of the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and the Crusaders." The author speaks of the 1948 creation of Israel as an act committed by a Jewish-Crusader alliance. He goes on in stark terms to describe his followers' mission: "The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies - civilians and military - is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the Al Aksa Mosque and the holy mosque from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim."

Muslim thought

As Mark Hadley, a professor of philosophy and religious studies at Western Maryland College, says, this form of radicalism is not a part of traditional Muslim thought.

"While classical or medieval Islam in the Sunni tradition developed this notion of "jihad,' it was heavily qualified in ways similar to Western notions of just war: there must be a just cause, right intent, a reasonable hope of success, and a competent authority to declare war. . . . "Obviously, there are groups within Islamic countries such as Islamic Jihad or Hamas, and perhaps Osama bin Laden himself, who have appealed to notions of jihad to justify various acts of violence," Hadley says. "However, this is radically at odds with mainstream Islam and the everyday practices and beliefs of Muslims here and abroad. By any ethical measure, Islamic or otherwise, (Sept. 11's) actions were acts of mass murder."

Bin Laden, then, represents a radical segment of the Muslim world, and scholars take pains to stress that the religion is not inherently warlike. But experts on the Middle East say that on the streets of Cairo or Amman, the common term for American is "cowboy" or "crusader."

Meaning softened

Meanwhile, in the West (particularly the United States), the concept of a crusade has softened. Rather than being a fight for Christendom, a crusade is a way to get people to stop smoking, or get voters to the polls on Election Day. These are surely noble causes, but somewhat less than a defense of religious faith.

The most recent example of Western casualness in regards to the power of the C-word in the Muslim East was President Bush's comments on Sept. 16 that "this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while."

A presidential spokesman wisely backtracked by saying: "I think what the president was saying had no intended consequences for anybody, Muslim or otherwise, other than to say that this is a broad cause that he is calling on America and the nations around the world to join."

If the West has largely forgotten the particulars of the Crusades, Osama bin Laden has not.

In Afghanistan, which has been bin Laden's home of late, the rulers reign in a fashion that might not be that different from the Muslim defenders of the Holy Lands of a thousand years ago.

In a race to out-fundamental the fundamentalists, the ruling Taliban bans movies, television and even kite-flying. Since the mid-1990s, it has taken the country even deeper into the Dark Ages by ending schooling for girls, destroying ancient artworks that offended official religious sensibilities, and even making it a crime punishable by death to convince someone to reject Islam.

(Two American aid workers face just such a possibility for bringing Christian literature into the country.)

It is not so surprising that Islamic fundamentalists would cling tightly to concepts a thousand years old while an opposing microwave society would so quickly lose the foundational concepts held so dear by their rivals. In the beginning

Although historians put the year 1095 as a clear starting for the Crusades, the seeds of conflict can be traced back to Genesis 12, when God promised to make Abraham a great nation.

Muslims, like Christians and Jews, trace their lineage through Abraham to Ur of the Chaldeans. The Jews and Christians claim the line of Isaac, produced through Abraham's wife Sarah, while the Muslims take the line produced when Abraham had a son, Ishmael, by a servant named Hagar.

(While Hagar was pregnant, the Lord promised that her descendants would be many, but also that Ishmael "shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him.")

More than 500 years after the death of Jesus Christ and the spread of Christianity, Mohammad ibn Abdullah was born in Mecca. In 610, Mohammad claimed he had received revelations from Allah. He "insisted that his was not a new religion but the ultimate revelation of the Jewish-Christian tradition," writes Karen Armstrong in "Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World."

"Islam," meaning "submission to God," was the name of this religion. His followers became "Muslims," meaning "those who submit."

Islam spread rapidly across the Middle East and North Africa, including countries that had been devoutly Christian. Its spread began to crowd the boundaries of the West, which was becoming solidly Christian.

"It was very threatening to the Christian identity to see this younger, energetic religion that claimed to have superseded Christianity actually transforming the map and absorbing Christians into its empire," Armstrong wrote. Very quickly the West grabbed on to the Muslim concept of jihad, using it as a way to rally Christians to defend their homelands and their faith.

In 732, Sultan Abd al-Rahman attacked northward from Spain into southern France. Europe saw this as an Arab desire to control and thus convert all the world. The East, meanwhile, scoffed at why anyone would want to invade such a backward and harsh place as Europe.

Legend tells of a sign in France that gave warning to Muslims: "Turn back, sons of Ishmael, this is as far as you go, and if you do not go back, you will smite each other until the day of the Resurrection."

In the 730s, Charles Martel became a Frankish hero known as the "Hammer" for turning back the advance of the Muslims deep in the heart of France in the city of Tours, less than 150 miles southwest of Paris.

Pope entered fray

As Muslims and Christians continued to clash at the edges of their dominions, the end of the first millenni um drew many pilgrims from Europe to the Holy Land, anticipating the return of Christ. But the Holy Land was firmly in the hands of Muslims.

Resentment stewed until a group of Byzantine Christians in what is now Greece sent out a plea for help in 1095 and spawned what is known as the Crusades.

The Byzantine plea to remove the harassing Turkish armies of Asia Minor led Pope Urban II to make an impassioned speech in France in which he called on Christian believers to come to the defense of their brothers in faith.

"It began as an errand of mercy reacting to Turkish conquests of Asia Minor," says St. Louis University historian Thomas Madden. "People were going to fight the Muslims, and so doing they would liberate the Christians." Many historians say it is unclear if Urban intended more than a defense of the Byzantines, amid an already strained church relationship that would eventually sunder into a clearly divided Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.

But he got more.

Pilgrims massacred

Urban intended to inspire European nobles from all Christendom to stop their infighting and unite in a holy pilgrimage. What he initially got was a fired-up rabble that stormed headlong across Europe, without provisions or planning. Once they crossed into Asia Minor, they were met by Muslim Turks, who cut off their heads and left their bodies to rot in open fields. Western historians for many centuries neglected this astounding defeat because of the poor message it sent: How holy can your pilgrimage be if it ends in awful defeat?

What officially became known as the "First Crusade" was a better-organized army of European nobles who swept into the East to eventually reclaim Jerusalem for Christendom.

One factor in the nobles' success may have been the easy defeat of that first wave of ill-equipped peasants. The Turkish Muslims may have underestimated the battled-trained Europeans who poured into the region and soundly defeated them.

On July 15, 1099, this wave of Crusaders conquered Jerusalem. For two days, they massacred Muslims and Jews. The accounts of this siege talk of streets flowing with blood up to the knees of men on horseback and decapitated heads and limbs piled high.

"The Muslims were no longer respected enemies and a foil for Frankish honor. They had become the enemies of God and were doomed to ruthless extermination," writes "Holy War" author Armstrong.

Centuries of conflict

Pope Urban died two weeks later, but his call would resound throughout Europe for another two centuries.

Flush with success, the Christian conquerors divided the Holy Land into states and even made plans for further conquests, although those ambitions were never realized. Their success also brought waves of more pilgrims from the West and more conflicts around the region between Muslims and Christians.

In this time, the church encouraged believers to make the trek - either over land or by boat - to the Holy Land, the trip itself being a test of devotion. Regional conflicts in the East would flare up, and popes would make appeals for new crusades, stretching to an almost comical number.

Muslims continued to hold out hope for a strong leader who could reclaim what had been lost.

Such a warrior emerged in the 1160s in the form of a Kurd named Saladin. Ultimately, the occupiers - so far removed from their original homeland - could not hold on; the last Christian outpost, the city of Acre, fell to the Muslims in 1291.

The major campaigns of the Crusades may have ended, but the desire to control the region did not. "Even after the Middle Ages, popes would plan, princes would attempt, preachers would propagandize and scholars would draw up Grand Strategies for the reconquest of the Holy Land," writes Ronald C. Finucane in "Soldiers of the Faith."

Within another couple of centuries, the boundaries between a Christian West and a Muslim East became sharper with the expulsion of Muslims and Jews in Spain by the late 1400s.

Renaissance in the West

The Muslim world may have successfully defended its turf and won the Crusades, but it lost the larger war of history

to a West on the verge of the Renaissance. "The Arab world had seemingly won a stunning victory. If the West had sought, through its excessive invasions, to contain the thrust of Islam, the result was exactly the opposite. . . . Appearances are deceptive. With historical hindsight, a more contradictory observation must be made," writes Lebanese author Amin Maalouf in "The Crusades

Through Arab Eyes."

"At the time of the Crusades, the Arab world, from Spain to Iraq, was still the intellectual and material repository of the planet's most advanced civilization. Afterward, the center of world history shifted decisively to the West." In a bit of irony, this shift was due in part to the European occupation of a Muslim world that was far more advanced in culture, medicine and technology. "The Crusaders lost the war but brought back a huge infusion of new ideas," says David Cook, an Islamic studies professor at Rice University in Houston.

Capitalism's role

The Muslim world grew more powerful in its own neighborhood and expanded its influence in places other than Europe. The Christian West, though, was changing in such a way as to make a call to pure holy war unlikely. The rise of concepts such as capitalism and individualism caused a revolution of a different sort, and although war would continue to be waged, the fight was now more likely to be over economics. A rising West was also changed by a Reformation that altered the structure of the church as state, and an Enlightenment that challenged old conventions of faith. "Struggle with Islam became irrelevant. The whole idea of the Crusades became bizarre," says Madden.

But this profit-driven, more secular West is no less an enemy to the followers of bin Laden. It's no surprise that the Taliban bans TV, given that many modern Westerners see it as a corruptor of their own children.

In a pluralistic United States, a certain religiosity may be a key component in the defense of the nation, but the overriding motivation is the defense of liberty, not the conquest of alleged heathens. That transition has not been made so clearly in the Muslim world.

"The gulf between bin Laden and his followers and the U.S. is a thousand years," says Madden.

Crusade, a word that is casually thrown around in the West, is a concept stuck in the craw of many fundamentalist Muslims. "The Crusades are a very uncomfortable thing for Muslims," says Rice University's Cook. "It is an embarrassing moment" that exposed an Eastern vulnerability.

So while the West may not see history in such stark terms, it should not forget both the power of the Crusades and their use as a motivator for destroying the United States and its allies. America's cause for conflict is only a month old, while its enemy's has lasted more than 1,000 years.

Sources: "The History of God" by Karen Armstrong (Ballantine Books, 1993); "Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World" by Karen Armstrong (Doubleday, 1991); "Soldiers of the Faith" by Ronald C. Finucane (St. Martin's Press, 1983); "The Crusades Through Arab Eyes" by Amin Maalouf (Shocken Books, 1985); "The Oxford History of Medieval Europe" edited by George Holmes (Oxford University Press, 1988); Arab Historians of the Crusades," edited by Francesco Gabrieli (University of California Press, 1969); "The Crusades" by Anthony Bridge (Granada Publishing, 1980); "Foreign Affairs" magazine, November/December 1998.

BOB DAVIS is Op-Ed/Sunday editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: clashofcivilizatio
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-73 next last

1 posted on 10/16/2001 8:12:34 AM PDT by SocialMeltdown
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SocialMeltdown
on the streets of Cairo or Amman, the common term for American is "cowboy" or "crusader."

I take both of those as a compliment!

2 posted on 10/16/2001 8:18:42 AM PDT by B Knotts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SocialMeltdown
Interesting article, except it denies the truth for bin Laden's obsession, which he has stated clearly.

Bin Laden became angered at the United Stated when we continued our presence on Saudi soil after the Gulf War. He has rhetorically stated that the problem is our occupation of the land with 2 of the most holy sights in Islam.

In actuality, he has declared that the House of Saud should be replaced with an Islamic Theocracy. The presence of US troops on Saudi soil makes his mission much harder.

This isn't about westernism. It isn't about the Crusades. It's about power. Bin Laden wants it, and he sees our presence as a hurdle. The rhetoric he has used regarding the west and Israel is simply to make his cause more noble to his fellow muslims.

3 posted on 10/16/2001 8:21:13 AM PDT by sharktrager
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SocialMeltdown
This fight didn't just start 1,000 years ago.

It started in Genesis, when the two wives of Abraham, one the mother of the Arab nation, the other the mother of the Jewish nation, got in a fight, and the mother of the Jewish nation, Sarah, threw the mother of the Arab nation, Hagar, out in the wilderness to die. Every year, during the Hajj, the Muslims reenact Hagar's wanderings in the wilderness until an angel rescued her from death. The Arabs believe the Jews stole their rightful birthright.

In many ways, the Islamic religion attempts to reclaim the blessing God promisedi to Abraham, which Christians and Jews believe were manifested through the Israelites.

4 posted on 10/16/2001 8:27:52 AM PDT by lady lawyer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SocialMeltdown
If it wasn't for the crusades, we'd all be speaking Arabic now.
5 posted on 10/16/2001 8:29:13 AM PDT by aimhigh
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SocialMeltdown
Bin Laden, then, represents a radical segment of the Muslim world, and scholars take pains to stress that the religion is not inherently warlike.

This from an Islamic Scholar? That only emphasizes the profound differences between academics and people with common sense.
At no time in it's history has Islam been peaceful. the last 100 years has been an aberration only because the west rendered Islam powerless and irrelevant the last time they attempted their "expansion by the sword".

And the propaganda continues...

Islam had a continuous Jihad for 500 years before the crusades and for 500 years afterwards.
That they still focus on the crusades only emphasizes their primitive, animal-like illogical behavior; it's as if resentment and hate is a cultural heritage for them.

Strange, for the Crusades lasted only 200 years, and ended 700 years ago.

6 posted on 10/16/2001 8:43:21 AM PDT by Publius6961
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SocialMeltdown
In a bit of irony, this shift was due in part to the European occupation of a Muslim world that was far more advanced in culture, medicine and technology.

This canard is endlessly repeated without substantiation.

More advanced in culture? Does that mean in political organization? I doubt it, since Europe had a much more advanced legal system (Roman law and the beginnings of British common law) and more complex and representative political structures (republics, constitutional monarchies, merchant city alliances, elective monarchies, cantons) than the primitive shariat and caliphate.

Does it mean music? I doubt it, since strict Islam outlawed all music beside muezzin chant - while Europeans were developing complex polyphonic music and theoretically advanced counterpoint for instruments.

Does it mean the plastic arts? Don't make me laugh. While Islam outlawed representative forms Europeans were perfecting perspectival painting, the incredible frescoes which adorn the churches of Europe, remarkably innovative and diverse architectural forms.

Does it mean literature or philosophical speculation? Preposterous. While Islam limited literary invention to devotional poems and philosophical research to parroting Aristotle or hippyesque Sufi mysticism Europe outgrew in one generation the recycled and mistranslated Aristotle that had obsessed Muslims for four centuries. Europe revived the ancient forms of epic, drama and lyric to add to their already superior devotional verse and created a variety of new literary forms to boot.

Islam was medically advanced? How so? Their medical knowledge never progressed beyong Galen - a Greek who died centuries before Muhammad's birth. While Italians and Englishmen were inventing modern physiology, pharmacology and biology Muslims were specializing in two forms of surgery: chopping off thieves' hands and adulterers' heads.

Technology? What technological breakthroughs did Islam create? No architectural ones. No medical ones. Nothing in terms of mechanics. Nothing in terms of physics. Nothing in terms of engineering. Everything they had was borrowed piecemeal from either the Copts they murdered, the Persians they murdered or the Greeks they murdered.

Islam is not a culture - it is a devourer of cultures.

7 posted on 10/16/2001 8:44:03 AM PDT by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lady lawyer
In many ways, the Islamic religion attempts to reclaim the blessing God promisedi to Abraham, which Christians and Jews believe were manifested through the Israelites.

So both Christianity and Judaism are in error and only Islam is the one infallible faith.

Mohammad, as Gods prophet, supercedes Jesus?

Is that your argument?

8 posted on 10/16/2001 8:48:15 AM PDT by SocialMeltdown
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: SocialMeltdown
Historically inaccurate. The Crusades were a delayed military response to Moslem invasion of Christian areas, not the start of the conflict.

Islam spread rapidly across the Middle East and North Africa, including countries that had been devoutly Christian. Its spread began to crowd the boundaries of the West, which was becoming solidly Christian.

Typical twaddle. Islam just "spread," huh? No mention that the method of spread was by warfare. He implies here that the spread was peaceful and that the Western response was over-reaction.

There is also no mention of the impact of the Mongols who invaded during this same period. The Crusades were a stubbed toe as compared to the decapitation of the Mongol invasions.

9 posted on 10/16/2001 8:53:33 AM PDT by Restorer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wideawake
Thank-you for the clearification of facts.
10 posted on 10/16/2001 8:54:06 AM PDT by SocialMeltdown
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: lady lawyer
Lady Lawyer,

I just wanted to let you know that your assessment of the root cause of the war was right on target. Satan hates Israel (through whom the messiah has come) and the descendents of Ishmael want to destroy Israel and place themselves in the place of blessing instead.

Fortunately, Israel is, and will remain "the apple of God's eye" and their position is secure.

My prayer and concern is that the United States will remain strong in it's commitment to Israel and NOT bend to pressure to force a "Palestinian State" upon them.

Dr. S

11 posted on 10/16/2001 8:59:42 AM PDT by Jmouse007
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: SocialMeltdown
Great find ... following comments copiously.
12 posted on 10/16/2001 9:05:17 AM PDT by MHGinTN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: SocialMeltdown
That isn't MY argument. It is the argument of Islam, as explained to me by some Muslim friends. I am a Christian, who believes that the establishment of Israel was the fulfillment of prophecy. I did the post simply as a point of interest. I have found it fascinating to learn some things about the Muslim religion in the last few years.

Muslims do not believe Jesus is the Son of God. In fact, they believe it is blasphemous to suggest that Allah -- which is simply the Arabic word for God, meaning the God of Abraham -- could have a son. They believe that Jesus did not die on the cross, hence, no resurrection. They believe, however, that Jesus was a great prophet.

They do believe that Muhammed was the greatest and last prophet. However, they believe in the Second Coming, and that Christ will rule over the earth during the Millenium, interestingly enough.

I have wondered many times about the role of Muhammed. When he lived, the surrounding Arabs were worshiping various idols. He converted them to a belief in the God of Abraham, which was certainly a step in the right direction. I therefore think he did them great good. I often wonder how much of Muhammed's teaching has been distorted and changed in the last 1,300 years.

13 posted on 10/16/2001 12:06:19 PM PDT by lady lawyer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: wideawake
I don't have a huge understanding of this topic. But I believe the high point of the Muslim culture was in the 11th century, when Europe was in the Dark Ages. The Muslim culture preserved a lot of the Greek learning. They probably added things, too. Else, why do we use Arabic numerals?
14 posted on 10/16/2001 12:08:44 PM PDT by lady lawyer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: sharktrager
There is a rumor flying around that bin Laden's hatred for us stems from an American woman mocking his sexual performance. Anybody else hear this?
15 posted on 10/16/2001 12:19:02 PM PDT by Tribune7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SocialMeltdown
This article is a good historical review. However, its central premise is incorrect. The cause for the current uprising is not a crusade in the classical sense.

The Islamic fanatics are interested in bringing their version of conservative Islam to the forfront and to create enough dissention from the ignorant but pious in the streets that the major governments are overthrown. That is, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the others in North Africa.

As with the Popes of Rome who killed European populations to obtain uniform purity of the church, money and treasure is also involved. With the captured territory comes nort only souls to cleanse in the correct interpretation of the word of god, but much treasure as well.

The writer basicly misunderstands what is happening and attempts to bend events he does understand to fit his desire to view of the present.

The Holy Land of the Jews is is a secondary attribute to the current turmoil.

16 posted on 10/16/2001 12:23:13 PM PDT by bert
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lady lawyer
Arabic numerals appear to come from India.
17 posted on 10/16/2001 12:28:07 PM PDT by Tribune7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: lady lawyer
Here is a link you will find very revealing regarding Mohammed's imagination in dictating the koran.

In essence, the Koran has some very interesting characters in it.

Legends say that IDRIS IS OSIRIS THE HERO OF THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN LEGEND.
Egyptian god Osiris and Islamic prophet Idris/ the same!?The Quran claims that Osiris the Egyptian god is a prophet.

Wesir, also known as Ausar and the Greek Osiris, is the Kemetic Name of the Lord of the Dead. He is not to be confused with historical predecessors such as Wepwawet, Yinepu (Greek Anubis), Sokar or Sobek.

Wesir is the son of Geb and Nut. He is married to his sister Aset (Greek Isis) and they have a son Heru (Greek Horus). Much of what is commonly known about Wesir, Aset and Heru comes from the Greek myths of Isis and Osiris. In Kemetic text, Wesir's death is attributed to drowning, not the dismemberment myth created later by Plutarch. The dismemberment myth does not appear until a thousand years later and may not even be Kemetic in origin. Wesir, in fact, was never resurrected as many believe. Wesir is Lord of the Dead and dwells in the Blessed Fields of the Dead.

http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/anubis9/page3/Wesir.htm

Here is more on Osirus:

The ancient Egyptian god of the underworld. In Egyptian mythology the god who was ruler and judge in the underworld and the brother and consort of Isis. He is identified with the Nile, and his annual death and resurrection symbolized the self-renewing vitality and fertility of nature. (The Reader's Digest Illustrated Encyclopedic Dictionary, pg. 1203)

These two sources show that Idris, who is Arabic for Osiris is god of the underworld from Egypt! They might differ on whether Osiris was resurrected but they both agree on the origin of Osiris.

The Koran declares that Idris, or Osiris, who was the ancient Egyptian god of the underworld, is:

... a man of truth [and sincerity], and a prophet. And We [Allah] raised him to lofty station. 19:56-57.

Is Osiris the god of the underworld, or a prophet? According to the Quran he is! Remember there is no evidence at all in Islamic history or the Quran to prove that Idris was Enoch. This idea came along later with Muslims who tried to equate Idris to Enoch. This is most embarrassing because it shows that the Quran has fictional characters (to make it even worse, pagan gods) as prophets!

19 posted on 10/16/2001 12:51:08 PM PDT by MHGinTN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Restorer
Good Response! It would be nice if the rest of the world was held to the same standards as the West with it's Christian Heritage.
20 posted on 10/16/2001 12:58:24 PM PDT by Sci Fi Guy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: lady lawyer
The Muslims did not have a monopoly on Greek learning nor did they preserve it. The true guardians of Greek culture were Greek Orthodox Christians. Western Christians were cut off from Greek learning by the Islamic invasions which separated Eastern Christianity from Western.

Muslim scholars prepared (faulty) Arabic translations of Aristotle (and little else) which Western Christians became aware of in 1190 A.D. By 1225 A.D. Christian scholars abandoned these texts as faulty and sought higher quality editions in the original Greek. Greek monks in Venice who ran the Muslim blockades provided Western priests with accurate texts. Starting in 1222 this project was underway without any Muslim involvement - and despite Muslim interference.

The myth of Islam as a preserver of Greek knowledge was an invention of the atheistical French Encyclopedists and their precursors like Rameau. They were antithetical to traditional Christianity and lived at a time when French explorers had rediscovered fragments of Aristotelian works translated into Arabic. Their theory became an accepted myth, since it served the rhetorical purpose of making the Roman Church seem backward.

The numerals we use are not actually Arabic - the number system used in Arabic is only vaguely similar. Our numerals are more Indo-Persian than Arabic. The significant difference between Roman and "Arabic" numerals is that the latter have zero as a placeholder, making multiplication and factoring much simpler. These were innovations discovered by Indian mathematicians, however, not Muslims. Indians also invented algebra, an insight that Islam absorbed but eventually abandoned.

The Muslims abandoned speculative mathematics after Al-Qarizmi died. No one followed him and mathematical research became unknown again in Islam. The next major breakthrough in mathematics occurred in Europe, not in Islam - the calculus invented by English and German thinkers.

And the eleventh century was not a "Dark Age". It saw the development of new principles of architecture, musical polyphony, advanced techniques in demography, important advances in legal theory, the growth of sophisticated trading centers in Italy and the Low Countries, the Cluniac revolution and the reorganization of the Church and the Empire.

21 posted on 10/16/2001 1:05:29 PM PDT by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: lady lawyer
You are right. I interviewed an Islamic Saudi Arab about 15 years ago, and he told me exactly the same thing. He said Arabs believe they descended from Ishmael (Hagar), and that Jews descended from Isaac (Sarah).

We Americans/Christians eventually came out on top of both groups of Semites, and that is why some of their more radical members are both mad at us and constantly try to tell us what to do.

The crusades made the Islamic Arabs even more mad at Christians and Gentiles, as did the loss of their Ottoman Empire. The world-wide success of proselytizing Christians has made militant Islamic Arabs and Israelis mad at us, because they think they are supposed to run and influence the world the most.

But the basic root cause of this problem, in my opinion, is simple human jealousy, just like when the Nazis thought that “Germanic” people should control the world and the Japs thought they should control the Orient. I think this is a human problem (uhhh, mainly a man problem). Some times it can exhibit itself in terms of religion or race or nationality.

22 posted on 10/16/2001 1:18:36 PM PDT by Fred25
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: lady lawyer
Allah -- which is simply the Arabic word for God, meaning the God of Abraham

"Allah" does not mean "God of Abraham". Allah was the name of a local Arabian moon god. The Arabic word for the God of the Jews was "adonah" - an Arabicization of "Adonai", a Hebrew/Aramaic name for God.

Mohammed preached that this moon god was actually the only God and that Abraham worshipped Allah. He told Arabs that they were the true descendents of Abraham and that the Jews were liars and descendents of pigs and monkeys.

There is a reason why a crescent moon is the symbol of Islam to this day - it shows the true provenance of Allah. Fascinating, isn't it, that Islam forbids making an image of anything created - yet adopts an image of the moon as its symbol? Even more interesting that Muslims worldwide are expected to travel to Mecca at least once to do obeisance to a black stone - yet they claim that Christians are blasphemers and idolaters for worshipping Christ.

23 posted on 10/16/2001 1:18:49 PM PDT by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: bert
As with the Popes of Rome who killed European populations

Nice lie, bert. Glad to hear useless comments from the American Taliban.

24 posted on 10/16/2001 1:21:18 PM PDT by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: wideawake
The Arabic word for the God of the Jews was "adonah" - an Arabicization of "Adonai", a Hebrew/Aramaic name for God.

Look, linguistics is just not your area. Please see the following from the Catholic Encyclopedia about the Hebrew word for God used in the OT. (I assume you don't think the CE is overrun with PCness.)

"Elohim has been explained as a plural form of Eloah or as plural derivative of El. Those who adhere to the former explanation do not agree as to the derivation of Eloah. There is no such verbal stem as alah in Hebrew; but the Arabist Fleischer, Franz Delitzsch, and others appeal to the Arabic aliha, meaning "to be filled with dread", "anxiously to seek refuge", so that ilah (eloah) would mean in the first place "dread", then the object of dread. Gen., xxi, 42, 53, where God is called "the fear of Isaac", Is., viii, 13, and Ps. lxxv, 12, appear to support this view."

All other Semitic peoples used a form of "el" as a title for their gods. The Hebrew word Adonai is most often translated as Lord, not God. El, elohim and adonai are all titles, anyway. In the OT the personal name of God is YHWH.

25 posted on 10/16/2001 1:27:54 PM PDT by Restorer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: SocialMeltdown
****It's no surprise that the Taliban bans TV, given that many modern Westerners see it as a corruptor of their own children. ****

I liked this article though the inappropriate title is still making me ponder. We have not been 'drawn' 'into' anything. They came over here and started a war. Different.

Anyway, I liked the article because it is a nice little synopsis for the uneducated ... and that's pretty near everybody these days. In this culture, in this age, highly educated people, like doctors, lawyers, most CEO etc, are some of the MOST poorly educated people on the planet. All they know is their specialty. They worked so hard in class to get grades and get to or near the top in order to get the big bucks ... that they are functionally illiterate about history, economics, geo-politics, religion, etc, etc.

And they remain culturally stupid. They are so enmeshed in their fast paced work-a-day world that they have no time (unlike us political-junkie-keyboard-commandos) to REALLY look at and understand the world around them.

This is undoubtedly one of the root causes our culture has become so cheap, vain, shallow and debuched. It's also why we don't stand a very good chance of making a dent in Islamic fundamentalism.

****So while the West may not see history in such stark terms, it should not forget both the power of the Crusades and their use as a motivator for destroying the United States and its allies. America's cause for conflict is only a month old, while its enemy's has lasted more than 1,000 years. ****

It's like the bacon and eggs story. You usually hear it as an anology told to a young groom by way of explaining 'commitment'. You know, the chicken was 'involved' but the pig was 'commited' in this breakfast. Which leaves me with more pondering ....How can a society with a 50% divorce rate, a huge illegitimacy rate, and a solid love for abortion ... muster the commitment and resolve to wholly defeat a quickly coalescing and uniting Islamic front of over fifty nations?

PS: I wrote this about four hours ago but FR has been down (for me, and it looks like a few thous others, but not all) untill now.

26 posted on 10/16/2001 1:29:16 PM PDT by mercy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Publius6961
****At no time in it's history has Islam been peaceful. the last 100 years has been an aberration only because the west rendered Islam powerless and irrelevant the last time they attempted their "expansion by the sword".****

Eggs Akley! BUMP for you.

27 posted on 10/16/2001 1:31:30 PM PDT by mercy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: wideawake
As with the Popes of Rome who killed European populations

Nice lie, bert.

Not really a lie. Have you read about the Albigensian Crusade, the Inquisition, the persecution of Protestants in the Netherlands by Charles V, or the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre? These events really happened. In each case, the Pope either initiated or celebrated the results.

Not Catholic-bashing, just trying to be accurate.

28 posted on 10/16/2001 1:32:50 PM PDT by Restorer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: SocialMeltdown
"War has its roots in the Crusades:"

Baloney! Osama is another Hitler, except he's rich.
29 posted on 10/16/2001 1:38:02 PM PDT by Sweet Hour of Prayer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lady lawyer
**** Allah -- which is simply the Arabic word for God, ****

I think this is true, however the compound, contracted word Allah formed from Al (the) & Lah (contracted and bastardized from the original Lil meaning god) is the ancient Arab name of the Sumerian sun god. At the time of Mohammed the Arabs of Mecca had hundreds of gods and Lil was one of the more popular. Mohammed chose it as the one god. Is a name really important when the speaker actually does mean 'the one god' in his mind? I don't know. You tell me.

30 posted on 10/16/2001 1:40:41 PM PDT by mercy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Tribune7
She may mock him but the guy has 42 kids. He must be doing something at least technically correct.
31 posted on 10/16/2001 1:42:31 PM PDT by mercy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: SocialMeltdown
Amazing -- all this and not a single mention of the attempt by bin Laden on the Pope in the Philipines Kinda brings the case up to date, wouldn't you say?
32 posted on 10/16/2001 1:45:59 PM PDT by flamefront
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mercy
Actually the word 'allah' is/can be interpreted as a basterized version of the phrase 'the god', a generic phrase used by the peoples in and around Mekka when Mohammed tried to unify the tribe bickering with each other. The phrase was used to signify 'the god' that any particular family or tribe ascribed as the central diety for their pantheon. Note: the family ruling Saudi Arabia is 'the Saud' or al Saud.
33 posted on 10/16/2001 1:47:58 PM PDT by MHGinTN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: wideawake
>>>Nice lie, bert<<<

Perhaps you need enlightened.

ON 24 june 1209, Pope Innocent III unleashed Simon de Montfort on the Christians of southern France because they did not submit to his orthodoxy. He slaughtered 20,000 in their homes and villages. Since they were dead, it was no problem to appropriate all their lands and goods.

Once the wholsale killing was over, it was only a small step to the Inquisition lasting 300 years or so.

I suggest you spend a little more time with the books.

34 posted on 10/16/2001 1:47:57 PM PDT by bert
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Restorer
Whenever a Protestant brings up straight accurate history about the religious wars between The Pope and early Protestants ... it's Catholic bashing. Slavery happened a long time ago and it's over but not in the mind of angry victmized blacks. The crusades don't matter to us but are very much a part of the Moslem mind. As a protestant I don't hold the facts of near ancienthistory against modern day Catholics but when they try and tell me that history never happened I wonder what they are trying to hide. Is it that they KNOW we are infidels who will never go to heaven?
35 posted on 10/16/2001 1:50:20 PM PDT by mercy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Sweet Hour of Prayer
Osama is another Hitler, except he's rich.

Hitler was quite wealthy, primarily from royalties on his book. Of course, from 1933-45 he essentially owned Germany and everyone in it.

36 posted on 10/16/2001 1:51:34 PM PDT by Restorer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: wideawake
very interesting!
37 posted on 10/16/2001 1:53:11 PM PDT by f.Christian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: MHGinTN
Yes, I'll buy that but if you go back to Sumerian times and Babylon you can trace the entemology of the root word. In fact many believe you can trace it back to Nimrod.
38 posted on 10/16/2001 1:53:48 PM PDT by mercy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: SocialMeltdown
Our enemies see this as a religious war. In hopes of "understanding them" better we should view the present conflict in the same way.
39 posted on 10/16/2001 1:54:06 PM PDT by Former Proud Canadian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mercy
Is it that they KNOW we are infidels who will never go to heaven?

Who cares what they think they know? None of us will know for sure till the moment of death. I've never understood this obsession with whether someone else thinks you're going to hell. Whether he's right or not, his belief has no effect on me one way or the other.

40 posted on 10/16/2001 1:57:26 PM PDT by Restorer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: wideawake
****Allah -- which is simply the Arabic word for God, meaning the God of Abraham ****

Some Imams have tried to say this but tracing entemology of words and study of ancient Sumerian hyroglyphs pretty much disproves it. That an Arab would claim to be heir to any monotheistic religion prior to Mohammed is laughable anyway.

41 posted on 10/16/2001 1:57:39 PM PDT by mercy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Jmouse007
Your#11)

Genesis 21:12
Genesis 22:2
Genesis 22:16
Matthew 22:31-32
Galatians 3:26-4:31

42 posted on 10/16/2001 1:57:59 PM PDT by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Former Proud Canadian
Our enemies see this as a religious war. In hopes of "understanding them" better we should view the present conflict in the same way.

Why? The Nazis viewed the war as a conflict between Jewish-controlled America and Russia and the Master Race. How would looking at it thru the same distorted lens have helped us defeat them?

Certainly we must understand their view. We don't need to join them in it.

43 posted on 10/16/2001 1:59:12 PM PDT by Restorer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: mercy
>>it's Catholic bashing<<

This is wishful thinking. The war with the Church in Rome begun by Henry VIII continues to this day in Ireland virtually unabated.

The question of the day should be "Are the Irish terrorists, including those in Boston part of the current war?" I suspect the Brits think yes. The endeavor will take along time we are told. When Osama and Saddam are gone, it will be time for Jerry Adams unless he repents and atones.

Not anti Catholic or anti Irish or pro Brit. Just telling it like I see it.

44 posted on 10/16/2001 1:59:53 PM PDT by bert
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Restorer
Bert's claiming that the Popes have committed genocide. That's simply a lie.

In the case of the Albigensian Crusade, the Albigensians (who were a cult, not a population) declared war on their king under the leadership of the Counts of Toulouse. The King of France won the war and afterwards executed a thousand or so Albigensians and others whom he considered ringleaders of the rebellion. The Pope's representative, St. Dominic, protested the harshness of the King's response but was overruled by the secular authority. Pope Innocent did not celebrate or endorse the reprisals. He was glad that an unstable and antiChristian movement was ended, however.

The Inquisition was inaugurated by the Spanish crown in order to root out pro-Muslim fifth columnists. The Spanish throne considered Jews to be among this number due to their perceived collaboration with the enemy during the Muslim occupation. No entire populations were killed - 3,000 people were executed over a period of a century for crimes ranging from assassination to apostasy. A good number of these executions were unjust and politically motivated. No Pope celebrated the Inquisition.

Protestants were persecuted in the Netherlands by Philip V because he felt they were plotting against his rule. Similar persecutions of Catholics were undertaken in England against Catholics at the same time - persecutions which were far bloodier and went on much longer. The Pope neither authorized or approved of Philip V's actions, let alone celebrated them. Philip himself considered them an entirely internal matter.

The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, like the Inquistion, the Albigensian Crusade and the repressive policies of Philip was politically motivated. Again, there was no genocide - remarkably almost all of the thousand or so Huguenots murdered were political enemies of the Medici family. The Pope celebrated the event because he was informed that a plot by Calvinist traitors to overthrow the Catholic King of France was successfully foiled. Only later did he learn that he had been manipulated by the Medicis (and not for the last time). The Thanksgiving Mass he offered was not a gravedance over dead Protestants - it was a celebration of the survival of the French monarchy.

No Pope has ever presided over genocide. Protestants such as Cromwell and freethinkers such as Stalin have attempted genocides against Catholic populations. This doesn't give me license to accuse prominent atheists or Protestants of those crimes.

That's the real history - your implied portrait of Popes ordering hits/dancing for joy over people's deaths is highly inaccurate.

45 posted on 10/16/2001 2:00:55 PM PDT by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Sweet Hour of Prayer
That a significant number of Muslims believe the current conflict has roots in the Crusdaes is verified by the outrage they spewed when Bush used the term in a more generic sense! To deny that the duped in Islam, some of them, see this current war as a continuation of the crusader mentality is to ignore the facts.
46 posted on 10/16/2001 2:01:23 PM PDT by MHGinTN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Former Proud Canadian
****In hopes of "understanding them" better ****

Yesssss. I think I garner your meaning within those quotation marks. I would like 'to understand them' better myself. I would like to sort through some of their entrails after puff the magic dragon flew over them and hamburgerized a few of em. I feel a great and persistent curriosity to get a real close look.

47 posted on 10/16/2001 2:02:02 PM PDT by mercy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: bert
There is nothing antiCatholic or antiIrish about opposing the murdering scum known as the IRA.

But the British crown has treated the Irish rather vilely over the years. Desiring independence is legitimate - blowing up schoolchildren is a repulsive way to go about it.

I would be happy to see the UDF, RH, RIRA, PIRA and Sinn Fein added to the roster of Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, etc.

48 posted on 10/16/2001 2:09:12 PM PDT by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: wideawake
The Albegensian Cathars were Christians. The Pope declared them to be heretics and massacred them. It was genocide.

The Pope Innocent III excommunicated the Count of Toluse because he would not commit the murders. Simon de Montfort had no such problem and committed the atrocity.

St Dominic founded the Dominican order that held sway over the Inquisition.

The Pope had blood on his hands

49 posted on 10/16/2001 2:09:49 PM PDT by bert
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Jmouse007
Cane vs. Able...part II?
50 posted on 10/16/2001 2:18:56 PM PDT by Dead Dog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-73 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson