January 4th, 2010 14:51 EST
Islam, like Christendom and Judaism, has its Fanatics
Regarding Pat`s inanities about Islam, America Held hostage in 2010 it`s difficult to know where to begin to address his distortions. Islam is one of the three great Abrahamic religions. Pat sounds like Peter the Hermit preaching the first crusade, demonizing Islam in order to launch a rampage of destruction.
The Crusaders murdered Jews in Europe before setting out for Palestine. En route they savaged Byzantium, a Christian empire.
Islam, like Christendom and Judaism, has its fanatics. They have been as much a scourge to Islam as they have been to anyone else. Fanatics called the Almoravids, not unlike Al Qaeda, brought down the magnificent. Umayyad caliphate at Cordoba in the 11th Century, a model to this day of religious and cultural tolerance. When the last Muslim taifa was evicted from Spain by the Reconquista, a darkness fell over the Iberian peninsula. Religious tolerance vanished. The (Christian) Inquisition supplanted a period of unprecedented cultural evolution. Is this the Islam Pat is talking about? His blinkered, prejudiced view is precisely what causes conflict.
Is the periodic destructiveness of the Muslims greater than the destructiveness of the Spanish conquistadors? Ask the natives of South and Central America. Is it greater than our own genocide against Native Americans? Violence and ignorance is violence and ignorance, whether it comes from Muslims or Christians or anyone else. And when it comes to violence, Christians live in glass houses. When Ferdinand and Isabella expelled the Moors and Jews from Spain the Ottoman Empire welcomed them, and the Ottoman caliph wrote to the Spanish monarchs, Your folly is my great gain, for what the expulsion achieved was to usher in an orgy of exploitation in the New World and a savage oppression of thought at home.
Instead of stoking the coals of bigotry, it would better serve us to re-examine the West`s policies in the Middle East and North Africa. The West has not put its armies there to do the Muslims any favors. It has put its armies there in its own interests. And it has tolerated Israeli expansion. Islam is plagued by corrupt, selfish government, and that has exacerbated the problem of terrorism.
You cannot have so many impoverished and hopeless youth and not expect violence and upheaval. But the West has had more than its share of corrupt government, and still does. Great societies have been crushed by fanatics in Christendom as well as Islam. It is a universal problem rooted in poverty and ignorance. To say that Islam has cornered the market on terrorism is to misunderstand history or to willfully distort it in pursuit of an ideological agenda.
We owe much of our current lifestyle to Islamic achievements in science, medicine, translation, astronomy, mathematics and seafaring. I doubt a terrorist cult gave birth to all that.