Posted by parhad (18.104.22.168) on October 09, 2001 at 09:57:47:
As much as I want people to know the truth about Assyrians, it will only have meaning if we understand better what we think we know of Islam (and Judaism)...since the adherents of this religion occupy the region we come from and we're just as likely to be lumped in with them...as is already beginning to happen, and will, more and more. In explaining Islam better, not defending it, we might hope to lessen the anger that ignorance now directs at all those who come from "Islamic" or "Arab" countries...as most of us do.
In the fourth volume of the 12 volume set of Will and Ariel Durant's "The Story of Civilization"...the volume titled "The Age of Faith", he has this to say about the first Khaliph of Islam, after Muhammad died. "Be just," ran Abu Bekr's proclamation; be valiant; die rather than yield; be merciful; slay neither old men, nor women, nor children. Destroy no fruit trees, grain, nor cattle. Keep your word, even to your enemies. Molest not those religious persons who live retired from the world, but compel the rest of mankind to become Moslems or pay us tribute. If they refuse these terms, slay them."
Durant goes on say that the choice given the enemy was not Islam or the sword; it was Islam or tribute or the sword. Ross went on about how Sennakherib had one king skinned alive...whereas the Hebrews killed every man, woman, child, cow, goat, and cat when they captured an enemy..and not one that had rebelled against them either, just someone THEIR god told them deserved this treatment.
Islam was no better or worse than the competing religions although most impartial scholars attest to the fact that it was a marked improvement on what existed till then. It wasn't unusual at all that Syria and Mesopotamia should have welcomed Islam as many Arab tribes, with kin in Arabia, already lived there. Durant says that years of Nestortian and other "true" Christian faiths had cost the people their martial ardor, which was something the Arab tribes kept and cherished...the non-Christians as well as the Christians there resented the efforts of the Byzantine Empire to conquer their lands, and we all know what Christians do to Christians they don't agree with.
The coming of Islam was not the holy terror our "hysterical historians" tell us it was. When had conquered people been given such a reasonable alternative when by all the rules of engagement back then the vanquished could expect only death if not worse? Which of us, who was sane, would NOT accept such a humane religion? Look at all the countless millions who have, down to this very week...were they ALL frightened into Islam by the sword? What about the "Terror" of the crucifix? Only Islam respected Christians and Jews... though the favor was never returned (it was under Islam that Jews received the most tolerant and decent treatment of that day, the Christians killing them AND Muslims every chance they got...and even Christian "heretics" opened their gates to Muslim armies knowing damn well the invading "other" Christians would treat them much worse).
Muhammad said all non-believrs in those two religions ie Judaism and Christianty.... faced "the choice"...in other words, "pagans". Just what did Christians do to pagans...right up to the 19th century? If pagans refused to convert, they paid tribute. What's so odd in that? Everyone had to pay tribute in those days if they were lucky, it was the way in which conquering generals paid their troops...at least the common people, who had not the price of ransom, could buy themselves and their families' lives...Christians stole all the wealth and killed the people anyway.
No doubt some scholar from Hell will pop up and recount all sorts of gory stories about later Islamic barbarity...but that proves nothing for we have enough depressing examples of Christian barbarity, and today, Israeli barbarity, and if a Paul Younan wants to claim that isn't REAL Christianity, it isn't hard to prove that wasn't REAL Islam either.
When the second Khaliph, Omar, deposed the "Sword of God", ibn Khalid for cruelty in victory, the most successful general of that day took it calmly. When, after what Durant calls the most amazing feat in military history...meaning the rapid conquest by the Arabs of the Persian and Byzantine armies..they captured Palestine, Omar, a pious and humble man, came from Medina because the Patriarch Sophronius agreed to surrender Jerusalem only to him, though he could have taken it by force easily enough.
Durant writes, "Omar consented, and travelled from Medina in stately simplicity, armed with a sack of corn, a bag of dates, a gourd of water, and a wooden dish. Khalid, Abu Obeida, and other leaders of the Arab army went out to welcome him. He was displeased by the finery of their raiment and the ornate trappings of their steeds; he flung a handful of gravel upon them, crying:'Begone! Is it thus attired that ye come out to greet me'? He received Sophronius with kindness and courtesy, imposed an easy tribute on the vanquished, and confirmed the Christians in the peaceful possession of all their shrines. Christian historians relate that he accompanied the Patriarch in a tour of Jerusalem." (Contrast that with what the Christians did to their OWN fellow-Christians when they sacked Constantinople on their way to kill the Muslims AND Jews in Jerusalem.)
Are these "facts" or fiction? If they are fiction...why? What was the audience of that day that Muslims had to worry over how they might be perceived? If it is all fiction, then by the common logic of our common humanity, Christian myths are also just that. You have to give if you want to receive.
No no...this primitive "We are better than you", will have to end, or else there will be no end to the hallowed and Holy justification to kill each others children, which is what this new "Global" warfare means in the end. One way or another, your child and mine is going to have some part of his or her life snuffed out, if not the whole thing. Children born next week, children you'll help through their first baby steps, teach words to and hold while they sleep in your arms, will soon enough face a more determined sort of hatred from an "enemy" that never was, that never needed to be turned into one.
It's being done for the same disgusting reason every war of the modern era has been fought...for someone's greed and insatiable desire for money, which is power...which also becomes money. The stirring speaches you hear, the calls to Jihad on both sides, the photos of widows and children waving banners are being used to inflame your ardor, to keep you from asking simple questions, from examining, from thinking. You are being inspired to march in your own funeral procession...and that of your children...and it has nothing to do with the real reasons...both Bushes and their "advisors" are heavily into OIL...follow the money.
I am no "lover" of Islam or Judaism or Christianity, I am not their enemy either. I am indeed an enemy to the attempts of leaders and followers of all three religions, and any others, to convince me that one of them is better, that one of them has "divine sanction" to kill ANY child. Only by understanding and through education and common decency for all PEOPLE...no matter the religion or race or creed will any of us common folk have any justice or security. This is an ethic now of American life and policy, but it will fall victim to this upsurge of patriotic jingoism and the religious Right's efforts to shape other, unrelated, policy matters such as abortion etc.
Of all times, this time period calls for us to be MORE vigilant, more thoughtful...not less, as we're being encourgaed to do by our "leaders". This is the worst time for blind allegience and patriotic fever and fervor...it is now that we'll be hoodwinked into undoing ourselves, as we were at the start of the Gulf War and all through these murderous sanctions NO Islamic general of those "barbaric" times would have imposed.
Getting rid of inconvenient little Laws and barriers that might stop our government from "protecting" us is the surest way to set up the very forces which will get all of us who are "different" in the end. For your own safety's sake and that of your children, resist the effort to demonize those who you are told are your "enemies"...and if you feel no remorse for the children of those enemies who are being and have been starved to death...expect the same and worse one day...and don't come crying then about how you were attacked UNPROVOKED!
When has any government protected its common citizens before, at the expense of the wealthy and powerful...the same ones who stand to profit from this warlette? When has it taken care not to send its young citizens to war, even unjust and wronheaded war they KNEW they couldn't win? When has it shown any concern for those thrown out of work, living on the street, mentally ill or unable to afford health care...for those "downsized" and "outsized"? Do yoiu really believe that by closing a plant here and throwing fathers and mothers out of work, to set up the same plant in a Third World country where children are forced to work day and night...it will make products more affordable for YOU? What are you supposed to buy those products with...products which cost just as much to you whether made in Indonesia or Ohio...the real difference being how much more profit the CEO can steal for his shareholders and himself? These are the ones who fill you with patriotic nonsense, who make you feel justified and wronged so you'll agree to anything they come with to "protect you"...to benefit "you". For how long will you go on being afraid of your own shadow...and mind???
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