|"Infidels" by Andrew Wheatcroft...Random House|
- Friday, December 28 2007, 19:37:55 (CET)|
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It's important to list the publishers when dealing with our people and "history". Too often what passes for books among them is nothing more than the personal prejudices of illiterate or fanatical Christian apologists. When a publisher sinks his own money in a manuscript you know that at least a business decision has been made so that some checking of facts and background and professional competance and peer review has taken place. With Aprim, Rosie and their kind all you know is that they had to pay to have their manuscripts printed because no legitimate publisher would give them the time of day. Like so many other words and concepts, they completely prostitute the meaning of "book" and "history" too.
The author here uses the term "infidel" to describe how both Muslims and Christians referred to one another. It promises to be somewhat even-handed. That it's written by a Westerner who was most likely raised in the Christian tradition gives it some weight...unless we assume he is a "traitor" and "enemy" and "so-called"...for being fair.
He does answer, rather quickly, a question I often ask myself; why is it that Islam never invested in weapons of war such as the Christians have plagued us with. Discussing the battle of Lepanto in 1571 when the combined fleet of the Christian Holy League defeated the Turkish armada he states:
"In the Muslim ranks, by contrast, every innovation(in weaponry, mine)could become a matter for argument even resistance. Honorable war was still fought with the weapons known to the Our'an...swords, spears, lances, bows and arrows. The good Muslim soldier was the man who leaped into the breach or onto the deck of an enemy vessel without armor and only the strength of his arms to protect him. Guns and artilery were necessary, but carried no mark of courage. Perhaps for this reason few of the developments and innovations in gun technology emerged in the Islamic world. Implicit if unstated was the general belief that it was better to fight in the right way and lose a battle than to fight without honor. Europeans might talk about traditions, caste, and honor, but quietly discarded them in practise...occasions such as when officers courteously invited their enemy to fire first became legendary precisely because they were so rare. In contrast, the armies of Islam might adopt new weapons but were increasingly hobbled by their ancient rite." (p 13-14)
This matches what other Christian historians have said of Medieval Muslims; that they were the "gentlemen of the Middle Ages" whose code of honor and faithfulness to their word surpassed that of the Christians. Sadly all of Islam pays today for its pacifistic background. While Christian nations have armed themselves and the world, making the sale of weapons and therefore wars and the murder of civilians a howling economic success, Muslims looked the other way. They've awakened too late and find themselves confronting rampant Christianity with their bare bodies and improvised bombs. Even the advanced weaponry they bought came from Christian nations who, quite naturally, introduced microchips in every piece of machinery that would render the jet planes or communications equipment useless at the press of a button in Washington. It's what I would have done, and I'm not Christian. Makes perfect sense though. Iraqi pilots complained that at crucial moments their radar and other guidance systems, on their American made planes, went screwy leaving them completely vulnerable to American pilots and ground fire.
In an age when Christian and Muslim were evenly matched in weapons, at the time of the Muslim conquest when Islam defeated both the Roman and Persian empires, Muslims were able to pull off what Dr. Durant writes is the most amazing military feat in history. Within barely 100 years, desert nomads overwhelmed the two superpowers of their day, going on to rule a larger empire than the Romans and Persians combined. This suggests that in a fair fight, Muslim warriors were, and are, the equals of anyone. Sadly, however, they've allowed themselves to fall way behind Christians in building and perfecting instruments of death. On the one hand its commendable...if one wasn't dealing with Christians. But, given Christian bloodlust and "evangelism", it's been a disaster.
The lesson learned by Iraq and Iran regarding nuclear weapons came too late for Iraq. Here's hoping Iran has better luck and comes to a point of threatening the West with even a fraction of the threats the Christian West has aimed at Muslims...among others. History will record that Islam didn't seek this confrontation or escalating arms race...that said history will also condemn Islam for not defending itself against Christianity in the only way Christianity respects: with weapons of mass destruction which it has pioneered and used indiscriminantly. It's sad, but necessary.
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