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You're too dogmatic about dogmas , I am afraid.

Reader comment on item: L'Institut d'Égypte – In Memoriam
in response to reader comment: Destructions of Works of Art

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Dec 30, 2011 at 15:37

Ronald Ng wrote :

> In reply to the question raised by Ianus, my answer would be no. The difference he has cited regarding the destructions as wrought in China and by fanatical Islamists is just one of duration of periods of fanaticism.<

I wonder if you're aware of what time disproportions are ignored by your "no" ? The cultural revolution in China lasted merely 10 years (1966-1976) while the Qin dynasty's notorious "burning of books and burying of scholars" continued for 7 (213 - 206 B.C. ) , so all in allwe have got some 17 years out of Chinese history's deep time of more than 4 000 years during which no policy of "scorched earth" in art and literature was practiced and the Chinese themselves produced amazing works of art and literature and formed the model of a Confucian gentleman-scholar as their ideal type to be imitated and respected by everybody in the society.

What a contrast to that is Islam! In Islam out of its official 1432 years of existence I wouldn't dare name a single year where jihadist rage against all things non-Moslem didn't celebrate some triumph in form of a burnt down Zoroastrian Tower of Silence ... or a Twin Tower , a massacred Khoresmian scholar or ... a Dutch film producer murdered by broad daylight , a beheaded Buddhist monks among the smouldering scrolls of the Heart Tantra ...or a smouldering carcass of L'institut d'Egypte...or a primary school stormed and ravaged by a gang of Moslems ...

> The basic flaw in those societies is the rigid adherence to some dogma. <

The basic flaw of your reasoning is that it doesn't explain the facts on the ground. For the Chinese throughout 99,99% of their history destroying books was considered barbarous and wasn't practiced as an official state program. In Islam 100% of its history is devoted to how to undermine,infiltrate, uproot , evict and convert the kafirs, to how to destroy all things dear to them , how to enslave them to Islam.

If you refuse to make the distinction I suggested , then can you answer the question why haven't also the Chinese practice war on books -say- "not in agreement with Confucius" 100% of their historical time as the Moslems have done bearing in mind that in your terminology both adhere to a "dogma" ?

> The unthinking adherence to the dogma of the superiority of the Aryan race led to the wholesale destruction of the Jews in Nazi Germany;<

I am afraid that you try to reduce a very complex issue to one dogmatic point. As far as facts on the ground are concerned the destruction of Jews in Nazi Germany had more to do with a few other tragic - and avoidable- events and things than just with the doctrine of the superiority of the Aryan race which co-existed perfectly well with ghettoes and labor camps where Jews were sewing uniforms for the Aryan Wehrmacht and were making buckets to extinguish fires caused by the Allied aerial and "moral" bombings in the "Aryan" cities.

> the wholesale adherence to the dogma of Mao's Class Struggle led to the Cultural Revolution;<

When I was younger I also thought so. But one day I heard the simple question : "When was China's nuclear shield and sword created"? It turns out that they were made during the Cultural Revolution and its chaos ! The West was following the paroxysms of the struggle against petty bourgeois and other people's enemies while on Lop Nor the Chinese were detonating their first hydrogen bomb and building rockets to bring them across the ocean. The old Chinese fox seems to have outwitted the shrewd Bald Eagle and not only him, didn't he?

> the wholesale adherence to the dogma of a monotheistic god and the right to advance that belief led to the Crusade and the Islamists' action. In short, and to paraphrase Edmund Burke, "all that is necessary to turn a good man to evil is to give him a set of dogma and the certainty that he is right, and while following those dogmas he is performing good."<

What I'd like to point to is that your discourse on dogma seems to me to be a bit too dogmatic. You accumulate too many too general examples.

If you knew the realities of the last three decades of the 11th century you would understand that after Manzikert in 1071 a Crusade meant belated and yet desperately needed self-defence against the ruthless aggressor that started it all and wanted it all - Islam. Byzantium never invaded Arabia but fell victim to an unprovoked act of aggression, occupation and cultural and religious degradation and destruction coming from Arabia.

Now are you suggesting that you need a special "dogma" to respond properly to raw violence, robbery and forced conversions and desacration of your cemeteries, shrines and churches and colonization of your territory by illietarte Beduins or Turkmen shouting "Allahu Akbar" before they cut the throat of your relatives whom they consider according to their "dogma" on a par with urine or excrement ?

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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