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Missing sense of proportions and time

Reader comment on item: L'Institut d'Égypte – In Memoriam
in response to reader comment: Intolerance

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Jan 1, 2012 at 19:33

Ronald Ng wrote :

> I have never argued against the fact of the the many, many intolerant acts of militant Islam. i was trying to say the well spring of what happened in history, when one group of people did terrible things to other groups, the people usually were imbued with an intolerant sense of their own righteousness and correct actions.<

This goes without saying and it is no point here. The point is your incredible contention that the Chinese have done as many terrible things as Moslems in terms of cultural genocide. As a proof you quoted Moa's 10-year long period of turmoil which I tried to explain to you with Moa's pragmatic objective in mind.Apparently you don't care about Mao's rationale behind it.

Anyway, your assertion doesn't address the main difficulty which is that Islam is by its very essence violent and always destructive while the Chinese violence has no such deep metaphysical roots and is severely limited and inhibited by the humanistic Confucian ethics and the respect for scholars and books that goes with Confucianism. Now I feel you reject that in order to stick to your view that both Islam and the Chinese civilization are equally intolerant and evil. You even give a few examples allegedly confirming that.

> The religious wars of the West, the burning of witches, the punishment for apostasy in the West, didn't these take place as well, and was during a time when there was absolute belief in the correctness of the Church? If you read Kramer and Sprenger's "Malleus Maleficarum", the handbook for witch hunters of the 15th century, you will find a similar mindset to many of the mind sets that are occurring in the more fundamental Islamic world today.<

I am not sure if you have realized in the heat of your argument that between what you are referring to and now some 500 years have elapsed and we burn no more witches , no more kill each other because of "heretical" views , don't behead atheists while in the Islamic world witchcraft is still considered a serious threat to social and political stability and can be punished with death, the shias are routinely discriminated and persecuted by the sunnis and vice versa and apostasy requires a capital punishment.

> In feudal China, there was a well known law of executing relations of the 9th degree for treason.<

And was this law in force based on Confucius' teachings or was burning books and destroying temples somehow linked to it ?

> During the Qing dynasty, there was a class of crime known as "literary crime" and a famous case was of an examiner who set an Imperial Exam question with four letter, and unfortunately, of the four letters, two of them happened to be very similar to the Emperor's name except that the top part of the name were not there. (I can't explain it to you without writing this in Chinese, which I will be most happy to do so if you tell me you can read Chinese.). He was beheaded because he was accused of secretly beheading the Emperor in his essay question!<

Tragicomic misunderstanding. Are you implying though that such misunderstandings spread massively causing extensive massacres and horrors on a par with the notorious Moslem ruling to kill anybody who criticizes the Quran or Mahomet or wants to say "Goodbye" to Islam ?

Anyway, except for "shan" and "ren" I can read no Chinese characters.

>Read the conquest of Central America by the Spaniards, of the forced conversion of the native Americans by the Catholic priests. Were they not similar to the forced conversion of the people conquered by Islamic nation around the time of the expansion of the Islamic empire?<

Sure, they weren't similar and the reason it is not so hard to see if you want to see it at all. Christianity has long since undergone the painful process of purification and repentance through Enlightenment and Rationalism. It is the Christian authors that wrote extensively on the wrongs done by Christianity and there is nothing paradoxical about it.You can't become a better human unless you openly notice and describe your sins and defects. Perhaps it is only because of that sincere work of Christian self-criticism that you can quote the Christian crimes you refer to. What is more important is that in every European city you will find libraries full of books, movies and articles on those crimes.

Now if you are so sure of the similarity and see no contrast of behavior at all, will you kindly tell me in which Moslem city I can find a public library where books on the crimes committed by Mahomet and his followers are described and denounced by imams and mullahs ? Which Moslem TV stations show Moslem atrocities committed against kafirs like the massacre of 10 000 innocent Buddhist monks in Nalanda and the ensuing burning of hundreds of thousands of ancient Buddhist scrolls and documents ? Or perhaps you know a single library in Turkey which provides a free access to books on the Armenian and Greek genocide or on crimes committed by the Uyghurs against the Chinese during their never ending jihad in Eastern Turkestan?

Islam in its arrogance defines itself as "Truth" and so it recognizes no objective external reality as a point of reference to decide whether a sentence is true or false. Hence in Islam the process of recognizing the truth and as a result of it repentance and Enlightement hasn't begun yet .What is more , the process of admitting that there can be something wrong about Islam can't in principle even commence !!!

Last not least, the crimes you are talking about are being perpetrated by Islam under our eyes on a daily basis while the crimes committed by Christianity you speak of belong to a distant past. But a fresh beheaded corpse under your window with a death fatwa attached to it seems to trouble you much less than the fate of the Incas some half a millenium ago despite the monument erected to them by European scholars.

I am afraid you have got a very distorted idea of history and a twisted sense of historical proportions and forces acting in history.

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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