History vs. Speculation
Submitted by Michael S (United States), Aug 1, 2014 at 02:44
It's a pleasure, seeing your post.. You realize, of course, that blogs like this are a way of talking with people about things you're actually interested in, rather than sports, weather, etc. It's a new form of communication, still in its experimental stage.
"...did you really understand what Dr. Pipes is saying?"
Probably not. Let me check...
"...the ancient city has sacred associations for Jews and Muslims alike..."
I think that's the part I latched onto. I hear this over and over again, and it's ridiculous. Before Muhammed was even born, THE CENTER of Jewish worhip was on the Temple Mount for hundreds of years; and every day since the Temple was destroyed, Jews all over the world have prayed daily toward that place. Somehow equating ANY Muslim claim of "sacredness" to that is beyond the pale.
I'm glad we agree on the "Colonialist Imperialist Aggressor" thing. That's another thing that I hear so often, directed almost exclusively against Americans and Jews. In reality, I don't know of a country on earth that did not begin as a colony; and the Arabs were rabid colonizers in the Seventh Century CE and beyond.
"Well I doubt very much that you understood what I wrote"
Again, you're probably correct, but let me check...
"did you ever ask yourself why did the Umayyads the likes of Mu3awya establish his capital in Damascus and not Mecca"
No, I never have.
"...and why did Abd al-Malik build the first Islamic monument in what was called Aelia at time (Jerusalem) and not in let us say Mecca?"
Again, no. I imagine it's because Mecca was a relatively unimportant place to anyone other than Muhammed and his followers. Damascus and Jerusalem, on the other hand, had histories going back thousands of years. Mu3awya and Abd al-Malik were probably trying to legitimatize themselves before the locals. Alexander the Great had a similar propensity toward Babylon, which his generals did not share.
"Could it be because those invading Arabs were really members of the tribes that lived in the Levant from time immemorial and this is why they were interested in building monumnts not in al-Hijaz but in Aelia/Jerusalem"
No, it could not have been so. The Jews took Jebus/ Jerusalem from the Jebusites, who were not remotely related to the Arabs; and Damascus was inhabited by Hellenized Arameans, part of the Decapolis.
Thank you for your post.
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