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Islam came to the world at the right time (for them)

Reader comment on item: Dhimmis No More
in response to reader comment: Were the early 20th century Turks the only nasty Muslims?

Submitted by Prashant, Dec 22, 2017 at 13:16

Dear Dr Pipes,

Islam came to the world at a time when they could expand it very quickly with the help of marauding tyrants. By the year 600 or so, to the east of Arabia, peaceful and non-violent Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism had taken a firm footing. To the north and west, Christianity had found a footing and by the 5th century after Christ, Christians were already looking into the issues of divinity and sainthood, and were resolving their issues through intellectual means like discussions and ecumenical councils. Toward the south there was only ocean and desert.

The time was right for someone to use the existing military infrastructure and add to it a some religious fervor and destroy people and civilizations around. I doubt that even Muhammad realized during his life time that the inseparable and permanent amalgamation of wars and religion that he devised for tribal conflicts around Mecca and Medina would be so badly exploited and effectively used by his future followers for centuries after his departure. It is not an accident that by the year 700, Muslims army had reached Jerusalem in the North, Spain in west and Sindh in the east.

When we judge Islam, we somehow forget our common standards. We judge Islam on an Islamic scale and everyone else on a common secular scale. We forget that all Islamic wars with other civilizations were fought on the lands that belonged to other civilizations. For example, the battle of Tours was fought in what is France, wars for Jerusalem happened in Jerusalem, and Islamic marauders fought Hindus and Buddhists in Sindh. No Christian, Jewish or Hindu-Buddist army ever attacked Mecca after the advent of Islam. Except for the early tribal wars between Muhammad and the then Meccan tribes, no Islamic war was ever fought in Islamic lands.

Only a completely ignorant person will deny that Muslims were the aggressors in every land and every direction for almost 800 years (European colonialism --ineffect-- saved the planet from continued Islamic onslaught. Luckily European colonialism was mostly secular).

Where do we go from here. Occasionally, I hear Muslims say that we should not dwell in the history. That is the crux of matter. If history keeps repeating itself then it must be discussed. For example, today's discussion about whether Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel or not would not even have existed today if Muslims had played by the rules 1300 years ago and since then. We should instead have been discussing whether the multi-religion secular government in Kabul should be left leaning or leaning right !

Modern Muslims should decide whether they want to own or disown their past. Not discussing it is not an option.

Submitting....

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