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Islamic culture has devolved, and it's hard to categorize it

Reader comment on item: Siraj Wahhaj Seeks My Validation

Submitted by Dave (United States), May 12, 2020 at 11:17

Yes, Islamic culture had a heyday in its early phases, but there is a lack of evidence that the religion Islam was ever part of the early Arab conquests. More likely, as Robert Spencer has shown, Islam was invented about a century and a half after the initial conquests as a way to justify and regulate the new Arab empire. It then took a few centuries for the Islamic countries to become thoroughly Islamic, since the conquerors formed a small elite. Masses of people eventually converted, often to avoid onerous dhimmi laws. In the meantime, the people from the underlying non-Islamic cultures, including many Arabs, were able to contribute significantly to science and the humanities.

As the Islamic religion gradually became more and more dominant and permeated society, its anti-intellectualism discouraged speculation and the Islamic countries began to lag the West, until we get to today, where we find ourselves having to deal with a very challenging culture that has become plagued with ignorance, intolerance, backwardness and violence.

As for the distinction between Islamism and Islam etc., I think it's very hard to separate these categories. Certainly there are many wonderful, peaceful Muslims in the world, but it is all too easy to construe Islamic doctrine as sanctioning violence against non-Muslims. I believe that the world would be much better off without any Islam.

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