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Islam invasions and the fate of the great cities of late antiquity and in this case the great city of Alexandria!

Reader comment on item: Siraj Wahhaj Seeks My Validation
in response to reader comment: Islam and the invasion of India, Genocide, destruction of the past and imposing the culture of the Arabs where it did not belong

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), May 16, 2020 at 07:26

Dr Pipes,

The city of Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC at the site of the Egyptian settlement called Rakhoti. And this great city took off. The estimated population of the city during late antiquity was between 200,000 and a million. Alexandrians were a mix of Greeks, native Egyptians ('Enremenkemi), a large Jewish community, Syrians and, Romans. They spoke Greek, Egyptian, Hebrew and Aramaic. The city was the best place in the ancient world for the study of medicine, mathematics, philosophy, physics, arts and architecture (the city was a grid with the Agora at the center of the city and the great avenue of Via Canopica), astronomy, logic and reason, poetry. Alexandria's wealth was generated through trade with the rest of the ancient world. The city has great climate, abundance of high quality foods and proteins and plenty of drinking water from the Nile. Alexandria was the place where the Hebrew Bible was translated to Greek and the great debates that shaped Christianity took place.

And all of the above came to an end when the Arabs invaded Egypt in 642 AD. Why? The Arabs early on had no interest in maintaining the "opulence" of Alexandria, they were only interested in looting. And looting they did. We are told by Muslim historians that the Arabs invaded Egypt in-order to help the "Copts" that were persecuted by the Greeks (The Melkite Church and Melkite means imperial and it is from the Semitic root M-L-K) However, if this was true, why did the Arabs not leave Egypt after defeating the Greeks? More recently historians have refuted this claim so it is false. The Arabs invaded Egypt because they wanted to loot the wealth of Egypt and this is the truth. Most damaging to Alexandria is that the center of the trade in the Medieval world of the Middle East shifted to the east, to Iraq, Levant and Persia because this is where the Muslim war lords resided.

Muslim historians tell us about the "opulence" of Alexandria in 642 AD: "The Arab conquerors of Alexandria expressed wonder at the city's many monuments and the dazzling brilliance of her marble structures (so bright that later chronicles claimed a tailor could thread a needle during a fool moon!)"

As for the claim by Muslim historians that al-Khalifa Omar ordered 'Amr Ibn al-'As to burn the books in the library of Alexandria and that 'Amr indeed burned all the books, is from the truth and it was infidel historians that exposed such lie.

Haas in his book (see below) asks: "can we say that these new master (the Arabs) from the Hijaz significantly altered Alexandria urban evolution?"

Very good question indeed and the answer is yes the Arab invasion and the shift of trade to Iraq and the Levant led to the decline and slow death of this great city. And yes Haas provides too many reasons why we should not blame the Arabs for the decline of Alexandria. However, I will leave it to the reader to decide for him/herself. It is tragic that we have scholars that are afraid to tell us the truth about the Arab invasions and the disasters resulting from Arabian imperialism.

Now, we move forward to July 2/1798 when Napolean and his troops landed in Alexandria they found the great city in ruins and the population was 5,000! Oh and the population of Egypt was around 2.5 millions and compare it with the estimated population at the time of the Arab invasion of 5-7 millions!

So much for the "opulence" of early Islam.

Good reading about Alexandria in late antiquity and during the Arab invasion of Egypt I suggest

1. Alexandria in late antiquity by C. Haas

2. Alexandria city of the Western mind by T Vrettos

You can find both books at Amazon

Submitting....

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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Reader comments (15) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Siraj Wahhaj — runner-up slow talker of America [15 words]Peter RossMay 13, 2020 19:48258929
3Islam and Africans! [261 words]dhimmi no moreMay 13, 2020 14:37258925
5Islam and the invasion of India, Genocide, destruction of the past and imposing the culture of the Arabs where it did not belong [358 words]dhimmi no moreMay 15, 2020 08:21258925
1Wahhaj, the Amazigh and الفتوحات الاسلامية or the Islamic Openings (read it as invasions)! [653 words]dhimmi no moreMay 15, 2020 16:01258925
2Islam invasions and the fate of the great cities of late antiquity and in this case the great city of Alexandria! [638 words]dhimmi no moreMay 16, 2020 07:26258925
1Islamic invasions and the fate of the great cities of late antiquity and in this case the great city of Alexandria part 2 [549 words]dhimmi no moreMay 19, 2020 09:21258925
2Islamic invasions and the fate of the great cities of late antiquity and in this case the great city of Alexandria part [217 words]dhimmi no moreMay 19, 2020 15:56258925
3The Islamic raids on Italy and in this case Rome and the Vatican in 846 AD [241 words]dhimmi no moreMay 22, 2020 07:11258925
The Zanj Rebellion! And the "opulence" of Arabian imperialism [174 words]dhimmi no moreMay 23, 2020 07:20258925
The tragic death of a young Egyptian doctor from Covid-19 [88 words]dhimmi no moreMay 29, 2020 07:54258925
5#Obamagate [224 words]dhimmi no moreMay 29, 2020 09:52258925
2An "Egyptologist/Archaeologist or a promoter of terrorism? [133 words]dhimmi no moreJun 1, 2020 11:34258925
I have used sources I dislike [32 words]Jack F. SigmanMay 12, 2020 18:38258917
Wahhaj misses the point [53 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Benjamin BairdMay 12, 2020 16:44258916
4Islamic culture has devolved, and it's hard to categorize it [224 words]DaveMay 12, 2020 11:17258909

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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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