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Converts

Reader comment on item: Converts to Terrorism

Submitted by Donald W. Bales (United States), Dec 6, 2005 at 12:37

I have heard and read that many early converts to Islam were converted by missionaries and traders and not by warriors. Also that some of the countries in North Africa became Muslim by the conversion of the elite. And I understand that Christianity early in Europe was mostly in the nobility and only later in the common people.

In our day, however, so many of the converts and the practitioners who get into the news seem to belong to a cult of violence. Is this similar to the ideology or the Fascists, the Nazis, the Communists and the radical military elite in Japan?

Maybe Islam is a religion of peace (I don't know that I believe that-didn't Mohammed use the sword as well as his words and political savvy to spead his religion?) And wasn't the sword used later by his followers to convert? Convert or be a slave, a second class citizen or be killed. People of the Book were tolerated but couldn't ride a horse or a camel, couldn't hold office except as a slave and had to pay 10% more than Muslims. Infidels had no such status.

Can a system based on violence last? The Roman Empire lasted quite a while. The Mongols stayed in power quite a while. How well will a cult of death fare against a cult of life? One can hope that the cult of life will prevail. But so many are blind, deaf and dumb as to the danger.
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