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Let me answer on behalf of Hind Samy

Reader comment on item: Something Rotten in Denmark?
in response to reader comment: Here is a challenge for you Hind Samy

Submitted by Very Very Innocent (Sweden), Apr 4, 2006 at 11:18

The Challenging Innocent,
The Muslims did not burn the Alexadria Library in Egypt.

How do I know? From what the great historians and researchers, including Bertrand Russell, said regaring the Library. I give their comments below ( including what the Encyclopedia Britannica said about that library). Not only Hind Samy, you may also challege the authors of Enclyopedia Britannica and the following historians if you want:

(1) Encyclopedia Britannica:

Encyclopedia Britannica clearly mentions that the Alexandrian Library had, in fact, been destroyed much earlier, long before the advent of Islam; in the fourth century A.D, "The library survived the disintegration of Alexander's empire (first century BC) and continued to exist under Roman rule until the third century AD."3 The truth is that one half of this library was burnt by Julius Caesar in 47 BC. In the third century, Alexandria came under the domination of Christians. At another place the same work states that, "The main museum and library were destroyed during the civil war of the third century AD and a subsidiary library was burned by Christians in AD 391.


(2) Phillip K Hitti:

Phillip K Hitti states that the story "is one of those tales that make good fiction but bad history." He goes on, "the great Ptolemic library was burnt as early as 48 BC by Julius Ceasar. A later one, referred to as the daughter library, was destroyed about AD 389 as a result of an edict by the Emperor Theodosius. At the time of the Arab conquest, therefore, no library of importance existed in Alexandria and no contemporary writer ever brought the charge about Amr or Umar."


(3) Bernard Lewis:

Bernard Lewis, a vehement critic of Islam, said in 1950: "Modern research has shown the story to be completely unfounded. None of the early chronicles, not even the Christian ones, make any reference to this tale, which is mentioned in the 13th century, and in any case the great library of Serapenum had already been destroyed in internal dissensions before the coming of the Arabs."

In 1990, Lewis again said: "not the creation, but the demolition of the myth was achievement of European scholarship, which from the 18th century to the present day has rejected the story as false and absurd, and thus exonerated the Caliph Umar and the early Muslims from this libel."

(3) John M. Robertson:

John M. Robertson, a historian of rationalistic and free thought, also dismissed the story of the destruction of the Alexandrian library by Umar as a myth.


(4) Historian DP Singhal:

Historian DP Singhal considers the story untenable.9 Singhal writes, "It makes its first appearance in the solitary report of a stranger, Abul Faraj, who wrote 500 years later. The reported sentence of the Caliph is alien to the traditional precept of the Muslim casuists who had expressly commanded the preservation of captured religious text of the Jews and Christians, and had declared that the works of profane scientists and philosophers could be lawfully applied to the believer."

(5) Bertrand Russell:

Bertrand Russell has gone deep into the controversy and made the following statement: "Every Christian has been taught the story of the Caliph destroying the Library in Alexandria. As a matter of fact, this library was frequently destroyed and frequently recreated. Its first destroyer was Julius Caesar, and its last antedated the Prophet. The early Mohammedans, unlike the Christians, tolerated those whom they called ‘people of the Book', provided they paid tribute. In contrast to the Christians, who persecuted not only pagans but each other, the Mohammedans were welcomed for their broadmindedness, and it was largely this that facilitated their conquests. To come to later times, Spain was ruined by fanatical hatred of Jews and Moors; France was disastrously impoverished by the persecution of Huguenots."


(6) Colin Wilson:

Colin Wilson, a popular science writer and researcher expressed his firm opinion that the demolition of the Alexandrian library was caused by Christian clergy. He writes, "The Library of Alexandria — which contained, among other things, Aristotle's own collection of books — was burned down on the orders of the Archbishop of Alexandria (backed by the Emperor Theodosius). Knowledge was evil; had not Adam been evicted from Paradise for wanting to know?"

(7) MN Roy:

MN Roy, who analysed the issue in a wider perspective, said: "While books written in the 11th and 12th century indignantly details the shocking tale of the burning of the library of Alexandria, the historians Eustichius and Elmacin, both Egyptian Christians, who wrote soon after the Saracen conquest of their country, are significantly silent about the savage act. The former, a patriarch of Alexandria, could be hardly suspected of partiality to the enemies of Christianity. An order of Caliph Umar has been usually cited as evidence of the barbarous act ascribed to his general. It would have been much easier not to record that order than to suppress any historical work composed by Christian prelates who had endless possibilities of concealing their composition. A diligent examination of all relevant evidence enabled Gibbon to arrive at the following opinion on the matter: ‘The rigid sentence of Omar is repugnant to the sound and orthodox precept of the Mohammedan casuist; they expressly declare that the religious books of the Jews and Christians, which are acquired by the right of war, and that the works of profane scientists, historians or poets, physicians or philosophers, may be lawfully applied to the use of the faithful' (The Decline and Fall of Roman Empire) Byzantine barbarism had undone the meritorious work of the Ptolemies. The real destruction of the Alexandrian seat of learning had been the work of St. Cyril who defiled the Goddess of learning in the famous fair of Hyparia. That was already in the beginning of the 5th century."

(8) VA Mohamad Ashrof :

VA Mohamad Ashrof, who did an extensive research on the subject and looked into the research works done on this subject by the aforementioned historians and researchers, opined: ‘It is no mere chance that for most of its 2000 years of history of Christianity not only did not inspire a spirit of learning at an extensive level, but often suppressed it. Churchmen and Crusaders were responsible for the destruction of hundreds of thousands of Greek and Muslim books. For example, in 389 AD, the celebrated library of Serapis at Alexandria was ruined on the order of Archbishop Theophilus. The guiding principle of Pope Gregory was, "Ignorance is the mother of piety." According to this principle, Gregory burned the precious Palestine Library founded by Emperor Augustus, destroyed the greater part of the writings of Livy and forbade the study of the classics. The Crusaders destroyed the splendid library of Tripoli and reduced to ashes many of the glorious centres of Saracenic art and culture. Ferdinand and Isabella put to flames all the Muslim and Jewish works they could find in Spain. Nor is it a coincidence that when science and learning did become widespread in Europe in spite of the Church, it was accompanied by a rejection or reduction of the authority of the Bible, and science became completely secularised'.

When are you going to challenge the above mentioned historians?
Submitting....

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