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Totalitarian ideology DID exist before 1796!

Reader comment on item: In 1796, U.S. Vowed Friendliness With Islam

Submitted by Martin Henderson (United States), Nov 7, 2006 at 21:15

"This antique treaty implicitly supports my argument that the United States is not fighting Islam the religion but radical Islam, a totalitarian ideology that did not even exist in 1796."

Dear Mr. Pipes,
I always enjoy and appreciate you're in-depth analysis and accurate viewpoints on the Islamic world and have yet differed in opinion with you until this point. I believe there is most sufficient historical proof that Radical Islam has had a totalitarian ideology that dates back at least to 732AD.

Pope Benedict XVI caused a furor when he touched on this during a visit to his Bavarian homeland on Sept. 14. He quoted a 14th-century emperor who said, "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

The Byzantine emperor's words turned out to also be quite prophetic—Muslim forces destroyed the Byzantine Empire in the following century, taking control of the capital city of Constantinople in 1453, extinguishing the Roman Empire in the East.

Islamic forces continued to expand after that conquest. In the following century they reached the gates of Vienna in the very heart of Europe. In two attempts to take the city they were repulsed by a multinational force of Europeans united by a common Catholic faith.

This was not the first time that the Church of Rome was a significant factor in fighting Islamic expansionism. In A.D. 800 the pope crowned Charlemagne Holy Roman emperor. Charlemagne's grandfather, Charles Martel, had defeated Muslim forces at the gates of Paris in 732, exactly 100 years after the death of the prophet Muhammad.

Only a revived Western Roman Empire seemed able to unite the Catholic nations of Europe against both internal and external threats. Three centuries later another pope, Urban II, called on the Catholic countries of Europe to launch a "crusade" to recapture the Holy Land from Islam, a massive effort that led to two centuries of conflict between Catholic Europe and the Islamic world.

No country or organization on earth has had more experience battling against Islam than the papacy!

Following the pope's comments in Bavaria, a spokesman for the Pakistani parliament warned of a "clash of civilizations" between the West and Islam along the lines of earlier clashes between the two that have taken place down through the centuries.

Submitting....

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