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Where are you, RAYMOND LULL??

Reader comment on item: Will Europe Resist Islamization?

Submitted by Abu Nuwas (Saudi Arabia), Apr 4, 2008 at 10:35

Dear Readers -

Finally, I'm beginning to see some realistic discussion about the Islamic threat to the West among the self-styled cognoscenti and literati that make up our chattering classes.

Especially Spengler's comments in the Asia Times are most refreshing, although this is not the first time he has had important things to say on things Saracen, things, I might add, largely ignored or rather avoided by the press in the West).

But even Spengler makes the error when he advises that the "conversion" of the Hagarenes ** to Christianity is the answer, or at least a possible answer to the "Islamic question".

Medieval history is replete with examples of attempts of this nature, mostly notably those by the polymath and slightly mad Spanish Franciscan Raymond Lull (c.1232-1315) whose biography reads like a splendid foray into lunacy.

One of his goals was precisely the conversion of the Moslems to Christianity but even he met with no success. Other astonishing episodes of this nature include the story of the "Martyrs of Cordova", a group of clerics who deliberately sought "martyrdom" at the hands of their Moslem conquerors.

I've always believed that to really know what's going on in the current existential "clash" between Islam and the West, one has to be conversant with that happened in the Middle Ages between the two and be at least familiar with the true origins of Islam. If you aren't, you're really walking on quicksand and your arguments fall flat, as do your "solutions".

[It's really a clash between barbarity and civilization and ultimately between Hellenism and the Orient, but that's another story]

If conversion isn't the answer, then what is? I have some ideas about this, but I'll save that for a later time.


**Hagarenes: a term used to denote the very early adherents of Islam by those who knew them as conquerors, presumably (it is thought today) because they (early Moslems) were descendant from Hagar, a wife of Abraham (and so on).

But in fact, this is not really where the name comes from. The term comes from the Arabic verb HAGARA, meaning "to emigrate" (among a host of other related meanings).

According to some modern theories, the Prophet did not emigrate from Makkah to Medina (the so-called Higra, a cognate of HAGARA) as per the Islamic tradition. Instead, he emigrated from a North Arabian location to the Holy Land as part of the early Moslem Conquests.

The early Moslems did not see themselves as "conquering" the Holy Land. Rather, they were "RE-conquering" it - taking back what was originally theirs as proclaimed by God.

If they were not "conquerors", then they were emigrants returning to their original home and thus came to be known in the local languages as "Hagarenes" (those who "emigrate)..

[I personally prefer the designation "Saracens", but that's another story].

Abu Nuwas


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