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Romans and Ottomans:Apples and Oranges

Reader comment on item: Cyprus on the World Stage
in response to reader comment: Occidental exceptionalism

Submitted by Shishir (United Arab Emirates), Nov 8, 2011 at 16:43

Romans were a people who were not restricted by an ethical religion.Their nonBiblical belief system had a "might is right" type of worldview where captives were offered to bloodthirsty gods and slaves were treated as near non humans.Gladiatoral combats grew out of this idea that the Romans who had not served in its imperial wars needed to experience the horrors and bloodshed by proxy to immune them to the same.Ethical conduct,compassion and empathy came only with Christianity.

Christianity while did not do away complete with imperial wars,did temper the violence in Roman society,End civil wars, address the demographic decline by outlawing homosexuality,abortion,contraceptives and enforcing monogamy.It was hard to envision now how revolutionary these ideas were at the time.

Islam like Christianity claimed to an ethical monotheistic religion.Its respect of Jews and Christians was out of respect for common prophets,texts and histories.i.e Islam was dependent on the former two religions for its very existence.Prophet Mohammad tackled this dilemma with an ingenious if dishonest revision that all prophets were actually Muslim since they worshipped Allah!Therefore Jews and Christians have corruped texts! Problem solved.

Jews and Christians were not exactly wild about this scheme which is why they were reduced to dhimmis even though they were ahl al Kitab.

Islam though despised Judaism and Christianity ,largely benefited from the orderly societies that these religions left in its midst and thats what bequeathed Islam a civilization which though militarily weak ,rich is art,culture,science and technology.The Muslim armies militarized these lands into an empire.

The Arabs and later the Turks in particular had a massive inferiority complex vis a vis the Byzantine empire.Again like the Arabs before the Turks inherited in 1453 an already well developed society by conquest.Now shall we discuss the rapes,slaughters and torture inflicted on Christians by the Turks during the fall of Constantinople?

While Christianity outlawed monogamy, Islam encouraged polygamy.Christianity had codes of conduct in warfar-Islam had none.Christianity incorporated pagan rituals and traditions in order to win over converts,Muslims thought it prudent to just kill them.

So your comparision of a brutal pre Biblical imperialistic society (Rome) with a slightly less brutal relatively modern society tempered by ethical monotheistic faiths and a cosmopolitan trading culture to the latters advantage which examining the contexts implies that you are either ignorant or dishonest or a combination thereof.


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