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Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
in response to reader comment: Quran AND Science

Submitted by tariq (United Arab Emirates), Feb 19, 2006 at 07:22

"Tariq, all of your historical facts are wrong."
Is it wrong the Quran speaks of big bang?

"The Roman Empire was long gone before the first Crusade"
When did i ever say it wasnt. it existed wen Islam was introduced.

"The first Crusade was initiated by a call for help from the Byzantine empire of Alexis, who was being attacked and overrun by the Muslim horde"
Those muslims attacked byzantine as an army was being prepared aginst them. also the bazatine empire was suppressing its own ppl.

" This was a political, not religious, war."
Is this why it was initiated by Pope Urban II??

"The Crusade was defensive, to protect the Christians and its influence in the area--ONLY after the Muslims had attacked."
In most of the 'attacks' the muslims were freeing the oppressed ppl.

"Also, if it was so defensive, why did the caliphate continue the jihad into Europe, across Africa, etc"
Because the spanish inhabitants(specially jews) were being oppressed and called on the muslims to free form tyranny

"No one converted, because everyone knew how bogus Islam was, and they firmly knew their religion, not to mention the Muslims could not extend their influence as steadily."
Tell this to all the ppl here who think tht Islam was spread by sword. if the spanish didnt convert even if 'they were forced to' y would any1 else convert? you are contradicting the myth of other non-muslims.

"Do you believe the jizya is right then?"

"The taxation of a class due to their religion?"
You should be happy. Islam sayas tht non-muslims should pay a little jizya and in return be relieved some of the responsibilites(which could cause 1 to lose his life). Also those non-muslims can drink wine, eat pork, gamble etc. even though it is haram in islam. they can also freely build their places of worship. and muslims also a tax, Zakat which is greater than jizya.

"This is religious apartheid, and ethnicism. This is inequality and backwardness."
Now tht u know the facts about jizya u still believe tht?

"ON EXECUTION AND DEATH, none for Saddam: For an intelligent person, a lifetime of imprisonment is more torturous, and more punishment than any short execution."
If so then y is it tht a criminals lawyer seeks to get avoid the death penalty and get the life sentence?????
Actually u were right u wrote:
"For an INTELLIGENT person..."
A person like saddam who doesnt know the value of human life is not intelligent. he is sick and uncurable.

"You also said nothing was wrong with booty and looting"
True. booty is a way covering some of the financial damages tht your enemy has caused u. and looting. do u mean booty?

"Also, you said killing was alright..."
Lets say some1 tells his dad:"#@$#%@%&#%". would it be 'alright' to kill tht person?(i say no. wot do u say?)
before u say anything read Leviticus 20:9 NLT

"As for prophets, Muhummad is the only one that killed..."
Suppose some1 torments u and your 'followers' for 13 years. then u run away from them, but they still dont leave u alone. they prepare an army to attack u. u also prepare an army, but theirs is 5 times stronger. wot do u do? wont u fight them?

"Also, Jesus turned water into wine-alcohol was not illegal."
Did i say it is?

Crusades started because muslims started attacking countries which had tyrant rulers. and they allowed the ppl in the conquered land to follow whatever religion tehy wanted to

Dr. Lebon says:
"The early Muslim conquests might have blurred their common sense and made them commit the sorts of oppression which conquerors usually commit, and thus ill-treat the subdued and compel them to embrace the Faith they wanted to spread all over the globe. Had they done so, all nations, which were still not under their control, might have turned against them, and they might have suffered what had befallen the Crusaders in their conquest of Syria lately. However, the early Caliphs, who enjoyed a rare ingenuity which was unavailable to the propagandists of new faiths, realized that laws and religion cannot be imposed by force. Hence they were remarkably kind in the way they treated the peoples ofSyria, Egypt, Spain and every other country they subdued, leaving them to practise their laws and regulations and beliefs and imposing only a small Jizya in return for their protection and keeping peace among them. In truth, nations have never known merciful and tolerant conquerors like the Muslims."

(Dr. Gustav LeBon, Civilization of the Arabs, p. 30)

Professors Thomas Arnold says:
"This misinterpretation of the Muslim wars of conquest has arisen from the assumption that wars waged for the extension of Muslim domination over the lands of the unbelievers implied that the aim in view was their conversion."

(T.W. Arnold, The Spread of Islam in the World, p.52)

In 711 CE, an oppressed Christian chief named Julian went to Musa ibn Nusair, the governor of North Africa, with a plea for help against the tyrannical Christian Visigoth ruler of Spain, Roderick. Musa responded by sending the young general Tariq bin Ziyad with an army of 7000 troops, burned their fleets, and defeated the 30,000 Visigoths. One of his remarkable speech was after burning his fleet — "The sea is behind you, and the enemy is ahead of you, and you have no escape but the truth and patience." A new atmosphere of toleration began for the Jews. The Muslims had few men and needed help in every city they conquered to maintain their rule. The Jews helped the Muslims because they represented an opportunity to free themselves from the Visigoths. The Christians and Jews were liberated in Al-Andalusia. The Syrians welcomed the Muslims as their liberators since they liberated from their religious trouble and also relieved them of the burdensome taxes that that were placed on their backs. They praised the Muslims by announcing publically, "Praise be to God, who delivered us from the unjust Byzantines and put us under the rule of the Muslims". A great amount of them converted to the Islamic faith. This liberation goes in accordance with the Quranic verse:

"And why should you not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? Men, women, and children, whose cry is: 'Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from Yourside one who will protect; and raise for us from Your side one who will help!'" (An-Nisaa' 4:75)

according to the Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity:

"Christianity has largely misunderstood the nature of Islamic militancy. The fiction that Islam was preached by the sword and Christianity by the lamb and the dove appeared early in Christian writings and still exercises a powerful influence upon the popular perception of Islam. Christian polemicists were quick to contrast the idealized life of Christ with that of Muhammad and his followers, ‘who ceased not to go forth in battle and rapine, to smite with the sword, to seize the little ones, and ravish wives and maidens'."
(John McManners (Ed.), The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, Oxford University Press, 1992, p. 174)

When Crusaders arrived at Jerusalem, they showed no mercy on the inhabitants, whether Muslims, Jews or their Christian brothers ans sisters.
Philip Schaff writes:
"The scenes of carnage which followed belong to the many dark pages of Jerusalem's history and showed how, in the quality of mercy, the crusading knight was far below the ideal of Christian perfection. The streets were choked with the bodies of the slain. The Jews were burnt with their synagogues…. As if to enhance the spectacle of pitiless barbarity, Saracen (i.e. Muslims) prisoners were forced to clear the streets of the dead bodies and blood to save the city from pestilence. "They wept and transported the dead bodies out of Jerusalem," is the heartless statement of Robert the Monk. … "They cut down with the sword," said William [archbishop] of Tyre, "every one whom they found in Jerusalem, and spared no one. The victors were covered with blood from head to foot." In the next breath, speaking of the devotion of the Crusaders, the archbishop adds, "It was a most affecting sight which filled the heart with holy joy to see the people tread the holy places in the fervor of an excellent devotion."
(Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Volume V, Chapter 7)

In Daimbert's comments in the Official Summary of the 1st Crusade, he notes that many crusaders boasted how they rode in the blood of their enemies, whether they were children or women:

And, if you desire to know what was done about the enemy whom we found there, know that in the portico of Solomon and his Temple, our men rode in the blood of the Saracens (i.e. Muslims) up to the knees of the horses."
(Quoted in Krey, op. cit., p. 275 )

In the words of The Archbishop of Tyre, F. Turner Writes:
"It was impossible to look upon the vast numbers of the slain without horror; everywhere lay fragments of human bodies, and the very ground was covered with the blood of the slain. It was not alone the spectacle of headless bodies and mutilated limbs strewn in all directions that roused the horror of all who looked upon them. Still more dreadful was it to gaze upon the victors themselves, dripping with blood from head to foot, an ominous sight which brought terror to all who met them. It is reported that within the Temple enclosure alone about ten thousand infidels perished."
[F. Turner, Beyond Geography (New York, 1980)]

"Compton's Concise Encyclopaedia states:

This was a quasi-ecclesiastical tribunal established in 1478 by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella primarily to examine converted Jews, and later converted Muslims, and punish those who were insincere in the conversion…. The Spanish Inquisition was much harsher than the medieval Inquisition and the death penalty was more often exacted, sometimes in mass autos-da-fe. It judged cases of bigamy, seduction, usury, and other crimes, and was active in Spain and her colonies. Estimates of its victims vary widely, ranging from less than 4,000 to more than 30,000 during its existence…"
(Compton's Concise Encyclopedia, Inquisition)

Encyclopaedia Britannica, states:

"The Inquisition's secret procedures, its eagerness to accept denunciations, its use of torture, the absence of counsel for the accused, the lack of any right to confront hostile witnesses, and the practice of confiscating the property of those who were condemned and sharing it between the Inquisition, the crown, and the accusers—all this inspired great terror, as indeed it was meant to do."

The only sole reason why the Muslims surrendered peacefully was due the fact that the Christian officials made a binding treaty with the Muslims which is also known as the ‘treaty of 1492'. In that treaty, the Christian officials promised religious tolerance to the Muslims and the Jews. It was an attempt to win religious tolerance for all the Muslims and Jews left in Spain. Since the Muslims were no longer the rulers of Andalusia, they hoped at least that they would be permitted to worship their Lord, The One God, in the manner presented by the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). However, in 1499 CE, Ximenes initiated a campaign to coerce the Muslims of Southern Muslim Spain to Christianity. P. de Gayangos writes:

"As a result of his endeavours, it is reported that on 8th December 1499 about three thousand Moors were baptized by him and a leading mosque in Granada was converted into a church. 'Converts' were encouraged to surrender their Islamic books, several thousands of which were destroyed by Ximenes in a public bonfire. A few rare books on medicine were kept aside for the University of Alcala"

The Muslims were dragged through the streets of the Muslim quarter for rejecting to adopt the Christian faith. Consequently, the Muslim initiated a riot protesting that the treaty was not honoured. P. de Gayangos further writes:

Ximenes immediately denounced the uprising as a rebellion, and claimed that by this the Moors had forfeited all their rights under the terms of capitulation. They should therefore be given the choice between baptism and expulsion. The government agreed with his arguments, and Ximenes then began the mass baptism of the population of Granada, most of whom preferred this fate to the more hazardous one of deportation to Africa. The speed with which the baptisms were carried out meant that there was no time in which to instruct the Moors in the fundamentals of their new religion, so that inevitably most of the new converts became Christian only in name.
(P de Gayangos, "Muhammadan Dynasties in Spain", Vol. II.)

Additionally, it has been estimated that at least 50,000 Muslims were forced to convert in the mass baptism of Granada by Ximenes. A small amount of Jews and Muslims were deported to North-Africa. The tolerance of the Muslims for the Jews never decreased, so they aided the Jews in the progress of the deportation. In spite of the circumstances, a new Golden Age flourished in North-Africa. In Andarax, mosques were blown up with gun-powder and at Belfique, all the Muslim men were put to the sword whilst the women were taken as slaves. The Muslim children were separated from their parents and handed over to the Church in order to be brought up as Catholics. The Arabic books including the Glorious Qur'an were collected and burnt. H. Kamen writes:

"Since the majority of Muslims had been 'converted', the offer of emigration was an empty one, and the 'legal equality' granted by Ferdinand was but a mockery of the terms of the Treaty of Granada which he had so blatantly permitted to be broken. Behind the words of conciliation and peace, the general intention of the Church to eliminate the practice of Islam was unmistakable, and now that the Muslims of southern Andalusia, or the Moriscos as they were called, were within the jurisdiction of the Spanish Inquisition, the Inquisitors embarked on the task of detecting 'relapsed heretics' and secret Muslims. The communities of Muslims which had survived the suppression of the rebellion, or reformed after it, were repeatedly harassed by the Inquisitors"
(H. Kamen, The Spanish Inquisition)

These above are parts taken from an article "The Real History of the Crusades".
The whole article was very long.

Stanley Lane-Poole in ‘The Moors in Spain': Introduction.
"For nearly eight centuries, under the Mohamedan rule, Spain set all Europe a shining example of a civilized and enlightened state. Her fertile provinces rendered doubly prolific, by the industrious engineering skill of the conquerors bore fruit a hundredfold, cities innumerable sprang up in the rich valleys in the Guadalquivir and the Guadiana whose names, and names only commemorate the vanished glories of their past.
"...To Cordoba belong all the beauty and ornaments that delight the eye or dazzle the sight. Her long line of Sultans form her crown of glory; her necklace is strung with the pearls which her poets have gathered from the ocean of language; her dress is of the banners of learning, well-knit together by her men of science; and the masters of every art and industry are the hem of her garments.

"Art, literature and science prospered as they then prospered nowhere else in Europe...

"Mathematics, astronomy, botany, history, philosophy and jurisprudence were to be mastered in Spain, and Spain alone. Whatever makes a kingdom great and prosperous, whatever tends to refinement and civilization, was found in Muslim Spain...

"With Granada fell all Spain's greatness. For a brief while, indeed, the reflection of the Moorish splendour cast a borrowed light upon the history of the land which it had once warmed with its sunny radiance. The great epoch of Isabella, Charles V and Philip II, of Columbus, Cortes and Pizarro, shed a last halo about the dying monuments of a mighty state. When followed the abomination of dissolution, the rule of inquisition and the blackness of darkness in which Spain has been plunged ever since.

"In the land where science was once supreme, the Spanish doctors became noted for nothing but their ignorance and incapacity. The arts of Toledo and Almeria faded into insignificance.

"The land deprived of skillful irrigation of the Moors, grew improvished and neglected, the richest and most fertile valleys languished and were deserted, and most of the populous cities which had filled every district in Andalusia, fell into ruinous decay; and beggars, friars, and bandits took the place of scholars, merchants and knights. So low fell Spain when she had driven away the Moors. Such is the melancholy contrast offered by her history."

Conde as Quoted in Prescott, ‘Philip II of Spain,' Vol. III.
"And so vanquished for ever from the Spanish territory this brave, intelligent and enlightened people, who with their resolution and labour inspired life into the land, which the vain pride of the Goths condemned to sterility, and endowed it with prosperity and abundance and with innumerable canals, this people whose admirable courage was likewise, in happiness and adversity, a strong rampart to the throne of the Caliphs, whose genius, progress and study raised in its cities an internal edifice of light which sent its rays into Europe and inspired it with the passion of study, and whose magnanimous spirit tinted all its acts with an unrivalled colour of grandeur and nobility, and endowed it in the eyes of posterity with a sort of extraordinary greatness and charming colour of heroism which invokes the magical ages of Homer and which presents them to us in the garb of Greek half-gods.
"The Arabs suddenly appeared in Spain like a star which crosses through the air with its light, spreads its flames on the Horizon and then vanishes rapidly into naught. They appeared in Spain to fill her suddenly with their activity and the fruit of their genius, and endowed her with a glorious glamour which enveloped her from the Pyrenees to Gibraltar and from the oceans to the Barcelona. But a burning love for liberty and independance, a fickle character disposed to frivolty and merriness, neglect of old virtues, an unfortunate disposition of revolution, provoked always by an inflamed imagination, violent passions and ambitions, a spirit to dominate, and other factors of decay, worked in the course of time, to demolish this grand edifice raised by men like Tariq, 'Abdul Rahman al-Nasir, Muhammad ibn al-Ahmer, and led the Arabs to internal dissention, which sapped their power and pushed them to the abyss of naught.

"Millions of Moors quitted Spain carrying their property and arts - the patrimony of a state. What have the Spaniards created in their place? We could say nothing, but an eternal sorrow fills this land in which the gayest natures breathed before. Indeed there are some ruined monuments which still look upon these gloomy districts, but a real cry resounds from the depths of these monuments and ruins: honour and glory to the conquered Moor and decay and misery to the victorious Spaniard!"

Dozy in 'The Moslems in Spain.'

"Cruel and fanatical, the Leonese rarely gave quarter; when they captured a town they usually put all the inhabitants to the sword. Tolerance such as that accorded by the Muslims to the Christians could not be expected of them."

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