69 million page views

Reply to Akbar on the Bible

Reader comment on item: The Pentagon Looks at the Koran
in response to reader comment: The Crusades continue!

Submitted by Peter J. Herz (United States), Oct 14, 2006 at 16:05

Akbar raises the use of the Curse on Canaan (Genesis 9--mistakenly supposed to be the curse on Ham in folklore) to see racism as inherent in Christianity.

If Ephraim Syrus in the pre-Islamic age and John Calvin in the 16th century (plus a whole slough of lesser theological lights East and West, Protestant and Catholic) agree that this curse was fulfilled in Joshua's conquest of Canaan back in the Bronze Age and then completed in the Roman conquest of the Carthaginian descendants of the Canaanite settlers of North Africa, then no American Fundamentalist needs to hold to the 19th century racist application of those verses to the Africans.

Further, even in the 19th century itself, the British Empire saw slavery challenged by William Wilberforce and his "Clapham Sect" on Christian and Biblical grounds. American abolitionism and the Civil Rights movement down to Martin Luther King also spoke in a biblical and Christian theological idiom as well. The "fundamentalism" of American Christianity may well be the unsung reason why abolitionism and and the early 20th century Civi Rights movement were ultimately successful. Had we Americans gotten rid of our Christianity when the rest of the West was doing so, and had no currency of discourse other than the post-Christian idioms a race and class (back in those simpler times when the American proletariat was overwhelmingly white), I daresay we would've "solved" our "racial problem" in a manner that would have shocked Adolf Hitler--and the "progressive" opinion of the rest of the world, backed by the best in early Darwinian science and Morgan's anthropology, would have blessed such measures.

As for Islam, when a British consul sought to export Wilberforce's anti-slavery campaign and sought the support of Mulay Ismail of Morocco against the African slave trade, that descendant of Muhammad stated frankly that he dared not attack an institution ordained by Allah. Further, while the Christian world (including its "fundamentalists") continue to feel shame and abhorrence at an African slave trade which is now history in the New World, the slave trade remains alive and well in Islamic countries like Sa'udi Arabia, Sudan and Mauretania. Indeed, the self-same Sudan that sheltered the brave "anti-imperialist" mujahid Usama Bin Laden back in the 1990's; and whose Hassan al-Turabi is supposedly a major ideologue of Islamic "resistance".

History clearly shows that if Christianity was (stress the past tense) the slave owner's religion, Islam remains the religion of the slave raider and seller, giving up this abhorrent practice only when evil, perfidious Albion forced it to do so.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Reply to Akbar on the Bible by Peter J. Herz

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2022 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)