Monday, September 10, 2012

Interactive Map of Islamic Attacks Made by Scientist

Hat tip to Gates of Vienna.

The link above will take you to a post in Gates of Vienna. The post has a video in which the speaker provides a clear picture of the violent origins and continual attacks on Classical Civilization and later Western and Eastern Europe. He employs an interactive map which is quite good It also makes me very jealous as I had been mired in my own attempts to get a similar work pieced together.

He notes that Classical Civilization was not wiped out when the Western Roman Empire collapsed and the Germanic Kingdoms arose in its place. His position echoes the arguments that Emmet Scott made in Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited. While I would not assert that the trade and growth of the Classical World was not exactly the same as it had been prior to the fall of the West, I would strongly agree that it was far from gone at that point and that it was indeed the horrors of the Islamic conquest that turned the Mediterranean world into a depopulated, environmentally gutted, and pirate-ridden backwater.

The speaker admits that he is not an historian, a fact that becomes clear when he struggles to utter even his butchered pronunciation of Thermopylae*, but he does well to briefly tie the Greco-Persian Wars into the later rise of Islam.

*Those who have seen my blog photo and heading will note that I too consider that the Persian invasions of Greece, although they predated Islam by a thousand years, were a harbinger of the later threats to Western Civilization. I have a soft spot in my heart for the Greeks who risked all for their independence and to protect their way of life.

I strongly disagree with the speaker that what was left of Christianity after the Islamic conquests was "a bloody stump". Debating that would take a post of its own, so will refrain from getting bogged down refuting that. I had a thought that the speaker may be influenced by Evangelical thought, which is rife with various and sometimes competing reasons (But all terribly erroneous), as why their version of Christianity can be reconciled with that of the Classical World.

He correctly notes that the Zoroastrians, who fortunately still exist as a small minority in modern-day Iran, were also the victims of the Islamic tolerance of which we constantly hear. He unfortunately, though, is under the impression that Zoroastrianism was eliminated. The various Iranic (Medes, Persians, Parthians, Sassanid Persian) empires, of which the Sassanid was the last, were Zoroastrians. The Sassnids were wiped out by the Islamic onslaught and their people who did not convert to Islam were, like the Christians, Jews, and Hindus**, forced to become at best second-class citizens.

** Two interesting points should be noted here. The Hindus, being true polytheists, were not supposed to be made into Dhimmis. These people are to be converted to Islam or killed/enslaved. It is likely that there were simply far too may Hindus for the much-extended Muslim armies to wipe out, so the conquerors settled for Dhimmi status for an otherwise unapproved people. The second part is that the speaker attributes the self-immolation (Suttee) of widows in Hinduism to the era of Islamic rule. He states that it was begun to prevent new widows from being taken as sex-slaves by the Muslim masters. This of course is possible, as it has become fairly clear that what we know to be traditional styles of dress for Hindu women (Covering most of the body in layers of clothing to hide a woman's figure) did not exist in India prior to the rule of Islam. In pre-Islamic India, women wore clothing that complemented their figures. Statues and Stelae depicting quite graphic sexual scenes and the Kama Sutra illustrate the attitudes that early Hindus had towards getting a good eyeful. Like the Sicilian women of barely a hundred years ago, who after being married were to remain in their houses unless accompanied by a guardian (Sicily was under the Islamic yoke for almost 250 years), the change the manner of dress for Muslim women came about to make them less likely to become targets of rape or sex slavery.

The only concern that I have with his claim of Suttee is that there is a very good chance that this tragic practice has its roots in early Indo-European Cultures. Herodotus notes that similar practices occurred among men and women among the Scythians  and Cimmerians (Both IE peoples) upon the demise of a chief. The Scythians, like the Aryans (And later Kushans) whose culture gave rise to Hinduism after their arrival in India, were Iranics.  The Muslim writer Ibn Fadlan described a similar version of this horrid practice as occurring among the Vikings of the Volga (Being Germanic also Indo-European). So here I hold that in this one instance the Muslims may not be guilty as charged.

The video is well worth the time to watch. Friends or associates who stubbornly hold the the view that Islam is a religion of peace would also benefit from watching it, so email the Gates of Vienna link around the block.

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