Wednesday, December 25, 2013

On The Occasion Of Christmas Of 2013.

To: All My Relatives and Christian Friends Who Are Still Alive, and to All Christians Across the Globe.
From: Sodium.

I wish you all  Merry Christmas and a Happy and Most Successful 2014 and beyond.

May the future be kind to everyone of you, in all aspects of your daily life, especially the health aspect, since nothing is really more important than being in good health, or, at least, in an acceptable health . Believe me, nothing is more important.


Monday, December 23, 2013

( 14 ) " War, Resistance, Jihad, and Terrorism. "

By Sodium

The question that one may raise when it comes to the Middle East is this: Why the Middle East region has been a point of attraction for Western's adventurism for expansion and eventual colonization and exploitations, at all levels, economically, politically and even culturally ?

Although the answer to this question is well known to most readers who are interested in following events, as they occur in the Middle East, it is only appropriate to read what Graham Fuller, author of the book, " A World Without Islam " has written with regards to the above question. Fuller has mentioned the following reasons as an answer to the "Why " in the above question:

~  Proximity of the Middle East to Europe, especially the colonial powers of Western Europe.
~  Abundance of energy sources, such as petroleum and natural gas, in some countries of the Middle East.
~  Financial hugeness in the hands of some Middle Eastern countries.
~  Strategic location of the Middle East, as the cross roads to Africa and the Far East.

In addition to the above reasons, I have my own reasons as an answer to the " Why " in the above question. I will keep my own reasons to myself, at this point of time. I may release them, at some point in the future, as timing dictate to do so. At this point, I will adhere firmly to reviewing what Graham Fuller has written in the chapter of this topic.

Because of the reasons Graham Fuller has mentioned, as cited above, he says that no other region in the world has suffered from Western's adventurisms as the Middle East has suffered. And because of such an adventurisms,War, Resistance, Jihad, and Terrorism have been the by-products of the Western exploitations and colonialism of the Middle East. The following quotes may provide the interested readers of what Fuller has to convey to them, with regards to the by-products of Western adventurisms to, exploitations and colonialism of the Middle East:

Quotation One:
" Probably no other region of the world has endured such intense and sustained intervention from the West than the Middle East. "

That is so, of course, because of the reasons specified in the foregoing outline.

Quotation Two:
" The cumulative anger, frustration, and radicalism that this history of interventions has produced are abundantly evident. The question perhaps is not how 9/11, ( date of Osama bin Laden's attack on the trade Twin Towers in New York and the attack on the Pentagon in Washington DC. ), could have happened, but instead, why did not happen sooner ?   As radical Middle East groups articulate their grievances in our globalized age, why should we be surprised that they ultimately carry their struggle to the heart of the West ?  It takes little brilliance, then, to have anticipated some kind of pushback, resistance, a sharp or even violent response to long-term Western actions. It is particularly disingenuous for the West at this point to run around and speculate on what is wrong with the Muslim world, or with Islam, that the West should be witnessing a violent response from the Muslim World. It borders on obtuseness or willful ignorance not to acknowledge any impact or role of its own policies over the last two centuries or more in stimulating the range of current responses from the Muslim world. "

Quotation Three:
" So it becomes analytically shaky to suggest that somehow Islam, madrasas, or radical ideology is the ultimate cause of the resistance. "

Quotation Four:
Hence the need to demonize the enemy and paint the struggle in black-and-white moral terms. Modern communication complicates the problem further when the course of the war can be viewed on television and the Internet from multiple perspectives. The administration of George W. Bush managed to impose serious ( self ) censorship upon American media in covering the bloody details of the Iraq War. Indeed, to Washington one of the great outrages of the Arab satellite station Aljazeera was its regular, on-site, and graphic portrayal of the impact that bombing and combat were having on real people on the ground in real neighborhood. Pictures of American dead, sometimes even civilian casualties, are often termed" obscene " in American Media, partly in order to prevent from being witnessed. And the acts that produced  the pictures are likewise obscene. War is most easily fought when its human consequences remain distant, invisible, abstract. "

Quotation Five:
" In the Qur'an and the Hadith, Jihad has many meanings. The basic root of the word jihad in Arabic means " effort " or " struggle. "  It is widely used to refer to the struggle of the individual to live a virtuous life, to uphold religious values in one's personal life, to help propagate Islam through personal effort by way of personal example and promoting the Faith. In that context the word jihad for Muslims retains quite positive religious connotations of personal devotion toward betterment. It is also routinely used in colloquial Arabic simply to mean " I'll make an effort, do my best."  That the " great jihad, " or personal jihad, as defined by the Prophet."

" Leaser jihad, " as defined originally by the Prophet, came to refer to military efforts in a context of military struggle in which the key obligations were defense and preservation of Islam and umma, (community or nation. )

Quotation Six:
" Acts of  terrorism and suicide operations have now entered into Western vocabulary of Muslim actions in the context of war.

" Does the problem reside primarily with Islam ?  Or are there political and social origins of these issues that require more complex policy analysis and treatment ?  Clearly this book argues that the problem is not basically " Islam, " but the legacy of geopolitical and social issues that affect Muslims who are indeed adopting weapons of the weak. Terrorist operations have a long and venerable history in different places and times, but in the last century, some of the more dramatic cases of such operations have included the Vietcong, the BASK ETA, Shining Path in Peru, PKK ( a Kurdish organization in Turkey ), MJK ( an Iranian group operating against the Islamic Republic ), Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, Sikh in India, the Communist Party in India, Naxalites in India, the IRA in Ireland, Kach in Israel, Red Brigades, Aum Shinrikyo, FARC in Columbia, and so on. In racent decades, however, the number of Muslim organizations on the list has increased dramatically with the new confrontations with the West. "

Final Words:
For those readers who are interested in exploring more about Jihad, it is recommended to read an old essay published on this website, about three years ago, under the title, " The Meaning Of Jihad In Islam."


Next topic will be the last topic of this series and will be topic ( 15 ) What to do ? Toward a New Policy with the Muslim World.



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

( 13 ) " Colonialism, Nationalism, Islam and Independence Struggle. "

By Sodium

The chapter that has dealt with this topic ( 13 ) is not easy to outline after reviewing. Such an uneasiness stems from the fact related to the total contents of the chapter which, in reality, touches the lives of 1.6 billion human beings who have happened to be Muslims. Hence, in order to provide the readers with a precise account of  such a chapter, one must quote the entire 23 pages that comprised the chapter. Such lengthy quotes will certainly be taxing on this essay's writer. Therefore, it is out of consideration.

What is then the solution?

The solution lies with the title of  topic ( 13 ) which embodies the following words:

~  Colonialism
~  Nationalism
~  Islam
~  Independence Struggle.

By independently outlining comments made on each of the above list, one maybe able to provide adequate information on each and at the same time leave it to the readers to make the necessary connections amongst them to see the whole complex picture:

Graham Fuller, author of the book, " A world Without Islam, " has quoted what Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winner and  a chief economist at the World Bank had said about past and present colonialism. Stiglitz's quote sums it nicely about the colonialism of the Western colonial powers' deeds in the countries they colonialized:

"   Colonialism left a mix legacy in the developing world-but one clear result was the view among people there that they had been cruelly exploited .... The political independence that came to scores of colonies after World War II did not put an end to economic colonialism. In some regions, such as Africa, the exploitation-the extraction of natural resources and the rape of the environment, all in return for a pittance-was obvious. Elsewhere it was more subtle. In many parts of the world, global institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank came to be seen as instruments of post-colonial control. These institutions pushed market fundamentalism ( " neoliberalism, " it was often called ), a notion idealized by Americans as " free and unfettered markets. " market ideology turned out to be an excuse for new forms of exploitation."

"   Above all, the Muslim world's oil and energy resources have been a key driver for incessant Western intervention over ownership, of the oil, control of the oil companies, pricing policies and shares of prices, political manipulation of leaders in order to obtain the best deal on oil, and political and armed intervention. "

In short, nothing has really changed.

As one thinks of nationalism in the Muslim world, Arab nationalism comes to mind, as expressed in the Arab revolt against the Ottoman empire. So does the Algerian revolt against the French's annexation of Algeria and the on-going Palestinian struggle against Zionism in Palestine.

Graham Fuller writes: " When Arabs finally broke with the multiethnic Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, Islam obviously played no role in the event; it was, after all, a Muslim versus Muslim struggle. When the conflict entailed Arab versus Turk, only ethnicity could serve as a rallying cry, not Islam. Ethnic nationalism achieved prominence in the Arab world, for example, under Egypt Gamal Abdul Nasser in the 1950s and 1960s as the basis of resistance against European intervention and neo-imperialism. But in the face of ultimate weaknesses of the Arab nationalist movement, nationalism became discredited as a force and the Islamic identity took its place--a stage that has not yet ended. "

The author of the book, " A World Without Islam, " raises the following question:

Why the Expanding Role of Muslim Identity?

And he answers his own question by so many fascinating meticulous details of which the following quote may suffice for the purpose of getting an idea of the topic at hand:

"   At a time when the whole Muslim world is felt to be under siege, the Muslim identity has often become paramount for most Muslims. Muslims in Malaysia watch Palestinians being killed on TV, Kashmiris watch Chechens, Nigerian watch Iraqis, Afghans watch Somalis. Most other identities lose importance when communities are dominated by violence and the Global War on Terror. But this is not the normal state of affairs. The excessive prominence of the Muslim identity over other elements of identity primary emerges in times of hardship. Islam then becomes an expanded and international rallying cry."

That is why the " Expanding Role of Muslim Identity " passionately and spontaneously takes hold in the international scene, especially whenever a crisis arises that touches slightly or profoundly the mistrust that has existed, since time immemorial, between the Muslim and Western worlds. Islam, in this case, is the most effect instrument to upturn injustices.

Independence Struggle:
In addition to what has already been outlined under the heading "Nationalism " above, the following quote will add more light for a more profound comprehension of what has been going on between the people of the Muslim world and the neocolonial powers:

" Imperialism invariably endangers anti-imperialist reactions. Anti-imperial movements have embraced varying ideologies at different times to attain their ends. After World War II, it was leftist nationalist ideology that dominated the ideological scene in the Middle East. Nasser's national message from Egypt still has a familiar ring: denunciation of intervention in the Middle East, a demand for Muslims to exercise sovereign control their own energy resources, the elimination of Western military bases in the Middle East, and a call for a just solution to the running sore of the dispossessed Palestinians.

"   We forget that in the 1950s and 1960s, it was Arab nationalism that was viewed as the predominant threat to Western interests in the Middle East, stimulating the United States and Britain into covert operations to overthrow leaders in Iran and Syria and to manipulate the Egyptian political scene. ( The United States disastrously continues to believe, into the twenty-first century, that it can ignore and override Arab, or other, nationalism--which is what crises with Iraq and Syria have been all about. ) And in an earlier time, as astonishing as it may seen today, the U S and U K often identified the Islamists as the weapon with which to weaken Arab nationalist leadership and local Soviet interests."

In the opinion of Graham Fuller, "all these policies are ultimately counterproductive in that they stir anger within the countries in question, weaken the prestige of their rulers, and stimulate local radicalism and violence. This kind of long term political and economic interventionism has taken on rawer form in the Middle East than in almost any other part of the world: since the beginning of the Global War on Terror, it has extended and deepened its roots, causing emotions to boil over and making extrication difficult. "

And the Independence Struggle Continues against the warmongering profiteers, economic exploitations, and neocolonialism agenda; all of which serve only the ruling class, across the globe, on the expense of the middle classes and the poor of this entropic world of the 21st Century.

Final words:
This website has published an essay entitled, " Thoughts on Edward Said and T.E. Lawrence." Date of publication was March 19, 2010. It is highly recommended to the interested readers to read it, since its content is closely related to this topic.


Next topic will be topic ( 14 ) War, Resistance, Jihad, and Terrorism.               

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Once More About: " In What Year Did Muhammad Return To Mecca? "

By Sodium

Although the essay entitled, " Thoughts On Edward Said And T.E. Lawrence, " as published on this website, has more interested readers than all other essays published, here, for the last year or so, the essay entitled, " In What Year Did Muhammad Return To Mecca? " has become currently the most read. It is obvious to me that, most likely, considerable disagreements or debates are going on for finding the correct answer.  Because of such a trend, I have felt that I must offer a helping hand to those interested readers. The helping hand can be summarized as follows:

~ Read first the essay entitled, " In What Year Did Muhammad Return To Mecca? " dated February 2, 2013.  And try to comprehend the difficulty involved in attempting to answer the question, due to discrepancies that exist in the available historical records, in English, or even in Arabic.

~ Only then, read the essay that was being published immediately after the publication of " In What Year Did Muhammad Return To Mecca? " That particular essay, or rather post, was entitled as, " Some Thoughts On The Question: " In What Year Did Muhammad Return To Mecca ? "  dated February 13, 2013.

~ Please notice the different dates involved in their publication: the former and latter essays have date of publication as February 2, 2013 and February 13, 2013, respectively.

~ The content of the essay entitled, " In What Year Did Muhammad Return To Mecca? " is essentially based upon historical records the writer of this essay could review while the content of the essay, or rather post, entitled, " Some Thoughts On The Question: " In What Year Did Muhammad Return To Mecca ? " is fundamentally my own analysis in attempting to reach a logical, or at least, a reasonable and acceptable answer to the question being raised..

~ The main point for writing this particular essay is to recommend to the interested readers to read the essay entitled, " Some Thoughts On The Question: In What Year Did Muhammad Return To Mecca ? " dated February 13, 2013,  immediately after reading the essay entitled, " In What Year Did Muhammad Return To Mecca? " dated February 2, 2013, since my analysis, as embodied in this essay for answering the question, has been based on the several historical records I had reviewed. And such records have obvious discrepancies which had/have made answering the question, with a degree of certainty, very difficult. I do not claim that my analysis is correct, but I do raise it for a possible, if not probable consideration, by those Islamic scholars who know better

Of course, the readers have the full rights to reject or accept any answer or analysis, including mine which has been offered in good faith and with good intent.  .

I wish you all, happy reading and happy search for an answer. Good luck.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

On The Ocasion Of Eid Al-Adha, A Muslim Religious Holiday.

To: My Muslim friends and readers of this website, world wide,

From: Sodium.

I know it is a kind of late, but as the well known adage says: it is better to be late than never to show-up at all.

Based on such an adage, I take my chances to wish you the best of wishes for the Eid Al-Adha and beyond.

May the future be kind to you all.


( 12 ) " Islam and China. "

By Sodium

There are 20 million Muslims in China. Yes, you have just read it correctly: 20 million.

It is amazing and amusing to read that China has 20 million, Russia has another 20 million Muslims and India has 178 million Muslims. Why the " amazing " and " amusing " ?

Well, the " amazing " is due to the fact that none of these important countries is a member in any important and internationally recognized Islamic organizations. The " amusing " is stemmed from the fact that the Muslim population of Russia or China or India is much greater than the Muslim populations in most Arab countries. At least, 14 Arab countries of a total of 22-23 Arab States have less Muslim population, in each, than either Russia or China, let alone India. When one considers that Islam was originated from that part of the world, specifically from what is currently known as Saudi Arabia, the intensity of one's " amusement " will turn into a response to those proactive Islamophobes who endlessly claim that " Islam was spread by the sword." Hence, I wish to know what kind of an Arab sword that has ever reached Russia or China, let alone Indonesia which has the largest Muslim population, ( more than 200 million Muslims ), in the world. It seems to me that the " amazing " and " amusing " have become more appropriate to hold, as one realizes that the Muslim Arabs have ended up a minority in the Islamic World. Therefore, the Islamophobes' allegation has become a joke, as far as far as the writer of this review is concerned; and he is not a Muslim. Yes, yes, there were battles fought by the Muslim Arabs, but not to " spread Islam by the sword ", at all. It was simply an Arab desire to conquer and dominate. In short, it was an Arab  imperialism, just like the Greek imperialism as manifested by Alexander the Great, or the Persian empire, Roman empire, Ottoman empire, French empire, British empire, Soviet Russian empire, and currently, the American empire which has more than 700 military bases across the globe. Nothing has changed in the human nature to conquer and dominate others, since time immemorial.

As I reviewed the chapter of the book, " A World Without Islam," for this topic ( 12 ) Islam and China, I could not overcome some critical thoughts that engulfed me in an overwhelming way and felt I should raise:

 At present time, a great country like China has hardly any serious problems with its 20 million Muslims while all Western European countries have much less Muslim population, and yet Western Europe has serious problems with its Muslim population. The question is " why " ?

In order to reach an acceptable or rather rational answer to the above " why, " I will quote Graham Fuller, author of the book, " A World Without Islam," and other knowledgeable persons provide some answers to the " why " raised in the foregoing:

Quotation One, As Expressed By Graham Fuller:
   " The popular image of  " propagation of Islam by the sword "is once again erroneous in the Chines case. According to Muslim accounts, Islam reached China surprisingly early in 651 CE, some eighteen years after the Prophet's death, brought by sea to Canton by an envoy of the Caliph Umar. There is a well known saying of the Prophet, " Seek knowledge, even in China." According to Muslim tradition, the Tang Dynasty emperor ordered a mosque to be built in Canton, the first in China, which still stands today. The emperor believed Islam to be compatible with the teaching of Confucianism and granted rights to Arab and Persian merchants to establish the first Muslim settlement in the area. Early Chinese encounters with Islam in Canton were therefore peaceful and productive, and Muslims were granted a place in Chinese society, where their mercantile skills and contacts were known from pre-Islamic Arab traders. China quickly recognized the great seafaring capabilities of the Muslims and the potential benefits to China in expanding its influence and reach. "

Quotation Two, As Expressed By Graham Fuller:
" As in Russia and India, Islam in China reached some fascinating accommodation with ambient Chinese culture. And in China, as else where in the world, periodic Islamic renewal movements cropped up, designed to scrub the faith, remove the accretions of non-Islamic thought and practice, and maintain a sharp focus on the essentials of Islam. Both of these contradictory trends-absorption of new ideas versus a rejection of innovation-affected Islam in China."

Quotation Three, As Expressed By Anwar Ibrahim, Islamic Thinker:
   " There are a number of striking similarities between Islam and Confucianism, both in ideals and historical experience, in their refusal to detach religion, ethics and morality from the public sphere. The Islamic argument against secularism, that is the separation of politics and other societal concerns from religion and morality, is not dissimilar to the Confucianist perspective presented by Professor Tu Wei-ming in his admirable book Way, Learning and Politics. A Muslim would have no difficulty identifying with the Confucian project to restore trust in government and to transform society into a moral community. "

Quotation Four, As Expressed By Jonathan Lipman, Historian:
   " The influence and permeation of Chinese Islam by Confucian thinking seems to have given late Ming and Qing Islam, which was tending toward decline, a transfusion of fresh, new blood, a new vitality .... A group of Sino-Islamicits sprang forth. They used Confucian language and Confucian ideas systematically to study, arrange, and summarize Islamic religious doctrine; they constructed a complete Chinese Islamic intellectual system, writing a set of Chinese-language Islamic works with a uniquely Chinese style. These works are called by the Muslims in China the Han Kitab-that is, the Chinese canon-and they had a definite influence in Sino-Muslim society. "

Quotation Five, As Expressed By Graham Fuller:
   " Muslim gravitation toward Confucianism might at first glance seem unusual, given the latter's essentially " secular "and ethical orientation, verging on philosophy rather than transcendental religious emphasis. Yet precisely because Confucianism primarily provides an ethical and moral framework, it was less challenging to Islam on a theological level. "

It seems to the writer of this review that one may be able to extract an answer to the " why " that has been raised above, from some of the quotations quoted in the foregoing. I leave it up to the interested readers to do their own extractions, since I may deal with this " why " again in the conclusions, at the very end of this series of topics, meaning conclusions that would be based on the entire series of the topics covered.




Thursday, October 10, 2013

Is Vladimir Putin a Russian Eisenhower ? Just a Question.

By Sodium

President Dwight Eisenhower had led the free world by his molar authority, not by America's military might. In fact, after stopping the human bloodshed that was going on in Korea, ( Korean War of 1950-1953 ), through the good offices of the United Nations, extreme pressures were exerted on him by the dogs of wars, to start a new war, in some place else in the world. And he was quoted by the people who recorded his presidency, as a response to the dogs of wars: "If they want a war, let them go and fight it. The American people want peace and I intend to give it to them." Not exactly Eisenhower's words, but close enough to convey to the readers the fact that the eight years of Eisenhower's presidency, ( 1952-1960 ) were the only eight years that the blood of America's young soldiers was not shed on the soil of a foreign country, in spite of America's Cold War with what was known then the Soviet Union. In short, Eisenhower adhered firmly to International Law and the United Nations Charter in his dealing with international crises as they occurred. A shinning example of his adherence to International Law and United Nations was the position he took on the Suez Canal War certainly attest to that. It was one of those rare occasions in which the United States of America and what was known then the Soviet Union had agreed on. I was then undergraduate university student and I watched the dramatic events, as they happened, on my white and black television. I am a witness on that period, the period of the Cold War that was going on, mainly, between the United States and Soviet Union. And I must say that I was delighted witnessing the United States and Soviet Union agreed on something, since the heat of the competition between them, across the globe, was potentially dangerous, with the huge nuclear arsenal each one of them had.     

Although President Vladimir Putin of Russia does not really resemble Eisenhower in many ways, namely, physical appearance and military experiences. As to physical appearance, Eisenhower was taller than Putin. Eisenhower had a shiny bald head. Putin still has plenty of hear on his head, in comparison to Eisenhower's shiny baldness. The strongest evidence of the body language of Eisenhower was so obvious in his broad, extremely likable and strongly disarming smile that could disarm heads of states, diplomats, politicians; and voters as well. Putin body language is concentrated in his gazing, glaring penetrating eyes, ( they look like talking eyes ),  whose effect cab be devastating on heads of states, diplomats, politicians, and even voters. As to military experiences, Eisenhower was, ( and still is ), the only Five Stars General in the entire military history of the United States of America. Putin spent his younger years, before becoming President of Russia, a real professional KGB officer.

Based on the foregoing, no similarity exists between the two leaders. Hence, why raise the question: Is Vladimir Putin a Russian Eisenhower ?

Well, the answer to the question, that is questioning the essay's titled-question, maybe found in the following article, as published on page 13 of October-November issue, 2013, of " The Washington Report On Middle East Affairs," I publish, here, part of it, for mainly recognizing the international public figures or leaders who truly have succeeded in solving international crises by way of diplomacy has not violated international law and charter of the United Nations. And, of course, for the benefit of the readers of this website, especially those readers who have no access to the magazine, The Washington Report On Middle East Affairs:



By Eric S. Margolis

Add a warning to Obama's amateur foreign policy advisors: "Do not play chess with the KGB ! "
In fact, Obama, who rudely snubbed former KGB agent Putin recently, owes  Russia's leader A "  Bolshi Spaseba " ( big thanks ) for pulling his bacon out of the fire in Syria Putin brilliantly demonstrated to the world the difference between diplomacy and force, the rapier versus the cudgel
The American cynic Ambrose Bierce aptly defined a diplomat as " a patriot ready to lie for his country."
True enough, but diplomacy is the essential lubricant of international relations. Ever since the Bush administration, America's foreign relations have become militarized and run by the Pentagon while the State Department ( Ministry of Foreign Affairs ) has been eclipsed. America has become addicted to small wars and debt.

It is also painful and disturbing watching Obama and Kerry deliver  impassioned orations about poor little Syrian babies gassed by the wicked Bashar al-Assad, a former eye specialist who would probably prefer to be living in London.

What about all those babies killed in Afghanistan and Iraq ?  What about those killer drone strike in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia ?

Vietnam anyone ?  Nagasaki ?

Enough, please, with the synthetic moral outrage over Syrian babies or ludicrous claims Syria was threatening the U.S. Remember the phony Kuwaiti babies dreamed up by a Washington PR ( Public Relations ) agency ?

As the crisis mounted we heard increased patriotic guff about " American exceptionalism," a code phrase for American proto-fascism, for " Amerika Uber Alles. "  Scary stuff. President Putin warned about this in an incisive analysis of the Syrian crisis in The New York Times.

The U.S. Congress also owes big thanks to President Putin. Had he not short circuited Obama's foolish war plans for Syria, Congress would  have been caught between anti-war Americans and major cash donor, from, special interests who are lusting for war.

What happened to the planned Syrian peace conference in Geneva ?  The real question is ending this awful war, not chemical weapons.

Next question: why did Syria ( and Egypt ) acquire chemical weapons ?  The answer is a poor man's counter to Israel's large nuclear and chemical arsenal. If Iran ever decided to make nuclear weapons, it will be for the same reason. So why not revive talks proposed by the Arabs and Iran for a nuclear-free Mideast that were repeatedlybrushed aside by the U.S. and Israel.

Finally, what about a Palestinian state ?  Much of the uproar over Iran and Syria was designed to divert attention from this essential subject, the essential element of Mideast peace.

Meanwhile, Vlad Putin and his very able foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov deserve Kudos for their patient diplomacy and acute timing. By the way, the idea of removing Syria's Chemical weapons did not come from an off-hand remark by John Kerry. It originated in Moscow.

So in what could have been a second Cuban missile crisis, Putin and Lavrov got A+. Obama and his angry advisors got an F- and orders to get intense tutoring in diplomacy.


Based on all of the foregoing, it is clear, at least to me, that a touch of similarity does exist between  the policies that were followed by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1952-1960 and the recent policies followed by President Vladimir Putin, with regards to the crisis of Syria's chemical weapons. Both President adhered firmly to International Law and the good offices of the United Nations. The proof:

Eisenhower's policy brilliantly shinned in the Suez Canal War of 1956.
Putin's policy has brilliantly shone in the current Syrian chemical weapons crisis of 2013.

Therefore, the question, Is Putin a Russian Eisenhower ?  has essentially been appropriated to raise for complimenting President Vladimir Putin's successful diplomacy in averting American destructive strikes against Syria which has suffered enough in the last two years and still counting. A Russian splendid act of diplomacy that could not possibly be ignored or marginalized by the self-respecting and peace-loving people of the world. I am one of those people of the world.

Whether or not Vladimir Putin is another Dwight Eisenhower is not for me to say. What I have essentially done, here, is simply raise the question. So far so good from Putin. Let the future and history be the ultimate judge. Meanwhile, one can only hope for another Eisenhower in the making-this time in Russia.

 Final Words
Once more, I regret the interruption I have found myself doing to the series of topics extracted from the book entitled, "A World Without Islam." I simply could not help it, since I have felt that I must publicly recognize and support the importance of what President Putin has lately done to avert more destructive agony for Syria. And above all, I feel content in doing what, I strongly believed, should have been done, in the first place, as the drama unfolded bit by bit, three weeks ago.


Next topic mustl be topic ( 12 ) Islam and China.


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Monday, September 30, 2013

( 11 ) " Islam and India. "

By Sodium

Before I touch what Graham Fuller has embodied in his fascinating and provocative book , entitled, " A World Without Islam, " it may be in order to provide the novice and interested readers with a brief background about the current political geography of India, as how it was and how it had become:

In 1947, India was one integrated country colonized by Great Britain. In other words, it was considered a mere British colony. After 1947, it was fragmented into three separate and sovereign countries, namely:  India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. In the process of shifting population, by the British, from one locality to other localities, within the geographical boundaries of India, the British gave the state of Kashmir to Hindu India to govern and rule, in spite of the fact that the vast majority of the population of Kashmir was ( and still is ) Muslim. Such an action has not been accepted by Muslim Pakistan ever since. Hence, India and Pakistan had waged three wars against one another in the last 50 years. And yet, the conflict/dispute over Kashmir has not been settled. To allow this conflict to remain unsolved can be too dangerous, since both India and Pakistan have nuclear arsenals; and thus a nuclear exchange has become in the realm of possibilities, if not in the realm of probabilities, in future wars. All it takes a fanatical leader on ether side to start the horror.

Although the conflict " APPEARS " to be based on differences in religious beliefs, all historical and even cultural facts have indicated that religion has little to do with the conflict as much as greed for territories or/lands grab and geopolitical hegemony, as planned by the British colonial rule to serve British interest.

Back to the review of the chapter of the book, " A World Without Islam," for this topic ( 11 ) Islam and India:

What has initially attracted my attention in the review for this particular topic are the following historical facts:

Fact One:
 India is fundamentally Hindu and has been known so since time immemorial.

Fact Two:
 Islam had reached SOUTHERN India, in peaceful ways ,through Arab merchants in the 7th century A.D..

Fact Three:
Islam entered NORTHERN India in none-peaceful-ways, through Afghani, Persian and Arab warriors.

Question: what is the point for listing the three historical facts above?
Answer: for simply re-emphasizing the well known adage ": violence breeds violence,"  because what the world sees, at present time, occasional horrible violence in India occurs in the NORTHERN part of India and not in SOUTHERN India, where the Muslim population has been totally assimilated within the traditions, customs, norms, mores and culture of Indian..

The following quotations from the book, " A World Without Islam " may provide the novice and interested readers with basic essentials in order to accumulate adequate knowledge about Islam and India:

Quotation One:
" In our alternative scenario of a world without Islam, the lines in India are less clear. In one sense, things would be quite different without Islam: the world would have been deprived of the brilliance of the Hindu-Muslim fusion civilization of the Mughals. At the same time, it might have been spared some of the ugly religious struggles between Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs that have characterized recent history. So, in this context, the more interesting question might be, Was the religious strife between Hindus and Muslims inevitable?  Did this have to be a bloody border?  Why are we where we are today?  And how much is really about religion?  Or can the roots of the problem also be traced to the self-serving policies of British colonial rule in India? "

 Note: Based on quotation one as quoted above, it is obvious that the questions embodied in in  it needed solid answers, or, at least, reasonable or acceptable answers. Perhaps, the quotations listed below,( namely quotations two, three, four, and five, plus final words ),  may provide some answers, if the content of one quotation is connected to the others, in order to establish an integrated whole from all of the quotations were being quoted. Of course, it is up to the interested readers to make such connections.

Quotation Two:
" For Hindu nationalists, the Hindu religion is as deeply rooted in Indian soil as anything can be; any other religion intruding on that soil is either absorbed into its embrace or seen as an unwelcome foreign intruder. Thus, both Islam and Christianity are seen in this latter light-more on political and cultural grounds than on theological grounds. Both Islam and Christianity sought to roll back Hinduism in their own favor. The fact that the most widespread international symbol of India today should be quintessentially Muslim architecture of the Taj Mahal rankles Hindu nationalists deeply. Yet an India without its Mughal fusion civilization would have been a culturally far less rich place.

   More liberal-minded accounts of the same history take pride in the rich fruits of Hindu-Islamic civilization. Each culture markedly influenced the other in profound ways, suggesting the creative absorptive power and malleability of both. Yet today, Indian Muslims have become disadvantaged minorities within the great Indian society they once ruled and helped shape. They have come in from outside, been at the top, fallen to the bottom, and are now mulling over their place as a minority in the new conditions of the modern Indian state. Maybe it is this diverse historical trajectory that has given Indian Muslims the most subtle and complex vision of Islam in multicultural society to be found anywhere."

Quotation Three:
" India TOUCHED Muslims in particular ways. First, it is one of the many areas of South and Southeast Asia where Islam did not initially come by the sword. Trading connection between Arab seafaring merchants and the southwest coast of India were well established long before Islam. According to Hindu records, the first actual Muslim settlement on the Indian subcontinent took place in the early seventh century in just one such Arab trader settlement. Reportedly, the first mosque was established in Kodungallur in today's Kerala province in 612 CE, during the Prophet lifetime."

Quotation Four:
" Historians draw major distinctions between the nature of Islam in the north and in the south of India. In the south, Islam came on the scene early via trade and missionary work; in the north Islam entered many hundreds of years later as one of  the many invaders of north India from Central Asia. As a result, tensions between Muslims and Hindus are more pronounced in the north than in the south, where the Muslim population gradually integrated into the local culture, as opposed to the Muslims who invaded the north with their armies of mixed Persian, Arab, Turkic, and Mongol blood."

Quotation Five:
" With the gradual collapse of the Mughal Empire in the face of encroaching British imperialism, the Mughal system began to lose its power, and with it came a gradual decline of Muslim status. The British, too, perceived a greater degree of resistance to their rule from Muslims than from Hindus and hence began to give preference within the system to the Hindus, whom they felt were more "reliable" or "pliable."

Final Words:
It is clear from quotation five quoted above why the British favored Hindus over Muslims and hence because of this favoritism had awarded Muslim Kashmir to India instead of Pakistan in spite of the fact that the British had no right to award any thing under their imperialistic rule to anybody. And as I examine the regions which the British colonized and eventually withdrew from, on their own. or expelled from by other means, I see one pattern repeated over and over again: they created disputes, if not conflicts, in the places they colonized. Examples:

~  Before leaving India, they created the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.
~  Before leaving Cyprus, they created the conflict between Greeks and Turks over Cyprus
~  Before leaving Palestine, they created the conflict over Palestine between Zionists and Palestinians.

Was it the brutal policy of " divide and rule " or rather " divide and conquer "  ? You bet it was. And at the end, blame the whole results of such a brutal and selfish policy on differences in religions..


Next topic will be topic ( 12 ) Islam and China.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

( 10 ) " Muslims in the West: Loyal Citizens or Fifth Column ? "

By Sodium

Graham Fuller, author of the book, " A world Without Islam, " has a fascinating talent through which he raises provocative questions and answers them in a persuasive manner.  This writing technique of his has attracted me profoundly to his book, since day one, as I came across it accidently and in an unexpected way. And the more I dig deeper in this particular book of his, the more fascinated I have become by the way he presents his exceptionally unique approach to the problems facing not only Muslims, but also Christians and Jews as well-in fact, facing humanity as an integrated whole. Through this sense of connection across the ethnic, religious and political dividing lines that makes the content of " A World Without Islam " such badly needed ideas to explore and apply in order to make our lives less violent and perhaps less agonizing.

Beside the question, Muslims in the West: Loyal Citizens or Fifth Column ? Graham Fuller has also asked, in the chapter for this topic, the following questions:

~  " Is there something different about Islam that puts Muslim immigrants (in the West ) into a special category from other immigrants ? "  Graham  Fuller has turned the question around and puts it as: " If they were not Muslim, would the problems and issues be fundamentally different ? "

His answer to the above question is : " The answer seems to be a qualified NO " which really means that it does not make a difference, whether they are Muslims or not, since we are dealing, here, with human conditions. Yes, indeed, human beings who are being entrapped in poverty, illiteracy, and high unemployment etc... in some of the countries of Western Europe. This is not so about the Muslim Americans who, according to Mike Wallace, the once famous anchorman of " 60 Minutes " TV program of CBS. are among the most educated, most successful groups in the United States. And Wallace has added on his " 60 Minutes " program that their income is above average. Therefore, one may be compelled to exclude the Muslim Americans from the miserable social policies the Muslims in Western Europe have to unjustly shoulder, because of the incompetence of European politicians who might have found it easy to pass the blame on their Muslim population because they are Muslims or Arabs. And the problems have nothing to do with religions or with ethnicity or with national origin, but have everything to do with Europe and its social problems and incompetent politicians.

In spite of the fact that the Muslim Americans are law-abiding citizens, they are discriminated against by some well known politicians, political activist groups and a spectrum of Islamophobes, ranging from American Right Wingers to Christian Zionists, in addition to the evangelical preachers of the Rod Parsley's and Franklin Graham's varieties. More about Preacher Rod Parsley and Preacher Franklin Graham will be written shortly below. 

Another question Graham Fuller raises in the chapter of this topic is, and I quote:


As usual, Graham Fuller answers his own question and says: " Muslims make up about 5 percent of the total EU population. France has the largest number of Muslims, about 4,5 million, followed by 3 million in Germany, 1.6 million in the UK and more than half a million each in Italy and the Netherlands. Under half a million each in Austria, Sweden, and Belgium. Of all this Muslim population, approximately half are foreign-born."

Many of the parents and grandparents of the Muslims in Europe migrated from their countries to Europe after the Second World War, when Europe was badly in need of labors. When Europe has faced serious unemployment problems and melt down economic conditions, it has become easy to point fingers at Muslims and Islam. It is human nature that has not changed yet, since Cain killed his own brother Abel, as recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible.

What has made the divide even greater is what ugly speeches being aired and televised as the ones quoted by Graham Fuller below:

" The situation is not improved by the presence of others in the West who see Islam and Christianity as locked up into an implacable struggle--the world image of the worldview of the al-Qa'ida zealots. Take Pastor Rod Parsley of the huge World Harvest Church of Columbus, Ohio, a spiritual advisor to the Republican presidential candidate John McCain in 2008. Parsley writes: "

"    I cannot tell you how important it is we understand the true nature of Islam, that we see it for what it really is....I do not believe our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam .I know that this statement sounds extremes, but I do not shrink from its implications. The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed. and I believe September 11,2001, was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore.

     It was to defeat Islam, among other dreams, that Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World in 1492. Columbus dreamed of defeating the armies of Islam with the armies of Europe made mighty by the wealth of the New World. It was this dream that, in part, began America."

Graham Fuller has further quoted another evangelical preacher:

" Famous evangelist Franklin Graham told NBC news following the September 11, 2001 attacks: "  We are not attacking Islam but Islam has attacked us. The God of Islam is not the same God. He is not the son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It is a different God, and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion."

The fanatical Muslims are not innocent either. They are just as horrible, in their beliefs, as Rod Parsley and Franklin Graham and perhaps more so. Graham Fuller has made the following quote: " Alarmists about Islam bolster their case by pointing to what are genuinely incendiary remarks by a small group of radical clerks, such as the sensationalist Syrian Sheik Omar Bakri Muhammad, once the darling of London Shock television:

"   Why should I condemn Osama bin Laden ?  I condemn Tony Blair, I condemn George Bush. I would never condemn Osama bin Laden or any Muslims....We do not make any distinction between civilians and non-civilians, innocents and non-innocents. Only between Muslims and unbelievers. And the life of an unbeliever has no value. it has no sanctity."

And then Graham Fuller has made the following quote:" Or the remark of Dyab Abu Jahiah, a Lebanese settled in Antwerp, who denounced the Western ideal of assimilation as " cultural rape," and aims to bring all the Muslims of Europe into a single independent community."

Since such wild antagonists exist in opposing sides, one wonders whether or not humanity can ever live in harmony and peace !

Answering the question stated in the title of this topic: Muslims in the West: Loyal Citizens or Fifth Colum ? has become less difficult, in views of the foregoing in which we have an educated, successful and prosperous American Muslim community and poverty-stricken, illiterate and unemployed European Muslim minorities scattered across Western Europe. The American Muslims must have been truly loyal citizens for achieving what they have achieved, meaning they have played by the rules. When you play by the rules in the United States, it really means that you are a law-abiding citizen; and since you abide by every aspect of the laws, you certainly cannot possibly be a fifth columnist by any stretch of imaginations, regardless how hard you may try. No way.

As to the Europe's Muslims who were described as poverty-stricken, illiterate and unemployed, how can such a case of misery be a fifth columnist is beyond my ability to comprehend. The fact he or she is illiterate neutralizes the question totally and completely. Those Muslims in Europe struggle in every day of their existence just to survive, let alone spying and acting as fifth columnists Again, no way..

Final words:
While I was contemplating an answer to the question: Muslims in the West: Loyal Citizens or Fifth Column, I could not shy away from a similar question I have not known any American or Western authors or writers had ever raised about some powerful lobbyists running the U.S.Congress as they see fit, on behalf of foreign powers: Are those lobbyists loyal American citizens or fifth columnists ? I do ask.

 Let us play it in a fair way. Graham Fuller has raised an important question concerning the Muslim citizens in the West and he certainly has the full right to raise such a question. And through his own unique methodology of persuasion, he has, at least, attempted to convey to his readers that the answer to the question he has raised is NO, meaning they are not a fifth column. By the same token, I felt it was incumbent upon me to raise a similar question concerning the lobbyists who lobby our elected representatives and senators, on behalf of foreign powers.

Needless to remind all interested readers of the fact that elected Representatives and Senators, to the U.S. Congress, are elected by the American people to serve their interest, not the interest of foreign powers. Period.


Next topic will be topic ( 11 ) Islam and India.       

Monday, September 2, 2013

( 9 ) " Russia and Islam: Byzantium Lives ! "

By Sodium

Most people in the Western World are under the impression that France has the largest numbers of Muslims, outside the Islamic World. Such an impression is incorrect. The largest numbers of Muslims, who live outside the traditionally well known World of Islam, are in Russia, excluding India and China, since both India and China are totally in Asia while Russia is partly in Europe and partly in Asia. We are talking about Muslims in the Western World. The fact that Russia is a Eurasian country must be considered partly a Western power and partly an Asian power, as well as a Christian power. It has become the main home for Christian Orthodoxy, after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 A.D.

France has roughly five to six million Muslims, while Russia has at least 20 million adherents to Islam. The Muslims who live in Western Europe and North America are originally immigrants from some Islamic countries. The Muslims of Russia are indigenous of the lands that became Russian by either through Russian conquests or Russian geopolitical expansions. In fact, Russia has lived with its Muslim population for more than a thousand year. One question that may arise: how Islam had reached Russia, in the first place ?  The question and its answer are outside the boundaries of the topic at hand, and require separate treatment. Whatever the answer that might have been, it was not by the sword, as some claimants had liked to claim.

In the last topic, topic number ( 8 ), it has been made clear that Russia has inherited the legacy of the Byzantium Orthodoxy, after the fall of Constantinople, in 1453 A.D. to the Ottoman Empire. It has also made clear that certain Orthodox Russian Tsars had made alliances with Muslim Turkic, Tatars and Mongols, instead of accepting an Anti-Muslims alliance proposed by the Pope in Rome. This topic at hand reemphasizes this propensity of the Russian Tsars to establish alliances with the Muslim Turkic, Tatars and Mongols, rather than an alliance with the Pope in Rome, meaning that the struggle between the Latin Church in Rome and the Byzantium Orthodoxy was so deep and would have remained deep whether there was Islam or not.

In short, Tsarist Russia, which had adopted and sheltered the Byzantium Orthodoxy, was, at the same times, most accommodating to Islam and Muslims. The proof was the alliances it had made with the Turkic, Tatars and Mongols Muslims.

The following points are the core of this topic:

~  Tsarist Russia had remarkably managed in keeping its Russian Muslim population content and consequently loyal Russian citizens to the great mother land: Russia.
~  After adopting and sheltering the Byzantium Orthodox Church, after the fall of Constantinople, Tsarist Russia kept it tamed. Otherwise, the Byzantium Orthodoxy wanted to convert everyone who was not Christian to Christianity, including Muslims
~  When the Bolshevik Communism succeeded in ruling Russia, all religions in Russia were marginalized, including Islam. As years passed by, the Muslims of Russia had lost touch with their religion and forgot even how to pray, let alone remembering the five pillars of Islam.
~  After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, a sort of Islamic revival has been going on in Russia and Muslim Russians have started learning about their own religion all over again.

The following quotations may provide additional insight about the content of the chapter of this topic:

Quotation One:
" Since it was Muslim Turks ( Ottomans ) and Arabs who brought down the Byzantine Empire, it would be reasonable to assume that Russians would be strongly hostile to Islam and Muslims. But it is hard to blame the fall of Constantinople on Islam. Can we really believe that if the Ottoman Turks had not been Muslim, they would have opted not to invade and conquer Greek Byzantium, a rich and weakened state, regardless of whatever religion Byzantium practiced ? "

Note from the writer of this review:
Please notice that the author of the book has called " Byzantium " in the quote above, " Greek Byzantium."  The reason behind such a nomenclature is the fact that the people who lived in the Byzantine Empire spoke Greek, not Latin language, while the affairs of the Byzantine Empire were run by the Latin language.. In addition, Greeks and Turks did not like each other. ( and still do not like each others and this dislike has been going on for centuries. Look what has happened in Cyprus, at present time: North of Cyprus is occupied by Turks, while Southern Cyprus is inhabited by Greeks. )  A powerful empire, like the Ottoman Empire at its peak forms then, certainly would not hesitate of conquering Constantinople and the rest of Byzantium, whose population spoke the Greek language and, most likely, felt like Greek, regardless whether the Ottomans were Muslims or not. The determining factor behind the Ottoman's conquest of  Constantinople and the rest of Byzantium was not religion, but ethnicity ( Greek-Turk animosity ), and geopolitical goals related to the global position and prestige of the powerful Ottoman Empire, at that time of the conquest.

Quotation Two:
" During the three hundred years of the Romanov Dynasty then, the Russian state persisted in claiming its ruling authority as " grounded in religion."  The Romanov state project came to be based on a " shared moral universe."  These policies largely succeeded. Just as secular rulers in Islam must uphold the principle of Islamic society and law to claim legitimacy, the non-Muslim Romanovs could in principle be accepted as rulers over Muslims, as long as they permitted Muslims to Maintain their Islamic way of life and upheld Islamic principles within Russian Muslim communities.  Muslim subjects were even encouraged to bring their grievances and disputes to the Tsar for adjudication, thereby legitimizing the Tsar and preserving the unity, well being, and satisfaction of the Muslim population."

Quotation Three:
The coexistence of Islam and Orthodox Christianity within the Russian Empire is a significant experience in the history of the Islamic people. The Muslims of the empire could extend their loyalty to the Russian state precisely because they were not being forced to assimilate, or to give up their personal and communal identity for a Russian Christian one."

Quotation  Four:
" Despite its many wars with neighboring Muslim states, the Russian empire nonetheless actively engaged in diplomacy with the Ottoman state, with Iran, and served at the same time as official protector of Orthodoxy in the Holy Land of Palestine under Ottoman control.  Moscow cared greatly about the opinion of foreign Muslims toward Russia; at the same time Moscow sought to enlist Russian Muslims to advance Russian Foreign policy goal in the Middle East, so that Moscow could speak as a Muslim power as well as Christian power. Thus, rather hindering the expansionist vision of the Russian state, Islam actually facilitated it."

Quotation Five:
" But the Russian engagement with Islam is older, deeper, more extensive, and more complex than Europe's. One key reason is that the Russian Empire encountered Muslims as a result of contiguous overland expansion east and south, unlike the European imperialists who encountered Muslims only through distant voyages of conquest overseas. Russian forms of coexistence with Islam persist and always will, simply because they inhabit common space. Russia remains the sole state in the West that embraces a significant Muslim community among its citizenry."

Quotation Six:
" Russia will never wish to lose its own unique historical character that is rooted in Orthodoxy. Russia has never been truly accepted as part of the West by the West. Nor can Russia's strategic orientation ever lie with the West; it will continue to seek partners from Eastern cultures to bolster it-emphasizing Russia's abiding Eurasian and Orthodox character. Russia's serious engagement in the Sino-Russian-dominated Shanghai Cooperation Organization further demonstrate this geopolitical orientation, which includes many Central Asian states and a strong expression of interest from Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. Geopolitics transcend religion-Islam, in this sense, is mere frosting on the broader geopolitical cake that is driven by suspicion or fear of Western power and intentions, deeply rooted in history."

Final Words:
Twenty million Muslims living in Russia is no small number. Just for the sake of objectivity, one may raise the following question:

Since some Islamic countries have small population, that does not exceed 5-6 million, and nevertheless, they are members of the Islamic Organizations, whatever their exact names are, why not admitting Russia, with more than 20 million Muslims, to these Islamic Organizations, as a full pledged member ?

Let us be honest and face the fact that Russia, through out its entire recorded history, has always been a powerful country, even at its lowest state of economic collapse. Therefore, one may conclude that permitting Russia to be a full pledged member in any global Islamic organization would provide such an organization with strength and more say in the global geopolitical fierce competitions. Just think objectively and critically of  these final words whose intent have been based upon historical facts about the great land the good people of Russian call: " Mother Russia."


The next topic will be topic ( 10 ) Muslims in the West: Loyal Citizans or Fifth Column ?.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

( 8 ) " The " Third Rome " and Russia: Russia Inherits the Orthodoxy Legacy. "

By Sodium

Recorded human history tells us that all empires, sooner or later, had fallen, however the reasons might have been. The Eastern Roman Empire, ( or Byzantium for short ), was no exception. Its seat of power, Constantinople, finally fell in 1453 A.D. to the Ottoman Muslim conquest. That was a blow, not only to the great seat of political power, but also to the imperial Orthodox Church whose seat of theological power was also in Constantinople.

In spite of the Byzantium fall, the " great mother " of all Christian churches, world wide, the Orthodox Church has survived till present time in the Middle East, Russia, Balkan, and Greece.

However, the struggle between the Orthodox Church in the East and the Latin Church in the West,( Rome ),continued. " While the psychological blow to Eastern Christianity of defeat and loss of power was huge, it is important to note that Islam did not become the eternal deadly enemy of Christianity in these Eastern reaches of the world; they all lived too close together for that. Whatever the now subject Christians felt about it, there was little choice but intimate coexistence on both sides."

It was the Russian Tsar (Caesar), Ivan III,  who moved quickly after the fall of Constantinople, [ to declare Moscow the " Third Rome " ], as the center of religious power for all Christianity, meaning to the Latin Christianity in Rome and Byzantine Church in the East. Such a title " Third Rome " meant a great deal to Russia: " it represented a messianic vision of a new civilizational and spiritual role, an obligation that had now fallen upon Russia to preserve the true faith of Christianity against the heresies and evil of both Roman Catholicism and Islam."

However, there are historical records which attest to the fact that the Eastern Orthodox Church in Moscow, or the " Third Rome " preferred a coalition with the Muslims of the Middle East than a coalition with Christianity in the West, in Rome. In other words, the division of Christianity into Orthodox Church in the East, ( Russia, the Balkan, the vast majority of the Christians in Middle East plus Greece ), and Latin Christianity in Rome, had reached the point of no return. In other words, the split has become permanent until our present time. Let us read what the Byzantine scholar Vasilios Makrides at the University of  Erfurt argues in this connection:

" It is particularly interesting to observe certain anti Western coalitions [ across ] otherwise incommensurable lines which took place at that time, namely between Orthodox and Muslims in the Eastern Mediterranean area....Orthodox and Ottoman anti-Westernism were far from being identical, but their eventual " cooperation " was not out of the ordinary....An analogous attitude towards Muslims and Western Christians can be observed in thirteenth century Orthodox Russia. Tsar Aleksandr Nevsky gave preference to a coalition with Tatars and Mongols over an anti-Muslim alliance and a union with Rome, which has been proposed to him in 1248 (A.D) by Pope Innocent IV. "

It has become clear that the old Russian Orthodox suspicions of the West has not changed, but might have become greater to the point of another Russian Tsar of several centuries later had repeated what had Tsar, Aleksandr Nevsky, had done in 1248 A.D. If one compares the year of 1248 A.D. in which the Russian Tsar, Alexander Nevsky, made an alliance with the Muslim Tartars and Mongols, with the year 1453 A.D. in which Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire, one would find that even after the passing of 205 year, (that is more than two centuries), the suspicions between the Orthodox Church in Moscow, ( "Third Rome", after the fall of Constantinople ), and the Latin Church in Rome continues unabated, even to the present time of the 21st Century.

In short, what we are witnessing, in this topic, is what Graham Fuller, the author of the book, " A World Without Islam " has made it clear in the following brief paragraph:

" The Russian state is thus revivifying its nationalism, national traditions , and glories in particular through the magnificent cultural vehicle of the Russian Orthodox Church."

All of this attests, once more, to the fact that the state, any state, can use the Church for political expediency and global reaches, if such a state has what is required to do so. Russia has what it takes to do so. And hence, it has inherited the great legacy of the Eastern Orthodox Church, " the great mother " of all Christian Churches known in the realm of Christianity, since day one, when the Eastern Roman Empire adopted it to be its state religion. As one looks around, at that time, one might have found that Russia had parallel powers, if not equivalent powers, to what Byzantium had once, at its peak of geopolitical power. In short, no other power was more qualified to inherit the torch of the Orthodox Church than Russia. And so it was, and so it had come to pass, as we shall see in the next topic. 


Next topic will be topic ( 9 ) Russia and Islam: Byzantium Lives !              

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

( 7 ) " Shared Echoes: The Protestant Reformation and Islam. "

By Sodium

Although it is good to acquire as much knowledge as possible about the Protestant Reformation, our concern, here, is the " Shared Echoes, "  that might have existed between the Protestant Reformation and Islam. However, there are certain names that carried initially the Reformation movement on their shoulder and all students of history of the Christian Churches must know, since they are the exponents of the Protestant Reformation. They are:

* Martin Luther.
* Ulrich Zwingli
* John Calvin.

The most radical among the three reformers listed above was John Calvin. In fact, he was the brain behind the strict and demanding tenets of the Protestant Reformation. His theological ideology has seemed to me as similar, if not identical, to the Wahhabi Islamic practices, in Saudi Arabia, or perhaps similar to the Hanbali Mathhab, ( School of Thought ), in Islam.

Any reader who is interested in knowing the detailed life of each one of those three reformers can do so by Googling the following words:

Who's Who in the Reformation.

Before touching the " Shared Echoes, " it will be sufficient, here, to know that the Reformation movement started in 1517, in Germany, by a Catholic monk, named Martin Luther. He was excommunicated by the Catholic Church in Rome, after nailing 95 accusations against his own Catholic Church.

According to Graham Fuller, author of the book, " A world Without Islam," Martin Luther had succeeded in his Reformation because he was " directly supported " by certain German princes who were interested in cutting " the power of Church to size."

The Shared Echoes:
The book contains so many fascinating detailed echoes, or rather similarities between the Protestant Reformation and Islam, one may summarize them in the following important points:

~ Both the Protestant Reformation and Islam have no centralized theological power equivalent to the Catholic Papacy in Rome.
~ Both the Protestant Reformation and Islam adhere firmly to the narrative of their respective theological texts.
~ Because of the absence of a centralized seat of religious power in both the Protestant Reformation and Sunni Islam, they both encountered radical interpretations of the narrative of their respective theological texts, by radical adherents to their respective faith. ( Please notice the two words, "Sunni Islam," because this point does not apply on Shi'i Islam.)

Some Interesting Quotations From The Book Being Reviewed:
" The state is an attractive target for any reformer of society, religious or secular, for its capture provides the means-persuasive or coercive-to impose and implement religious values within society."

" For all of the period's intense focus on theology, it was its political and social forces that drove the Reformation. "

" Above all, the Reformation carried huge and deliberate political implications for the German princes and other northern European rulers. Where you stood on Reformation theology depended on where your economic and political interest lay.
    We have seen this in the turmoil of a changing Mecca, the shift from tribal to more mercantile values, and the loss of more traditional tribal safety nets and  the emergence of Muhammad. Jesus, too, was emerging in a new social environment in which among other things, Galilee was hostile to the economic and religious power of Jerusalem. "

" Those self-trained theologians challenge the state over the proprietorship of Islam. " it is not your Islam, it is my Islam," as one street placard put it. It is the fundamentalists, trained or untrained, who seek to apply Islam and lend it relevance-to use it as an instrument for political and social reform, to change or overthrow the state that they see as serving neither Islam nor the people. "

Some Thoughts/Views of the Christian Reconstructionists:
There is a small segment of the adherents to Protestantism, calling itself Reconstructionists. Although they are  small in number, in comparison to the total number of  Protestants in the world, they have a rather effective influence on the politics of the Christian Right.

I have found the following paragraph in the book, " A World Without Islam, " to be revealing about the Reconstructionists' view points and thoughts:

"  For reconstructionists, TOLERANCE is not neutral concept that acknowledges validity of all religious belief before the law; instead, they speak of a "Christian tolerance" that permits equal treatment but not equal ACCEPTANCE of all doctrine. Reconstructionists would not seek to regulate personal BELIEFS, but would regulate PUBLIC ACTIONS and behavior. This view is remarkably similar to some Islamists who advocate Shari'a law under nearly identical terms. In this view, tolerance within an Islamic state means just that-the state will tolerate other beliefs, but that does not imply acceptance of equal doctrinal validity. "

I must admit that I had almost skipped quoting the above quotation, because the author of the book had/has used, in it, the word " Islamists," which had/has been used by the Islamophobes to imply something evil, to a point that had compelled ( and wisely ) the Associated Press to refrain from using it in its news reporting and forecasting. However, I have overcome my own disagreement concerning the author's usage of the word, " Islamists, " because the paragraph, in the book, was so explicit about the reconstructionists' thoughts/view points; and the probable echoes that might have existed in thoughts/view points with the advocates of Shari'ah Law, among some adherents to the Islamic faith.


Next topic will be topic ( 8 ) The " Third Rome " and Russia: Russia Inherits the Orthodox Legacy.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

On The Occasion Of EID EL-FITR.

To: The Muslim Readers of this Website and My Muslim Friends.

From: Sodium.

Today is the first day of EID ELFITR. On this occasion, I wish my Muslim friends and the Muslim readers of this website, across the globe, the best of wishes and a Happy Eid.

May the future be kind to all Muslims in the world, especially in the Western World, where abusive and orchestrated campaigns are being waged against them and against Islam. These abusive and orchestrated campaigns have been conducted, for so many years, if not decades, by some Islamophobes, either based on ignorance, at best, or for serving their own political or religious agenda, at worst.

Once again, I wish you the best of wishes and Happy Eid.


Note: The series of topics on the reviews of the book, " A World Without Islam " by Graham Fuller, will resume some times after the Eid.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Beautiful Muslim Prayer For The Fasting Month Of Ramadan

By Sodium

I have come lately across a short, meaningful and above all beautiful prayer for the month of Ramadan. I have felt that it is incumbent upon me to pass it to my Muslim friends, just in case they were unaware of its existence:

In English Alphabets but Arabic Words:
" Allahuma, Eni Laka Sumto, Wa Beka AAmunto, Wa Alyka Tawakulto, Wa Ala Rezqika Aftarto. "

Translation to English:
" O' God. for YOU I have fasted, and in YOU I have believed, and upon YOU I have faithfully depended, and upon/from YOUR bounty I broke my fasting. "

Very Beautiful, indeed, when one remembers that the solid rock foundation of Islam is " Al-Towheed," which means " The Oneness of God," that was rejected by the vast majority of Meccans who worshiped then three goddesses made of stones; and were kept in Ka'ba. The names of the three goddesses were:

*  Al-Lat.
*  Al-Uzza.
*  Manat.

I wish I had come across the prayer quoted above at the beginning of Ramadan, not at about the middle of it, since only 14 days left for the month of Ramadan to be over, for this year. But, as the wise people say: it is better late than never.

Ramadan Kareem for all Muslims everywhere.....

Friday, July 19, 2013

( 6 ) " The Great Crusades (1095-1272) "

By Sodium

From the very beginning of the chapter of this topic, Graham Fuller, author of the book entitled, " A World Without Islam," attracts the curiosity of the reader by asking the following two questions:

Question One:
" Could there even have been crusades in the absence of Islam in the Holy Land? "

Question Two:
" In a way, what historical event could be more about religion than the Crusades?

Answering the Two Questions:
The answer to the first question can " apparently " be found in the speech through which Pope Urban II called on all Christians in Western Europe to wage wars against the Muslims in the Holy Land to make sure the Holy City of Jerusalem would not remain in Muslim hands but Western Christian hands. Please notice that the world, " apparently " has been used as part of the answer given. In other words, the real reasons for such a call for crusades against the Muslims in the Holy Land extend further than what the " apparent " answer that was given. In fact some of the reasons can be deduced from the speech itself given by Pope Urban II himself. No need is necessary to quote the entire speech to comprehend some of the reasons, but the following two quotations from Urban's speech will suffice:

Quotation One:
    "O what a disgrace if such a despised and base race ( the Pope meant Arabs and Turks by the word, "race" ) which worship demons, should conquer a people which has the faiths of omnipotent God and is made glorious with the name of Christ."

Quotation Two:
" Let those who for a long time have been robbers, now become Knights. Let those who have been fighting against their brothers and sisters now fight in a proper way against the barbarians."

Based on those two quotations, one can deduce the following points:

~  Pope Urban II had clearly called for violence, violating one of the most important tenets of Christianity, which Jesus Christ had taught and preached.

~  Quotation One, as quoted above, clearly shows the depth of hatred Pope Urban II had held towards the Muslims and their religion, ( calling their religion, demons ), in spite of the recorded fact that Jesus preached: " Love your enemy."
~  Quotation Two, as quoted above, has clearly revealed that Pope Urban II had other non-Islamic and non-religious reasons to call for wars against the " Barbarians," by changing suddenly and immediately the status of robbers into Knights so that they could join in the Crusades and fight as Knights, not as robbers. The Pope sounded as having very serious and difficult social problems within the realm of Christianity in Western Europe and found calling for Crusades might help him overcome his serious social and probably economic problems. Why did robbers exist, in the first place, in his realm of Christianity, if there were no serious economic problems beside the social ones?

The two quotations quoted above, plus the discussion that followed them, have answered the first question that has been raised by Graham fuller, author of, " A World Without Islam."

The answer to the second  question, as raised by Graham Fuller, and I repeat it, here, as a reminder:  " In a way, what historical event could be more about religion than the Crusades ? " is as follows: The answer to this question is obviously and most likely there is none. Almost 200 years of Crusades, in the name of Christianity against Islam and Muslims were waged; and yet at the end the Crusaders were expelled out, not only from the Holy Land, but also from the entire Middle East region in which they established their own City-States, across the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, even deeper than the Mediterranean coast line, like their ruined huge castle in the town of Karak, in southern Jordan.

The author has given detailed accounts, or rather detailed descriptions of what the Crusaders had done after Pope Urban II made his speech, calling for Crusades against Muslims and Islam. Anyone who is interested in reading the atrocities and criminalities of the Crusaders, during the entire period of Crusades, from 1095-1272 A.D, can find them in history books or in the Internet. I personally prefer reading the history books, since what has been published on the Internet is subject to deletions. The books remain as they were published, as long as they existed. However, the following recorded criminal acts are worth mentioning, here, to show that the hidden and unannounced agenda for the Crusades was fundamentally geopolitical whose big prize was hegemony of the West over the East which at the end had failed:

*  The first act of criminality committed by the former robbers whose status was changed by Pope Urban II from Robbers to Knights was killing of Jews who were living in the Rhineland of Germany. The Crusaders' threat to the Jews was: " Christianize or Death. "  As a results, many Jews had committed suicide. The hatred of Jews in Western Christianity stems from some people's mind-set that the Jews were the ones who killed Jesus Christ. In my opinion, what is in the mind-set of those Christians who hate Jews is a myth. I may tackle that issue in a future essay which may, indeed, show it was ( and still is ) a myth.

*  In their way to the Holy Land in Palestine, Crusaders stopped by Constantinople killed their fellow Christians and destroyed the city in the process.

*  In another Crusades, the Crusaders stopped by Greece and killed their fellow Christians who followed the Greek Orthodox Church, not the Papacy in Rome.

* Still in another Crusades, the Crusaders stopped by the Balkans and killed their fellow Christians who followed the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, not the Papacy in Rome.

The above examples related to the murderous nature of the Crusaders against the Jews, and their own fellows Christians in Constantinople, Greece and the Balkans, clearly shows that geopolitics for hegemony was deeply amalgamated with the Western Christianity which wanted to save the Holy City of Jerusalem from the hands of the Muslims " infidels."

And I would leave the rest of the atrocities and criminalities committed by the Crusaders at that, for this topic.

What Two Knowledgeable Experts Say About The Crusades:
At this point of the topic, it is worth quoting one important quote the author of the book has quoted.  The following quote is by Carol Hillenbrand, a specialist in the History of the Crusades:

" Contact with the Muslim world gave the Europeans a taste for all kinds of commodities, including ivory, inlaid, metalwork and other luxury goods that came from the Arab World. Of these the most important were textiles: damask, fustian, muslin, organdie, satin and taffeta."

" Crusaders returning home from the Holy Land speak of the exotic countries they had left behind. The phenomenon of Orientalism from the 18th century onward and its manifestations in Western art and literature, so powerfully described in recent times by (the late) Edward Said fed on the heritage of the Crusades. The Muslim world was the place of deserts, walled cities, veiled women, harems, eunuchs, bathhouses, intrigues, outlandish animals, clothing, languages, luxuries and an alien religion; in short, a land of romantic mystery and danger "

And finally, Graham Fuller, author of the book, " A World Without Islam, " has expressed some of his own views,  as follows;  and I quote him below:

" Islam today is a convenient shorthand to characterize the immense geopolitical complexities that made the saga of the Crusades. The Crusades are now part of the pantheon of the East-West tensions. Yet, we noted some of the early foundation of this struggle well before the appearance of Islam in the regional rebellions inside the Byzantium Empire against Constantinople; these movements embraced various religious banners (heresies) as vehicles and symbols for what was basically a contest for territory and power. These tensions preexisted Islam, ran parallel to Islam and still exist within the Middle East today. Could have been Crusades without Islam?  Perhaps not in quite same form, but a restless and ambitious Europe would probably found its way quickly enough to the East, in any case. It had already launched war against other border areas of Europe. If the distracting factor of Islam had never existed, the tensions between Rome and Constantinople would likely have been far more direct and confrontational than they were even at the time."

Final words From The Writer Of This Review:
If I refrain from pointing out that I have one single disagreement, however small, in this topic, I will be less than an honest man. My disagreement has to do with semantics, not with the substance of the chapter of this topic:

Calling the Crusades as " The Great Crusades " is totally unacceptable to me.. On the contrary, I would call them " The Murderous Crusades, " or " The Horrible Crusades, " or some other similar descriptions as these two descriptions I have just mentioned, but never " The Great Crusades."

I repeat that my disagreement is in semantics, not in the substance of the chapter of this topic.


Next topic will be topic ( 7 ) Shared Ecoes: The Protestant Reformation and Islam.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

( 5 ) " Islam Meets Eastern Christianity. "

By Sodium

This is the third time I write a review to this topic. And in each of the three times, I have found myself compelled to change the narrative of the review, for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons has to do with the length of the review. Another reason has to do with what is important to include in, and what is un-important to exclude out of this current review. However, the main reason was the deletion or disappearance of most of the first two posts I personally posted on the Internet. The other reasons mentioned in the foregoing were by-products of the deletion or disappearance that had occurred initially. What has caused the deletion or disappearance, I simply do not know. I can only assume and my assumption could be totally wrong.

In short, the readers who are interested in the struggles within the realm of Christianity and within the two competing Roman Empires, in Rome and Constantinople respectively, before the appearance of Islam, can read or consult (3) Power, Heresy, and Evolution of Christianity; and topic (4) Byzantium versus Rome: Warring Christian Polarity. Both topics have already been covered, as integral parts of the whole review, from beginning till end. Therefore, there is no need, of me, to go all over again discussing or even listing the factors that had made the whole Greater Syria ready to embrace the new spirit the conquering Muslim Arabs brought with them from Arabia. That brings us to the essence of this topic." Islam Meets Eastern Christianity. "  In other words, what had the conquering Muslim Arabs had done to the Christians of Greater Syria which they ruled ?  The first allegation surfaced in Christendom was that the conquerors had spread their Islam, in the territories they conquered and ruled, was by the power of their swords. Let us put this allegation under scrutiny and then decide upon  its validity. How can we do that ?  Well, one avenue available is to read what some of the professional historians have written about such an allegation and I quote below what they have written, precisely as they are quoted in the book entitled, " A World Without Islam " by Graham Fuller:

Historian Arnold Toynbee:
" In the first place we can discount the tendency -which has been popular in Christendom- to overestimate the extent of the use of force in the propagation of Islam. The show of adherence to the religion exacted by the Prophet successors was limited to the performance of a small number of not very onerous external observances....In the conquered provinces of the Roman and Sassanian Empires the alternatives offered were not "Islam or death" but "Islam or a super-tax"- a policy traditionally praised for its enlightenment when pursued long afterwards in England by Laodicean [religiously disinterested] Queen Elizabeth."

Historian of Islam, Ira Lapidus:
" The Arab conquerors did not require the conversion as much as the subordination of non-Muslim peoples. At the outset [the Arab conquerors] were hostile to conversions because new Muslims diluted the economic and status advantages of the Arabs."

" At the time of the conquest, Islam was meant to be a religion of the Arabs a mark of caste unity and superiority. The Arabs had little missionary zeal. When conversions did occur, they were an embarrassment because they created status problems and led to claim for financial privileges."

" And this privileged position for Arabs within Islam, of course, directly contrary to the final address of the Prophet himself:

[    O' people ! Verily your Lord is one and your father is one. All of you belong to one ancestry of Adam and Adam was created out of clay. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab and for a non-Arab over an Arab; nor for white over the black nor for the black over the white except in piety. Verily the noblest among you is he who is the most pious.]

" The Arabs were changed from a clan or tribal people into an "urban" peple, mingled with non-Arab peoples, abandoned military affairs, took on civilian occupations and lost their monopoly on Islam. Correspondingly, non-Arab peoples entered the military and government services, converted to Islam, adopted the Arabic language, and claimed a place in the government of the empire in which they were initially subjects."

Professor of Medieval Islam, Merlin Swartz:
" Most of the Jewish population was discontented with their persecuted status within the Byzantium Empire and welcomed the Muslim armies, whose rule would turn out to facilitate a new flowering of Jewish culture."

The author has quoted more quotes, but the above quotations should suffice to refute the allegation that Islam was spread by the sword as Muslim Arabs conquered and ruled Greater Syria and other Christian provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Jerusalem and Caliph Omar ibn al-Khattab:
The following story is not in the  book, but from me, based on what I have already read about how the city of Jerusalem when it fell, without blood shed, into the hands of the conquering Muslim Arabs. In my views, It is a fascinating story that must repeatedly be told over again and again to prove one point: one of the fundamental abstract characteristics of Islam is, indeed, tolerance. Here below is the story:

As the conquering Muslim Arabs surrounded the walled city of Jerusalem, they demanded from the city's leaders, who were mostly Christian religious leaders, to surrender peaceably to avoid blood shed. The city leaders responded that they would surrender the city key only to Caliph Omar ibn al-Khattab to ensure safety for the city's population. The Commander of the sieging Arab army sent a message to Omar, informing him of the response received from the city's religious leaders. In order to avoid blood shed, he ( Omar ) accompanied his servant and traveled, on a camel, from Mecca to Jerusalem-a very long ride. Omar instructed his servant that he ( Omar ) and his servant should take turns in riding the camel in order both of them could arrive to Jerusalem in acceptable physical shape.. So it was: The Caliph Omar rode the camel for a few miles and then his servant rode it for a few miles while the Caliph Omar walked on foot and led the camel and they kept taking turns until they reached Jerusalem.

When they arrived to Jerusalem gate, it happened that it was the turn of the servant riding the camel and the Caliph Omar on foot leading it. As the camel parked near the gate, the religious leaders of Jerusalem ran towards the person who was riding the camel to welcome him to the great city of Jerusalem, wrongly assuming the servant was the Caliph Omar ibn al-Khattab. As the servant explained to them how they traveled on one camel from Mecca until they reached Jerusalem, the leaders of Jerusalem were so impressed by the fairness and humility of Omar, they immediately and gladly offered him the key of the city of Jerusalem. As they showed the Caliph of all Muslims every where, the major monuments in the city, it was Islamic prayer time as they were in the Christian Church that was built on the spot where Christians believed that Jesus Christ was buried. It is called the" Church of the Holy Sepulchre "  While in that Church, Omar expressed his wish to be excused for a few minutes to pray outside the premises of the Church. The Christian leaders offered him to conduct his Islamic prayer inside the Church where he and they were. Omar politely declined accepting their offer, saying to them that if he accepted their offer to pray inside their Church, the Muslims may insist on building a mosque on the spot where he prayed. So, Omar stepped outside the Church and on his small little carpet conducted his prayer, in Mecca's direction. Indeed, what Omar had predicted then what the Muslims would do had happened: They built a mosque on the spot where Omar prayed outside the greatest and holiest Christian Church in Christendom, the "Church of the Holy Sepulchre," in the city of Jerusalem.

Such a disciplined conduct of Omar has to do with the very old Arab culture of " Murrowah " whose meaning was covered, on this website, in an essay entitled," ( 1 ) Arabia Before Appearance of Islam. Some Arabs pronounce " Murrowah " as " Muro'ah. "  Either way, the meaning of either word remains the same.

Because of the fact that the religious leaders of Jerusalem could not agree among themselves who should keep the key of the city of Jerusalem, they had chosen a Muslim or a Muslim family to keep the key of the city of Jerusalem. And the key has been in the safe hands of a Muslim, ever since and through the ages. As Israel illegally annexed occupied Jerusalem, one may wonder if the key is still in the safe hand of a Muslim, or has been confiscated by the government of Israel, as it has brutaly confiscated Palestinian lands and homes, on daily basis, in the West Bank of Palestine. One must wonder !

This story of Caliph Omar ibn al-Khattab in Jerusalem is profoundly telling, as to how Islam had once met Christianity within the walls of the city of Jerusalem and at the greatest and holiest Christian Church in Christendom, in the absence of blood shed. This story stands in a striking contrast to what the pages of the recorded human history tell us: Conquerors showed no empathy, let alone mercy, towards their victims, the conquered people, How the Muslim Arabs had handled their conquest of Jerusalem was ( and will remain ) truly one of the many peaceful and positive characteristics of Islam.

Yes, indeed, Islam had met Eastern Christianity in the Church of Holy Sepulchre, in the city of Jerusalem, in the 7th century of the Christian Calendar, in a humane and splendid way.


Next topic will be topic number ( 6 ) The Great Crusades.