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'Giza: The Truth' by Ian Lawton and Chris Oglivie-Herald
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iker, your posts here in this discussion are really very impressive and speak from my heart (the enormous expertise in this area, not to mention). I can only recommend everyone to read them carefully...

Greetings, Lutz.
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dashotep
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The violence against inanimate objects done by Christian iconoclasts and the violence their martyrs seemed to invite on themselves can hardly be compared to the violence of the Jihadis and suicide bombers of Islam. The Biblical Samson was a bound captive, amid his enemies, incidentally, he didn't go out of his way to kill them, or buy a ticket to get in, so that differentiates him from a suicide bomber. It would seem not the most egregious act described in the Old Testament, either, which described numerous divinely sanctified war crimes, as well as the destruction of pagan shrines, and the killing of idolaters etc. Islam also made a virtue of this sort of thing, a notable example being Muhammad's purging of idols and the destruction thereof from the Kaba in Mecca.

Far from being condemned, their killing and being killed seems to be specifically justified in Qur'an...

See

http://quran.com/9/111

Later parts of the Qur'an ate taken to over-ride earlier ones, by the way, if there is an apparent contradiction.

The idea that all monotheistic religions will be particularly prone to violence and intolerance is untenable. It depends entirely on the overall nature of the religion in question's scriptures.

As for the particulars of the loss of the Serapeum, they are obscure, but there was plenty of ethic and sectarian mob violence, and even the destruction of libraries, in Alexandria, long before the advent of Christianity.

We hear a lot about the Crusader massacre of Jews and Muslims in 1099, but less about the Jewish massacre of Christians in the city in 610, or the various Muslim atrocities against Muslims and Jews and Christians from the very founding of Islam, including massacres, invasions, and the destruction or appropriation of places of worship. (Muhammad himself presided over a mass beheading of all the males of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe. (The females, and the boys too young to have any pubic hair, were spared, if you can call it sparing, for a life of servitude). Nor did the schism within Christianity produce so much protracted bloodshed as the sunni/shiite schism which is almost as old as Islam itself.

The idea that there was no religious persecution in Muslim Spain (which was established by a violent invasion in the first place) is a myth. There as elsewhere Jews and Christians were treat as subjected dhimmah, marked out by obligatory badges on their clothing, and they were the periodic victims of Muslim mob violence. Most of the learning that Arab scholars had access to, meanwhile, including everything that came from the Greeks, had been preserved by the Eastern Christians. Obviously many Byzantines didn't prefer the Turban to the Mitre, either, hence the exodus of Byzantine intellectuals to Italy. (The Latin rulers of Greek lands never introduced an exaction like the devsirme, either.)

If Malaysia didn't fall to Islam through violence you have the provided one exception to the general pattern. Islam took the entire Middle East and expanded around the Mediterranean exclusively through violent conquest. It entered Europe at swordpoint from East, South and West, it continually raided European shores (as well as black Africa) for slaves, and it's incursion into India was even bloodier. As for the Islamic Jizya, it's an example of an imperialistic religion codifying the taxation of non-adherents, and saying they must feel themselves subdued. This doctrine is in the Quran, and unfortunately makes Islam a hostile ideology from the point of view of those who will accept neither conversion nor submission.

Self-scrutiny and openness to engage in dialogue are only viable if the other party is similarly disposed. If you're up against a culture or an ideology who would view that sort of thing as weakness, or lack of faith, then you're only going to get taken advantage of.

The idea that Islam is in its adolescence, due to its relative late creation, is a suggestion that I don't find compelling. Islam is not the same as Christianity. It has a different ancestry and a different philosophical heritage. There is no reason to imagine it will follow a similar trajectory over a similar time frame.

The polytheistic ancients, meanwhile, were hardly innocent of any religious violence, imperialism, supremacism, or enslavement. The Egyptians put pictures of bound captives on the bottom of their saddles, which goes to show how limited were their ideas of humility or magnanimity in victory. The sanctified triumphalism exhibited on the Narmer palette doesn't show any evidence of liberal reform over the ensuing millennia, since exactly similar smiting scenes were still being carved in the Ptolemaic era.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dashotep wrote:
... The idea that all monotheistic religions will be particularly prone to violence and intolerance is untenable. It depends entirely on the overall nature of the religion in question's scriptures. ...

The history and unfortunately also the presence of Jews, Christians and Muslims testify to the contrary...
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Iker
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could answer with another point by point response to what you have written in order to bring balance but I don't think it is going anywhere. I do not mean to be insulting but for me you happen (without knowing what, if any, beliefs you may have) to exemplify the problem of monotheism: "There is only one truth and I have it". In this case the Truth is that Christianity is all good and Islam is all bad.

I take the view that there is a mix of good and bad within both of them but for you (based on the almost entirely one sided posts) there seems to be no doubt - Islam is evil and Christianity is good. What you have helped me to do is recall the violence that monotheism has been steeped in ever since it first appeared in the oldest dateable records and for me (I'm not making any universal claims applicable to others) Ancient Near East monotheism is predominately Set worship (recalling that Set has useful functions when reconciled).

You have brought to mind again how the early Christians behaved and why they were detested by their victims. Andrew Lang wrote a short humorous story titled "In the Wrong Paradise" about how and why people find themselves in the wrong community when they leave this world. If I may end this dialogue with a genuine thank you for helping to clarify my thoughts on this matter.
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Iker
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps I should have put "humorous" in scare quotes to bring out the irony because the community of "peace whereof it has not entered into the mind of man to conceive" that Lang's story commends, i.e Christianity, I'm sure would have been viewed as just another sick instance of the "nice box" being offered to Osiris by Egyptians who saw the fanatical monks at work. Even allowing for the era he is writing in I can understand the reviewer on Amazon who wrote:

"Wow, I was SO embarrassed when I began reading parts of this book by the author of my childhood fairytale book, I was not expecting to find one of the most racist pieces of literature I've ever read. I'm all for freedom of speech but at least put a warning on such offensive writing and give the public a chance to chose if they want to download this 'literature'""

I apologize to any non-Christian who read it online and was offended by the contents, the version I read must have been "cleaned up", or else I need new glasses.
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