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August 18, 2006

Nuance In Christian-Muslim History

It's fashionable for the West to self-flagellate whenever asked, but what about the actual facts?

Islam has embraced armed military expansion for religious purposes since its earliest decades. In contrast, Christianity struggled in its divided attitudes toward military force and state power for its first 300 years. No “theology of Crusade” existed in Western Christian thought until the 11th century. In fact, the Christian Byzantine Empire had already been resisting Muslim expansion in the East for 400 years before Pope Urban II called the First Crusade — as a defensive response to generations of armed jihad.

Much of the modern Middle East was once heavily Christian. Muslim armies changed that by imposing Islamic rule. Surviving Christian communities have endured centuries of marginalization, discrimination, violence, slavery and outright persecution — not always and not everywhere; but as a constant, recurring and central theme of Muslim domination.

That same Christian suffering continues down to the present. In the early years of the 20th century, the Muslim Ottoman Empire murdered more than 1 million Armenian Christians for ethnic, economic, but also religious reasons. Many Turks and other Muslims continue to deny that massive crime even today. Coptic Christians in Egypt — who, even after 13 centuries of Muslim prejudice and harassment, cling to the faith — continue to experience systematic discrimination and violence at the hands of Islamic militants.

These facts are not merely antique trivia, nor are they a childish game of "You did it first."

Islamic extremism thrives on a sense of unfair treatment and historical grievance. It nutures this, derives its fanatical power from the legend of a thousand years of Christian crusades, slaughter, and persecution.

The sense of unfairness is one of the most potent engines of political passion. Why does the dextrosphere constantly slam the media? Because we sense in our hearts it's deeply unfair. Why has the left gone bugfuck crazy? Because of the triple shocks of the Clinton Impeachment, Bush Victory in Florida, and 9/11, which, unfairly to their minds, shifted the politics of the country in a direction very favorable to the Republicans. One can see how this endlessly-nutured sense of having been done wrong has deranged many of them.

And so it is in the Islamic World -- but several orders of magnitude worse.

It is time to confront the Islamic "historic greivance" hucksters with actual history and end their eternal wallowing in the Christian and Jewish sins of the past, 50% of them wholly imaginary, 40% of them real but quite balanced out by equivalent Islamic sins going on at the same time.

The academics, the media types, the obsequious liberals do the West no favors, nor do they do any favors for Muslims, when they fail to challenge these absurd claims of a thousand years of well-nigh interrupted Christian assaults and Jewish predations on the innocent-as-a-lamb Muslims.

Context. Nuance. Factual accuracy.

Academics, the media, and liberals are supposed to be big on these things, right?

Then why do they greet every claim of Muslim victimhood with the credulous, and very condescending, reaction of "Yes, yes, you poor dear, we've been just awful, just the worst sort of rotters, really, and we can hardly blame you for feeling so terribly put-upon as to resort to support for terrorism" ?

That dishonest, ahistorical, and racially condescending response is not helping anyone.

In fact, it's contributing to people being murdered.

Thanks to OgreGunner.

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posted by Ace at 06:26 PM

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