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Author Topic: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?  (Read 12917 times)

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Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #500 on: April 02, 2015, 11:58:24 AM »
*sigh* I didn't want to get dragged back into this thread, but I can't let that comment go by unchallenged.

I dislike Christianity, and I agree that it's full of atrocities and evil, but the Cain and Abel story isn't a fair example considering that Cain was then punished for the murder. Out of all the evil things condoned in the bible, the story of Cain and Abel is...well, it's a stupid example considering that the bible outright condemns Cain for his actions. Or at least, that's my understanding of the text.

As for modern day Muslims being more violent than modern day Christians, the extremists definitely are. The people who aren't extremists are about the same. Historically speaking, that has generally been the case.

And by the way, your assertion that the Qur'an doesn't have evil in it is demonstrably wrong. There is just as much evil condoned in the Qur'an as there is evil condoned in the bible. In terms of the content of their holy books, Christianity and Islam are both as bad as each other.


- Muslim (19:4321-4323)
Muhammad shrugs over the news that innocent children were killed in a raid by his men against unbelievers. His response: “They are of them (meaning the enemy).”

- Tabari 7:97:
The morning after the murder of Ashraf, the Prophet declared, “Kill any Jew who falls under your power.” Ashraf was a poet, killed by Muhammad’s men because he insulted Islam. Here, Muhammad widens the scope of his orders to kill. An innocent Jewish businessman was then slain by his Muslim partner, merely for being non-Muslim.

- Ishaq: 992
“Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.”

- Quran 3:56
"As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help."

- Quran 8:12
"I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"


The Quran also condones slavery and the subjugation of women. So yeah, the Quran isn't at all nicer than the bible.


And that is all I'm saying on that. I'm trying to ignore this thread. >.>

Offline GypsyRose

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #501 on: April 02, 2015, 12:12:47 PM »
I think it's worth it to keep in mind that many of the atrocities committed in the name of religion had their roots as firmly embedded in economics and the protection/acquisition of land and power.

It's just a lot easier to motivate people by saying 'God/Allah wants you to do this' than it is to say 'I want you to do this because X wants more money, more power, more wealth and doesn't want Y having it.  Now go do as you're told.'

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #502 on: April 02, 2015, 12:14:22 PM »
I think it's worth it to keep in mind that many of the atrocities committed in the name of religion had their roots as firmly embedded in economics and the protection/acquisition of land and power.

It's just a lot easier to motivate people by saying 'God/Allah wants you to do this' than it is to say 'I want you to do this because X wants more money, more power, more wealth and doesn't want Y having it.  Now go do as you're told.'
+1

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #503 on: April 02, 2015, 12:18:07 PM »
I think it's worth it to keep in mind that many of the atrocities committed in the name of religion had their roots as firmly embedded in economics and the protection/acquisition of land and power.

It's just a lot easier to motivate people by saying 'God/Allah wants you to do this' than it is to say 'I want you to do this because X wants more money, more power, more wealth and doesn't want Y having it.  Now go do as you're told.'

Amen to that. (Nyuk nyuk.)

Offline Vekseid

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #504 on: April 02, 2015, 03:42:42 PM »
For those still under the illusion that Christianity is some holy, peaceful religion:

"And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."

Genesis 4:8


Genesis is the first book of the Bible, Cain and Abel were the sons of Adam and Eve. The 3rd person ever to set foot on this planet, according to the bible, killed his brother. The whole bible is full of murders and rapes and other kinds of atrocities. The Quran is not.

So perhaps, modern day muslims are more violent than Christians, which I very much doubt, but purely based on the religion, nothing ever beats Christianity in terms of violence and cruelties.

Are you trolling?

The Hadith gets even worse - this was involving men who were reluctant to rape women in front of their husbands, so 'Allah' had to tell them it was okay if they took the women as slaves.

I think it's worth it to keep in mind that many of the atrocities committed in the name of religion had their roots as firmly embedded in economics and the protection/acquisition of land and power.

It's just a lot easier to motivate people by saying 'God/Allah wants you to do this' than it is to say 'I want you to do this because X wants more money, more power, more wealth and doesn't want Y having it.  Now go do as you're told.'

It doesn't excuse anything, though.

As for modern day Muslims being more violent than modern day Christians, the extremists definitely are. The people who aren't extremists are about the same. Historically speaking, that has generally been the case.

Pretending like Christianity or Hinduism aren't horrific does little good, either. Dominionists just have better PR. You don't hear about the atrocities Christians commit because it isn't called out. Christianity played a major role in the Rwandan genocide, was a big part of Timothy MvVeigh's bombing, Uganda, etc.

According to the Authoritarians, roughly one in ten people are open to killing you if an authority they believe in demands it.

I think this number belies a more important factor - the recruits of groups like ISIS and such are desperate. Desperation is what drives authoritarian thinking - people who feel they have no other option or outlet.

There is at this time no coherent movement addressing the growing disparity of wealth in the West, and the resulting poverty it enforces, especially on minorities.

Except for Islam. At least in these kids' minds.

Offline consortium11

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #505 on: April 02, 2015, 05:31:35 PM »
Pretending like Christianity or Hinduism aren't horrific does little good, either. Dominionists just have better PR. You don't hear about the atrocities Christians commit because it isn't called out. Christianity played a major role in the Rwandan genocide, was a big part of Timothy MvVeigh's bombing, Uganda, etc.

While I don't disagree with your overall point, do you have a source on Christianity playing a major role in the Rwandan Genocide? It had a role certainly; both Protestant and Catholic churches could have done more to condemn it but the conflict wasn't really along religious lines, instead being almost entirely on ethnic ones (and both the Tutsi and Hutu people are primarily Christian and both split between Protestant and Cathlic doctrines). While there are horrific examples of acts by individual clergy/religious leaders (Athanase Seromba I'd suggest those are individual acts by the people involved rather than a wider element of the religion.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #506 on: April 02, 2015, 08:25:42 PM »
Not religious, no, but they openly partook in ethnic politics (at least as cited on Wikipedia). While it was certainly not the primary factor, many Tutsi people have a legitimate gripe with the church and many of its leaders - presumably appointed by and answerable to the Vatican - openly partook in it.

Offline kylie

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #507 on: April 02, 2015, 10:40:52 PM »
No, because all of the atrocities of Christianity combined do not come close to the atrocities that Islam has inflicted on the world. It's not even a contest. In terms of policies, raw population slaughtered - by whatever measure you choose, Islam is the most brutal ideology Earth has ever known.

Go ahead. Compare extremists. Find me one Christian with Timur's bodycount. The only man to exceed him is Genghis Khan and his respect for Nestorian Christianity - and certainly, he made use of religion in his decrees. ("I have been sent by God to punish you for your sins!") but he himself was not Christian. Hitler may have been Christian, but Timur was still worse (if only because Hitler got beaten), and unlike Hitler, Timur was specifically religious in his ideology.

Islam is a religion founded in violence. You would not even mention the crusades (at least with respect to Islam) were it not for the conquests of the Rashidun and Umayyad caliphates. That the crusades are used as any response to Islam's atrocities is almost a sick a joke as people crying 'Islamophobia' and equating a distrust of Islam with racism because apparently Islam = Arab.

Arabs being the ones who invented racism as we now have it, and who still practice their racism without shame.

       Sorry if I'm jumping out of nowhere into deep water...  But I am really trying to wrap my head around you saying that last line.  It's a sort of 'quick and dirty' line and I wonder if it's said more in frustration at other, more specific and I think by now buried-in-crosstalk parts of the conversation -- umm, rather than any sense of empirical analysis.  But if I take that statement at face value, I find it very hard to believe. 

       Sure Islam is a big religion much as Judaism or Christianity or even Hinduism are big religions.  You can find some shred of their ideas, twisted this way and that, in many places if you look hard enough.  Or also, if you were to read some imaginative conspiracy theory like Umberto Eco's novel Foucault's Pendulum: "Of course" the Knights Templar (or whichever globally busy group one prefers) must be the one defining instigator for everything

     But lots of disparate locations and populations have strong racist elements or streaks which hardly cite or seem to rely on the history of Islam for their origins or persistence.  Just for a few off the bat instant Google, consider the little snap summaries here: It's an otherwise religiously busy text (ahem) that mentions just a few racist projects around the world.  By all means do ignore everything they wrote below "Solutions" toward the bottom; that has a bunch of utopianism about how Islam is somehow naturally best at overcoming it all -- which I highly doubt!  But I think the examples of many different peoples acting on racial hate are fair enough.  Let's see:  Hindu creation myths, the Conquistadors, funding for Darwin, Aryan nations stories including Hitler's version...  On and on.  I don't see how those all should be chalked up to the fault of some Islam writ large.

      I want to know a lot more how you're getting to this line.  Or are you perhaps actually trying to say something more limited like oh this:  'If Muslims did 9/11 then it's obviously Islam's fault if people coming from the US take it out on Muslims and start having all sorts of sweeping assumptions about Muslims in and outside of the US?'  Which I wouldn't readily agree with either.  But I might find it marginally more comprehensible that you'd say it, rather in spite (imo) of all your general erudition.  Just given the messy way US politics have been after 2001. 

     On the other hand though:  Your simply trying to argue about who has killed more people doesn't help me very far.  Even if it's true, it doesn't automatically boil down neatly to all the people doing or even ordering the killing necessarily being motivated by religion.  Even if you can say Islam has been the religion and among the rhetoric of excuses for those few leaders who managed to pull off a higher body count -- and it all sounds awfully pointless when you have to add, if only because someone else won the war there -- that still doesn't prove that of itself it's somehow  'a most violent religion.'  I might be more open to arguments that something about the history and situations where Islam has grown lend it to more militant groups hijacking the whole boat....  But then, I'd probably also feel that then we're talking more about political economy or even, psychology than religion per se.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 10:46:37 PM by kylie »

Offline Vekseid

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #508 on: April 03, 2015, 12:08:40 AM »
The first two caliphates - the Rashidun and the Umayyads - were big on Islam being 'their' religion. Converting to Islam wasn't enough - if you weren't an arab, you were still a second-class citizen. The Quran is also explicit about not forcing conversions, but is very explicit about ensuring that non-Muslims submit (pay Jizya).

The Umayyads invaded the Iberian peninsula and entered France, where they were finally turned back at the Battle of Tours by Charles Martel. This military miracle gained Martel an enormous deal of political clout, and set the stage for his grandson - Charlemagne - to rise to power.

The next seven hundred years would see a slow, inexorable war for the Iberian peninsula.

In most of the rest of the Islamic world, the Umayyads would be routed by the Abbasids - still arabs, but they embraced new Islamic converts rather than continuing to look down on them. Their more enlightened rule is what brought on the Islamic Golden Age. And probably saved Islam outside of Arabia in the first place, if what happened in Spain is any indication.

The Umayyads lost nearly all territory, except for the Iberian peninsula and northwest Africa. There, they regularly took Christians as slaves, and as the various holy wars for Spain played out, a rather sick trend emerged.

Sangre azul - blue blood. As in, white, untainted by the Moorish invaders. Until this point skin color was noticed, but it wasn't given the intensity of discrimination you see today in the West.

It's not like black and white people hadn't fought before. Groups of all sorts of colors had been fighting in Spain for a thousand years before this, and over Egypt, and over Anatolia. It barely ever gets mentioned - and even then usually as a curiosity - until the Reconquista.

After several centuries of protracted war, and as Constantinople is about to fall, comes Dum Diversas. The Iberians took this as license to enslave anyone of color, and the mass slave trade was born - a phenomenon a bit unlike any other form of slavery before it. Spain is eventually prohibited from exploring Africa, so they contract out their slaving needs to the English - and the rest is history. Eventually, the Moors were (more) tolerated, but by that point the idea of white, Christian supremacy had taken root and spread.


Offline kylie

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #509 on: April 03, 2015, 12:59:26 AM »
       Okay, interesting.  I can see a little better where your conception of "original" racism, as it were, is coming from at least.  I've read an all-too-brief history of early Islam catalogued more or less as political conquest, but it didn't always dwell that much on the terminology of classes of people or enemies. 

       So there was a lot of violence and an exploitative, international as it were, class system.  I'm still not sure it's so unique though.  Some Arab states have great financial flows from selling oil today, but they are hardly alone in maintaining and expanding that system with huge inequalities.  You're sort of making them out to be the ones who bit Eve's Apple there, or no?

     And for sheer violence if you prefer...  Like, how significant is it who used gunpowder first --- if now everyone almost everyone seems to assume it's just the thing to have?  Take another angle:  The United States knocked off, what, half a million Japanese (and destroyed much of three cities, housing in particular) over a few months between a single night Tokyo firebombing and the two atomic bombs which also dropped during one day.  Has anyone else killed that many noncombatants in the span of one or two days?  Many people in other countries would say Americans seem rather racist for their sense of superiority in doing that, hoarding nuclear weapons and/or denying others avenues to hold their own nukes.  Many Americans would say they think about these things, but they have other, more pragmatic reasons.  Or mixed feelings.  How many would be willing to consider, oh, racism.  And then if it were considered racism, would you really blame the Arabs or Islam as some amorphous body of faith/ideas, for all that?   

        Maybe the part that worries me more is where you said, "... and who still practice their racism without shame."  Here's why: 

        It seems to me the racism we have as a society (and which, within the social system, we find often ourselves unable to change to some degree), is well...  Sort of just that.  By which I mean, it is just the racism we "know."  We may like it or dislike it or make charitable gestures about how we'd prefer to change it, but often we're at least implicated in passively living in a place where it is part of the economy.  This can variously mean just surviving at the bottom while going through certain motions, or deriving a lot of wealth from it at the top with or without caring, or sitting someplace in the middle wondering why that other group is "so different" (often, so 'uncultured' if not 'barbaric') or gets a particular break this moment.  We also don't always know (or sometimes, know "for sure") whether or how much various practices might be objectively measured as racist at all. 

     I'm skeptical that say, even all Americans (much less the rest of the post/industrialized world if they count) are necessarily always so concerned with the same early Christian line of values when they get involved in all this.  Isn't it possible that even racism has much more specific, modern ways of thinking included that aren't so clearly traceable to Islam?  Are even all of the significant modern Arab justifications, for that matter, traceable primarily to Islam?

        So...  How would you say, the Arabs should be seen as 'more shameless' if you will than anyone else?  Today, that is.
     
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 01:44:01 PM by kylie »

Offline Sabre

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #510 on: April 03, 2015, 01:05:33 AM »
The only chronicle to give the battle this kind of political value was Mozareb. Charles Martel gained his political capital by conquering his neighboring Frankish kingdoms, including Aquitaine from both Arab and native Frankish rulers (who even hired Arab mercenaries to help resist Charles and his son Pepin for decades after Tours). What followed was centuries of intermingling of the Arab elite of Spain and Morocco with Berber and Hispano-Roman natives, with several native families continuing to hold power as converts. The Umayyad emirs and governors intermarried from among these families, and by the time the Cordoban caliphate was established the Umayyad dynasts were themselves fair haired, light eyed men who were directly related to the Christian Asturian royalty of the north. And for the record, slavery and raiding went both ways, and not only between Muslim/non-Muslim borders.

What I'm saying is that Umayyad policy was not racist as we understand it, but highly tribal. It wasn't enough to be Arab, but to descend from a prestigious ancient Arab tribe. miscegenation was common, but among Arab men with non-Arab women (though the opposite did happen). And early converts were normally accepted by adoption as a branch family of an existing Arab tribe. It was their fight to prevent extending the privileges of the ruling Arab elite that the Umayyads were denounced, along with other issues of course. But the principle they worked from wasn't racist, anymore than the Romans withholding citizenship except to Latin colonists until later was a racist policy. That being said, the Umayyads did employ and accept many non-Arab Muslims (and non-Muslims) into their state, and the Abbasids also subjugated non-Arab Muslims themselves to a similar degree. The subject is too complex to go over without requiring a separate thread in any case.

The case is well made for the Spanish Iberians being the inventors of racism as we now know it, but there is a hole in the hypothesis about Arabs being the progenitor of modern racism when it hasn't been shown how the Arabs transferred this idea to the Spaniards, especially considering the actions and attitudes of the Andalusians towards blood-mixing. This is not to say there isn't racism among modern day Arabs, but the causes are much more recent than the 8th century.

Offline consortium11

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #511 on: April 03, 2015, 07:59:10 AM »
Take another angle:  The United States knocked off, what, half a million Japanese (and destroyed much of three cities, housing in particular) over a few months between a single night Tokyo firebombing and the two atomic bombs which also dropped during one day.  Has anyone else killed that many noncombatants in the span of one or two days? 

While there's obviously issues with historical accuracy, when the Mongols slaughtered the inhabitants of Nishapur (after the husband of Genghis Khan's daughter was killed there) the reported number of casualties was around 1.7 million, all killed in a few days and their skulls heaped in pyramids. There's a similar death toll (around 1.6 million) reported during the sacking of Herat and around a million people were killed at Merv when the city opened it's gates (reportedly the whole populace outside of a few hundred artisans).

Offline Vekseid

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #512 on: April 03, 2015, 01:31:42 PM »
What I'm saying is that Umayyad policy was not racist as we understand it, but highly tribal. It wasn't enough to be Arab, but to descend from a prestigious ancient Arab tribe. miscegenation was common, but among Arab men with non-Arab women (though the opposite did happen).

I'm sure this was totally endearing to the locals.

Quote
The case is well made for the Spanish Iberians being the inventors of racism as we now know it, but there is a hole in the hypothesis about Arabs being the progenitor of modern racism when it hasn't been shown how the Arabs transferred this idea to the Spaniards, especially considering the actions and attitudes of the Andalusians towards blood-mixing. This is not to say there isn't racism among modern day Arabs, but the causes are much more recent than the 8th century.

Not just the Spaniards, but Spain and Portugal both.

The degree of it is utterly beyond the pale, compared to everything that came before. That level of dismissal of the basic humanity of others is, contrary to what some may claim, not at all natural.

While there's obviously issues with historical accuracy, when the Mongols slaughtered the inhabitants of Nishapur (after the husband of Genghis Khan's daughter was killed there) the reported number of casualties was around 1.7 million, all killed in a few days and their skulls heaped in pyramids. There's a similar death toll (around 1.6 million) reported during the sacking of Herat and around a million people were killed at Merv when the city opened it's gates (reportedly the whole populace outside of a few hundred artisans).

There are many Turko-Mongol examples. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, Islam's death toll looks a bit more 'normal' if you discount their impact.

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #513 on: April 06, 2015, 02:33:28 AM »
Quote
While there's obviously issues with historical accuracy, when the Mongols slaughtered the inhabitants of Nishapur (after the husband of Genghis Khan's daughter was killed there) the reported number of casualties was around 1.7 million, all killed in a few days and their skulls heaped in pyramids. There's a similar death toll (around 1.6 million) reported during the sacking of Herat and around a million people were killed at Merv when the city opened it's gates (reportedly the whole populace outside of a few hundred artisans).

Is this considered historically accurate?  I mean, the population of Rome at it's height was maybe close to a million, with the most advanced technology of the region and time (aqueducts, cisterns, sewers), and not surpassed until London in the 19th Century.  How were cities in Asia Minor and the Middle East technology-wise in that time?  Did they have the capacity for cities of over a million individuals, or is that an aggregate population including the region surrounding and supporting the city proper?  As for pyramids of skulls...1.7 million skulls is a lot of heads to denude of flesh...would it be more likely that much of this is hyperbole?  Beheading bodies is blade-dulling work, unless they had a more efficient method.  I can believe severed heads much more than steamed and cleaned skulls, but my detailed working knowledge of Mongol methods is very thin.

It is a very specific bone to pick over, but I love history, and the greatest accuracy of it.  Without a doubt the Mongols slaughtered countless human beings indiscriminately, and put entire cities to the sword...but I wonder what the actual populations of the areas were in those times.

Also:  more to the topic...were the Mongols an Islamic people by this time--or am I confusing them for the Timurids from a later era?

Offline DarkAngel111

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #514 on: April 06, 2015, 04:21:40 AM »
Genghis Khan was not a muslim, nor were any of the other mongols.
If you look at the accuracy of history, earlier evidence of Islam in Mongol tribe is seen around 1250s. While the incident of Nishapur happened in 1221,

The first Muslim as per my knowledge, amongst the mongols was Genghis Khan's Grandson. That was around 1250s. Even then, historians are not exactly sure of the dates... Which makes me wonder how reliable the figures given really can be if even the Years of the invasions and attacks cannot be confirmed.

Offline consortium11

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #515 on: April 06, 2015, 05:41:53 AM »
Is this considered historically accurate?  I mean, the population of Rome at it's height was maybe close to a million, with the most advanced technology of the region and time (aqueducts, cisterns, sewers), and not surpassed until London in the 19th Century.  How were cities in Asia Minor and the Middle East technology-wise in that time?  Did they have the capacity for cities of over a million individuals, or is that an aggregate population including the region surrounding and supporting the city proper?  As for pyramids of skulls...1.7 million skulls is a lot of heads to denude of flesh...would it be more likely that much of this is hyperbole?  Beheading bodies is blade-dulling work, unless they had a more efficient method.  I can believe severed heads much more than steamed and cleaned skulls, but my detailed working knowledge of Mongol methods is very thin.

Reasonably historically accurate and certainly plausible. This was basically the peak of what's called the Golden Age of Islam with science and technology that built upon the earlier Greek and Roman developments, the cities mentioned were the major trading posts on the Silk Road and with at the time they were sacked their populations would have been considerably swelled by people from outlying areas fleeing to them in search of safety from the Mongols. I have no doubt the numbers are slightly unreliable as all figures from that time are but by modern estimates the population of what we now call Iran and Afghanistan declined by around 5-6 million people during the period with no reports of natural disasters, famines, plagues etc. In China the decline was far, far worse (with estimates generally putting it between 30 and 40 million people) but most of that was due to famine caused by the wars rather than single acts of brutality.

Also:  more to the topic...were the Mongols an Islamic people by this time--or am I confusing them for the Timurids from a later era?

No; there were likely some converts during the period but on the whole the Mongol's under Gengis Khan were a mix of pretty much every religion with an emphasis on traditional Shamanism. It was later (notably around the time of Khan's grandson who was the first ruler to convert) that the Mongols began to convert on a large scale to Islam leading to three of the four principle Khanates being Islamic. That said it should also be noted that it could well have been a matter of convenience; the Mongols were ruling countries with huge Muslim majorities and being Islamic made life easier.

My reference to the cities destroyed here wasn't to add them to Islam's death toll... it wouldn't be accurate to do so... but to raise them as a response to kylie's point about non-combatants killed in a single act. 

Offline Vekseid

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #516 on: April 06, 2015, 09:07:20 AM »
Is this considered historically accurate?  I mean, the population of Rome at it's height was maybe close to a million, with the most advanced technology of the region and time (aqueducts, cisterns, sewers), and not surpassed until London in the 19th Century.  How were cities in Asia Minor and the Middle East technology-wise in that time?  Did they have the capacity for cities of over a million individuals, or is that an aggregate population including the region surrounding and supporting the city proper?  As for pyramids of skulls...1.7 million skulls is a lot of heads to denude of flesh...would it be more likely that much of this is hyperbole?  Beheading bodies is blade-dulling work, unless they had a more efficient method.  I can believe severed heads much more than steamed and cleaned skulls, but my detailed working knowledge of Mongol methods is very thin.

It is a very specific bone to pick over, but I love history, and the greatest accuracy of it.  Without a doubt the Mongols slaughtered countless human beings indiscriminately, and put entire cities to the sword...but I wonder what the actual populations of the areas were in those times.

Until the Mongols came through, Persia (including cities like Baghdad) had been the intellectual center of the world for centuries. We tend to get a pretty whitewashed version of history about them, in no small part because of the Mongol genocides.

Offline Gadifriald

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #517 on: April 06, 2015, 01:02:59 PM »
Throughout the Middle Ages the Middle East and Muslim North Africa and Spain were the most technologically and scientifically and intellectually advanced regions of the world! Then during the Age of Discovery when European countries found direct trade routes to Asia that bypassed the Middle East and to Africa that bypassed North Africa, those regions went into a slow decline that did not reverse till the discovery of oil in the Middle East and the modern Middle East and much of the Muslim world still is culturally recovering from that. Also, it didn't help that European colonial powers royally messed the regions up in the 19th and 20th Centuries!

Offline consortium11

Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #518 on: April 06, 2015, 01:36:06 PM »
Throughout the Middle Ages the Middle East and Muslim North Africa and Spain were the most technologically and scientifically and intellectually advanced regions of the world! Then during the Age of Discovery when European countries found direct trade routes to Asia that bypassed the Middle East and to Africa that bypassed North Africa, those regions went into a slow decline that did not reverse till the discovery of oil in the Middle East and the modern Middle East and much of the Muslim world still is culturally recovering from that. Also, it didn't help that European colonial powers royally messed the regions up in the 19th and 20th Centuries!

It's a combination of that and the Mongols. The Mongols utterly devastated the area in the mid-to-late 1200's, with their sack of Baghdad being considered the end of the Golden Age of Islam. The discovery of sea routes that circumvented the Silk Road and allowed more direct trade by European powers was the main reason that area of the world couldn't recover after the devastation the Mongols wrought, but without the Mongols the golden age of Islam would likely have continued for a century (or more) longer and not ended so dramatically.

Offline sleepingferret

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #519 on: April 06, 2015, 11:52:30 PM »
Islam itself may be a religion of peace.  But these extremists, that are carrying out acts of terrorism and claim they do so for religious purposes and in the name of Allah, are only bringing shame to their beliefs (and fellow Muslims), to themselves, and are no better than others in the world's history like Adolf Hitler.

That being said, I don't believe religion itself is the issue; just as things like race or sexual orientation should never be an issue for anything.  As we could be having this same discussion about whether Christianity is a religion of peace... it's just that it seems that all the "extremist" groups behind any terrorism throughout the world in the past few decades have been linked to Islam.

But when you stop and look at the Islamic religion itself, just as if you were to examine Judaism, or any other religion (aside from known "non-peaceful" religions); said religions can be said to have many "similar" beliefs.  While for example, while Jews do not believe that Christ has not been born yet and Christians do, both religions share an overall belief in one "true" God.  As well as, many religions of our world believing in similar things of how one should properly act in his or her life in order to be in "good faith" or however you want to say it.

So again, is Islam a religion of peace?  I personally have to say, yes... when looked at properly and just viewed as how you might see it (or read about it) on the news (or internet) because of extremists causing acts of terrorism throughout the world.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?
« Reply #520 on: June 17, 2015, 07:11:20 AM »
*raises hand waaayyyyyyyyyy in the back*
the Cain and Abel thing... uh...basicly that's old testament part of all three major Abrahamic religions. Cain and Abel gave offering to god (Again Old Testiment, NT says no sacrifices.) Cain gave a small amount of wheat, Abel gave his prize lamb. God favored Abel, Cain got pissed, the next day bashed his head in with a rock committing the first murder. God gets pissed for reasons that should be obvious, and brands him as an exile.