islam on this forum & in the world

Discussion in 'History' started by WildBlueYonder, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. A little note on half truths put up on this forum by some members, that want so much to prove that islam, is the font of all knowledge, logic, truth, facts, etc…

    As usual, P-M, gets the story half right, the numbers the West uses are called Hindu-Arabic for a reason.


    islam gained much from its interaction with the world, it synthesized all it learned from the Roman, Byzantine, Persian, Indian, Egyptian, Chinese & etc.. peoples, that it conquered, traded with, dealt with. It didn't do anything more or less, that other empires did, except founded a long-lasting religious, cultural norm in many areas that it occupied.
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  3. buffys Registered Loser Registered Senior Member

    your point is?

    The same can be said about the advocates of any belief/view/ideology/lifestyle/etc. I have yet to read an argument that isn't padded with half truths, the forum is built on them for christ's sake.
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  5. Pollux V Ra Bless America Registered Senior Member

    For a time it carried the scientific and cultural burden of western civilization, taking over the job from the Byzantines. Not many Empires face such a task. While our European ancestors were busily "serfing" each other the Muslims were preserving, translating, and adding to the collective knowledge of Greek/Roman civilization. Although life readily sucked wherever you went in the Medieval world, if I had a choice, I would live in either Cordoba or Baghdad (at least before the Mongols got to it). Not Paris, not Rome.
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  7. Thersites Registered Senior Member

    I don't think they decided "Right chaps it is our onerous duty to carry the scientific and cultural burden of western civilisation. The Byzantines can't hack it and a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do." The Arabs conquered great swathes of the Middle East and North africa with pretty extensive libraries. As conquerors they had leisure enough to study and learn. As- at their peak- an extensive empire they brought together material from very disparate sources.
    All empires face the task of deciding what to do in the territories they conquer.
    Quite a difference between "serfing" and slavery. Serfs had guaranteed rights. Muslims were the slaves of god and the leadership of the caliphate, no matter how it got the job, had absolute power.
  8. Rappaccini Redoubtable Registered Senior Member

    Those guaranteed rights were down-right paltry, yes?

    Could one not observe that, until the Schism, the whole of Western Europe was slave to God and His Papacy?
    Popes like Innocent wielded at least as much power as their Caliph contemporaries, did they not?

    In my opinion, characterizing the Caliphate as tyrannical is unfair, considering.
  9. Thersites Registered Senior Member

    No. They were guaranteed. When they were infringed peasants also had and took the right to revolt. They didn't derive from christianity, but from the pre-Christian customs of the Celtic and Germanic tribes.

    One could, but one would be wrong.
    Which Innocent? Which caliph? The papacy was a medium sized temporal power in Italy. For the rest, it didn't have much power. kings could persuade popes to do what they wanted- move the papacy to Avignon for example- or ignore the papacy when their country was under an interdict.

    Considering what?
  10. Xev Registered Senior Member

    That was rather different in practice, wasn't it?
    While they may have had the theoretical right to revolt, whenever they did the rebellion was promptly crushed.

    The status of serfs in Europe or slaves in the Mid-East had much more to do with accidents of economy than theoretical concessions from the ruling class. When the black death drove up the value of labor, the peasants did better. When a bad harvest struck, the peasants fared worse.

    Remember the Peasant's Revolt of 1348? The peasants tried to press the advantage the plauge gave them, and the aristocracy opposed and defeated them. So much for right of rebellion.

    The Papacy was not always a very formidable power, but it did decide more than a couple issues of succession and was able to bring down the German Emporer Frederick II. An interdict could have a very unsettling effect on the superstitious masses, as well as granting legitimacy to enemies of the king under interdict.

    While the Islamic empires (there were more than one, twit) did have much from other cultures to go on, to claim them as mere "synthesizers" is idiotic. The Islamic world produced its own art, philosophy and science at a time when Europeans were picking lice off their skin and killing each other over the trinity.

    One also notes that most successful empires are the "synthesizers". Even dead-Jesus-on-a-stick is a ripoff of Pagan traditions:

    Da-umm - other empires don't found long lasting cultural norms in the areas they occupy? Odd assertion to type in Latin letters.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2004
  11. Thersites Registered Senior Member

    Usually in the middle ages, under the feudal system, it took quite some time and a compromise came out. Compare the German Peasants' Revolts in the 16th century, after the professionalisation of warfare and soldiers, for a really bloody suppression.

    ~the peasants also gained many of their demands.

    Less power than muslim rulers then. This was when the papacy was becoming more powerful both as a military and a temporal power. Other Holy Roman Emperors had more success against the papacy. Frederick was brought down far more by his other enemies within the empire.

    One aspect of the muslim rulers was that there was a tendency to replace them with more bigotted rulers from time to time. Because of the compromises of power it was fairly easy for a movement of strict reform muslims to claim that they were the true successors of the early imams. See the Almohads and the Almarovids in North Africa and Spain as obvious examples.
  12. Ebony Registered Senior Member

    Still don't get the point. Everybody did that. Why are muslims special?
  13. Xev Registered Senior Member

    I'm not seeing your point?

    Eventually, and only because the need for labor forced the nobility to give in. Their contractual rights had little relevence.

    I did not say the Papacy was always wholly strong - obviously, its power waxed and waned over its 2000 year history. However, the Papacy did weild a great deal of power.

    As for Fredrick, what exactly brought him low is not the issue. The fact remains that the Papacy was able to force an Emperor to undergo a most humiliating penace.

    Your point being?
  14. Thersites Registered Senior Member

    They retained most of their rights and sometimes expanded them during the middle ages. They were not slaves.

    You said that "under [an unspecified] Innocent the papacy wielded at least as much power as their caliph contemporaries". The papacy was a temporal and a spiritual power and most people distinguished between them. The caliphate was supposed to have absolute power as the slave of god and master of men.

    What brought Frederick down is the issue. The papacy was involved as a state with others against Frederick. Its success was as a state. The humiliation was an unsuccessful attempt to turn papacy's political power into spiritual power, which the other states did not accept.

    My point about the tendency with muslim states to have moderate rulers replaced by stricter ones is that it may be an inherent tendency in a state which combines both political and spiritual powers. The strict religious aspirant for power will have an internal edge over the moderate politic holder of power.
  15. Xev Registered Senior Member

    And sometimes lost them.

    I'm Rappaccini?

    That's very nice to know. It has nothing to do with my observation, but it's nice to know.
    The Papacy was hardly impotent.
  16. Thersites Registered Senior Member

    Certainly; unless they lost all of their rights they were not slaves. It is an important distinction.

    Are you? If you aren't, my apologies. You were using a very similar argument to Rappaccini. I have not denied that the papacy had power in the middle ages, that it sometimes claimed and aspired to absolute power both spiritual and temporal. However, its claims were not accepted or believed in the way that the caliphate and other muslim rulers could claim divine authorisation for their rule.

    Both very nice and very relevant. The papacy as a spiritual force did not bring Frederick down. A variety of opponents, including the Papal States brought him down. The Papacy's attempt to turn this into a general claim for temporal power failed. I did not say the papacy was impotent. I said that its powers were less and of a different kind to the powers of the caliphate.
  17. Yazan the truth is always hidden. Registered Senior Member

    with all all all all do respect
    it clearly seems to me that you have never ever read a useful book about Islamic history, or even know what is Islam any way
    dear friend,
    to be fair, you either be a ware of the subject that you are arguing about or stay silent
    sorry if you don't like my way of talking
  18. Xev Registered Senior Member

    No, it really isn't.
    Slavery and Feudalism are malleable institutions - what one status or the other would mean for an individual varies according to time and conditions. Theoretical rights mean nothing if they are not enforced.

    No, you attributed to me something he had said. There is not much simularity between either our usernames or our writing styles.
    Do try to pay attention.

    On the contrary, the "spiritual" power of the Papacy translated into political influence. You cannot deny this.
    I am not saying, and I have never said, that the two institutions were the same. On the contrary, the culture, race and geography of Europe mediated the Papacy's power in ways that were not replicated by the Mid-East.

    That said, the institutions are not so wholly dissimular as to say that the Caliphate weilded absolute power and the Papacy weilded none.

    Characterizing Middle Eastern society of that era as tyrannical and theocratic is rather hypocritical.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2004
  19. Thersites Registered Senior Member

    All institutions are malleable. The difference between serfdom and slavery is simple. Serfs had rights. Slaves did not.

    But strong similarity in your arguments.

    The papacy had "spiritual" influence. The caliphate had spiritually justified power. Thios was accepted by other muslims, while the papacy's claims, as you say, were "mediated".

    I did not say that. I said that the religious powers of mulsim rulers were more widely accepted and that the assumptions governing mediaeval muslim social stuctures tended to accept absolute power both religious and temporal in a way that they did not in Europe.

    Why? It was. So were other societies.
  20. path Militant wiseguy Registered Senior Member

    Right if that is the case then who carried the burden for the arabs before they burst onto the scene bent on conquering in the name of god? Romans, Byzantines Greeks Egyptians Persians etc and who carried the burden before them..and on and on. It could probably be argued that it was better to be a citizen of Rome than of Mecca at the height of the roman empire, it is irrelevant though isn't it. Probably all successful empires took what they could from previous civilizations built on it and moved on.
  21. Path, you hit the nail on the head, people that read, study history, would find that out quickly. The main impetus for all that patronage is all that free plunder, that they just stole from the people or empire they just conquered. Got to spend it on luxury items; like mansions, coliseums, plazas, churches, mosques, etc.

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