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The Conspiracy of the Sword

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posted on Oct, 25 2006 @ 01:52 PM

Originally posted by babloyi
It seems that there is a VERY prevalent idea that Islam was spread by the Sword, and held in place by the sword. As far as I can tell, it was propagated by early Christians, and after a while it was so wholey permeated throughout the Christian Europe as to be taken as the whole and complete truth.

Are you suggesting that it didn't occur?

I respect islam for its tenents insisting on good treatment of non-muslims, as outlined in the koran. But, like every other religion, islam has gone through periods when it didn't exactly stick to the peaceful message.

as it is a comparison of what the so-called "Christian people" was practicing at the time of their accusations.

The christians, when spreading through europe, would, for example, stuff adders down the throats of unconverting germans. But, in similar situations, the muslims sacked the yezidi with their army and slaughtered them by the riverside.

Now, one thing that I contend is that Muhammad ever followed the policy of "Convert or Die". Muhammad advocated self-defense, and striving against oppression.

It seems that mohammed's take on it was what was in the koran, attack when attacked, fight for whats 'right' and don't let up once someone attacks you. Which is to say, the man wasn't a pacifist. Jesus was a pacifist, and so was buddha, so, if a person values pacifism, then mohammed isn't for them. Thats not much of a criticism, imo.

The Quran itself is very clear in this: "There is no compulsion in religion",

Yes, but, like every holy book, people have simply ignored it commands, done what ever they wanted, and then tried to say that the holy book supports it. The christians did it, and the muslims certainly did it too. Not all of the spread of islam was by the sword, and not all the spread of christianity was by the sword. But there were certainly acts of unjustified violence perpetrated by both.

One thing is certain. Islam never had an "Inquisition".

There has never been a campaign or policy against apostates within islam???? Haven't the nosarii/alawis suffered when mainstream muslims have tried to 'get them back on the right path'? And there have certainly been actions by the muslims against pagans and jews within their borders and just beyond their borders. Certainly, the perpetrators of the violence would claim that it was necessary to 'defend islam', but just as certainly that wasn't allways the case.

There is an immensely diverse religious mix in what was/is the Islamic world, while in what was once the Christian world, there is only Christianity and a small amount of Judaism

Indeed, if you compare the two religions, the christian theology is more pacifistic than islam, but the actions have been far more violent and genocidal than islam.

to say that it was greater than (or even as much as, considering the headstart by Christianity), is unfair.

Indeed. BI lets be clear, the muslims were good fighters, if they weren't, islam would probably be limited to arabia and the arabs.

-Thus, when the Muslims conquered Yezdjard, the drop in all the burden caused Persia to be forever connected to Islam.

Yes but they didn't convert merely because they like the islamic religion, heck, islam in iran/persia is in some ways radically different from the islam of the early arabs and mohammed. Both islam and christianity spread throughout the world, where christians were in charge, christianity became the majority religion, where muslims were in charge, islam became the majority religion. This is because the lower classes and the subjects will, especially over time, adopt the ways of the ruling class, not because the religion is necessarily all that attractive. Also, lets be careful to note, in the islamic territory, there are many examples of crypto-pagan groups, and in the balkans, crypto-christian groups. These were people that outwardly adopted the islamic religion, and when the ruling muslim elite came to town for administrative tasks, they'd put up an act of being mainstream muslims. As soon as they'd leave, they'd bring the win out from the basement and take the veils off. The balkans especially had many instances where people would flip flop between being muslims and christians, depending on who was in ascendancy or making demands at the time, muslims or orthodox christians.

Not to say that Muslims did not have their share of manic bloodthirsty rulers, but they were definitely a minority.

I don't know if I would say that, thats debateable. But certainly, islam is far less violent in practice than christianity.

But, there is also another major factor here. Christianity was at its most violent when it was in the dark ages, this was the period in which the knowledge of the classical civilization was lost. So europeans lived as savages. The muslims at the time managed to preserve that learning, that classical civilization, and incorporate it into their own culture and rule, and because of it they were civilized.
Over time, the exact oppositte has occured, the muslim knowledge went stagnant, and the west re-discovered the classical knowledge. Now its the muslims in the middle east that live in a savage dark age. To be really fair, we can say that christianity spread with far more violence than islam, and that christianity destroyed all other religions that it could. After that, christianity became basically as violent as islam is today (more or less, keeping in mind that not all of islam is represented by radical islam, just like not all christendom was made uop of illiterate crusaders).

It's even more unfair that hundreds of years later, this lie should still be believed.

The lie is that islam, as a religion, demands violence against non-muslims, and that islam has a more bloody history than christianity. But its not a lie to say that islam spread, like christianity, partly through the sword, either through forced conversions, or simply because the muslims came to rule an area and then people slowly converted over to it.

He told my pastor this, "Why don't you stupid christians just give up, Islam is going to take over the world!"

Thats really irrelevant. Thats like taking the statements of an ignorant crusading 'knight' and taking it for the message of jesus.

The first part was composed of peaceful verses and he presented it to people. It was rejected, so he then comprised more, and this new part promotes violence and conquering and the sword as the way to spread Islam

This is untrue. Mohammed was persecuted by pagan arabs from mecca. There are portions of the koran that deal with this time, and its a violent time. Thats what happens during a persecution. The other 'part' of the koran is supposed to be from when they were in ascendancy in medina, unmolested by their neighbhors, and thus its peaceful.
This is like the gospels from when jesus was around, when the christians weren't being rounded up and destroyed, compared to the Book of the Revelation of St. John. It doesn't mean that christians 'rejected' the message of jesus, and then their leaders issued a new book that talks about killing all the nonbeleivers in the world.

That's what I have also learned about first wife. She was rich, money is a powerful intoxicant.

How is this relevant?
The concept of a 'love marriage' only came into real existence recently in the west. Before that, christians made arraigned marriages for political and economic gain, just like arabs, just like hindus, just like everyone else in the world. What does it matter if mohammed married some widow because she was powerful??? Mohammed is just some guy. Arabs at the time had multiple wives, just like the ancient hebrews, that was the custom of the old semites, to live as a wandering tribe, taking what was needed when it was needed, and having lots of wives to make yourself rich and have lots of kids.

posted on Nov, 4 2006 @ 11:24 AM
Ersatz, you say that I'm not interested in any other version than the comfortable, heroic "truth" I think I know. I could say the same of you. If you are going to believe that Muhammad was an evil, evil person, who's every action was fueled by evilness, then I don't know what to say. Muhammad married a young girl (which was a very common practice at the time), so he's obviously a paedophile. He had more than 1 wife (also a common practice), so he's obviously a sex-starved maniac. But wait! He spent 24 years of his life married to only 1 person. Oh, that's nothing, it's only because she was rich.

Your argument just doesn't hold up, because of so many reasons. When Muhammad first started preaching publicly, the Makkans offered him riches, concubines, the whole thing. He rejected it. If he was so desparate for women, why didn't he marry more women after getting control of Khadija's money?

You are taking lack of any background fact, and twisting it to get the worst interpretation. I mean, you could take the fact that Jesus never married, and that there is a large portion of his life that is unaccounted for, and come up with a whole lot of absurd accusations.

QueenAnnie, when I can't use the books at my home, I use USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts, it has 3 separate translations which between them generally give you the gist of what is being said, but occasionally I've seen that even they translated a word in an odd way. I really don't know what to suggest to you.

Nygdan, I'm not saying that no violence occured at the hands of the muslims, I'm just saying that the bad press that muslims have been getting since they've come into contact with christianity is way out of proportion, especially if you consider the "Christian" nations at the time, who made these accusations.

True, I never said that Islam=Pacifism. If you are attacked/oppressed you have every right to fight. This is definitely not the same as most Christians percieve christianity, but I would think it debateable whether or not Jesus advocated self-defense (The verse I linked before).

There has never been a policy of consistent extermination of non-muslims on a mass scale within Islam. There have been certain individual rulers who have stooped to the occasional slaughter for "lawful"
increase in plunder and land (some of the Mughals, Tamerlane, etc.), and they may even have been blessed by the religious authority under them (what else could they do? Be killed?), but at the same time, it was condemned by other outside religious authorities.

[edit on 4-11-2006 by babloyi]

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