Monday, October 24, 2005

“You Do It, Too, and Besides, You Can’t Spell”

 
An email arrived today from someone who reads Gates but declines to set up a blogger account in order to be able to comment.

Here are her/his —the email is signed “A.B.” — complaints about my post, “Egypt and the Copts: Kith and Kin." Accompanying his fisking is my response.



Dymphna: “what is it about praying that makes Muslim blood boil against the infidel? This is the Religion of Peace, right?”

A.B.: “What is it about Christianity that made Christians slaughter jews and have inquisitions? Bernard Lewis once made the point that (roughly paraphrased) ‘When Christianity was roughly 1400 years old, it had its inquisitions and then its reformation. Islam today is roughly 1400 years old. Let us hope they have a reformation one day as well.’ I think the above statement of yours is rather ignorant, all things considered.”

So I’m ignorant, A.B. Do you use ad hominem arguments often? No one is holding a gun to your head, forcing you to stop by and read my post. Feel free to move along. Your tu quoque arguments about what Jews and Christians did six hundred years ago aren’t germane to what is going on today with the Copts…or in Pakistan or Iran or Thailand, or Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia or Turkey or Indonesia or parts of Africa, Eastern Europe, Russia, etc. Not to mention the compound down the road from my house, where reside adherents of a jihad against infidels by bloody cleansing. As an infidel, that makes me a target.

And what Jews and Christians did six hundred years ago would be germane were they still performing those atrocities. But they aren't. What is past tense for the Jews and Christians is current orthodoxy for Muslims.

The history of Islam from its very bloody beginnings — i.e., from the first attack of that caravan by Mohammed and his gang, from his first betrayal of the agreement he made with the Jews in Medina — makes its claim to be the ROP risible. Aside from the remnants of hunter tribes in South America, Muslims are the group least likely to be termed “plays well with others.” Meanwhile, Bernard Lewis’ hope that Islam might have a Reformation one day is based on wishful thinking. The Muslims can’t even get along with one another, how can they reform from within? “Religion of Peace” has got to be one of the most blatant examples of cultural denial extant.

Next fisking and reply:

Dymphna: “If you check your Koran, you know that this is a huge no-no. Christians may meet in private, if no one in authority knows about it, but they certainly are not permitted — koranically, anyway — to just up and build a church”

A.B.: Just as a heads up (though I imagine you do it in an attempt to be insulting or old fashioned?) “Koran” is a very old fashioned transcription, and doesn’t really make sense given the Arabic letters involved. I would be glad to further explain if you would like. Qur’an is pretty much the standard (and most logical) transcription in use today.

Oh, dear. Now we have to be authentic and up-to-the-moment? Well, sweets, what if it’s still Leningrad to me? Do you think people will understand my reference? What about Peking? Being “a very old fashioned” kind of girl I don’t mind not being up to date. And I’ve used “Qu’ran” on occasion — it is immaterial to me. Irrelevant. Beside the point.

Your notion that I employed the form “Koran” instead of your preference because I wanted to be insulting is your problem, one for you and your therapist to work out. When I intend to insult, it is direct and clear — as in my suggestion re what you might do with your need to impugn others’ motives.

A.B.: “ Oh right, and my main point--I would love to see the reference in the Qur’an that has what you claim it has in it. Got anything for me?”

Good Lord — where would one begin? The destruction by Muslims of churches in the Middle East since the 8th century is so well-documented that your question is stunning. And it continues in Allah’s name. Have you read the newspaper lately?

Here are some few excerpts of Mohammed’s on the subject on infidels and how they are to be treated.

Those who reject the proofs, are accursed of Allah. 2:159

Those who die disbelievers, are cursed by Allah, angels, and men. 2:161

They will not emerge from the Fire. 2:167

Disbelievers will be deaf, dumb, and blind. 2:171

Those who hide the Scripture will have their bellies eaten with fire. Theirs will be a painful doom. 2:174

Don't take Jews or Christians for friends. If you do, then Allah will consider you to be one of them. 5:51

Jews and Christians are losers. 5:53

Don't choose Jews, Christians, or disbelievers as guardians. 5:57

Jews and Christians are evil-livers. 5:59

Evil is the handiwork of the rabbis and priests. 5:63

Christians will be burned in the Fire. 5:72

Christians are wrong about the Trinity. For that they will have a painful doom. 5:73

Disbelievers will be owners of hell-fire. 5:86


The Religion of Peace, where it exists in Muslim-dominated countries, does not permit any other religious practice. Saudi Arabia funds the construction and maintenance of thousands of mosques in Christian lands, but there is not one church or synagogue in the Land of Saud. In fact, being a Christian there means no citizenship for you, boy.

Next fisk:

Dymphna: “So why did the Coptic Christians survive in Egypt when so many other Christian sects in the Middle East were erased as though they had never existed?”

A.B. “Good question? Though you are aware I’m sure that conversion was very rarely forced (though there to be sure ARE examples otherwise, far more rare than in Christian Europe however. In addition, there were, and are still today (though in the past 150 years many have left to go to Europe, South America, and America for largely economic reasons) large “indigenous” Christian and Jewish populations throughout the Middle East. There’s no evidence to support any ‘erasing.’”

Also, just an interesting point, Coptic was actually used in some governing capacity (with posts traditionally filled by Copts) until the 19th century.


Of course conversion wasn’t “forced.” You had two choices when the Muslims arrived, provided you had survived their coming: you could convert to Islam or you could refuse. Refusal to submit made you a dhimmi and subject to strictures of dress, occupation, diminished legal standing, taxation, and on occasion, the handing over of your children. Ever hear of the Janissaries? In order to keep their children, Christian families deliberately injured and deformed boys who might be considered candidates.

As for the Christians and Jews leaving the Middle East for “largely economic reasons” — why don’t you talk to the Copts in New Jersey? See what they might have to say about your incredible contention. There are exactly three Jews left in Iraq - or is it down to two now? Those who weren’t killed outright have escaped. Just last week a group of Anglican Iraqis were murdered. The Assyrian Christians, the Jews who fled from Yemen (once the oldest Jewish community in the world), the Christians of Darfur who are routinely raped, tortured, and murdered by their Muslim betters — all of them might have some problems with your argument. Even the UN has finally decided to label what is happening in Darfur as genocide. Islam is about genocide. As Mohammed said: Jews and Christians are losers (5:53).

And the continued use of the Copts in Egypt? Islam also used other Christian sects and Jews when it was convenient. That doesn’t mean they didn’t continue to persecute them. Your point proves nothing except that the Muslims aren’t stupid, and I never claimed they were. My dispute with them is that they’re literally the most bloody-minded religion going.

Moving on to the next point:

Dymphna: “The Religion of Peace is not a Religion of History except as it records Muslim conquests. Never self-reflective and not allowed to exhibit curiosity, its theology is confined to minutiae regarding behavior rather than to moral development.”

A.B. “I would strenuously disagree with some of these statements as well. Islamicate civilizations are full of histories, innovative histories, and wide ranging histories. I will say no more than to read about Ibn Khaldun’s Muqadimmah (roughly, an Introduction to World History). One of the most influential historians in history, period.”

And I would suggest you begin with Will Durant’s many volumes of world history. As Durant said, Islam has the bloodiest history of all religions. As to whether your historian is “one of the most influential historians in history, period” — there are many millions who might argue with your choice. Personally, I prefer Gibbon. To each his own, hmmm?

Islam is hampered by its own holy book, which permits of no alteration or deviation. That’s why there have to be so many people employed in interpreting it down to the smallest detail. In a long list of misdeeds, the worst thing about Islam is that it kills curiosity, of which desire is a subset. The requirement that desire can be channeled only in one narrow way -- to make the whole world into its own image — is reflected in Islam's ongoing bloody battles. Islam is the Religion of Warriors and the world in which it was formed has ceased to exist. Unless it can get past that, Islam is doomed.

And if Muslims think they are ascendant and invincible, wait until they become a threat to the Chinese. Compared to China’s history, Mohammed’s warriors are wimps.

I used to be a “tolerant” person, A.B. I believed in “live-and-let-live; in fact, I still do in those cases where such a point of view is reciprocated. But infiltrating my country are people who do not see tolerance as a virtue and who see my Christianity as proof that I am an infidel, a “loser” — as Mohammed says — and worthy only of damnation. They view atheists, agnostics, Wiccans,and Unitarians the same way-- we're merely undifferentiated infidels. They want to do things like crash planes into tall buildings or set off bombs in public places. They consider taqiyyah a cogent moral position.

Seeing that the desire to survive is hard-wired, I’m bound to do all that I can to stop the further formation of the Ummah. And so I shall. That’s why this blog is called Gates of Vienna and not, say, View from Medina .

Get your own blog, A.B., and pontificate —or rather, imamate — from there.

19 comments:

greer rants said...

Great post!
I had sent the posts at
Gateway Pundit on to Dan
at http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/
He responded with this last
night:

Very true. The Catholics and Coptics invited the Arabs in, because
the Byzantines had adopted crucifiction as a punishment for heresy.

The Caliph at the time of the conquest had a dream that the Catholics
celebrated mass by drowning innocents in the Nile river - the solution
of the occupying general (as the Arabs and Catholics had a
traditionally good relationship, because they both were despised by
the Byzantines) was to write back that there were no longer Catholic
human sacrifices in Egypt -- true, but not what the blind Caliph had
intended :)

Christians may have been a majority in Egypt as late as 1500.

Dan

My interest is that the Left
Stream Media and the Academentia faculties continue to rewrite history.

Ann Coulter remarked once that it would be best if
Islam was put in the dust bin of history and everyone
just "went back".

Going back would find most
of ME Christian and Jewish,
long before Europe was Christian.

This doesn't fit the imperialistic view that the
left wishes to present of
the "crusaders" and therefore the "west" in general and currently of
America in particular.

The Muslims thru violence force and genecide were the
true imperialists - sad there is little education
regarding these historical
facts.

Be interesting if we ever find out who A.B. is.

greer rants said...

BLOGGER, for some reason will not let me post as
LARWYN.

I had used "greer rants"
when I first posted a comment regarding one of
MODO'S vile columns.
Rather expressed my feelings
and frustration at time-
any help in changing will
be appreciated.

Sorry to interfer with flow,
but this is one of few sites
that keeps the GR handle.

Best and great post!

peggy said...

A.B said “What is it about Christianity that made Christians slaughter jews and have inquisitions? Bernard Lewis once made the point that (roughly paraphrased) ‘When Christianity was roughly 1400 years old, it had its inquisitions and then its reformation. Islam today is roughly 1400 years old. Let us hope they have a reformation one day as well.’ I think the above statement of yours is rather ignorant, all things considered.”

Two point to make here which I think are quite useful in combatting such nonsense.

1. Christianity was born 600 years before Islam. 600 years is a lot of time in human historical terms. Christianity was born into a world shaped by the racist/misogyne, albiet phenomenally brilliant, Greeks and the brutal law and order Romans. When it came into the world, there was no precedent. There was no elder to show the way. On its own resources alone, Christianity came to be the predominant faith of the Roman empire without once resorting to violence. Christianity literally and profoundly changed the historical situation in the Middle East by orginating a unique model of for spreading a monotheistic faith sure of its claims to truth and adamant about its moral teachings. Being first on the trail, Christianity has always relied on itself to reform itself. A trailblazer doesnt look back to see what someone else is doing.

But islam entered a world where the Christian example of success was well established. Islam ignored the Christian example and claimed that it had to resort to violence in order to spread its version of the good news and to spread its so called light. This was in direct contradiction of the new model established by Christianity. Not only did islam resort to violence after 600 years of historical progress. It also ignored that progress and branded the faith that orginated it a corruption that was never intended by God or Jesus to escape the land of Israel.

How many years of historical progress are there between Christianity at 1400 years and islam at 1400 years? About 600. 600 years of modernization that many muslims of today reject outright! They have easy access to that progress and knowledge and have had it for the asking like every other civilized people.

The reason they have rejected it? Because they believe (because mohammed said so) that society was perfected 1400 years ago by mohammeds message. They may have been open to technological, scientific, or practical ideas orginated by others since then but they categorically reject anything that contradicts that 1400 year old model of life as a matter of non-negotiable belief.

It is truly bad reasoning to say that islam will turn out just like Christianity. We are talking about something that hasnt happened yet and neither do we have a shred of evidence that it will. Islam is inordantly proud of how little it has changed and is obessesed with staying its same old "already perfect" self and with convincing the whole world by all means that it has the 1400 year old secrets to all the worlds problems. It has a history that we can verify of not changing that much while Christianity has a verifiable history of self-reform.

Apples and oranges.

airforcewife said...

That was a great, great reply. Very good points, and well documented.

I do have to ask, though, why I am being held accountable for what Christians did 600 years ago... And why Muslims aren't held to that same standard.

peggy said...

PS let me clarify something here.

Christianity has struggled throughout its existence with the down side of its Greco/Roman heritage. So many of the problems associated with Christian history derive from that dark side of that inheritance.

But Christianity has steadily overcome that by means of its own resources, not the least of which is the powerful ideal of Christianity ie the morally consistent life of Jesus. Christians have consistently (note I did not say perfectly) chosen that ideal over the bad old Greco/Roman remnants until today those elements have been mostly purged while the good part of that heritage has been preserved.

Islam is both the good and bad of Arab culture and yet has never shown the least taste for choosing to purge itself of the dark side of that. The chief reason is that their ideal, mohammed, idealized the whole culture almost without criticism. Their ideal was the ultimate Arab who retained the clan loyalty, nepotism, and excessive sense of honor of Arab culture. He also was a man who was morally inconsistent by any objective standard. At the same time he taught muslims that he was perfectly guided by God and so everything that he did was right and that they had to therefore mimic him in order to gain eternal life even if their consciences sometimes bothered them about it.

The result is that mohammed completely contradicted the consistent Christian standard of morality modeled by Jesus and his disciples even unto death and replaced it with a moral standard which changes according to situation and so called necessity.

This is the chief reason they cant reform themselves because their standard, their ideal is completely inconsistent and yet they are required to believe that everything he did was perfectly right.

How can anyone think straight much less reform their religion when their very foundations are on shifting sand and they are forbidden to think otherwise?

Eric Grumbles said...

Some other groups the "tolerant" Muslims have issues with:

1. Homosexuals
2. Anyone whose conduct doesn't fit their idea of modest, like women wearing bathing suits or talking to men not part of their family.
3. People who drink alcohol
4. People who engage in pre-marital or extra-marital sex (in nations subject to Shariya they can be stoned to death, if they are women. Men get up to four wives, who are all subservient .... hmmmmm, on second thought).
5. Liberal cultures that stress secular values over religious values.

These are not just frowned upon. Go check out what really happens in so-called moderate Muslim countries. Most of the Middle East is currently run by fascists using religion as a tool to maintain power. There's another group that thinks the ruling group is too liberal (!!!) and wants to get rid of them and make things really strict.

Yaakov Kirschen said...

What a wonderful post.
Incredible that the long rebuttal is needed. Thanks for doing it.
Dry Bones

deeds not fap said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
deeds not fap said...

Dymphna,

In the gaming words from any ENG-enabled server in the world:

pwnt.

thx for constructing a poignant and nasty aggregation of knowledge, the better to use against those who'd happily deliver us to ignorance and worse.

God bless

PD111 said...

peggy

Great reply.

There is just one point I wish to add. Christianity advanced, reformed itself, and then created the conditions that brought forth the Enlightenment, the renaissance, and the scientific and industrial revolutions.

For the last two hundred years, muslims have had the advantage of not only these advances but also the ability to access them all in the form of books and other information systems. Christianity did not have these miracles of science, as they were the products of Christianity's evolution.

And now we have the Internet that allows almost anyone to access the world’s knowledge from anywhere. And so what do muslims use this abundance of the Christian world?

Answers in no more then 100 words, if necessary.

bioqubit said...

Tough. Very tough. But the answer is this: While the 600 year lag is a big factor, there is such a tremendous amount of "modern" information by which the leading lights among Islamic intellectuals (including imans)can avail themselves of interpretations that do not violate the heart and soul of Islam, it is hard to understand why there are not more voices and louder voices that show violence is ultimately a losing strategy. It was abandoned eventually by Christians in our Inquisition Phase. Muslims pride themselves on having a broader historical perspective than Christians, yet they ignore, do not get, cannot plug in, fail to appreciate, are not ready to understand, these important lessons of (religious) history.

Aside: Did the Jews have a "reformation" period roughly 4000 years ago? Did Hindus and Buddhists have a similar set of events at the 1400 year mark in their respective histories? What about Shintoism and Zoroasterism? These are other very old religions.

I was fascinated to find, in a Congregational Church, an incredible chart of the history of religions. Think of sausages on an X-Y graph. Y was time, and X was the extent of influence. The picture, color coded, showed all these different religions that ebbed and flowed in the grand sweep of time. Sun Ra was big big big 5000 years ago. Where is it today? Zip zero nada. There are lots of other extinct religions too. I wish I could find that chart and give it to the Muslims. It would be a real mind bender. As far as I am concerned, all these different religions over time in the eye blink of human history is just God clearing his throat.

truepeers said...

A.B. “I would strenuously disagree with some of these statements as well. Islamicate civilizations are full of histories, innovative histories, and wide ranging histories. I will say no more than to read about Ibn Khaldun’s Muqadimmah (roughly, an Introduction to World History). One of the most influential historians in history, period.”

-all people tell stories and take them very seriously, but I think it is silly to suggest that islam has a historiographical tradition as diverse as the west's. The primary reason for this is that Islam emerged as a reaction to the narrative monotheism, the belief in a progressive revelation of God's will that is received over the course of history, that is inherent to Judaism and Christianity. Mohammed offered, instead, the eternal and uncreated text.

With this legacy, there is an inherent tendency in Islamic history writing to build pictures of traditional or traditionalist pasts, of leaders who kept to the word of god and were rewarded with historical success accordingly. The biograpies and chronicles tell of states and leaders who are able to sustain Islamic traditions are return their followers to them.

Ibn Khaldun is famous for his identification of societies as organic units that go through a process of growth, decadence, and decline. In his view, wealth and power necessarily corrupts over time; it encourages people to fall away from the true and eternal word that is known best by those who have to struggle to survive on the margins of society - in the deserts beyond the towns. For him, the most scientific policies are also those of god. And the true believer, the man of faith who has nothing but faith, is the one who finds them.

So Khaldun tells of an eternal cycle where the corrupt and decadent are replaced by tribesmen from the hills who come down and take over in an endless reformation, a decline, fall, and renewal, of Islamic society (guess where OBL sees himself). It is a historical cycle in which few great changes happen, other than a continual circulation of the personnel in charge. And it provides little evidence to believe that Islam will have a reformation like that of the CHristian world over the last 500 years. We can only hope but they've already had many reformations, and so far haven't seriously broken out of the return to tradition cycle.

So it strikes me as queer to suggest that Islam provides great material for the historian or for historiography. Formal innovations in the writing of history cannot emerge just because someone wants them to. Form has to emerge from and transcend content. And since the content of Islamic history or society has not changed a great deal in 1400 years, in comparison to all the changes in the west in the last 500 years, there simply isn't the basis for radical revolutions in the writing of history about Islamic societies, imho.

I would like to hear more about what A.B. thinks she is talking about. Because if there is real originality in Islamic narratives, i would really like to know about it and correct my ignorant ways.

Evanston said...

Great original posts, great reader comments, great weblog!

right around here said...

Goody! Oh boy! Cat fight!

peggy said...

PD111,

I think you bring up a excellent point. Yes, the civilization that arose in Christian dominated lands has been highly creative, inventive and original and is responsible for all the modern advances that the world takes for granted today.

On the other hand, islam's so called Golden Age was responsible in the main for preserving and to a limited extent expanded on the achievements of the ancient world. In comparison with the epochal advances made in Greece and in Europe in modern times, islamic culture was at best a place holder. With the riches of the ancient world at their finger tips, they did basically nothing with it. Yet they claim to be the sole source of Europe's awakening and believe that we are actually indebted to them for our acheivements. In fact, Islam contributed nothing original to our culture. An essentially parasitic culture, they simply appropriated principles all originated by other civilizations and now wants credit for doing so.

And what happened when the wealth of the ancient world became widely available to its true heirs, Christian Europe? We took it an ran with it to create an era comparable to that of Greece's Golden Age. I think this is telling and that the cause is the Greco/Roman heritage of Christianity itself. Christianity was born of those cultures as much as of Israel and so its thought patterns were preserved in the faith itself, but also our monks provided a continous link to whole libraries of writings from that period. They were Europe's first educators in the classics. And lets not forget that in Byzantium, the Dark Ages never happened. There never was a clean break between Rome and Europe because of the Byzantines who didn't finally fall until the 1500's. They were the direct descendants of Greece and Rome. Europe began its turn around at the same time.

The lesson, in way more than 100 words (oops) is that throughout its history islam has proven that it does not have the inherant qualities needed to make use of high civilization. It does not innovate. All it can do is imitate. Christian civilization has made inspired use of the best thinking the world has to offer. As a believer, I dont think that this is any accident. From its birth, The Christian faith brought together the best of all worlds. In the 2000 years since it has also done an amazing job of getting rid of the baggage that came with it.

Mussolini said...

That comment about Islam almost never forcing conversion by the sword?

BAH! What is that historical revisionist smoking?

In 630AD, after Muhammed was done slaughtering other arabs, he turned to the Christian Byzantine Empire (who had never bothered him before) and issued his demand:

Submit to Islam, or die.

The Byzantines said no and Tabuk was the beginning of the murder of the Byzantine Empire by muslims converting christians at swordpoint.

This fantasy notion that muslims lived in peace with jews and christians completely ignores the historical record.

Does that moron revisionist have an explanation for the Battle of Tours? More peace by the sword and not conversion by the sword, huh?

peggy said...

bioqubit,

Also a good point. I would add that there are faiths that much younger than islam and these faiths manage to get along with others quite well. We dont see Bahais or Mormons or any other of a host of much younger religions acting in any way like islam does now. Many of these faiths also claim to be the last or fullest etc revealation of the truth. Whatever their flaws, violent reaction to opposition is not found among them. When the Mormons experienced persecution, they fled as far from civilization as anyone could at the time. If you really think about it, they might as well have moved to Mars considering the times. That doesnt mean somehow that their record is spotless but it only serves to illustrate that in any situation, there is always an option if one is truly serious about peace. The Bahais were and are mercilessly persecuted and mistreated and yet as yet there are stll no maruading Bahai armies terrorizing the world. No Mormon armies came tearing out of the West to get revenge on those who rejected them.

When it comes to a state defending itself and its interests, there are times when war is the only option. But without question religions can and should be held to higher standard. This is even more true relative to the time of the religions founding. The later the founding the less excuse, particularly in light of Christianity's complete success in spreading for its first 400 years without resorting to violence to either spread or defend the faith.

If islam had formed at the same time that Judaism had when there was little to no history of civilization to benefit from, then mohammed's excuse that he needed to resprt to violence might have been more justified. But islam was born after the Egyptians, the Greeks, The Romans, the Persians, the Zorastrians, the Hindus and the Buddhists. All of these civilizations had extensive contact with all the peoples of the ME through trade or conquest. This was the area that originated the idea of cultural exchange.

So the Christians managed to improve on these civilizations with its original model for spreading and surviving. It was an unprecedented thing for anyone at the time to very actively promote their ideals throughout the known world but at the same time to also refuse to fight back when persecuted. Religions formed after islam also spread peacefully and continue to be peaceful. The whole concept that islam will certainly catch up to the rest of us in 600 years is ludicrous. We dont know that. We dont have that long to wait since the musloonies are trying to kill us in the here and now. The only rational action for us in the West to take is to find where the Brits and Euroweenies have left their balls, re-attach them and to make damn well sure that islam does reform because we leave it no other choice.

The first step will be the toughest and that will probably practically kill the faith off, but muslims must realize that their religion is not better, mo was not perfect and the koran did not come literally word for word from God. Of all the religions, islam is the least able to claim these things by any objective standard.

peggy said...

PS. I did not mean to exclude the accomplishments of the Jews to our civilization. I mentioned that our faith owes Israel for our very birth but it doesnt end there by any means. The Jews, in spite of how shamefully they were treated at times, were truly our partners in the creation of The West as we know it.

I just didnt want it to seem like I had forgetten them. How could anyone with any sense of history forget their contributions to our culture and to the world as a whole. With elders like ours, is it any wonder we have done so well? :-)

PD111 said...

Great comments.

Peggy - you need to put your comments together. I'm sure you will need them again someday.

AB posted : When Christianity was roughly 1400 years old, it had its inquisitions and then its reformation. Islam today is roughly 1400 years old. Let us hope they have a reformation one day as well.

This excuse rests on the fallacy that social, scientific and any other types of progress in human culture, is a linear process, unaffected by the present ie the start point.

The writer fails to realise that the growth rate of both social and scientific evolutions is exponential rather then linear. They also depend on the starting point. For islam, the starting point was when it first came into contact with the Christian West - about a 1000 years ago. If islam had been a "normal" culture, it would have caught up with the Christian West in mere decades and then surpassed it, as its rate of growth would have been larger. The evidence is that it regressed.

If we examine Japan and China, we find that both these cultures started from a low point, and yet in a matter of decades, Japan became an industrial rival to the West. China is doing the same. Muslim countries OTH, languish at the bottom of all indices- social and cultural development, scientific and technological innovation, industrial production, artistic and literary achievements. (I read somewhere that Spain alone has more new books on its shelves then the whole of the ME put together).

Yet Middle Eastern countries should have been at the forefront all these human achievements. They had ready and immediate access to Europe and the developments that were in progress there, they were at the crossing points of trade routes between Europe and Asia. All the advantages that one could think of, the ME had. So what do we have. Nothing, nothing except the restatement of religious finality. No questioning, just a re-statement of koranic dogma. And if pressed - just more re-statement of the obvious.