Yet another perspective to reflect: what are the archaeological treasures and the glorious historical events Egypt is proud of? Are they Pharaonic or Islamic? What about the Assyrians and Chaldean sites in Iraq? Are they Babylonian or Islamic? What about the Ugarit and Sumerian sites in Syria? Are they belong to the great history of ancient Syria or the Islamic era? In Lebanon it is the Phoenician culture and in North Africa it is the Berber. What about Persia that takes high proud of its scientific cultural achievements and cherishes its Arian glorious past? Does Islam has anything to do there? What about the great achievements of Buddhist Afghanistan and Hindu India? Islam has only left ruins there and took care to perform ethnic cleansing genocide.
John O’neill’s research (Holy Warriors: Islam and the demise of Classical Civilization) prove that Islam’s cultural and scientific contribution to the world is not only poorly negligent but negative. Not only Islam did not contribute to the civilization’s advancement, but in fact Islam was the main cause to the stagnation, decay, and the obstruction of Europe in the Middle-Ages. The so-called “Islamic Golden Age” is a total myth and a fabrication. The research of Dario Fernandes-Morera (The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise: Muslims, Christians and Jews under Islamic rule in Medieval Spain, proves that Spain was the uppermost victim of the Islamic imperialist-colonialist occupation, and perhaps the most violent and harsh of the Islamic rule. The Christian Crusades were in fact defensive wars that saved Europe from the Islamic aggression. They were the last frontier before the transformation of Europe to Islamic territory.
Moreover, Islam was negatively the main cause for the discovery of America. The history of Western Civilization begins in a conflict with the Orient, a conflict of which it may be the end is not yet. When the Ottoman Empire took control of the Bosporus and Egypt, new routes had to be found.When Muslim Turks cut off the land routes to India and China, Europeans began to look for sea routes. In 1492,Christopher Columbus took four voyages to the New World (1492-93; 1493-1496; 1498-1500; and 1502-1504). The incentive was the Islamic imperialist occupation.
In his book, Libro de Las Profecias, he revealed his motivation for setting sail on his first voyage in August 1492, with the Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria. He sought to find a sea route to India and China as the Ottoman Empire had closed off the land routes. The Mozarabic Chronicle in 754, recorded that thousands of churches were burned and: “God alone knows the number of the slain.” Columbus referenced how 40 years earlier in 1453, the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople, effectively cutting off the land trade routes to travel from Europe east to India and China.This gave rise to Columbus and other explorers searching for a sea route.Present-day critical of Columbus for discovering the New World should blame the ruthlessness of Islamic imperialism, for it was only after the Ottoman Empire cut off of the land routes to India and China that Columbus sought a sea route.
Those Arab and Muslim propagators who take so deep self-pride on the greatness of Ibn Khaldun, as the first historian, for example, should read what he said about Arab character: the natural talent of Arabs is the plundering and exploitation of others. Belongings of others inspire them to theft and robbery. They feed through their swords, robb and plunder without moral boundaries. During their conquests, they occupy a country and pay no attention to the heritage of the people. The only thing the Arabs cared for was to obtain other people’s property through extortion and blackmail. They knew no mercy for other peoples and their well being. It was never their intention to improve a community but to find new ways to satisfy their greed and increase their wealth. Because of their nature it is hard for Arabs to accept any authority. On the basis of their characteristics they show brutality, greed and rivalry. It seldom happens that they agree on anything, except on religious matters. Raiding and plundering rule the Arabs lives, the way they behave, their relationships, their views of the other, and their decisions. Any Arab conquest automatically entailed the destruction of the civilization in question as most cities were deserted by their inhabitants. Cultivated fields turned into a wasteland. The areas between Mediterranean and Sudan, which has previously built and inhabited, are now just a desert, where ruins are left to to remind us that it once was a civilization.
“Islamic science” and /or “Arab Science.” George Saliba, the University of Columbia’s Arabic and Islamic Studies, claims that “Islamic science” virtually created the modern world. To this, Toby Huff refers to “Arab Science,” and claims that from the eighth century to the end of the fourteenth, Arabic science was probably the most advanced science in the world, greatly surpassing the West and China. Arab scientists were in the forefront of scientific advance.
When Pope Benedict XVI delivered his Regensburg Address on 12 September 2006, quoted a passage about Islam, given by Manuel IIPalaiologos, the Byzantine Emperor: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached. To this absolutely correct words Tariq Ramadan, Europe’s favorite Muslim and perhaps one of the most influential figure in the West today, condemned the Pope and Europe for ignoring the positive contributions of Islam to the development of rational thought in the West: Benedict’s narrow definition of European identity is deeply troubling and almost dangerous, the tendency of Westerners to ignore the critical role that Muslims played in the development of Western thought. In his article he gives a long list of Muslims who developed European sciences.
However, first, “Islamic Science” is not an “Arab Science.” This differentiation is important to start with. “Arabs science” was and still is until today, non-existent. One can count Arab scientists in his finger-hands. In Huff’s analysis it appears clearly: his mistake is that when he uses the term “Arab science” he actually means all Muslims, anybody who happened to live under Arab-Islamic rule, and not necessarily Arabs.Muslims, whenever they talk about Islam’s contributions to civilization, are quickly to mention Muslim philosophers and scientists, and the Islamic Golden Age, spanning from 9th to the 12th century. To understand this issue, one must address: more than inventing and developing, as they claim, Muslims transferred Greek, Indian and Persian knowledge and sciences through the Arabic language. Muslims have not created any new sciences but passed on the formers’ (‘Ulûm al-Awā’il, ancient sciences). Moreover, this project of translation to Arabic was done by the local indigenous scholars, Assyrians, Persians, Jews, Christians, and not by Arabs. In fact, only those sciences that were considered fitting to Arab-Muslim interests, like linguistics, mainly grammar (‘Ulûm al-Lughah), vocabulary (‘Ulûm an-Nahû), and historiography, were investigated. Other scientific research, mainly natural sciences, were entirely investigated by the natives of the Islamic conquests, except of very few and still without considerable progress.
The Greek-Arabic translation movement in Abbasid Baghdad, like other scholarly efforts was not centered in educational institutions, Madāris, which remained religious-oriented, but in the households of patrons seeking social prestige. The translation movement supported by the entire elite of Abbasid society, however, when these patrons changed their priorities, or when they died, the institutions often died with them.
Madāris were established under the law of Waqf, pious endowments, which meant they were legally obligated to follow the religious commitments. Autonomous institutions were utterly absent in the Islamic world until the late nineteenth century. Again, “Islamic sciences” had only one meaning: the study of the Qur’an, the principles of the Shari’ah, and Arabic grammar. Nothing more. “Islamic Sciences” is a fake myth propagated to the ignorant contemporary world without any corroboration and substantiation. Averroës’ works were forbidden and neglected, even burnt, until Europeans rediscovered them. Now Muslims pretend to speak on behalf of him.
The more sordid the Islamic present seems, the more we are told of the glories of the Islamic past; and the most glorious among the glories of Islam are the “Islamic science,” the Islamic contribution to all Western sciences. However, according to Reliance of the Traveller, the following list are denied being a blasphemy: sorcery, philosophy, magic, astrology, the sciences of the materialists, and anything that creates doubts. These are unlawful, serious affronts to Islam, and a form of apostasy. Ghazali in his The Incoherence of the Philosophers rejects the connection exist between causes and effects, which are basic to any science. According Ghazali, causes and effects are inadmissible, because they limit the absolute freedom of Allah and his will. The Reliance of the Traveller asserts “that things in themselves or by their own nature have any causal influence independent of the will of Allah” is apostasy.
Yet, without the notion of cause and effect, any science is impossible. Therefore, the condemnation of the Reliance of the Traveller of “the sciences of the materialists” and philosophy leads to condemnation of all secular sciences. If one cannot discuss the nature of any object, whether material or spiritual, because it conditions how it affects and is affected by other objects that means condemnation of any effort to understand anything.
For Bassam Tibi, the reformist Muslim, all along the Islamic history, what is called science was viewed as literally Islamic science, meaning the study of the Qur’an, Sunnah, and the glorious Arab history. Rational sciences were – in medieval Islam – considered to be foreign sciences and at times heretical. It was termed ‘Ulûmal-Qudamā'(the sciences of the Ancients), that it, the Greeks.”Islamic science” was totally dependent upon translations that ultimately made by non-Muslims of the achievements of pre-Islamic cultures, Greeks, Egyptians, Persians, Jews, Christians, Assyrians. The Arabs of the desert, warriors of raids and booty, knew no languages and had no intellectual curiosity. A striking number of Muslim thinkers and scientists were Persians and Assyrians, who totally owed to their pre-Islamic heritage than if anything to Islam.
This issue should also be viewed and examined by the test of history: If Islam has scientifically contributed so much to humanity in almost every aspect of human life, how come there was nothing, almost zero, of these before the 9th century, and nothing after the 13th century? If the Arab-Muslims are so talented, can anyone explain this perplexing fact? Science does not stop. Science does not disappear abruptly. Science is an ever going processes of learning and developing, pile on pile, error and trial, erring and correcting, from the past to the present, and from the present to the future. Science does not appear out of the blue and does not disappear out of the blue. Science is created and it develops. It takes efforts and investments to cultivate and ameliorate it, but it is part of of the progress of humanity.
Today, the Muslim world produces a disproportionately very small amount of scientific output and much of it is of low quality, if any. In numerical terms, Muslim countries having almost 25% of world’s population, generate less than 5% of its science, with innovations almost to zero. How does one explain the huge gap in scientific output between the Muslim world and the West or East Asia? The past achievements of scientists clearly show that Islamic religion is the key problem facing scientific achievements.
Again, where are the Islamic scientific achievements from the 13th century on? What are their achievements until today? As for contemporary situation, how about investigating all 56 Islamic countries’ situation today? What are their economic, social, cultural, scientific situation let alone their achievements? All we see around is misery, wretchedness of life, and authoritarian patrimonial oppressive rule. No freedoms and no civil rights. Islam forbids. Islam demands submission and devotion to Allah alone. Pretentiousness is notorious. Pretentiousness without any proven basis is not only a shame to those who hold it, but total impossible inhuman trait to accept. However, it is much worse to those who accept it without investigation and understanding, and still carry it on to shape the ignorant minds and to influence world public opinion with fabrications.
Regrettably, it looks like that Muslim propagators have taken control on Wikipedia’s user-created and many other internet devices, to propagate on many subjects concerning Islam and the Middle East. It is highly salient in articles on the history of sciences and Islamic involvement. This is what is so dangerous when depending on the internet, and Wikipedia in particular. The articles have been thoroughly overrun by Islamic supremacist propagators and their Western supporters. Reading them, one is overwhelmed by uncorroborated and unsubstantiated material, which absolutely support the Islamic propagation. This process influences the learned people that wish to understand, and therefore wirld public opinion, the media, and by all means the politicians. The result is twisted, fabricated and false information.
The “Islamic Golden Age.”In our contemporary twisted world and upside down language, the allegedly ‘anti-imperialist’ Marxists in Western world love brutal, aggressive, oppressive imperialism, as long as it comes in an Islamic shape. They deeply hate and totally fight Western imperialism and colonialism, but put a blind eye to the fact that the worst Imperialists and colonialists ever in the entire history, the worst genocide and ethnic cleansing acts were perpetrated by Muslims under the banner of the worst and cruelest religion, Islam. European medieval peoples are invariable portrayed as barbarians with no culture of their own, while Islamic barbarian and primitive culture is praised as being the best and advanced. Therefore, as Islamic and Bolshevik propaganda dispersed around, the naïve Westerner is confused, perplexed, and wonders about his own religion, history and culture and what is wrong and what is right.
The issue of Islam vs. Europe in the Middle-Ages is repeatedly flooded with fabrications promoted by Muslims propagators and Western Bolsheviks, and accepted by ignorant who know nothing of the issue, and do not ask questions. This is one of many cases in which experienced and well-rooted sciences is being rebuffed in favor of myths disseminated by Muslim propagation. People who know very little about the issues have taken control on knowledge and dictate their distorting extreme lies on world public opinion, the media, and even the politicians. The Islamic Golden Age is one of the biggest myths that are still with us.
Taking this line, Germany’s Der Spiegel, Europe’s largest weekly magazine, hailed the Muslim al-Andalus as a Multicultural Model for Europe: “For nearly 800 years, inhabitants of al-Andalus, as the Arab dynasties called their empire on the Iberian Peninsula, allowed Jews, Christians and Muslims to coexist in a spirit of mutual respect, a situation that benefited all.” Even the U.S. State Department has proclaimed that “during the Islamic period in Spain, Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived together in peace and mutual respect, creating a diverse society in which vibrant exchanges of ideas took place.”
Please read these few lines of total ignorance and stupidity: “800 Years” (!); “coexist in a spirit of mutual respect”(!); “in peace and mutual respect, creating a diverse society” (!). Now the question: did they ever try to learn the issue, or just followed like monkeys the Islamic propagation? Yet still, this is the voice of ignorance. One can also find the voice of evil: Islamic propagator, Karen Armstrong, enunciates this when she says that “until 1492, Jews and Christians lived peaceably and productively together in Muslim Spain – a coexistence that was impossible elsewhere in Europe.”
The vast volume of the myths, in fact sheer lies, were related to the so-called “Golden Age” of Islamic rule in Andalusia. Here are the facts: Spain was conquered in 710-716 by Arab tribes. Followed the conquest, there was a massive colonization of the Iberian Peninsula; huge Berber and Arab immigration; and an intensive acts of slaughter of Christians, conversion of churches into mosques, and massive pillages, enslavement, and deportations. The only toleration was when Christians and Jews acted in submission, like the Muslims expected to as Dhimmis. Segregated in special quarters, they had to wear discriminatory clothing. Subjected to heavy taxes, misery and poverty were the common.
Society in Andalusia, occupied Spain, was sharply divided along ethnic and religious lines, with the Arab tribes at the top of the hierarchy; followed by the Berbers who were never recognized as equals, despite their Islamization; lower in the scale came the Mullawadun, converts; and at the very bottom, the Dhimmi Christians and Jews. The slogan that went prime during the Islamic reign in Spain was the quotation of the Qur’an (58:19): ‘Satan has gained possession of them, and caused them to forget Allah’s warning. They are Satan’s party; they will surely be the losers!’
The fact is that the humiliating status imposed on the Dhimmis and confiscation of their land did provoke many revolts, punished by horrifying massacres. The socio-political history of Andalusia was characterized by a particularly oppressive Dhimmitude that is completely incompatible with notions of equality and liberalism. As Bat Yeor and Paul Fregosi prove, al-Andalus represented the land of Jihad par excellence. Indeed, the Islamic “policy of tolerance and egalitarianism,” as Muslim propagators claim, was shown by the raiding expeditions every year, sometimes twice a year, against the Christian Spanish kingdoms to the north, the Basque regions, or France and the Rhone valley, plundering them and bringing back booty and slaves. Andalusian corsairs attacked and invaded along the Sicilian and Italian coasts and the Aegean Islands, looting and burning the peoples.
In 846, 11,000 Muslims on 73 ships invaded Rome and sacked the Basilica. They looted old St. Peter’s basilica and desecrated his grave. The Muslims then trashed the remains of St. Paul, which were in the historic church, San Paolo Fuori le Mura. As a result of this invasion, Pope Leo IVbegan building a massive wall to protect the Vatican from Muslims raiders.A miracle saved Rome at the Battle of Ostia in 849, when Muslim ship were decimated by a violent storm and captured. When Pope, John VIII (872-882) failed in rallying a defense, he was forced to pay an annual extortion tribute taxes. Muslims plundered the coasts of Italy, and in 883 they destroyed the renowned monastery of Monte Cassino, and killed its abbot, St. Bercharius in the altar. They destroyed the abbey of San Vincezo in 884, and the abbies of Farfa and Subiaco in 890. At the Battle of Garigliano River in 916, Muslims captured Reggio and Calabria, selling inhabitants into North African slavery.
Huge number of people were deported to slavery in Andalusia, where the Muslims kept a militia of tens of thousands of Christian slaves (Saqaliba), and a harems filled with captured Christian concubines. In Granada, the Jewish viziers Samuel Ibn Naghrela and his son Joseph, who protected the Jewish community, were both assassinated between 1056 and 1066, followed by the annihilation of the Jewish population. It is estimated that up to five thousand Jews perished in the pogrom by Muslims that accompanied the 1066 assassination. The Muslim Berber Almohads in Spain and North Africa (1130-1232) wreaked destruction on both the Jewish and Christian populations. This devastation, massacre, captivity, forced conversion and slaughter was described by the Jewish poet Abraham Ibn Ezra. Suspicious of the sincerity of the Jewish converts to Islam, the Muslims removed the children from their families, placing them in the care of Muslim educators. Maimonides, experiencing the Almohad persecutions, had to flee Cordoba with his entire family in 1148, temporarily residing in Fez, before finding asylum in Fatimid Egypt.
Richard Fletcher offers a sobering observations and a valid summary assessment of the real interfaith relationships in Muslim Spain, and refutes contemporary propagation of obfuscating Islamic history. The simple and verifiable historical truth is that Moorish Spain was more often a land of turmoil than it was of tranquility…Tolerance? Ask the Jews of Granada who were massacred in 1066, or the Christians who were deported by the Almoravids to Morocco in 1126 (Moorish Spain).
It is imperative to start understanding the issue by analyzing the cultural-scientific aspects: Muslim scholars did not seriously and could not religiously study other cultures and accept them with fairness, and therefore cannot express sympathy, egalitarianism and good will to the other. It also means that Islam lacks the basic important ingredients of scientific research:
a) Curiosity, the urge to know, to understand and to investigate, as the world of Muslims is always arranged and Islam regulates the believer’s life on each and every aspect, 24 hours a day. The Islamic educational system is to learn by heart. This is the most praised, cherished, and recommended demand of the believer and in the Islamic Madāris. The Shātir (skillful) in Islam is he who quotes by heart as many Qur’an verse as he can; he who knows the stories of Muhammad by heart and tell them proudly, and he who strive for the Islamic law to be the only law of the land. These are the most appreciated, welcomed and adored in the Islamic society.
b) Unlike the cultural and scientific approach in the West, which advocate skepticism, self-criticism and even self-blame; these attitudes simply do not exist in the Islamic religious system. Criticism, open-mindedness, and objective appreciation are totally missing in Islam, as the imperative to ask questions and to criticize has become in Islam a blasphemy.The believers should not, in fact must not ask questions: everything depends on Allah’s will and everything operates according to Allah’s demands. When the Muslims came to the idea from the 11th century on that Islam has the total human wisdom from the beginning of history to the end of the world, that there is nothing in the completeness of Islam, they accordingly also denied, neglected, and even prohibited the adoption of Western ideas, being Bid’ah (forbidden as heresy).
c) This approach leads to another component: in Islam the Golden Way is absent. By virtue of being absolute axioms, all Islamic notions are beyond proof. Islamic epistemology is clear and decisive: good and evil do not exist in and of themselves; they are as Allah proclaimed them. Allah does not decree or prohibit certain behaviors or actions because they are good or evil; but the actions are good or evil because Allah defined them as such.The faithful always avoid evil and always pursue absolute good (Sûrat al-‘Imrān, 3:110, 114, 132; Sûrat at-Taubah, 9:71, 112). Consequently, there is no room for moral or conscientious considerations in reference to infidels and there is no reason to feel empathy towards them (Sûrat al-Baqarah, 2:62; Sûrat Hā Min as-Sajdah, 41:30; Sûrat al-Fath, 48:29). By its innate essence, Islam is globally superior. It therefore does not engage in self-criticism over the actions or behavior of a faithful Muslim, as it is the epitome of perfection.
d) Islam’s view of the “self” versus the “other” is absolutely ethnocentric. Everything is perceived in unqualified terms of black and white. Islam divides the world in two: Dār al-Islām against Dār al-Harb, the good and just society versus the evil and impure society; absolute righteousness as compared to ultimate evil; Heaven againt Hell. The operative expression of this juxtaposition becomes evident in the al-Wallā’ wal-Barā’ approach: the supreme and unqualified loyalty and love for Islam versus the absolute rejection, enmity and hatred for the infidels. This is the most important manifestation of the Islamic faith, second only to the belief in the unity of Allah (Tawhīd): (Sûrat al-Baqarah, 2:257; Sûrat al-‘Imrān, 3:28, 31-2; Sûrat an-Nisā’, 4:76, 89; Sûrat al-Mā’idah, 5:51, 54; Sûrat at-Taubah, 9:71; Sûrat an-Nûr, 24:2; Sûrat al-Mumtahanah, 60:4).
e) Many commandment in the Qur’an can make this religiously legitimate: the verses that declare Muslims are the best of all human beings on the universe; the verses that declare the Muslims are always doing only good and always forbidding the bad and evil. These have a clear direction that lead the Muslims to freely expropriate everything that belong to the other, from the material to the spiritual, without any guilt remorse and with clean conscience. Indeed, there have been various attempts at historical revisionism concerning Islamic contributions to the world. These attempts are yet political propaganda than academic scholarship. After all, it is religiously acceptable in Islam to deceive and to act falsely if it promotes the interests of Islam. Allah deceives the infidels by Taqīyah and Kitmān, lying and deceiving the infidels to advance Allah’s cause, is permitted, and even prescribed, to Muslims.
f) There cannot be a Golden Age as Islam does not believe in “conquering” foreign territories; instead, there is only Futûhāt – introducing the world to the light of Islam and delivering the infidels from the darkness in which they live to the light of Islam. This is why the Muslim regimes have never expressed any remorse, or apologized for their past conquests or their present violence. The outcome was Arabization and Islamization of the indigenous natives. This is how the Middle East was mainly Pharaonic; Phoenician; Babylonian; Ugarit; Chaldean; Jewish, and Berber in North-Africa. Iran was Sassanid; East Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan were Buddhist. All these lands were Islamized and/or Arabized. Most of these peoples have perished, or come to extinction.
For Bernard Lewis the issue is clear. The golden age of equal rights to minorities and egalitarianism was a myth, and belief in it was a result, more than a cause, of Jewish sympathy for Islam. The myth was invented by Jews in nineteenth-century Europe as a reproach to the Christian religious Antisemitism. He continues by referring to the myth of Islamic Golden Age in broad perspective: we live in a time when great efforts have been made, and continue to be made to falsify the record of the past and to make history a tool of propaganda; when governments, religious movements, political parties, and sectional groups of every kind are busy rewriting history as they would wish it to have been, as they would like their followers to believe that it was. All this is very dangerous indeed, to ourselves and to others, however we may define otherness – dangerous to our common humanity. Because, make no mistake, those who are unwilling to confront the past will be unable to understand the present and unfit to face the future.
From the lifetime of its founder, Islam was the state, and the identity of religion and government is indelibly stamped on the memories and awareness of the faithful from their own sacred writings, history, and experience. It is the duty of those who have accepted Allah’s word and message to strive unceasingly to convert or at least to subjugate the infidels. This obligation is without limit of time or space. It must continue until the whole world has either accepted the Islamic faith or submitted to the power of the Islamic state.
His conclusion: Islamic Golden Age has never reached the gates of Islam, it was a big myth. Muslims and their Western collaborators have no shame added with of impudence stating that the real face of Islam was exhibited in Spain. Their statements are so deep on the fabricating side of the lie that the ignorant and the stupid go side by side with the evil to accept this falsification. Toby Huff warns out that if Islam had taken over Europe, the later Western scientific achievements would have been impossible: If Spain had persisted as an Islamic land into the later centuries, it would have retained all the ideological, legal, and institutional defects of Islamic civilization. A Spain dominated by Islamic law would have been unable to found new universities based on European model of legally autonomous corporate governance, as corporations do not exist in Islamic law. The Islamic model of education rested on the absolute primacy of Fiqh, of legal studies, and learning by heart is a total failure that leads to illiteracy.
It is recommended to read the online essay in Jihad Watch by Bat Ye’or and Andrew G. Bostom: “There were rarely periods of peace. al-Andalus represented the land of jihad par excellence. Every year, sometimes twice a year, raiding expeditions were sent to ravage the Christian Spanish kingdoms to the north, the Basque regions, or France and the Rhone valley, bringing back booty and slaves. Andalusian corsairs attacked and invaded along the Sicilian and Italian coasts, even as far as the Aegean Islands, looting and burning as they went. Thousands of people were deported to slavery in Andalusia, where the caliph kept a militia of tens of thousands of Christian slaves brought from all parts of Christian Europe (the Saqaliba), and a harem filled with captured Christian women.”
Muslims were for the most part uninterested in other cultures and rarely bothered to learn their languages. The creation of a scientific discipline was done by other, never by Muslims. They showed little interest in the history of their pre-Islamic ancestors, let alone that of other nations, and aggressively destroyed historical remains unearthed in their own countries. They were concentrated in their own religion, and in conquering and plundering the infidels’ lands. This is the only perhaps the best science they have excelled.
There was much more, and the best to testify what the face of Islam is the greatest ever top Jewish philosopher, physician and scientist, Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, known as Maimonides, whom Muslim propaganda shamelessly and impudently claim he was a Muslim convert. He was a proud Jew, one of the greatest human mind who despised Islam. For Maimonides Islam is barbarian and violent, the worst nation that hates Israel and acts to eliminate the Jewish people. Muhammad was a deceiver, fanatical and Islam is savage religion.
The fact is clear: Muslims have spent 1400 years trying to eradicate Greek studies and the ancient peoples’ scientific achievements. Islam acted also to demolish the Greek and the ancient Middle East heritage and societies whenever and wherever they came and occupied, from India to Andalusia. Now Muslim propagators shamelessly want to take the credit for “preserving the Greek cultural and scientific heritage” and claiming to be in the forefront of sciences. Yet, no cultural sphere with one and a half billion people contributes so little to the development of science or the arts in our time.
After the 13th century, the Arab world saw very few innovations in any of the scientific fields. The Renaissance, the Reformation, the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment, passed totally unnoticed in the Muslim world. It is related to Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, in late 19th century asking why the Muslim torch became extinguished and it remains buried in profound darkness.
*part of a larger book titled, Why Islam is a Danger to the World: A Scholarly Rebuttal of Muslim Propaganda, be published by Mellen Press.
The Evolving Orthodox Triangle Constantinople – Kiev – Moscow
Churches think in centuries and are not bound to short-term political mandates. On January 5, 2018 the Patriarch of Constantinople implemented his decision to grant independence to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a move that upset Moscow. To understand the current developments, it is worth looking back at this centuries-long history of fluid relationship between Constantinople, Kiev and Moscow.
In 882, Oleg of Novgorod moved his capital to Kiev and continued the work of Rurik to unite Slavic tribes, setting the stage for the history of Kievan Rus. The prediction of Saint Andrew was unfolding. It is said that during the first century, when Andrew the Apostle traveled to what is now Kyiv, he climbed onto a hilltop overseeing the Dnepr River. There he planted a cross, prophesizing the future of the great Christian city and the role it would play.
The Slavs were a loose union of tribes, whilst Constantinople was flourishing. In 980, Vladimir the Great ruled in Kiev and endeavored to consolidate and expand further his territories. In 988, he conquered the city of Kherson, in Crimea, where a bishop see had been established since the fourth century. Although accounts vary on the conversion of Vladimir, what is clear is that the Byzantine emperor sent his sister Anna to marry Vladimir, uniting Kiev and Constantinople. When Anna arrived, Vladimir converted to Christianity, restored Kherson to Constantinople, and returned to Kiev with Crimean ecclesiastics. It is undeniable that economic and political reasons influenced his choice to convert as his agenda leaned toward the Christian world.
Although the Byzantine emperor appointed the head of the clergy in Kiev, he faced opposition from the Kievan princes who did not endorse a filiation of churches from Constantinople, nor did they submit to the emperor’s authority to make Kievan Rus a colony of the Byzantine Empire. Relations with the empire were complicated: Constantinople did not mingle directly in Kiev’s internal affairs but would not let the princes interfere in religious matters. In other words, the authority of Constantinople over Kiev was exerted through the clergy, who enjoyed considerable powers in Kievan Rus. As a consequence, the first inclination toward creating an independent church appeared. Yaroslav the Wise proclaimed Hilarion of Kiev the first non-Greek metropolitan in 1049. Nonetheless, Constantinople regained control over the appointment of the head of the church in Kiev. Constantinople never bestowed upon Kiev the right to appoint its own Slavic metropolitan, establishing a red line that would trigger immediate action from Constantinople. For centuries to come, the position would mostly be held by Greeks, who remained outside of internal Kievan politics. As Kiev had grown to be a major economic center, it was in Constantinople’s interest to stay on good terms with its Slavic neighbor, gaining importance on the international scene.
Yaroslav the Wise passed away in 1054, a key date as it is the year of the schism between Rome and Constantinople.
Kiev choses Constantinople over Rome
Opinions on rites and theological elements diverged over time between Rome and Constantinople, in part because of linguistic differences. Latin became dominant in the West while Greek was the language of choice in the East. Because of the status of language as a major cultural vehicle, the use of different languages impacted religious rites. Gradually, Rome imposed the closure of churches following the rites as practiced in Constantinople and Constantinople did the same to churches following the practices of the Western Church. Eventually, the Roman pope Leo IX and Michael Cerularius of Constantinople excommunicated each other in 1054.
Humbert of Silva Candida, the papal legate who delivered the excommunication to Patriarch Michael Cerularius, decided to stop by in Kiev on his way back to Rome from Constantinople. The newly converted Kievan Rus represented an attractive potential ally for Rome, especially given that the young federation of Slavs was expanding in size and importance on the international scene. Since integrating with this new community of Christians would strengthen their hand against Byzantium, Rome’s envoy visited the Grand Prince of Kiev with the aim of convincing him to join Rome. Yet Yazislav, the new Grand Prince of Kiev, refused any allegiance to Rome. The clergy in Kiev would remain on the Orthodox side with Constantinople in the great East-West schism.
But rivalries amongst Slavs were fierce. In 1169, the pious Grand Prince of Vladimir-Suzdal Andrey Bogolyubsky sacked Kiev and took many religious pieces, including a highly revered Byzantine icon of the Mother of God of Odigitriya, one of the holiest in Russian Orthodoxy. He initiated the construction of many churches in Vladimir-Suzdal, near today’s Moscow and converted more Slavic tribes. He is also renowned for having made the first attempt to set up a new eparchy to compete with Kiev. Around the year 1170, he bypassed the Kiev Patriarchate and directly requested of the Patriarch of Constantinople, Luka Khrizovergus, that he established an eparchy in Vladimir. He also asked for the new metropolitan to have the same rank as the one in Kiev. The patriarch declined his request, but the competition with Kiev had begun.
Moscow enters the scene
The Mongol invasion spread quickly from east to west and reached Kiev in 1240. The city was destroyed and almost its entire population was dispersed. Kiev, the beautiful jewel of a city was shattered. Some sixty years after the destruction of Kiev, the city was still not recovering. So, the metropolitan Maksim moved his residence from Kiev further east to Vladimirin 1299. Nonetheless, he kept his title of Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus. The transfer of the religious center from Kiev was a major move, the consequences of which greatly affected the future of Orthodoxy and lay power as well. At that time, the Mongol dominated the region. The first union of Slavs, the Kievan Rus had disappeared and new states had not formed yet.
In a short span of three decades, major events shaped the face of the new power that emerged in Moscow, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Moscovy.
Under the relative religious tolerance of the Mongols, the church consolidated its power and the metropolitan Piotr moved to Moscow in 1325, giving the sign that the city was one of the leading politico-religious centers.
In the meantime, Constantinople was mired in its own problems and the Eastern Roman Empire was suffering through its last days. As the Vatican was entering the Renaissance era, it was eager to end the 1054 schism, especially to its own advantage. Thus the Catholic pope was well inclined to help Constantinople, which had asked for help and unity in resisting the Ottoman threat. At the Council of Florence in 1439, the Catholic Church and the Patriarch of Constantinople signed an agreement that should have put an end to the schism. At that time, Constantinople was still appointing the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus, and it counted on the support of Moscow to endorse the agreement. But reality dictated otherwise as Russia had gained much distance from Constantinople and its issues. The Patriarch of Constantinople died soon afterward, and it was decided that his signature was nonbinding for the Orthodox churches. Only Constantinople still hoped that the union with Rome would save them from the Ottomans. But a decade later, in 1453, Constantinople fell under the control of the Ottomans.
Moscow-based bishops decided to emancipate themselves from Constantinople, which had compromised with the Catholics to save itself, yet was now under Muslim rule. For the first time, Moscow elected its own head of the church, independently from Constantinople. Although the autocephaly of the Russian Orthodox Church was recognized only in 1589, the church became de facto independent in 1448, with Jonah as its first metropolitan. One of his first objectives was to maintain religious unity in territories over which his predecessors had authority. Eventually, in 1458, the canonical territories over which the metropolitan professed corresponded to those over which the Grand Prince of Moscow ruled. This transition was reflected in his title, which changed in 1461 to Metropolitan of Moscow and All Rus. The Russian Church was now an actor of importance that saw itself as the guardian of Orthodoxy, the Third Rome.
The new Autocephalous Church asserts itself
The remaining element was the recognition of autocephaly by Constantinople. Without the approval of its peers, the self-proclaimed autocephaly has no validity in the Orthodox world.
The Ottomans imposed heavy tributes on patriarchates that fell under their territorial control. Economically weakened, the patriarchates lost considerable weight, especially Antioch, which had been weakened and forced into exile several times due to centuries under the dominion of Arabs and crusaders. In 1586–1587, the patriarch of Antioch, Joachim V, engaged in a journey to collect donations from other Orthodox churches. In Moscow, the future tsar Boris Godunov offered his support and seized this political moment to stir ambitions of an official autocephaly. Two years later, the patriarch of Constantinople, Jeremias II, traveled to Moscow with the same objective of collecting money. During his stay, he would have discussed with Boris Godunov the possibility of remaining the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch but being based in Russia. Finally, after lengthy negotiations, Jeremias II decided to give autocephaly to the Russian Orthodox Church and returned home. The recognition was made official in 1589 with the concurrence of the other three original patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.
In 1589, the Russian Orthodox Church for the first time had a patriarch at its head, Job of Moscow. There were now five patriarchs: Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Moscow. And the tsar was the guardian of Orthodoxy.
Kiev, the Tsarist Empire and the church
Peter the Great launched many reforms to modernize Russia, following European model. He replaced the patriarchate with a committee termed the Holy Synod, placing a bureaucrat, the Chief Procurator, as its de facto head and the tsar’s eyes and ears in the church. With authority over religious matters and control over the appointment of bishops, Peter succeeded in relegating the church to the status of a ministry or state department, with clerics placed in charge of spiritual matters.
Catherine the Great continued the policies of Peter the Great. She entertained the Austro-Russian idea of dissolving the Ottoman Empire. As part of this scheme, she nurtured plans to embark on a “Greek Project”: re-establishing a Greek Byzantine empire to replace the Muslim Ottoman Empire, which had gained ground in continental Europe. For instance, she supported the Daskalogiannis Rebellion in Crete in 1770, in which Cretans rose up against the Turks. In reality, she was rather indifferent to religion: she embraced the project, promoted by Prince Potemkin, for geopolitical rather than religious reasons. Yet it did not materialize, and no alliance with Austria came into being. In 1783, Catherine decided to annex Crimea, putting an end to the revolts occurring there and, most importantly, pushing the Ottoman Empire back across the Black Sea. Crimea became a Russian province and part of Novorossiya or “New Russia” in 1784.
Religion politics in Russo-Turkish Wars
Eventually, tensions between the Russian and Ottoman empires had reached a climax, and war broke out in 1787. The conflict lasted for five years but was decided to Russia’s advantage. Russia was therefore able to consolidate its positions around the Black Sea but never captured Constantinople, the gateway to the Mediterranean’s warm waters and an Achilles heel for Moscow to this day. Even though the Treaty of Jassy, signed at the end of the war on January 9, 1792, recognized the Russian territorial gains, relations with the Ottoman Empire remained tense. Russian expansion benefited from momentum on the world scene shaken by the French and American revolutions. Consequently, nobody really reacted to Russian expansion until the situation in France had stabilized. But Napoleon reaction was short-lived.
Alexander’s victory over Napoleon gave him a new sense of divine mission, and by 1814, the tsar had grown more religious and prone to messianism. His religious awakening triggered his initiation of the Holy Alliance between Prussia, Austria, and Russia. Signed in Paris in 1815, this alliance aimed to promote Christianity but was also a reaction to the Napoleonic Wars. The Great Powers wanted to ensure a balance of power in Europe and avoid revolutions. During the two hectic decades that followed, the Catholic Church remained strong and Napoleon III pursued a pro-Catholic agenda, as proven by his 1849 expedition to restore the pope. He posed as the champion of Catholicism in Europe, which in part explained his decision to engage in the Crimean War against Russia.
With its territorial gains and advances well into the Black Sea region, Russia represented a growing threat for the Ottoman Empire and its French and British allies. Paris, together with London, backed the Ottoman Empire, whose western territories in the Balkans saw many uprisings, such as those of the Orthodox Serbs and Orthodox Greeks.
The trigger of the Crimean War of 1853–1856 was religious, but the roots were indisputably linked to the fear of Russia’s growing influence in the weakened Ottoman Empire. At the beginning, quarrels between Catholic and Orthodox monks arose in Palestine about their prerogatives. As the matter had reached serious levels, Tsar Nicholas I intervened and asked the Sultan to recognize the right of Russia to protect the Christians of the Ottoman Empire according to the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, signed after the war of 1774. This right gave the Russian Orthodox Church further predominance over the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The document also gave Russia access through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. This privilege was certainly not pleasing to France or England.
Catholic France declared that it wanted to have authority over the Eastern Christians, a decision contradicting a previous agreement that gave Russia the right to protect Christians. The French Catholic Emperor Napoleon III promised support to the Sultan if he were to resist this Russian “aggression.” Stung by the humiliating conditions of the treaty following the Ottoman defeat, the Sultan agreed. Consequently, a new war erupted between the Ottoman Empire and Russia. As promised, France, joined by England, intervened in support of the Sultan to preserve the territorial integrity of his empire.
The protection of holy places and Christians became the source of an international war with several fronts around the Black Sea, including in the Caucasus. The war was eventually lost by Russia, which was then forced to hand over several territories around the Black Sea. As a result, France gained influence in the Holy Lands.
Moscow – Constantinople Competition
World War 1 put an end to both Russian and Ottoman empires. Under the Soviet, religion was undermined, priests were killed and churches destroyed. So, the Russian church found itself in a state of confusion when the Soviet government collapsed. The church was divided and weak. During the final years of the twentieth century, the ROC stabilized and consolidated its power over its canonical territory thanks to the support of the Russian authorities. It also reasserted its stance within the Orthodox Church worldwide. By far the largest in terms of parishioners and with growing wealth, the Russian Orthodox Church overshadowed the patriarch of Constantinople.
The later did not enjoy much freedom under the new Turkish rule. In addition, it had lost jurisdiction in the Balkans in the nineteenth century. Turkish authorities imposed that the Patriarch should be a Turkish citizen, usually of Greek origin, and such candidates are rare. All in all, the Patriarch of Constantinople has been in an increasing difficult position for centuries, and Moscow has proved to be a strong challenger. In 2016, the ROC asked to convene the Pan-Orthodox Council in Crete and not in Istanbul as Turkish authorities had downed a Russian jetfighter deployed for operations in Syria. Based on this security argument, the Council agreed to change location. Nonetheless, local Orthodox churches, namely the Bulgarian Church, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, and the Serbian and Georgian Orthodox churches refused to participate because of disagreements over the agenda. The ROC suggested solving those issues to guarantee full attendance, even if it meant postponing the Council. Eventually, the disputes were not resolved and the ROC decided to cancel its participation. By so doing, the ROC expressed a defiant message about the role and authority of the Constantinople Patriarchate. Tensions never resolved and the situation in Ukraine added insult to injury in the relation between Constantinople and Moscow.
Moscow – Kiev: rivals once more
Since the mid seventeenth century, Kiev remained largely under the rule of the Tsar and then Soviet Moscow. Ties binding Ukraine and Russia were strong especially in the field of alimentation, industry and energy.
After the end of the Soviet Union, the Western European World and Russia have tried to attract Kyiv into their respective spheres of influence, a game from which Kiyv benefitted. In 2014, the tables turned drastically with the Euromaidan revolution that toppled President Yanukovych. Incapable of averting Ukraine’s choice of the EU, Moscow was concerned that Ukraine might ally with NATO. Russian authorities treated the situation as a security matter and actively supported the separation of the autonomous region of Crimea and its attachment/annexation to Russia. The situation spiraled out of control and a kinetic conflict erupted in the Donbas, leading to serious readjustments in international affairs.
Against the backdrop of the complex international relations prevailing in the early twenty-first century, interests of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian state have overlapped in Ukraine. The question of religion and allegiance to the Kyiv or Moscow patriarchate has become a matter of identity and call for resistance among some Ukrainians against Russia in 2014. This unfortunate confusion resulted in intra-Orthodox confrontation with the killing of orthodox priests and the destruction of orthodox churches. In a vicious circle, religious and political differences fueled each other.
Many critics have interpreted the positions of the Russian church and the Russian authorities as two sides of the same coin. Consequently, the Russian church became synonymous with Russian interference in Ukraine, and as such the separation as we see it unfolding was almost a fait accompli.
The creation of an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church is another turn in this fluid relationship between the three historic cities of Constantinople, Kyiv and Moscow. And it is hardly to be the last move…
Rabbi Arthur Schneier and anti-Semitism
A few days ago, Rabbi Arthur Schneier -the Vienna-born Holocaust survivor, who has been leaving and operating for many years in New York -gave the keynote address to the Austrian Parliament on the 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, the terrible “Night of Broken Glass” when the shards of broken glass littered the streets after the windows of Jewish-owned stores, buildings and synagogues were smashed.
It is also referred to as Reichs pogrom and November pogrome, two terms that always use the word “pogrom” (meaning “devastation” or “riot” in Russian) to indicate the attack of small well-manipulated groups against Jews and their property.
Many pogroms were carried out in Russia, a country of ancient and profound anti-Semitism.
What are its roots? The traditional anti-Semitism of the Orthodox Church, as well as the easy manipulation of the apparata, and the obsession with identity, spurred on by the Tsarist regime.
The Nazis, in particular, imitated this terrible political practice, as early as the Kristallnacht of November 1938, to actually start the Jews’ physical elimination until the “Final Solution”, which began in 1940-1941.
During that night over 1,400 synagogues were destroyed and 1,500 people were killed in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia.
At that time, as many as 30,000 Jews were deported to the concentration camps of Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen.
Before the Kristallnacht, in 1933 there had been a call – or, indeed, an obligation -for a boycott of Jewish shops, businesses and professionals and later, in 1935, the Nuremberg Laws were promulgated.
Rabbi Schneier thought that, after the Holocaust, there would be no resurgence of anti-Semitism – a virus that has characterized modern history from late antiquity until today.
As a Kantian rationalist, Rabbi Schneier thought that – after the evidence of facts – there would be no persecution against Jews in the bright enlightened future of the twentieth century.
Instead monsters remain alive, after visible history putting them temporarily to rest.
But, as Rabbi Schneier said, now – in 2018 – the cancer of anti-Semitism is back and has metastasized in Europe and in the United States.
Ii should be recalled that anti-Semitism has always been present in North America.
Suffice it to recall Leo Frank’s affair of 1915. That American Jewish citizen was at first sentenced to death, but later his sentence was commuted from capital punishment to life imprisonment. Two years later, in response to the commutation of his sentence, he was taken from prison by a band of vigilantes, lynched by an angry mob and hanged from a tree. Today the consensus of researchers on the subject holds that Frank was wrongly convicted.
In 1958, even after the Shoah and the Nazi atrocities against the Jews becoming publicly known, the oldest synagogue in Atlanta was blown up and damaged extensively by a dynamite-fuelled explosion.
Myths and preconceived ideas, especially those based on hatred, do not need confirmation or denial. They exist and that is just the way it is.
Two years later, there was also the shooting attack by a “white supremacist” against a synagogue in St. Louis, with the killing of some Jews leaving that place of worship.
Alan Berg, an anti-racist intellectual, was killed in 1984, because in some of his radio talk shows he had defended black people and Jews.
There is no rational argument that can defeat anti-Semitism, racism, ethnic or even personal hatred.
Over seven major cases of violent anti-Semitism were reported in in the USA between 1990 and 2010, but there were countless actions on a smaller scale.
Anti-Semitism is still alive and is even increasing in terms of quantity and virulence. Just think of the attack against the Pittsburgh synagogue last October.
As Rabbi Schneier maintains, certainly the periods of social, cultural and economic turbulence are always fatal for the Jews – as the whole Western history demonstrates. Hence, unfortunately, with the crisis of Europe and the different, but concurrent crisis of the USA, the increase in anti-Semitism is predictable.
Shortly after the end of the Holocaust, Hanna Arendt rejected the theory of anti-Semitism as the development of the Jewish “scapegoat” theory and she often elaborated on the Rathenau case. Rathenau was the great Jewish industrialist and diplomat, who was Foreign Minister in Germany’s Weimar Republic and was murdered by right-wing extremists.
Elias Canetti reminded us that the idea for his extraordinary “Crowds and Power” sprang to his mind while seeing the many Social-Democratic workers following Rathenau’s coffin during the mourning service.
What is the essence of Arendt’s thesis on the Foreign Minister of Germany’s Weimar Republic?
The essence is that – by traditional position and role – the Jews were the “avant-garde of modernity” – hence all those who hate the values of Modernity are, ipso facto, anti-Semitic.
It is partly true, but Arendt forgets to say that anti-Semitism is widespread even in ancient societies (or in archaic societies, such as the Tsarist Russia of pogroms) and that many critics of the eighteenth-century revolutions are far from being anti-Semitic.
As noted by both Leo Strauss and the Marxist philosopher Lukacs, the modern world is also the symbolic and social organization that has been most opposed during its development, which has probably not ended yet.
The West of technology and of the calculating mind is not yet over, but its death depends on its excess of current and probably future anti-Semitism, which is incredible after the Shoah.
That is an excess of memory of its archaic and anti-modern past, even though modernity itself was somehow anti-Semitic.
Here Rabbi Schneieris very clear: the future of Europe is directly linked to the end of anti-Semitism and of today’s particular hatred against the Jews, i.e. that of anti-Zionism.
The future of Europe, but not only of the European Jews or of the complex world of North American Judaism.
We can certainly criticize Israel and its government – as we can disagree with the government of Turkey or Finland – but it is certainly nothing new that the polemic against the Jewish State is linked more to the adjective “Jewish” than to the noun “State”.
In the crowds’ minds, the history of Israel is now linked to the assumption – completely ungrounded – that it took away from the Palestinians the lands that originally belonged to them.
Zionism was linked – quite rationally – to the reaction of the French people to the Dreyfus trial that divided French society between those who supported Dreyfus, the so-called “Dreyfusards”, and those who condemned him, namely the “anti-Dreyfusards”. That year also marked the beginning of the unfortunate caste of intellectuals, that is fortunately irrelevant today.
In Theodor Herzl’s mind, the end of the rational and civil relationship between Europe and the Jewish world was evident.
Everything could collapse in an instant for European Judaism. The combined forces of the reaction to 1789 and of the worst 1789 had come together.
Living without history and in the here and now – like the animals described by Nietzsche in his second essay of the Untimely Meditations- is currently the form and the way in which the West thinks of itself. The history of our civilization seems to have finished and, hence, it is no longer necessary to know history, which is the basis of endless manipulations that today still float in the crowds’ minds. This is the worst forgetfulness and neglect of ourselves.
Furthermore, Rabbi Schneier focuses his attention on a fact that few people – who are not tunnel-visioned and narrow-minded as a result of apolitically correct approach or mere interest in the number of votes gained in elections – currently consider: immigration, especially from the Middle East or Africa, where there is a strong presence of Islam, will certainly increase the insecurity of European Jews and, in many respects, of all EU citizens.
In the European and American liberal culture, integration implies acceptance of the other and the kind request that the other adapts to our laws, regulations, customs, habits and practices.
However, there are not only explicit and written rules, at least for us who are the heirs of Roman law.
Hence the other needs to accept the substratum of our civilization, which is not only the trite, idle, frivolous and enlightened “tolerance” – the mechanism in which, as Adorno and Horkheimer maintained, everything is false.
Something more profound is here needed, which can never be written and regulated.
Politics is a metaphysics where the unspeakable is what matters and shapes all the rest.
Obviously this also applies to the citizens of the host countries, who must understand the alterity of the other, in the profound meaning of this concept, and hence respect him / her in his / her becoming other – just to use philosophical jargon.
Hence, although a share of immigrants is – to some extents – inevitable and, however, this has already materialized, we should recall that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are not the enemies of Jews alone, but of our civilization as a whole.
This held true also for Nazism: it was in fact a political theory – but we should rather say a mere practice – linked to caste ideas typical of Asia where, indeed, the Third Reich also found military, economic and ideological support.
From Tibet to Indian Hinduism, from the Islamic sects of Central Asia to the peripheral Russian cultures of anti-Semitism, such as the Cossacks, while developing the aforementioned myths, Nazism aimed at the annihilation of Europe and hence at its “Asianization”.
Hence Nazi anti-Semitism as a struggle against Europe and its millennia-old civilizations, not less ancient than Asia’s.
Also the economy should be considered: as demonstrated by the most recent historians studying the Third Reich, the Nazi leaders thought to solve their economic and financial crisis with the “Jewish gold”.
Still today, whoever fights against anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is like one of the 300 Spartans holding the line in Thermopylae, who rescued the unique Greek knowledge and wisdom from a great Asian Empire that would have equated the maritime civilization of the Mediterranean to the steppes of the Persian Empire, without any culture other than the exaltation of the God-Emperor – or the sad repetition of the “ancients”.
An imperial wisdom that was also typical of the Roman Empire, but with the plurality of gods that already foreshadowed the Weberian “polytheism of values”.
Certainly, as Rabbi Schneier maintained, European leaders are very careful about the resurgence of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, but the issue does not lie in leaders, but rather in crowds, who seem to be ever more seduced by hatred, which is more complex than love but – like the devil -is a very powerful seducer.
But what is really anti-Semitism today?
A mass phenomenon, of course. And this is worrying because preconceived ideas are harder to eradicate than rational beliefs.
In the United States currently the Jews account for 5.5%.
Needless to say, it is not a race, but a set of different ethnic groups, united by the same creed.
Furthermore, between 11% and 20% of North American Jews are “coloured people” – hence not only blacks.
The Jews, however, live in 70% of current nations, ranging from the Jewish communities of Kaifeng in China to the Indian Jews of various Middle East origins, up to the Jewish majority areas in various parts of Latin America.
Nor should we accept the anti-Semitic myth whereby Jews are the “rich” who dominate the world.
According to the most reliable statistics, currently over 50% of the richest people in the world are of Christian faith, while there is a higher number of rich Hindus and Muslims than Jews.
The 2015 data shows that out of the 13.1 million people defined as “rich” globally, 56.2% are Christians, 6.5% Muslims, 3.9% Hindus and 1.7% Jews.
Certainly pathological thinking – a real mental illness, which currently defines anti-Semitism as a “conspiracy theory” – could maintain that this data is “rigged”.
This is not true. Indeed, it is real data taken from the tax returns of the countries recording significant GDP rates in the world.
In the United States, however, Jews are the ethnic-religious group that earns higher wages than any other similar group.
And there are still many poor people – poor like the Jews who arrived in New York two or three generations ago.
Currently 45% of New York’s Jewish children live just below the poverty line, while in the United States the poor Jews account for 26.4% as against an absolute average of 30.8%.
Between 1991 and 2011 the number of poor Jews in the United States increased by 22%.
Hence, as we already knew, the myth of the rich Jews who secretly organize economic crises or the spoliation and dispossession of the goyim peoples is completely unfounded.
But where did anti-Semitism historically originate? Probably in Europe and, above all, in the area of popular Christianity.
There is no difference here between Protestant and Catholic anti-Jewish hatred.
In his treatise On the Jews and Their Lies Luther used terminology and arguments that seemed to be copied from one of Goebbels’ leaflets.
Probably everything began formally with the Spanish laws on limpieza de sangre(blood purity) in the seventieth century and beyond, also after the great pogrom of the Reconquista, which occurred at the same time as the discovery of America.
At that time the Jews escaped – along with the Muslims – from the “purified” Spain of Isabella of Castile heading to the East, especially to the Ottoman Empire.
The sultan of the time wrote an ironic letter to the Spanish Catholic Kings: “I thank you for bringing me here all these doctors, merchants, scholars and mathematicians, whom I needed”.
Furthermore, in addition to the specific Catholic anti-Semitism – from which the Pope, St. Paul VI, but above all another Pope, St. John Paul II, definitively freed us – there was a secularist anti-Semitism linked to the scientist, positivist and rationalist ideologies developed as from the French Revolution of 1789.
A revolution which soon led to a resurgence of irrationalist and antiscientific attitudes: just think of Gracchus Babeuf’s Arcadian refusal of technology and factory work and his “Conspiracy of the Equals” or o fRobespierrism, when Lavoisier, the founder of modern chemistry, was guillotined by the revolutionaries under the slogan: “The Republic has no need of scientists or chemists; the course of justice cannot be delayed!”
Here other myths – apparently more “rational” – are already at work.
Darwinian racism, eugenics, the American anti-Communism – where Communism is basically the practice of fraternal help – as well as phrenology or physical anthropology.
This was the “scientific” basis of Hitler’s anti-Semitism and, from the beginning, the “Führer” was a loyal subscriber to the publications of New York’s “Observatory on Race and Eugenics”, which also set the yearly quotas of immigrants accepted by the US government.
Certainly confining the Jews to ghettos is also an excellent practice to eliminate dangerous competitors in trade, business or professions.
This is just what happened in Italy after the racial laws of 1938.
When the West thrived, Jews’ freedom was revived. Just think of the Florentine Republic of the Medici, as well as the Renaissance, the Italian Risorgimento, in which many Jews participated, and finally the German unification.
It should also be noted that, before the Western colonization, the Jews of the Middle East lived without particular restrictions or threats.
However, the number of the sporadic anti-Jewish actions were more or less the same as in Europe.
It is therefore appropriate to say that it was precisely the European anti-Semitism, imported into the French or British colonies, to stimulate the latent and silent anti-Semitism of the local population.
Currently, throughout the Middle East, the avowed anti-Semitism account for 98% on average.
A major cultural and political problem.
In fact, if a powerful Islamic militant group like Hamas, that is currently considered “terrorist” by both the EU and the USA – a group which is also an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood -states in its founding Charter it believes in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, this means that there is a problem of communication between the worst Europe and the most fanatical Middle East, which concerns both us and the Islamists of the Gaza Strip.
The “Protocols” are, in fact, a key example of the new and old anti-Semitism.
From 1880 to 1921, the anti-Semitic pressure in Russia was one of the major mechanisms that favoured the Jewish migration to the United States.
Moreover, the early twentieth century was a phase of extreme weakness for the Russian tsarist system, that the anti-Semitic myth greatly contributed to blocking and stabilizing, until the German operation that favoured the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk and hence Germany’s initial support for Bolshevik Russia.
On the one hand, the tsarist regime accused the Jews of plotting against the Russian Empire, on the other, the Jews were accused not only of the severe economic crisis, but also of the anti-tsarist propaganda, both the revolutionary and the bourgeois and pro-Western one.
Hence the anti-Semitic and the anti-Zionist propaganda are closely interwoven. They develop the same traditional style features and turn them into new slogans. They create the same mechanism of fallacious identity inside and of exclusion outside for Jews and Zionists, but today they are targeted above all against the policies of the State of Israel that we must defend.
Ecumenical Patriarchate will face difficulties in the implementation of the Tomos of autocephaly for Ukrainian church
Having financial interest in rich foreign parishes of the former Kyivan Patriarchate, leadership of the new Orthodox Church in Ukraine will hardly agree to sign them over to the Constantinople.
Although all the necessary provisions were prudently included both in the Tomos and the Charter of the new church, it will not be easy to protect the right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to shepherd the diaspora.
On October 11, 2018, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate accepted two largest previously unrecognized Orthodox Christian denominations of Ukraine (the UOC-KP and the UAOC) into its jurisdiction.
At the end of November, the final decision was made to grant autocephaly to the new Ukrainian church, and the text of the corresponding Synodal and Patriarchal Tomos of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was approved.
At the unifying council on December 15, in Kyiv, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), headed by the Metropolitan Epiphany of Kyiv and All Ukraine, was created within the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The head of the former UOC-KP Filaret Denisenko remained in the OCU as a honorary patriarch, and will lead the independent church together with Epiphany, who used to be his patriarchal vicar before. Same day, a Charter of the newly-emerged church was adopted.
On January 6, after a joint liturgy in the Phanar, Patriarch Bartholomew will grant Metropolitan Epiphany the Tomos of autocephaly.
This decision not only put an end to the Ukrainian schism, but also put Patriarch Bartholomew in front of new challenges, in particular, concerning the Orthodox diaspora around the world.
According to the official position of Constantinople, expressed in the Charter and in the Tomos, the former UOC-KP parishes outside Ukraine with their hierarchs and clerics should become directly responsible to the Ecumenical Patriarch.
However, dozens of foreign Ukrainian parishes in Europe, the USA, Canada, Latin America, Australia, including two exarchates, generated a substantial income (millions of dollars). The diaspora contribute a lot to the personal budget of the former UOC-KP head Filaret Denisenko (ten years ago his wealth was estimated at 300 million dollars.
With this in mind, will the leadership of the OCU be ready to part with such rich communities? Most likely, it will not be easy to enforce the historic right of the Constantinople to govern Orthodox diaspora.
It is said that during one of his visits to Australia in 2017, the current Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epiphany received only from Fr. Savvas Pizanias a bribe of 300 thousand Australian dollars.
The scandalous deacon and adventurer Savvas Pizanias, expelled from the dignity of the Constantinople Patriarchate for immoral life and evasion into schism in 2001, was re-ordained by the Exarch of the UOC-KP in Greece Chrysostomos Bakomitros in 2015. In the same year, he was expelled by Filaret and transferred under the head of the non-canonical Russian True Orthodox Church Tikhon Pasechnik. However, he stayed there for a short time. Then he paid a large sum of money (AU$ 300,000) to Metropolitan Epiphany, donated a newly built St. Savva of Kalymnos temple ( Ιερός Ναός του Οσίου Σάββα ἐν Καλύμνω), worth $ 1 million, to the UOC KP, and thus was received back in the Kyivan Patriarchate.
Previously, the very existence of the “Greek Exarchate” of the UOC-KP and activities of Fr. Savvas in particular caused strong protest of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In order to clear his way to canonical recognition and autocephaly, patriarch Filaret waved the right on some of the parishes in the diaspora and, at the insistence of the Phanar, even abolished his exarchate in Greece.
However, the presence of the UOC-KP in the Pacific region continued. Moreover, in 2017, Savvas Pizanias was appointed a representative of the UOC-KP in Australia.
What will Filaret Denisenko do now, having received everything he wanted from Constantinople? He needed recognition of his canonicity, didn’t he? According to Archbishop Clement of the Crimea (OCU), President Poroshenko ordered not to let the Exarchs of Constantinople leave the country on December 15, until the Unification Council was completed. It clearly shows the determination of the Ukrainian government to achieve autocephaly for national church. And that is exactly why it would be very difficult to force the leadership of the OCU to agree with the historic right of the Ecumenical Throne clergy to minister the diaspora.
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