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.
Recognition of Macedonian schism by Constantinople – Threat Remains
After the publication in Macedonian news agency Sloboden Pecat, many believers of Serbian Orthodox Church gave a sigh of relief supposing that the common sense prevailed and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew discarded his intention to grant autocephaly to the schismatic Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC). But it appeared that such hopes were premature.
The article in Sloboden Pecat reads that Patriarch of Constantinople had sent a letter to MOC that admitted Serbian Orthodox Church’s (SOC) jurisdiction over Macedonian archdioceses and thus he had no rights to satisfy Skopje’s request for autocephaly. Ironically Greek mass media used this as an pretext to accuse Fanar of bribery.
A few days ago Ecumenical Patriarchate issued a refutation on its official cite, claiming that they didn’t sent a letter to the MOC and haven’t even heard of the Serbian gold.
While Serbians keep praying, Constantinople continues secret negotiations with the MOC. According to some sources this is why Metropolitan Amphilochios of Adrianople carries out frequent trips to Macedonia. At the same time statements of Fanar’s clergymen and Patriarch Bartholomew demonstrate phyletic intentions with a purpose of establishing the superiority of “Greek” church over all others as “the first without equals”. So the threat of the recognition of Macedonian schism by Constantinople is still relevant.
But the Fanar’s primary aim now is to force SOC into recognizing the autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) – such a precedent will path the way for Macedonian tomos of autocephaly in the future.
Obviously our Church shouldn’t trust fake publications of the mass media. On the other hand there’s no point in passive expecting of “His All-Holiness” Bartholomew to declare his will. Considering that the community temporarily believed in a possibility of a “fair verdict” from the Fanar, Serbian Patriarchate’s position must be based not only on historical truth and church canons but on public opinion as well. In this regard the separatists’ worst nightmares of Constantinople going back to the canonical path can come true.
Constantinople has the right to revoke the tomos of autocephaly of any Slavic church at any time. Recently Archbishop Job of Telmessos. In the same interview he said that the name “Serbian Orthodox Church” is uncanonical and is a sign of ethnophyletism. If it’s not a declaration of war, then it’s at least a direct threat to Serbian Patriarchate. History shows that accusations of ethnophyletism sound when Greeks need to infringe the rights of Slavic Churches or deprive them of independency.
The Ukrainian example proves that Constantinople easily revokes the historical signatures of its patriarchs and no matter how much gold they were paid and how long ago the papers were signed – 100 or 300 years ago. Will Constantinople be allowed to go on rejecting its own decisions unilaterally and broaden its borders in the future? It mostly depends on the position of Local churches including ours. If we don’t react now then Serbian Church will face the fate of Moscow which is losing its territories land by land.
Patriarch Irinej needs Constantinople to officially recognize that the tomos of 1922 still has legal power despite the changing historical circumstances and that the extension of SOC jurisdiction over Macedonian archdioceses is no discussion point. We need a document that will be undoubtedly canonical and impossible to cancel at a moment’s notice. At least personal signatures of patriarch Bartholomew are still more trustworthy than fake mass media publications.
The Jews of Chalkida
“When we returned, we had no bed to sleep, no pots to cook, nor clothes to dress. We went to our house and it was confiscated by others. We rented a room in our house and the whole family lived there.”
At Kotsou Street
Mair Maissis is in the Synagogue of Halkida, eager to guide anyone who passes itsdoor and wants to learn more about the Jewish community and the Jewish cemetery of Chalkida. Willing and full of energy, he would start explaining me the architecture of the — the Romaniote type — Synagogue.
“The two columns of our Synagogue prove its antiquity. A large number of scholars regard the Synagogue of Chalkis as the oldest of Europe and many believe that the first presence of Jews in Evia dates back to 586 BC. Around the Synagogue was the Jewish ghetto, the Jewish quarter where most Jews lived until the end of the Ottoman domination.
“On Good Friday in 1854, a great fire broke out which destroyed the biggest part of the Synagogue. Of course it was an arson. Nearly all community archives, books, heirlooms and manuscripts were destroyed. Only three Torah scrolls of the 13th & 14th century have survived until today. The Synagogue was rebuilt in 1855 with the donation of the Dutchess of Plakentia. Luckily today, we do not have any anti-semitic incidents here in our city. We are completely asssimilated.”
“We came from Italy. We were doing business with cornflakes and in italian mais means corn. So we were named after the profession. We left when the persecutions of Ferdinand and Isabella began. We crossed the city of Patras, then Mystras and finally Chalkis. At that time, we were traveling in enormous groups. They did not leave each other back. “
With the annexation of Thessaly to the newly established Greek state, several Jews in Chalkida moved to Volos. There, they found a new dynamic community. The mother of Mr Mair came from this community.
“My mother was Sephardi and she was speaking Ladino. Of course, at our house in Chalkida we only spoke Greek, neither Ladino nor Hebrew.”
He was born in 1935 a few years before the great disaster. His father Solomon was a merchant like most of the Jews at that time.
“Then the Community consisted of about 300 people. All merchants, spinners, craftsmen, etc. The weekly market in Kriezotu street was 90% Jewish. “
When the war broke out, he had only been able to go to school for a few weeks. The Jewish community had its own Jewish school where students were taught all the lessons and additionally the Hebrew language and Jewish religion.
“We were only able to learn about two or three songs and to dig out some scribbles. Nothing else we’ve got. “
The Partisans and the Orthodox Church
“We were almost all saved. With the help of the partisans and of the local Bishop Gregory. Without them we would have followed the others. The Bishop saved Jews whohad been prisoned and hide the Sacraments of the Synagogue in a place of the Central Church.
The partisans mobilized the Jewish families to leave Chalkida and go to the mountains. They were hidden in villages such as Steni and Gides.
“We left before the invasion of Germans. We had already been aware for the incidents in Thessaloniki and Athens, and there was no possibility to follow the same fate. The partisans told us to pick up things and by horses, we went up to the mountains. We were hidden in Steni like many other Jews, although this was extremely dangerous. There we stayed in Christian homes. But we knew these Christians. They have been our customers for so many years, we have had personal contact with them. “
Even the Italian Commander urged them to leave as soon as possible. On March 24, 1944, the Germans announced that all the Jews would gather in the synagogue to give them flour to make the enzymes for their Easter. They opened the door and they only saw Rabbi.
“They believed we would follow Rabbi and stay there. But we had chosen to be mobilized and save ourselves. “
22 Jews were lost from the Chalkida community. But how did they get lost?
“Mainly by German traitors”, Lili Kosti answered to me.
“So they captured my father and his sister. My father stayed in Chalkida to look after his parents who could not move. A Nazi partner betrayed him and caught him immediately. His sister descended from the mountain to take him out and so caught her. We could not leave our families.”
Who were the traitors, I wondered? I asked her to describe me the profile without telling me the name.
“Everything is now publicly available. I can tell you the name if you want. But do not imagine that their traitors and associates were reputable individuals, with family and educated. They were just criminals.”
Jews entered the guerrilla I asked them?
“Of course, havent’t you heard about Sarika?” And I had never heard her.
“17, 5 year old girl. Sarah or else Sarica Geoshoua. At first she entered the guerrilla and helped with chores. She slowly became a leading figure and propagated in the villages to get everyone into the guerrilla. She focused on girls and after a while she got teamed and had her own team of 12 young girl partisans. “
After the end of the Occupation and with the civil war, Sarica was led to the prosecutor. He told the prosecutor, “I am not with either communists or the right side. I went up there to fight the Germans. “The prosecutor released her with the condition of leaving Greece for ever. She left for Israel and never returned to Greece.
After the Occupation
“When we returned we had no bed to sleep, no pots to cook, nor clothes to dress. We went to our house and they were already others. We rented a room in our house to stay the whole family, “says M. Maisis.
America was first helped by the first time. Huge balls with clothes, beds, kitchen utensils, books for children.
“Many left for Athens, others for Thessaloniki because they thought they would find opportunities there. Others fled for Israel. As early as 1944, 160 people of ours had left for Israel. We then had a Chalkidiki lawyer, Sotiris Papastratis. He organized the mission for Israel. Free spirit, democrat. Later, he was honored with the Yad Vashem Prize for the Law of Nations. “
His family had nothing when he turned from the mountain to Chalkida.
“We went with my father to Athens to get some goods and start over again. As soon as he entered the shop and saw him the merchant shouted: Solomon lives! Download and give whatever he wants. “He knew his money was for sure. We had such a relationship of trust between us.”
The community saw a significant reduction in the number of its members. The day-to-day operation of the Jewish school ceases, and the rabbi was stopped in the early sixties.
The current community
“Today we are about 50–60 people. All older in age and we have only 2–3 children. Of course we keep all traditions and customs. We do it as we did before. “
When does the synagogue come to life?
“Every Friday we normally do our Shabbat service. We gather about 20–25 people. For the needs of the function we have a hazzan, that is, a cantor.
But in the great feasts, Ross Ashana, Pesach and Kippur, we bring a rabbi. “
Entering the Synagogue, my eye fell on a shelf with his books. He writes about the history of the Jewish community and the Synagogue and in a few days he will present his second book entitled “The History of the Jewish Community of Halkida since 580 BC. until 2001 The Cemetery. “
“ Do tourists and people visit the place in order to learn more about the Jewish community?” I asked.
“In recent years we have a lot of people to visit us. This month, you are the fourth who comes to learn information. Not just tourists. Many local Halkidians are coming too. “
We are preparing to lock down the Synagogue and go tothe exit where we would say goodbye.
“This year, on the anniversary of the Holocaust on January 27, I went to talk to 7 schools. Halls were filled with 350–400 children and neither one stood up. They first heard about all this. Teachers are now mobilized. If nothing is done through education and school, nothing can be done. “
How Constantinople changed the Orthodox World
Soon it will be one month since the Ecumenical Patriarchate reinstated the primates of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC KP) and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and finally headed for granting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church the Tomos of Autocephaly.
This decision has already led to large-scale changes in Ukraine and the Orthodox world. So, what’s happening?
Ukraine: Property redistribution, fighting for the new Church’s Primate chair and uncertainty
The first thing the Ukrainians did was redistributing property. A part of the deal between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Autocephaly was a number of real estate items in the center of Kyiv. As it is rumored, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France visited the country to review the objects; their size and value quite impressed him.
On October 18, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada passed the President’s bill on handing St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Up to that moment the church served as the UAOC’s cathedral but its primate Metropolitan Makarios supported the presidential decision since his organization will be part of the new united Ukrainian Church and he is ready to sacrifice for it.
Meanwhile the UOC KP is getting ready to obtain new real estate items. On October 20, the Synod changed the title of its head: now he will also be the “Holy Archimandrite of the Kyiv-Pechersk and Pochaiv Lavras”, which belong to the UOC MP. On the eve of elections, Filaret seems to demonstrate his supremacy before Makarios and the UOC MP. As it is known, the UOC KP and UAOC are in long-lasting conflict, which escalated since the Tomos will be granted shortly.
The UOC MP certainly is in no haste to recognize Constantinople’s decision: the clergy of a few large eparchies of the Moscow Patriarchate vote for Metropolitan Onufriy and against the Tomos. Met Onufriy openly claims that the Phanar’s actions are uncanonical and calls for defending the faith. Bishops won’t join the new Church without their clergy and dioceses.
For instance, in predominantly anti-Russian Rivne Oblast in western Ukraine, all the clergy and monks unilaterally supported Met. Onufriy.
At a voting by secret ballot in Odessa Diocese, only 3 (!) priests of 406 were against Met Onufriy.
Metropolitan Sofronios of Cherkasy was the only bishop of UOC MP dioceses who openly supported Autocephaly. Cherkasy Diocese’s voting by secret ballot showed that nearly all of the local clergy deprecate the Autocephaly. Facing criticism, Met Sofronios had to publically state that he “won’t join the same Church with Filaret.”
In case Filaret and Makarios don’t reconcile and UOC MP bishops stand aside, the Unification Council will fail. The only result yielded by the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s strategy would be an exarchate and valuable property in the center of Kyiv. But where is the promised unity of the Ukrainian Church?
The world: A schism, the declining authority of the Greek Orthodoxy and the Ecumenical Patriarch
The Ecumenical Patriarchate has failed to reach concord in the world Orthodoxy. It is starting to divide into two camps. Despite the cut ties, Moscow couldn’t be isolated: the Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch and Slavic Churches are against Constantinople’s hasty actions on the Ukrainian question and the conflict is expected to be universal.
Such stand-offs can’t foster the positions of the Greek Orthodoxy. Constant quarrels between the Local Churches undermines the authority of the Orthodox Church in the eyes of Roman Catholics and Protestants: the Greek Orthodoxy once again looks ridiculous.
The ambiguous events influencing the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s reputation also added oil to the fire. First, the contents of the confidential talks on August 31 with Patriarch Kirill were leaked. The negotiations were recorded only by Constantinople’s representative, so it couldn’t have been published without prior consent of Patriarch Bartholomew.
The Ecumenical Patriarch is quite aggressive toward the Russian Orthodox Church without presenting grounds for his accusations. Thus, he has recently blamed Moscow for the dissemination of “well-paid articles” and “black propaganda” without clarifying what he meant.
Obviously, scandals like this one and aggression toward other Churches negatively affects Bartholomew’s reputation. Moreover, it looks like the Ecumenical Patriarchate strives not for the Unity of the world Orthodoxy but for its own supremacy over other Churches.
There should be recalled the situation with the “pearl in Constantinople’s crown” – the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA). In summer, some of its influential supporters spoke about independency following the example of Ukraine, but these talks were cut off. Meanwhile, for several months the Phanar has been trying to displace Archbishop Dimitrios. Against the background of the Ukrainian Autocephaly and open war with Moscow, the attempts to restrict the GOA’s independence and kick out its primate look cynical. Otherwise, it can urge the Archdiocese’s clergy and laity to unite for independency.
Relations with the ROC: the future of the ecumenical dialogue in question
The rupture between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate has influenced not only the processes between the two Churches. In cooperation with the ROC, Constantinople conducted active inter-confessional negotiations, but since Moscow refused to take part in them, the future of the relations, first of all with Roman Catholics, are not that promising. Now the talks led by Constantinople won’t be all-Orthodox, and this can be a pretext for predominantly anti-Ecumenical Churches to abandon them.
Besides, the Phanar’s actions will affect the Orthodox Diaspora: without the ROC, the Assemblies of Bishops won’t be that effective, their activity can stall.
At this moment, it’s unclear what awaits us in the future but one thing is obvious: the Orthodox world has changed and it will never be the same. Yes, Constantinople has won in the battle for supremacy becoming “the first without equals.” But the price is too high.
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