Islam: Theology & Culture

Discussion in 'Religions & Cults' started by stuneville, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. Spookdaddy

    Spookdaddy Cuckoo

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    I was under the impression (I'm happy to be disabused of the notion, but an albeit quick search seems to back it up) that Taqiya is a legitimisation of apostasy in extremis: basically speaking, lying about your beliefs if you need to do so in order to survive. Admittedly my knowledge of that is based on reading about Moriscos and Conversos during the Spanish Inquisition – I wondered if it had changed over time, but a cursory search seems to flag sources from either right-wing or extreme Islamist websites. (More evidence, should anyone need it, that both groups tend to agree on quite a lot).

    That said, I don't doubt for a minute that some - possibly many - Muslims feel maybe that they don't need to adhere to the truth quite so assiduously when dealing with non-Muslims. But then that’s a thing which I suspect is pretty common to any large group of people who feel tied to each other by mutual bonds of belief when dealing with others outside of that network.

    And, of course, the idea that a group lies to those outside is a begged question which if held by an individual is impossible to counteract, as that individual will counter that all the data available is based on falsehood. (Now, who else does that remind me of?) This means that one group can hide behind their distrust of another group safe in the knowledge that even if that other group convert hook line and sinker to their own mindset, then they are still ‘other’, because they are inherently dishonest. It's a paranoid's dream.

    'Lying for the Lord' is a similar accusation of the practice of institutionalised dishonesty, this time aimed at Mormons. In reality it apparently has no basis in Mormon scripture - although it's pretty clear that some Mormons can and do lie quite spectacularly. Whether this is because they are, specifically, Mormons, or, more generally, human beings who feel themselves raised above the niceties of decent human transaction by dint of their supposed religious exaltation, is open to quite a lot of interpretation. But I strongly suspect it is by no means limited to just a couple of religious groups - or, indeed, specifically religious groups.

    By coincidence, I have recently finished reading Under the Banner of Heaven – the replacement of a few key words could make this a description from Karakauer's book describing the apparent predisposition to violence which has been an undercurrent in the history of Mormonism.
     
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  2. Analis

    Analis Justified & Ancient

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    I disagree. The views of fundamentalist Christians in the USA, and of some not so fundamentalist, have had a major rôle, and still have, in shaping the disastrous policy of their contry in the Middle-East. And Jews ruling Israel are in fact enforcing the comands in the Torah (also, it should be good to have a look to many Talmudic laws ; they can be really informative).

    One Algerian friend of mine, Muslim but 100 % modernist, answered me that it was difficult to require an illiterate farmer who had spent his whole life in a most backward environment to embrace liberal values at once. Notably when the said values are associated with regimes that have proven dedicated to an hostile attitude towards his country.
    The problem does not rally lie there, neither with an implied so-called 'inaptitude' of Muslims to accept liberal values. After all, we know that most Muslim societies had done significant progress towards a modernised way of life (the only exception being the Gulf states). It is to understand why there was such a regression. The answer appears quite obvious : because of the repeated agressions by Western countries on Muslims.

    I remained unconvinced by your assertion that Islam did much worse than any other religion or civilisation. Amounts of dead given in india are just not credible. The population of the Americas was reduced at the time by a greater factor, but it was the result of a combination of conquest, forced labor and mainly plagues, the only cause that could result in such a reduction in population. Which also resulted in the decimation of the population of Europe many times in the same era, inducing a loss of hundreds of millions of lives and 'unborn lives'. Also, you should not forget the large depopulation (maybe hundreds of millions of people) in the late XIXth century of many colonized countries, including India and China. The result of starvation caused by a predatory system. It was not mainly based on religion, but on an ideology of civilisational/racial superiority.

    By another coincidence, I read yesterday an history of the early days of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I knew that early Mormons had faced persecutions, in fact it was whole attempts to destroy their religion, Joseph Smith being himself killed by rioters (another example of Christian tolerance). The similarities with early Muslims are striking, and similarly the persecutions shaped Mormon mentality. The difference being that Mormons did not win militarily and could not spread their faith to their country and then beyond, and had to leave into self-imposed exile.
     
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  3. AlchoPwn

    AlchoPwn Ephemeral Spectre

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    Demographics tells us that human populations typically grow by 3% per year (factoring in natural deaths). In the year 1000 when Islam first began to experience real success in the occupation of India, the population was 280 million. The first years of the Muslim occupation were horrific and are estimated as having killed around 80 million people in Northern India. Now over the next census data available that can be correlated is in the 1500s and the Indian population is still 200 million. Populations grow at 3% per annum, and 3% of 200 million is 6 million babies per year. Now remember that in a subsistence agricultural society, female fertility begins at age 15, and the natural death rate is factored in to the 3% annual growth rate. That means that the population should have recovered to 280 million and started to grow again in 30 years, given famines and epidemics, but it didn't. Over 500 years, the population should have grown far higher than it did. Now India has a long history of famines and epidemics, but the epidemics debilitate rather than killing in the main, as they are generally parasitic. How do they cope with these threats? Well the usual subsistence agricultural model is to "have more babies". So, over 500 years at 3%, but including famines and epidemics, the population should have increased to the carrying capacity of the land after a war, but it doesn't. That 80 million dead should have been replaced, but they weren't. What we do know is going on however, is that Muslim rulers are proudly documenting how they are executing hundreds of thousands of Hindus. Do the maths.

    An overview by the Sikhs on the atrocity. Biased, but mostly factually supported:
    https://www.sikhnet.com/news/islamic-india-biggest-holocaust-world-history

    A youtube sumary:


    Islamic involvement in the slave trade, a different issue, but worth a watch:


    I am VERY well aware of the destruction of the populations of the New World. I am not suggesting that the Spanish genocides in the Americas should be underplayed. What I will point out to you however, is that when the Spanish expeditions like those of Cortez, Pizarro, and De Soto go into the New World, they are culturally informed by the Muslim occupation of Spain and the Reconquista. For all the vaunted claims of tolerance by the Almoravid and Ummayad dynasties, the fact remains that the periods of tolerance were short, and were punctuated by periods of persecution that are "less celebrated", and when Ferdinand and Isabella finally drove the Muslim rulers out of Spain and enacted the conversion laws, it was a milder form of tit-for tat than the Muslims had periodically enforced. In short, the Spanish atrocities in the New World were informed by Islamic occupation. Now there are many European nations that colonized the New World; Portugal, England, Scotland, The Netherlands, France, Denmark, Sweden, and most encountered and fought with the native populations occasionally, but they seldom engaged in the slaughter that the Spanish entered into, and for the most part tried to live peacefully with the locals. Of course there are exceptions, but none of them are of the orders of magnitude of destruction of the Spanish. The main tool that the Spanish used was the deliberate use of smallpox, and its effects were devastating. The estimates of how many native peoples of the New World died, but the numbers were around 35 million. This is a number far lower than that inflicted on the populations of India by Islam, and remember that Islam had an important cultural input into the Spanish mentality that conducted the New World atrocities. Your statement that this atrocity was somehow less devastating than it was to New World cultures is pretty unforgivable btw, because the damage the Muslims did during their unrestricted rampage was incalculable, and the India we know today is nothing like the India of the past as a result.

    Hundreds of millions is an absurd number and factually incorrect. The population of Europe in 1450 was 83 million. By 1650 that had reduced to 74 million. You mean hundreds of thousands, not hundreds of millions. The Black Death certainly killed plenty of people across Eurasia in the 1350s, some say as many as 200 million, with between 30-60% of the European population killed, but the population numbers recovered quite quickly. The most destructive war in Europe in the same period was the 30 Years War, and that only killed 11 million. I would say you need to re-check your claims.

    Once again, not hundreds of millions of people. The fact is that even the terrible Bengal Famine of the 1770s only killed 10 million people. India had been routinely coping with disasters of this magnitude for centuries thanks to Islamic rule. As to China, the Opium War(1839–1842) (20,000 Chinese deaths) and the Arrow War (1856–1860) (27,000 Chinese deaths) had comparatively irrelevant death tolls.

    On the other hand, the Chinese themselves were involved in a terrible civil war called the Taiping Rebellion, that claimed between 20 million and 100 million lives. The Europeans had little to do with this, and deliberately tried not to interfere.

    The starvation had always been part of life in India. Crops fail. Yes, the BEIC (British East India Company) was a predatory commercial enterprise, but the Indians welcomed it with open arms, and many Indians also became wealthy through their involvement with the BEIC. The BEIC was not deliberately involved in starving the population. It fought military actions on occasion, but nearly everything it did was with the collusion of regional Islamic monarchs whose ancestors thought nothing of killing 100,000 Hindus when the fancy took them.

    Why are you so invested in the notion that ONLY the Europeans committed atrocities? It simply isn't true, and the worst atrocity by number dead in Human History was the genocide of Hindus by Muslims. It was unrestricted warfare on a defenseless civilian population, who simply had a different religion. European colonialism pales into insignificance next to this evil act that was perpetrated deliberately by Muslims who though themselves personally and religiously superior to the Hindus by virtue of military victory and proceeded to rape, enslave and murder the local Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs unrestricted for 500 years. Eventually European colonialism actually put a stop to the worst of this, like it or not.
     
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  4. AlchoPwn

    AlchoPwn Ephemeral Spectre

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    I have had quite a bit to do with the atheist community in the Middle East, and have communicated with many ex-Muslims. These people are known as Apostates and the Koran has this to say about them:

    Koran 8:55-57 Surely the worst creatures in the sight of Allah are the apostates, those who definitively denied the truth and are therefore in no way prepared to accept it, (especially) those with whom you entered into a covenant and then they broke their covenant time after time, and who do not fear Allah. So if you meet them in war, make of them a fearsome example of them such that those who follow them will see the atrocity you have committed upon them and be admonished.

    As a consequence, the ex-Muslims are in a state of perpetual danger of murder by their families and the Muslims around them. I have lost 2 friends to these murders. One in Iraq, and one in Jordan (and Jordan is supposed to be a more moderate place).

    As a result, I have been made aware that the more usual notion of Taqiya is as slang for lying to non-believers, i.e. you and me. There have even been a range of Muslim Clerics encouraging falsehood of this sort in their sermons. It is far more pernicious and widespread than you are aware of Spookdaddy. I take no pleasure in telling you this. I would genuinely like the situation to be less awful.

    "Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock." - Will Rogers.

    Most Muslims are eager to win your trust. You can't profitably betray someone's trust until you have earned it after all. As a consequence, they present a friendly front. It is much like most developing country tourist scammers with the added bonus of religious bigotry as a motivator.

    On the other hand, the religious group in question, the Muslims also have a holy scripture that says they have to murder you. It is only paranoia if they aren't out to get you.

    I have humorously compared Islam to Mormonism in the past myself to good reception. The Muslim gentleman in question to whom I made the comparison was quite amused at my "ignorance" until my exegesis revealed the similarities, after which point he backpedaled in shock. The primary difference being that Mormons don't have a scripture that wants you dead for not believing in their version of religion, unlike Islam. Both religions are indubitably the unscrupulous leading the gullible into the desert however.

    To be fair, every cult needs to militate successfully against the broader society to be successful, providing a clear external threat to unite against. The anti-Mormon lynchings claimed at least as many lives as the Mormons in their range wars ever did. All religions have some undercurrent of violence, but none have the breathtakingly horrible history that Islam does.
     
  5. Spookdaddy

    Spookdaddy Cuckoo

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    There are two issues here: apostasy in response to the conscious wish to convert to another belief through the act of reasoned choice, and apostasy through self-preservation.

    There is absolutely no doubt that the former is dealt with ferociously in many areas of the world and that such behaviour can rightly be used as an example of the savageries perpetrated in the name of Islam by many of its adherents.

    However, the discussion was about Taqiyah being an institutionalised license to lie to non-Muslims in any circumstances and any situation - when actually what it really seems to be is a very specific get out of jail card to be used in the face of violent force. (And any attempt to suggest that I'm defending the attitude to apostasy in the Muslim world would be a straw man.)

    I don't doubt that there are many clerics out there who are themselves encouraging and disseminating the idea that honesty is not a prerequisite when dealing with non-Muslims, and even that dishonesty may itself be an act of faith - and I wish all of them a bullet in the face - but I don't believe that everything those tubthumping swivel-eyed cave-dwellers say can be used as unquestionable evidence for the beliefs of hundreds of millions of other people.

    This idea of Taqiyah is now being used by sections of the far-right to suggest that there is no such thing as a non-Muslim, because - in their mindset - Muslims lie about everything to non-Muslims, including their beliefs, or lack of them. (And, speaking historically, it's not a rarely held belief: Once a Catholic, always a Catholic; once a Jew...; once an Indian...etc).

    The problem is that if you hold to the idea that Taqiyah is a blanket license to lie to non-Muslims, then you are creating a mindset in which there is nothing illogical about that viewpoint.
     
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  6. AlchoPwn

    AlchoPwn Ephemeral Spectre

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    Sry if there was a misunderstanding there, I was merely pointing out that the definition of Taqiya I had learned came from ex-Muslims with first hand experience of the way the term is used in a contemporary setting.

    Sure.

    It is now slang for lying to non-believers and according to my sources, it is pretty insitutionalized. Certainly enough to be used as a slang term, and in my experience that is pretty insitutionalized... like calling a vacuum cleaner a hoover, or a refrigerator a frigidair etc.

    Are you going to tell me that there were loads of lovely Germans in the Nazi party, plenty of just wonderful members of the Communist elite under Stalin, and that Mussolini was a sterling fellow surrounded by swell folk in his party, and they were all just led astray by a few bad eggs? I don't buy it. If a religion wants you dead, don't trust that religion. Your "Peace in our time" argument seems apologist and flimsy given the context of history, not least of which the hideous and blood soaked history of Islam.

    Now when Charlie Hebdo publishes some cartoons about Mohammed there are mass protests, riots and non-Muslims get killed. When ISIS goes on a rampage killing Muslims and non_Muslims alike, the Islamic community is utterly silent. No protests, no nothing, only a condemnation of the USA. How do you reconcile this point? I think you must agree that something doesn't add up.

    My point is solely that the ex-Muslim atheists I have communicated with informed me that Taqiyah is slang for lying to non-believers. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't support the far right, and in fact I am multiculturalist for the most part, but not where Islam is concerned because I am properly appraised of the facts. No culture is all good or all bad, but mark my words, Islam is mainly hostile to everybody, often even Muslims who aren't in the same sect.

    Again. My point is solely that the ex-Muslim atheists I have communicated with informed me that Taqiyah is being used as slang for lying to non-believers, and that this attitude is common and encouraged.
     
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  7. Spookdaddy

    Spookdaddy Cuckoo

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    Straw man.

    Well, actually there is quite a lot of protest - but those who despise Muslims tend to find ways of despising their condemnation; damned if they don't, damned when they do. (To be fair, I wouldn't argue that we could do with a lot more, and a lot louder - but the idea that these atrocities are met only with silence strikes me as just plain wrong.) As to Muslims lining themselves up quietly and without protest to be slaughtered by ISIS? Really? Iraq, Syria, Afghan - boots on the ground are overwhemingly Muslim. (Unless you believe they're all practicing Taqiya - and playing cards round the back.)

    On a personal note. The flat next to mine has been occupied by a stream of lazy, ignorant, needy, entitled gobshites, who think the world owes them a living, and that they do not need to give a shit about me or any of their other neighbours: Anglo-Saxons and Celts, the lot of them - including the landlords, who are a couple of wankers. The only occupants of that flat who have treated me in a truly neighbourly way, with consideration, respect, generosity and a belief in the mutual nature of the tacit agreement which allows people to live closely to each other successfully, were Muslim. Now, I’m not so naive as to take that as a rule: previously, I’ve lived in various places in the East End of London with high Muslim populations – and been treated with behaviour ranging from the atrocious to the more than decent.

    Accusations of naivety and/or obtuseness are tiresome. I would happily see every jihadi and their rear echelon apologists wiped from the earth with flamethrowers and bleach - I just don't believe that this would involve having enough bleach and petrol for hundreds of millions.

    If that's naivety then fine, I'm down with the sheeple - but I sleep like a baby.
     
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  8. Cochise

    Cochise Justified & Ancient

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    There are of course many 'secular muslims' - those who do not follow the religion closely - in Britain. Many of them are here because decades ago they fled the very societies in the Middle East and elsewhere who take a stricter interpretation of the religion. Those folk are as concerned - possibly more concerned - at the new waves of 'refugees' coming into the West who are more 'faithful'.

    But even among the earlier group there are forced marriages, 'disappearances' of people who want to adopt an entirely Western lifestyle, and so on. _Maybe_ my views are skewed because I've been personally involved in some of these incidents that have affected colleagues or friends. It is enormously difficult, for a female - who wants to be a businesswoman on Western terms - that is, without a male partner - to break away, and girls who want to have western clothes and non-Muslim boyfriends are often in actual danger from male relatives.

    I've never slept like a baby even when I was a baby - according to my long-suffering Ma anyway. :)
     
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  9. Spookdaddy

    Spookdaddy Cuckoo

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    Me and my brothers slept so solidly as babies that my mum became worried that there might be something wrong with us - it was as teenagers we started keeping her awake at night.
     
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  10. Analis

    Analis Justified & Ancient

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    Yes, Spanish (and Portuguese...) mentality had been shaped by centuries of religious conflict, hence its reluctance to adopt the Renaissance intellectual movement. From what I've read, tolerance had been the general rule under the Umeyyades and the Almoravides, the Almohads being the most intolerant. But what those championing an intolerant Al-Andalus forget conveniently to remind is that its Muslim rulers had periodically to face Christian revolts remote controlled from the Christian realms. Hence civil wars, followed by a repression of Christians, sometimes their removal or escape to other towns or taifas, and later their return to their original homes. Put in the context of constant warfare by the Christian kingdoms (who were definitely not interested in reinstating the religious freedom that had been suppressed when Christians took over the Iberic Peninsula centuries ago), Al-Andalus tolerance appears indeed remarkable, notably compared to the situation on the other side of the border.
    And no, the conversion laws edicted by the Catholics kings were not a tip-for tat for what Muslims had done. It would have been if Muslims had been allowed to live in post-Reconquista Spain, but they were deported from Castilla as soon as 1502, and from Aragon in 1526. And there, there was no return to be expected. Even Conversos/Moriscos were eventually not tolerated anymore and expelled from Spain in 1609, and had previously been subjected to persecutions despite their conversion. Something that Muslim converts had usually not been subjected to under Muslim rule.
    Coming to non-Spanish Europeans in America, you're a bit too nice with some of them. The French in the old mainland Louisiana were few and had little presence, but the Portuguese and the English did much more than occasionnal skirmishes and conducted large policies of depossessing Native Americans. The role of what is sometimes called the Evangelical or Protestant Zionism was crucial in the expansion of English (later British) settlements, at the expanse of Natives, resulting in a number of massacres and genocides, and is generally underestimated (one usually unmentioned motive for the War of Independance in the British colonies was that colonists were angered by the policy of appeasement by the British government towards the Amerindians, and to stop the expansion and the spoliation of their land). In the modern-day USA, indeed, little remains of the indigenous population.

    Well, it's hard to agree with François Gautier that “The massacres perpetuated by Muslims in India are unparalleled in history, …... more extensive even than the slaughter of the South American native populations by the invading Spanish and Portuguese.” The Native American population was in some places reduced to less than one-fifth of what it was, whole cultures and religions were litteraly eradicated (although the Catholic Spanish reverted later to a more tolerant approach, let syncretist religions to thrive and allowed Native Americans to live under their own law).

    You are saying yourself two hundred millions from the plague, and I suppose that it accounts for a significant number of the dead in India. As for epidemics and bad conditions being the main reason behind the declin of population in India, your own mentions of the situation in Europe make that they are not a far-fetched hypothesis, as you are admitting that its population had decreased over one century (after the Black Death), which we know to result from a combination of deadly epidemics and warfare with its associated scourges. There were indeed plagues and frequent wars in India, opposing Muslims to Hindus, but also Muslims to Muslims, and the generalization of the million of deaths in countless diverse situations as a genocide is abusive. Among the multitude of Muslim sovereigns who reigned in India in 13 centuries, many barely known, some may well have attempted a few true genocides or ethnocides on 'heathens' (which would've been hopeless as Muslims were a small minority), and some definitely exacted severe repressions of insurrections, but it couldn't justify the use of the word for the whole period. And some of the examples mentioned in your links demonstrate only that in this era, kings were ruthless. For example,Bâbur is mentioned, but he is considered as placing his Turkish heritage above his Muslim one, he even lifted the jizya, he left the memory of a tolerant emperor. In fact, if their depiction was true, it would be a mystery that Muslims were the majority only in the North-East (now the Pakistan) and the Bengal, and that Hindus remained the vast majority.

    Yes, you're right for the end of the XIXth century, but it was nonetheless more than 50 million people in only one decade, due to the combination of bad weather and colonial exploitation. Historians disagree over if the reduction of population in Ceylan was closer to 40 or to 80 %. In the French and Leopoldian Congos, it was reduced by a half, in some part of Ivory Coast, by five sixths, etc... But it should also be added the results of repression and famines induced by the colonial system predating the 1890s, and following them (for example, the famine caused by Churchill in Bengal in 1943, between 3 and 5 millions deaths) and there it could amount to hundreds of millions of dead and unborns.

    Indeed, aristocrats in every country in the world have a tendency to collaborate with invaders, and their wealth benefits from the collaboration, at the expense of their people. They were usually not among the tens of millions of victims ! But the population of India impoverished under colonial rule. The part of India in global wealth and tradeis estimated at 23 % before the British came. When they left, it had decreased to 4 %.

    Interestingly, the rebellion was Christian (although definitely heretical !).

    No, but its policy, and the one followed by its British sucessors, led to famines. Eventually, it led to the India we know today, impoverished, very different from the India of the past...

    I am not invested in this notion. I could reply that you are invested to trivialize European colonialism, which is the force that modelled the world for five centuries. You won't succeed by stating that there was a continuous unrestricted assault on a defenseless civilian population fo 500 years, which is simply not true.
     
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  11. AlchoPwn

    AlchoPwn Ephemeral Spectre

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    Really? At what stage have Muslims taken to the street to protest against ISIS? That was my question. As to the boots on the ground, yes, they're Muslim, and very half hearted except for the Kurds(who have my respect for dramatically abandoning sectarianism in all its forms), but where are the domestic protests by Muslim migrants in Western countries?

    This is not a good argument. I see the same straw man logic you accused me of at work here. I also see a personal experience that has little to do with the subject matter. Anecdotal evidence isn't worth much.

    The problem is that the Jihad hasn't ended for 1500 years. Islam has been murdering non-believers somewhere since its inception, and without pause somewhere in the world. If the religion had properly cooled down and grown up, I would take a less dim view of it, but it never has. You cannot say of Islam that it has been tamed by secularism the way Christianity has, and if anything, it is worse now than it was 50 years ago. Of course Muslims would say "blame the Jews" or "blame the oil money" or "blame colonialism", but really it is their poisonous religious ideology that is to blame.
     
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  12. James_H

    James_H And I like to roam the land

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  13. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    Read the comments below on that page.
    One comment says:
     
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  14. AlchoPwn

    AlchoPwn Ephemeral Spectre

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    So basically you are blaming the Jews? In case you weren't aware, when Zionism was first on the move in British Mandated Palestine in the 1920s the stated preference of the Jews was a fully religiously tolerant and integrated state where the Muslims and Jews could live as happy neighbors. The Rothschild representatives went to a lot of trouble to pay top dollar for land, to ensure that there was no ill-will between themselves and the Muslims as they created the territorial basis for the future state. Then the Grand Mufti of Palestine decided he didn't like the situation and organized murderous attacks against Jews praying at the Wailing Wall, and that kicked off the multi-generational feud that is the history of modern Israel. If you have a problem with the Jews, you should remember that Mohammed himself said that none of his teachings were different to Judaism (except they were), and when it became politically expedient to attack Jews Mohammed did so without care or stint , and is on record having committed some pretty heinous atrocities against them.

    Nobody who is a practicing Muslim can be 100% modernist. Modernism is based on a secular order that is utterly incompatible with the totalitarian theocracy that Islam promotes.

    There are very few illiterate farmers in the world today. Poorly read farmers perhaps, but seldom illiterate, even in very depressed areas. Even then, I have known plenty of people who are poorly read who have utterly abandoned their religious rural upbringing in a heartbeat and without a backwards glance once they came to live in an urban environment. The Marxist notion of the "idiocy of rural life" is an artefact of past sociology that doesn't hold up under skeptical scrutiny.

    When you really look at this series of assumptions they don't hold up. Islam has been at war with European powers since Islam first attacked the Byzantine Empire unprovoked in the 7th Century. Islam then went on to invade Spain and Anatolia, and conduct slaving raids into the Mediterranean and against the Kievan Rus. Europeans fought back during the Crusades, but gradually lost ground. Islam in the mean time had problems with the Khanate, but ultimately invaded India and perpetrated a 500 year unrestricted war of atrocity on the Hindu civilian population. Europe lost the Balkans, and it was only the Poles fighting to save Vienna that halted the Muslims in the East. Eventually Spain completed the Reconquista, but the Mediterranean was a dangerous place for shipping thanks to Islam in the Renaissance, and it expanded into the North Sea during the English Civil War, such that Muslim slave ships were attacking the coast of France, Germany, Ireland, England etc and took at least 2 million slaves. In the meantime, Islam had reignited the slave trade in Africa, which had died after the Roman empire fell, leading to African Muslims selling non-Muslim Africans to Europeans for a tidy profit, while Islamic slave populations were exterminated by the cruelty of their lives. Eventually however in the 18th Century the Ottoman Empire ran out of money, as they operate a plunder economy, where their military success and plunder then pays for their next conquest, unless they lose, in which case they over-taxed their subject people to pay for it, thus impoverishing their state and destroying their ability to wage war due to mismanagement. In the 17th Century the Ottomans had declared "the End of Knowledge", as an excuse to avoid paying for further research and development, and so they stalled their technical growth and have never really recovered. This meant that European powers were able to contain and roll back Muslim gains in Europe, liberating much of the Balkans, and eventually leading to the occupation of Egypt, North Africa and the recapture of the Levant. This also meant that when Britain and France intervened in India they put a halt to the Islamic atrocities and allowed a renaissance of Hinduism, even though so much had been destroyed of the original culture that the Hinduism that remained was a relic of its former state. WW1 (when the Ottoman empire finally fell apart after a series of wars with Russia, Greece, Italy etc.) saw the Sykes-Picot agreement, which was a stab in the back for the Muslims who allied with Britain and France, and the first stirrings of Zionism in Palestine after the Balfour Declaration, and the subsequent unprovoked Palestinian attacks on the Jews. Now was the creation of the state of Israel aggression by Western countries? Not really. History amply demonstrates that Islam has been a savage aggressor since its inception, and the only times when it has ever been slowed down were during the Crusades and the Colonial period of the 19th and early 20th Centuries when Islam failed to maintain its totalitarian momentum towards world domination.

    Okay lets go over the maths. Human populations grow by 3% per annum. India in 1000 AD when the Muslims first invaded had a population of 280 million people. By 1500AD India had a population of 200 million. If India lost 80 million people in the first year of the occupation, then the population would have recovered over a period of about 20 years, even with famines and plagues, but it didn't? Why not? Well, according to the historical record of the Muslims in control of India, it was because they were murdering Hindus in job lots. You may not like the facts, but they remain the facts. India's population under British rule actually began to grow substantially for the first time in a long time. As to China's population loss, that was due to the Taiping Rebellion, which Europeans had precious little to do with and actively avoided getting involved in despite the fact that both the Taiping Rebels and the Qing Dynasty forces both seeking European support. You may not like the facts, but not liking them isn't the same as changing them.

    If you look at those facts a bit more closely, you will discover that the reason Smith and other Mormons were lynched was over their abuse of womens' rights, namely the practice of polygamy. Most people also thought, based on the spurious evidence of Smith's claims, that he was a terrible fraud who was using religion as a basis to abuse women and have a harem of sex slaves or "sister wives". I am amused that you are so on board with the Mormons.
     
  15. AlchoPwn

    AlchoPwn Ephemeral Spectre

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  16. Spookdaddy

    Spookdaddy Cuckoo

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    To be clear, the comment of yours to which I was responding expanded from the initial issue of street protest to the much wider subject of protest in general; I wasn’t responding to a question about protest marches, but to a statement regarding the alleged complete unwillingness of Muslims to engage with the issue at all:

    I would state again that I don’t actually disagree that we should be seeing much, much more in the way of voluble protest. But protest can take many forms. The fact that there aren’t organised mass marches against ISIS isn’t evidence that the entire Muslim world is, to use the words I was taking issue with, ‘utterly silent’.

    This is probably extremely unfair to the very many thousands of dead Shia and Sunni who have fought and died pushing back at ISIS. The Kurds are undoubtedly an efficient and admirably resilient fighting force – and one of the most highly motivated in the region - they are also majority Muslim, and only one facet of the many groups who have been fighting back. And as majority Muslims, I’m wondering - as the current discussion was inspired by your apparent belief in the universal application of Taqiya as a license for Muslims to lie to non-Muslims - how you balance this with your apparent belief in them.

    No. You can call into question the relevance of my comments, even their veracity if you wish – but I cannot see anything in the quoted section (an anecdotal observation about my neighbours) which could be construed as deliberately misrepresenting anything you’ve said, so I’m not sure how you get a straw man out of it.

    And anecdotal evidence may well be of questionable value - yes, we could all just be making this stuff up - but I would point out that this hasn’t stopped you using it many times yourself. (You have ‘communicated with many ex-Muslims’ etc – I’ve communicated with my Muslim neighbours; is there a qualification here that makes one instance anecdotal and the other not?)
     
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  17. AlchoPwn

    AlchoPwn Ephemeral Spectre

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    The whole existence of ISIS is as a result of ex-Saddam forces using Islamic Fundamentalism as a means of re-establishing control in the region. ISIS is entirely Sunni, and there haven't been many Sunnis willing to fight ISIS as a result. The war in Syria has been largely along lines of sectarian division between Sunnis and Shia, and the disenfranchisement of the Sunni minority under Nouri Al-Maliki in Iraq was one of the reasons ISIS was able to gain traction. The whole conflict is now a proxy fight between Saudi and Iran, much like what is going on in Yemen. De-Ba'athification had largely removed the Sunnis from the Iraqi military.

    In answer to your inquiry, the Kurds aren't very Muslim at all, in fact most pay lip service to religion at best. Many are ex-Communists who were avowwedly atheist. There are also plenty of Christian Kurds. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdish_Christians
    It is also worth pointing out that while the Yezhidis are consider themselves different to other Kurds, they speak Kurdish, and hold the bulk of their cultural practices in common with the Kurds. The Kurds in the Syrian conflict are a Social Democrat force, who have offered sanctuary to non-combatants of all religions, and I think all these things are a positive thing. Are there Muslims among the Kurds? Perhaps? Even probably. However they aren't following what the Koran teaches as they are behaving like decent people, ergo, they must be bad Muslims. You can be a good Muslim or a decent human being, but not both.

    So, you can't argue with my main point so you invent one that is irrelevant, regarding bad British neighbors vs allegedly good Muslim neighbors that you can win. Straw man.

    If you like anecdotal evidence, you'll love the shopping channel.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
  18. Spookdaddy

    Spookdaddy Cuckoo

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    Hmm. I do not at all get the sense of the above - I'm not even sure where the alleged straw man is supposed to be, and which point it is that I apparently 'can't argue' with.

    I feel that I have engaged reasonably with your original argument, and have been pretty clear about the specific points with which I have an issue. This, I would point out, without getting peevish - or, for that matter, insulting: I have not 'invented' anything.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
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  19. Yithian

    Yithian Incredulous Staff Member

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    History, statistics, textual analysis are all valid, but if you cannot support such generalisations as that above with solid studies, they are just insults; please do not post insults.

    Make your points without such flourishes or the debate ends.

    And please do not try to engage with me on this.
     
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  20. James_H

    James_H And I like to roam the land

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    You can watch the video and see the many specifically anti-ISIS and anti-terrorism placards protestors are holding.
     
  21. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    Curiously, that video is a very short clip repeated 3 times. Odd.
     
  22. Spookdaddy

    Spookdaddy Cuckoo

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    Yes. It's not the best. There do seem to be much longer clips online though.
     
  23. Quake42

    Quake42 Warrior Princess

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    The Koran is very clear:

    • Muslims should not befriend Jews and Christians
    • The punishment for leaving Islam is death
    • Slavery is permissible
    • Taking sex slaves is permissible
    • The Jews will be killed on the day of judgement, weirdly by being identified by the trees and rocks they are hiding behind suddenly developing the power of speech
    I could go on but you get the picture. And before the “but the Bible” whataboutery starts up, the difference is that (a) the smiting and violence of the OT is a history not an instruction manual, (b) the New Covenant sweeps away much of the OT in any case and (c) most importantly, Christianity is not a revealed religion. The Bible is not the verbatim word of God and the religion can therefore be amended and reformed.

    Thankfully, many Muslims do not follow all the tenets of their religion but many do. Support for sharia law runs at 90%+ in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan, and is surprisingly high even among Muslim communities in the West.

    The Islamic ideology is given a free pass by many liberals in the West ultimately because of the ethnicity of most of its adherents. If white Christians were demanding the deaths of cartoonists, stoning rape victims to death and slicing up little girls’ genitals they would be rightly condemned. Similarly, if they were white far right activists. Islam... ah well, it’s cultural. It’s just the far right twisting things. And Ali in accounts is a nice guy so that invalidates all your criticism.

    The bigotry of low expectations in action.
     
  24. Quake42

    Quake42 Warrior Princess

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    There is a further point, which is that Jesus - whether you believe in his divinity or not - is fundamentally a good moral example. Mohammad, on the other hand was a terrible one. Islam venerates a man who murdered prisoners, took slaves and had sex with a nine year old girl as the most perfect human being to have lived.

    This will inevitably skew the behaviour of the respective religions’ followers.
     
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  25. Cochise

    Cochise Justified & Ancient

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    As it says below - "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."

    Jesus - at least in his reported actions - had no interest in temporal power (which can't be said of all the people that claim to represent His religion)

    Mohammed had as a major part of his aims obtaining temporal power that he believed had been unjustly denied him. That can lead to a fanaticism that will baulk at nothing to achieve the goal.
     
  26. skinny

    skinny ____Noble Gas___

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    Let us prey.
     
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  27. Analis

    Analis Justified & Ancient

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    It's an oversimplified view : growing native hostility had less to do with the mischievousness of one man than with their exasperation at seeing growing crowds of foreigners taking over their land (because no, it can not be all solved by money), depossessing and dislodging them (I have often wondered at to some know-it-all who have the nerve to say Palestinians how they should have welcomed what was truly an invasion, while they can't even stand the presence of a few Poles in their country).

    I don't know what it adds to our discussion, as I have regularly stated that the flaws of Islam (and of Christianity) come from Judaism. Mohammed is on the record to behaving with cruelty agaisnt them and his other ennemies, but keep in mind that had they won, he would have suffered a similar punishment.

    I'm sorry, I will disappoint you, he is an observant of ramadan and does not eat pork (but he drinks alcohol and goes into nightclubs...), but he is really 100 % a modernist, secular, open-minded, tolerant of any belief, he was married to an atheist, has courted an Arab Christian, and no, he does not practice the taqiya.
    The taqiya, isn't it more prosaically the despicable mentality held by anybody imbued with a feeling of superiority, believing that his god-given superiority gives him a licence to deceive the untermenschen at will ? The kind of we saw in action, for example, in Syria, when cease-fires were negotiated, Western powers were systematically requesting their pawns to benefit of them to enforce ther positions and gain ground. For those fanatics, who believe that they have God, the Providence, the Progress, the March of History or whatever behind them, honor, honesty, mere decency or in fact any kind of moral integrity mean nothing.
    If you want a codified example in an Abrahamic religion, a look at the Talmud (the complete version, not the expurgated one for bookshops) will be enlightening :
    Babha Kama 113a : « Jews may lie or perjure themselves if their goal is to deceive a goy or to have him convicted. »
    Babha Kama 113 b : « The name of God is not profaned if the lie was made to a goy »
    Iore Dea 157, 2 hagah : « If a Jew has an opportunity to deceive a goy, he may do it »
    Schabbout Hag. 6D : « Jews may falsely swear by using sentences with a double-meaning or any other subterfuge »
    You'll find also countless other graciousnesses, like « the property of a goy belongs to the first Jew who claims for it » (Babha Bathra 54 b), « the unfaithful do not benefit from the Law and God put their money to the disposal of the Jews » (Babha Kama 113a) and so on...
    So, you see, nothing new under the sun.

    I'm aware that to become a tolerant person well integrated in a modern society, a Muslim has to forsake some of the scriptures and teachings of his or her religion. Exactely as a Christian or a Jew has to. But if you think that we should stick to such a crude position, prepare for very difficult times.

    Yes, there are plenty of examples. But rural populations tend to be more oncervative, and the more they are illiterate or poorly read.

    Islam was at war with Christians (and not with Europeans per se !) because it was an expansionist religion, and Christianity was at war with Islam not so much because it was attacked, but because it was an expansionist religion that couldn't bear that they were losing ground, especially to hated heretics. Their counter-attacks were ineffective, because Muslims had conquered rich countries with an old military tradition, and had quickly gained much support for various reasons. Conquered Christians were prone to convert, and those who didn't were not very prone to fight for an orthodoxy they loathed, for a whole variety of motives. So Christians exerted their missionary expansion at the expense of weaker populations in northern Europe.

    True (although I have a doubt with Germany), but the situation was reciprocated, there were many Muslim slaves in Italy and Spain, alongside Orthodox Christian slaves.

    In North Africa, the trade never stopped, it only declined due to the general impoverishment of the population. Further south, it could not stop, because it never existed at all, or only marginally. I know that regretably, Hollywoodian films have popularized the notion that there were many black African slaves in Rome, but it is a silly anachronistic and racist mistake (and just another illustration, that no, Hollywood should never be taken as a source of knowledge...).
    For the rest, you seem to have a really incomplete view of history. For centuries Muslim African kings sold non-Muslim slaves to Muslim Arabs in East Africa and through the Sahara, and also bought slaves to them, but it had little impact on the emergence of the European trans-Atlantic slave trade to America. Europeans ignited the slave trade in Western Africa, they did not predominantly bought slaves to Muslim African kings, they mostly bought slaves directly to the Guinea Coast kings, who were usually not Muslim, kings they had put in place by deposing any monarch who was not corrupt enough to be their servant. In fact, the European trade led to the development of the Muslim trade, Zanzibar would never had grown so much without the input by the Portuguese, the French and the British. Coming to your assertion that Islamic slave populations were exterminated, observers of Muslim slavery in the XIXth Century were usually of the opinion that it was milder than American slavery. In fact, to generalize would be uncertain, conditions were probably diverse, but the lack of descendance is explained mainly by the fact that male slaves were castrated. In South America and the Antilles, we know that African slaves were exploited harshly, often to the death, with a small rate of reproduction, 17 % of slaves being born in situ, despite that in some of the Antilles, they comprised up to 85 % of the population. Your previous comparison with the situation in the North American British colonies omits that it was a peculiar one, as around 60 % of slaves were born there (a consequence of the greater distance from Africa and the ensuing rise in the price of slaves) and they comprised only 55 % of the population. So that they were relatively better treated than in Brazil and the Antilles.

    An unwise move, indeed. The Ottomans were unable to adapt to the Industrial revolution, and as you say, the whole region is still suffering from the consequences.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  28. Analis

    Analis Justified & Ancient

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    In fact, the most consensual opinion among historians is that to the contrary, Hinduism was reinvigorated by the confrontation with Islam, and held the banner of resistance to islamisation. Buddhism was the religion that really suffered from the coming of Islam, and almost vanished from mainland India. Today's Hinduism is definitely not a relic of its former days, it is a religion on the rise ; although it was changed by centuries of confrontation, and is now more intolerant.

    I don't know where you took the 3 % per annum rate from, it was clearly not valid for past centuries, before medical progress. Population was more or less stable. In India, the decrease was over a ong period, due to the fact that it was indeed a troubled era, prolific with wars. By Muslims against polytheists, but too wars of successions, as they plagued the Sultanate of Delhi, wars by Muslim rajas to take over the principalities of their 'fellow' Muslims, and wars by Hindu realms to regain control over Muslim conquests ; Hindus were not mere innocents victims who turned the other cheek and let Muslims walk all over them, they frequently retaliated to their atrocities, and Muslim princes were never able to conquer the Southern Deccan for long. When the Moghuls came, they could reign only over Northern India. Their dynasty was relatively stable and predominantly tolerant, and it was also true of many of their predecessors, not all of them intent to wage jihad on the idolatrous. In truth, India is one region where Muslims had to renounce some of the teachings of the Koran, and accepted to live alongside polytheists, modifying some of its commands to accomodate the coexistence. Even if they were forced to do so by their numerical inferiority, you won't find any examples of Christian kings tolerating polytheists.

    China's population loss was also due to the famines in the late XIXth Century. As in India, population growth really took place in the XXth century, when they at last benefited from medical progress (with the bad consequences we now know). As for the Taiping Rebellion, if it was not supported by European powers despite being Christian, it was mainly because Hong Xiuquan's teachings were extreme for the standard of the time, such as the equality of men and women (then anathema in Europe), and sometimes really bizarre, as the idea that men and women had to live separately, even if married... I don't how Europeans would have behaved had the rebels been regular Roman Catholics or Evangelists.

    You're a bit generous wheninterpreting the rejection of early Mormon polygamy by their contemporaries as concern for abuse of women's rights. They were people who had usually disdain for women's rights, and their hostility towards polygamy was motivated by basic intolerance,rejection of what they saw as an alien and pagan practice. Plus that in a deeply fundamentalist Christian society, everybody who claimed to be the new prophet and the successor of Jesus was viewed as a blasphemer and an heretic (and it was also reproached to the Mormons to live behnd closed walls, frequenting only their own shops).As for Smith issuing spurious claims, you tell me ! A religious leader who makes spurious claims, really, that's unprecedented !
    Before the 2012 US presidential election, it was priceless to see how some Republican Christian candidates, themselves of a Baptist/evangelical obedience, were attacking Mormons for being members not of a church, but of a cult. The truth being that they were all members of a cult !

    Surely you realise that this argument is spurious and fallacious ?

    What of the Old Testament (or the Torah) is swept away is very debatable, and there are many disagreement over it. As to Christianity not being a revealed religion, it is nonsense. Christians have always defined their religion as revealed, even if the New Testament was not written by Jesus, it is considered as the transcription of his teachings (that there are deep contradictions inside it is another problem that doesn't affect the Christians' perception of it as the product of a revelation, as Christians are oblivious of them). Additionally, many parts of the Koran comprise only commentaries and are not the word of God.
     
  29. AlchoPwn

    AlchoPwn Ephemeral Spectre

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    Well the historians you have read are probably the same sort of apologists who describe William the Conqueror (aka the Bastard) as a Stern but fair ruler, despite his genocide of Northern England that wiped the population in those regions out almost entirely. Hinduism was not "reinvigorated", it was smashed to the point where pretty much all Hinduism today is polluted by Islam, to the point where the great Polytheistic faith now tells us with a straight face that there is a single Godhead. Thousands of village communities and their local deities were annihilated. Hindu temples were hauled down and their bricks used to build Mosques. Even the Sikhs, who sought to create a mediated "religion of the book" that mitigated the worst abuses of Islam in India were turned upon with unreasoning savagery. Buddhism which had been in decline since the time of Shankara was close to completely annihilated, and the Buddhist university of Nalanda was burned down along with over 9 million manuscripts. Thanks Islam. On the other hand when Britian came to the region, they allowed the Hindus complete freedom of religion and the safety to practice, and British archaeology in the period also helped to revive Buddhism in India. Score a dozen for European colonialism.

    3% per annum is the stated human average from the science of Demographics, which is the study of human populations. I did state that.

    As to your claim that the Hindus were not innocent victims, on the contrary, after the capture and massacres across the Deccan, the remaining Hindu principalities were in the South, while the majority of the victim populations were in the occupied North. Hindu resistance was inevitably desperate and ill-equipped, while the reprisals against the Hindus were invariably carried out against unarmed populations. The struggles you refer to are between Muslims fighting Muslims primarily for dominance through civil wars, as you would expect from the Religion of Peace. The Hindus were the meat in the sandwich, which is part of the reason that the Pakistanis to this day think the Hindus can't fight, despite having defeat after defeat handed to them by the Indian Military. It is an ingrained cultural belief among Subcontinental Muslim populations that Hindus can't fight even to this day.

    On the contrary, India's population growth was always explosive, just as their epidemics and famines were too, as history shows with ample evidence. The correct figure for India in the period was closer to 8% pop growth, but minus 3-10% per annum form famines and epidemics. It is perhaps worth pointing out that many Indian epidemics leave the survivors debilitated and dependent too, for clarity. On the other hand, neither epidemics nor famines occur every year or even two years in a row on a substantial scale according to available data on the region and its historical patterns in demography. Consequently, when you have it recorded that given Rajahs used to celebrate their weddings by having 100,000 Hindus decapitated (note, they were polygamous, so this was a regular occasion) and are on record stating for posterity that they felt that they had been bad Muslims if they failed to kill at least half a million Hindus a year, those figures add up to what is historically acknowledged as the largest genocide in human history. This wasn't hyperbole, by the Muslims, it was fact, and the failure of the population of the Subcontinent to grow for 500 years is unequivocal proof thereof.

    As to how the Europeans would have reacted to an evangelical or RC rebellion, well, actually the Taiping Rebellion's leader decided he was Jesus' physical brother after hearing an evangelical sermon. The missionaries in China were as appalled by the Taiping Rebellion as the Chinese government as it undermined their efforts appallingly, and the new regime when the rebels briefly won, was notably hostile to missionaries who didn't recognize the divinity of the Taiping Emperor.

    The Anti-polygamy issue went hand in hand with issues like suffrage and prohibition for the Women's Movement. Speakers like Lulu Loveland Shepard were quite outspoken on the matter, and frankly, rightly so, as it was all too easy to wind up a sisterwife if one was incautious in one's marriage. A bit like marrying a Muslim really. Cults seem to have plenty in common on the issue of misusing women; one might even call it a "thing they do".
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018

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