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May 18, 2005


Hi Half Sigma
I read the article by Bruce Thorton and, while I am not an expert on Islam, I felt that some of what he was saying didn't ring true. For example, I know that the crusaders we the heavies in the crusades. Europe was invading the middle east. From what I've read and heard, these crusaders were enormously ruthless. In fact, the big mistake in the movie Kingdom of Heaven was to downplay the heroism of the defending army. The movie portray a large moslem army defeating a smaller crusading army. It was the other way around.
Also, Mr. Thorton talks about a 14 century jihad against the Jews. I know for a fact that the current problems between moslem and jews dates to 1945 and the decision by England to transport Jews to Palestine. Before that, there really wasn't that much conflict between Moslem and Jew. For example, the Jews entered Europe via Spain when the Moslems conquered Spain. They flourished there until 1492 when the Christians took over and started the Inquistion.
I'm not saying that Moslems have been model citizens through history, but it is important to get the history right. I think the real story is that Islam has become much more ill at ease with themselves and the world in the last 60 years. Previously, most moslems rarely had to deal with non-moslems and they did not feel threatened. The last 60 years have revealed to the Islamic world that Islam has not delivered the military power or the consumer standard of living that they would have expected, and it bothers them.
When Jews were powerless, they didn't threaten Islam. Now that Jews control Israel(Palestine) and rule over the Palestinians, that really bothers them.
Moslems have no doubt that Islam is the greatest religion. However, the believers in the "greatest religion" are obviously not the most successful people on Earth. It bothers them.

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