June 19, 2007 9:11am CST
Uri Avnery is an Israeli Scholar. He calls himself a Jew athiest. Following are passages from one of his columns which should be an eye opener for anybody who is made to believe that Islam was spread with force. I want to apologize for not being able to type in the complete article as my ratings do not allow me to copy/paste. Those who would like to read the whole article can access it at http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1159094813 "Since the days when Roman emperors threw Christians to the lions, the relations between emperors and the heads of the church have undergone many changes. Constantine the Great, who became emperor in the year 306 - exactly 1700 years ago - encouraged the practice of Christianity in the empire which included Pelastine. Centuries later, the church split into an Eastern (Orthodox) and a Western (Catholic) part. In the West, the Bishop of Rome, who acquired the title of Pope, demanded that the emperor accept his superiority. .....But there were times when Emperors and Popes liven in peace with each other. We are witnessing such a period today. Between the present Pope, Benedict XVI, and the present emperor, George bush II, there exists a wonderful harmony. Last week's speech by the Pope, which aroused a world-wiode storm, went well with Bush's Crusade against "Islamofascism" in the context with the "Clash of Civilizations". ... In order to prove the lack of reason in Islam, the Pope asserts that the Prophet Muhammad ordered his followers to spread their religion by the sword. According to the Pope, that is unreasonable, because faith is born of the soul, not of the body. how can the sword influence the soul? ....The treatment of other religions by Islam must be judged by a simple test. How did the Muslim rulers behave for more than a thousand years, when they had the power to "spread the faith by the sword"? Well, they just did not. For many centuries, the Muslims ruled Greece. Did the greeks become Muslims? Did anyone even try to Islamize them? On the contrary, Christian Greeks held the highest positions in Othoman administration. The Bulgarians, Serbs, Romanians, hungarians and other European nations lived at one time or another under Othoman rule and clung to their Christian faith. Nobody compelled them to become Muslims and all off them remained devoutly Christian. .....In 1099, the Crusaders conquered Jeruselam and massacred its Muslim and Jewish Inhabitants indiscriminately, in the name of gentle Jesus. At that time 400 years into the occupation of Pelastine by the Muslims. Christians were still the majority in the country. Throughout this long period, no effort was made to impose Islam on them. Only after the expulsion of the Crusaders from the country, did the inhibitants start to adopt the Arabic language and the Muslim faith - and they were the forefathers of most of today's Pelastinians. There is no attempt whatsoever to impose Islam on the Jews. As is well knows, under the Muslim rule the Jews of Spain enjoy the bloom the like of which the Jews did not enjoy anywhere else until almost our time. ..... when "terrorism" has become a synonym for Muslims. For bush's handlers, this is a cynical attempt to justify the domination of the world's oil resources. Not for the first time in history, a religios robe is spread to cover the nakedness of economic interests, not for the first time, a robbers' expedition becomes a Crusade. The speach of the Pope blends into the effort. Who can foretell the dire consequences?"
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5 Oct 12
I have to agree..Muslims didnt convert by force. :) However, the invaders ..Taimur the Lame, Ghazni, and Khilji were cruel lot...and resorted to a lot of destruction and plundering apart from the type of crimes that were possibly common place in the middle eastern region but were unheard of in India. Even Aurangzeb was rather cruel.. But for every Taimur the Lame, there is Tipu Sultan, Shah Jahan, Akbar, and Jehangir. So those who settled here for good, fell in love with people and became one of us. Those who came only to plunder and return were bad. Aurangzeb may have been a product of utter neglect..because Shah Jahan was more busy with building architectural masterpieces to devote adequate time to his kids.