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Old 09-05-2007, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,032,804 times
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As long as they're not fundamentalists but moderate Muslims as most are, then I don't find it any scarier than getting a Christian/ Hindu/Jewish government.

Being an atheist, the idea of being ruled by any extreme religious group scares me , but that also includes Christians.
IMO religion and politics should not mingle at all. I don't see why anyone's beliefs should infringe on my human rights and as long as the Muslims we are speaking about are less fundamentalist than some of the people on this forum, then it's OK.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, DE
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There was a great 2 hour piece on PBS recently about the history of Islam in Spain. I think it was called City of Lights. I have to admit I knew very little about it beforehand, but there was this leader named Rachman in Andulusia who was extraordinary. Under him there was complete religious tolerance. His ministers were muslim, christian and jewish and his jewish doctor (I forget the name) is famous for starting a jewish golden age of writing. The people flourished, they were technologically advanced and all was good.

After his death, Andalusia was overrun from extremist muslims from N. Africa and a christian crusade prompted by the pope.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,032,804 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyChief View Post
There was a great 2 hour piece on PBS recently about the history of Islam in Spain. I think it was called City of Lights. I have to admit I knew very little about it beforehand, but there was this leader named Rachman in Andulusia who was extraordinary. Under him there was complete religious tolerance. His ministers were muslim, christian and jewish and his jewish doctor (I forget the name) is famous for starting a jewish golden age of writing. The people flourished, they were technologically advanced and all was good.

After his death, Andalusia was overrun from extremist muslims from N. Africa and a christian crusade prompted by the pope.
A lot of Muslim rulers were actually much more enlightened and cultured than most Christian kings and Emperors.
Constantinople under Muslim rule was far more tolerant religiously than under Christian rule. Whilst we Westerners still lived in drafty castles and mud huts, the Moors had a civilisation rich in art, technology, literature and far more advanced than the Christian world. Islam gave our culture a lot including our modern mathematics, a better understanding of Astronomy, Medicine and other aspects such as architecture and science.




The Diffusion of Islam: Its Influence on Our Culture

BIG IDEAS, BIG THINKERS
Thirteen WNET New York
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For a thousand years after the death of Muhammad (570-632), the expansion of Islam formed one of civilization's greatest empires. By the seventh century, Muslims had spread from Arabia to Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo, Alexandria, and Isfahan. In the year 711, they invaded Spain via the Straits of Gibraltar and entered into India. Between the lands they controlled and the regions with which they traded, Muslims were in contact with almost the entire known world. Their situation, between the eastern reaches of Europe and the central plains of Asia, allowed for an unprecedented transfusion of knowledge
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Today, historian Glen Bowersock is working to make mosaics an accepted form of historical documentation. He contends, for instance, that a set of 8th century mosaics discovered in the Christian church of St. Stephen in Jordan speaks volumes about the nature of historical change and cultural assimilation. Created by Christians nearly 100 years after the Islamic conquest of Jordan, the mosaics bear the stamp of both Christian and Greek traditions, suggesting that not only had the Christians retained elements of their pagan cultural past, but that the new Muslim rulers had not tried to snuff out either of these influences.
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"I think the Muslims were far too intelligent to suggest that the people they conquered should immediately be flushed out," says Bowersock. "If they were going to survive in the newly conquered territories, they had to absorb and accept what was there -- in terms of religion, in terms of people, in terms of the Greek language."
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In Jerusalem, an architectural masterpiece speaks of the melting pot quality of the medieval Middle East. The Dome of the Rock is an octagonal-shaped building enclosing a domed, cylindrical core. Not a mosque for public worship, but a mashhad, a shrine for pilgrims, the Dome of the Rock was built on the order of Abd al-Malik, the ninth Islamic Caliph, and completed in 691.
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Hardly fifty years after the Muslims had taken control of Jerusalem in 637, the completion of the Dome of the Rock came at a time when the Muslims did not occupy the Christian region of the city. Instead, they limited themselves to the southeastern portion of Jerusalem where the remains of the old Jewish Temples, destroyed by the Babylonians and the Romans hundreds of years earlier, were located. As a way of letting their presence be known to the Christians, the Muslims constructed the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, where its impressive structure would be visible to Christians departing from services at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
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"Now, before the Dome of the Rock, you would see nothing," explains Islamic art historian Oleg Grabar. "This was the space of the destroyed Jewish Temple, [a symbol denoting that] Judaism has been replaced by Christianity. King Abd al-Malik wanted to create a monument that would sort of show the presence of the new faith. Not merely its physical presence, but the fact that it now is the final message that superceded the Christian message."
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Islamic art is just one example of the way in which Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and pagan traditions coexisted during the Middle Ages, resulting in the sometimes subtle, often profound, influence Islamic society has had on the Western world. From a study of tessellated Islamic mosaics, for instance, the importance of geometry to the Muslims becomes evident. In fact, Islamic contributions to our current understanding of mathematics were tremendous.
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Sometime around 825, the Muslim mathematician Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi wrote ON THE CALCULATION WITH HINDU NUMERALS, the book chiefly responsible for delivering the Indian numeral system to Europe. Far less cumbersome than Roman numerals, the Hindu-Arabic numbers allowed merchants and bankers to multiply and divide easily. al-Khwarizmi also wrote an important book on solving quadratic equations, a revelation that provided the foundation of algebra. In fact, the word "algebra" is derived from the Latin translation of the title of this treatise. The word "algorithm" also found its origin in the Latin translation of this work. The use of the variable "x" in the solving of quadratic equations came from the Spanish translation of the Arabic word "shay," which means "thing."
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A century after al-Khwarizmi's innovations in mathematics, a man named Ibn al-Haytham was changing the way we see. The "father of optics," al-Haytham (ca. 965-1039), wrote the first book on the subject, OPTICS. Based on experimental evidence rather than past authority, OPTICS influenced Descartes and Kepler, among many others in the East and West. In 1050, Ali Ibn-Isa wrote A NOTE FOR OCULISTS, the first book on diseases of the eye.
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Beyond the field of optometry, the medieval Muslims' gifts to medicine were extraordinary. The Egyptian physician Ibn al-Nafis (1213-1288) discovered the pulmonary circulation of the blood. Ibn Sina (980-1037), also known as Avicenna, was a philosopher whose CANON OF MEDICINE was once the most famous medical book in the Eastern and Western worlds. The Muslims were experienced in the administration of medicinal drugs and anesthesia; they were practiced in the use of surgical techniques. They even created a system of medical ethics
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Our understanding of what a hospital should be emerged as medical institutions were built across the Islamic Empire. The construction of hospitals became a common way in which charitable foundations made use of their endowments. These hospitals were secular, offering care to anyone, regardless of his or her background. They kept records of the patients they treated, included pharmacies, and were divided into different wards. Often the establishment of a hospital was followed by the creation of a medical school. Ibn al-Nafis (discoverer of pulmonary circulation) was trained at such an institution, the medical school at Al-Nuri Hospital, which originated from the donation of a medical library by King Nur Al-Din Zinki.
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The establishment of libraries was an incidental benefit of the Muslim import of paper making techniques from China. Islamic libraries contained hundreds of thousands of volumes and were far superior to their European counterparts, which at that time were mostly limited to monastic and university collections. The first known paper manuscript of the Koran was created in 972. Paper allowed Islamic society to incorporate credit into their economy, creating orders of payment that functioned like today's checks. Our word "check," for instance, comes from the Persian word "sakk."
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These are just a few of the more outstanding ways in which the golden age of Islamic civilization continues to resonate in our culture. It would, of course, be naive to suggest that the influence of this religion, its society and their traditions, ended after the Middle Ages, yet the intellectual exchange between East and West subsided as an era of religious crusades created a rift between the two regions. During the 13th century, the Mongols descended from the central Asian steppes and devastated the eastern lands of Islam. In 1453, the Turks captured Constantinople. Thirty-nine years later, in 1492, Muslim rule in Spain came to an end. Islam was pushed back from the West, and three new empires began to take shape across Asia: the Ottoman Empire in Asia Minor, the Safavid Empire in Persia, and the Mughal Empire in India
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, DE
679 posts, read 1,347,551 times
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Thanks for that. Could I bother you for a direct link? I'm assuming you got that from somewhere online.

I did some animations for Discovery project about Math and various cultures. One episode was the muslim contributions, one of which being the astrolabe. For another project I had to make a version of the Dome of The Rock. There once was a very enlightened culture there that has severely suffered in the modern era.
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Old 09-05-2007, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,032,804 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyChief View Post
Thanks for that. Could I bother you for a direct link? I'm assuming you got that from somewhere online.

I did some animations for Discovery project about Math and various cultures. One episode was the muslim contributions, one of which being the astrolabe. For another project I had to make a version of the Dome of The Rock. There once was a very enlightened culture there that has severely suffered in the modern era.

Like all great civilisations, sadly the Islamic world had an apogee and then went on the decline.
I believe we are heading that way too...


I've lost the link but try these :

Saudi Aramco World : Science:The Islamic Legacy: Science in Al-Andalus
Saudi Aramco World : SCIENCE: THE ISLAMIC LEGACY
Spain's Islamic Legacy
Islamic History in Arabia and Middle East
THE GOLDEN AGE OF ISLAM


I have really enjoyed a couple of books , you might too :


The travels if Ibn Battutah ( "journals" a fantastic travel "blog" from the 12th century -fascinating) by Ibn Battutah ( lots of different spellings by the way) with an intro by Tim Macintosh-Smith a great Arabist and Orientalist ( he lives in Yemen and is fluent in various Arabic dialects so has a great understanding of all Arab and Islamic cultures - he also wrote "travels with a Tangerine" where he follows in IBN Battutah's footsteps) .

I also really liked "Ancient inventions" by Peter James and Nick Thorpe a great overview of ancient inventions, simple, not in depth but amazing. I recommend it. It shows how many inventions we consider modern are anything but and were "forgotten" until recently.
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Old 09-05-2007, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Arizona, The American Southwest
51,830 posts, read 29,916,397 times
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What if Muslims ruled the world? Then you'd have the same oppresive governments that we saw in Afghanistan that led up to the September 11th, 2001 attacks, which was where Al Qaeda was based at was given safe harbor in that country. Even in Saudi Arabia, which most of us consider "Moderate Muslim" country, some form of forced religious oppression exists, where women are not allowed to walk in public without that "hijab" or whatever it's called, that covers pretty much all of their bodies, and about the only think you can see is their eyes. I also know that if they're caught walking in a public place without that attire, they'll be forced to go home and change. That's only one example of the many oppresive rules their government imposes on its citizens. Would Jesus do something like that? I don't think so. Yes he tore down the merchants' stands that were at the temple, as described in Mathew 21:12 Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” At least he didn't order the beheading of those merchants.

In other instances, and that's a very common practice in countries like Iran, if a man declares to a court that his wife was being unfaithful to him, he can have her beheaded or hung. Where does it mention in the Bible that Jesus ordered the execution of those who committed sins? If anything, he had enough compassion to save Mary Magdelene from being stoned by the religious leaders because of her alleged adultry. He intervened and wrote something in the sand, and said to the crowd "Those amonst you without sin, should cast the first stone" and we all know what happened after that. We don't need people who are judges and executioners, whereas in our world, God the Father is the judge for all of our sinful actions, not man.

Overall, an oppressive Muslim regime that wants to rule the entire world is not what the whole world wants. Let the moderate Muslim do whatever they want to do in their own countries, but don't push it on the Christian world.
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Old 09-05-2007, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Blankity-blank!
11,449 posts, read 14,323,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnum Mike View Post
What if Muslims ruled the world? Then you'd have the same oppresive governments that we saw in Afghanistan that led up to the September 11th, 2001 attacks, which was where Al Qaeda was based at was given safe harbor in that country. Even in Saudi Arabia, which most of us consider "Moderate Muslim" country, some form of forced religious oppression exists, where women are not allowed to walk in public without that "hijab" or whatever it's called, that covers pretty much all of their bodies, and about the only think you can see is their eyes. I also know that if they're caught walking in a public place without that attire, they'll be forced to go home and change. That's only one example of the many oppresive rules their government imposes on its citizens. Would Jesus do something like that? I don't think so. Yes he tore down the merchants' stands that were at the temple, as described in Mathew 21:12 Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” At least he didn't order the beheading of those merchants.

In other instances, and that's a very common practice in countries like Iran, if a man declares to a court that his wife was being unfaithful to him, he can have her beheaded or hung. Where does it mention in the Bible that Jesus ordered the execution of those who committed sins? If anything, he had enough compassion to save Mary Magdelene from being stoned by the religious leaders because of her alleged adultry. He intervened and wrote something in the sand, and said to the crowd "Those amonst you without sin, should cast the first stone" and we all know what happened after that. We don't need people who are judges and executioners, whereas in our world, God the Father is the judge for all of our sinful actions, not man.

Overall, an oppressive Muslim regime that wants to rule the entire world is not what the whole world wants. Let the moderate Muslim do whatever they want to do in their own countries, but don't push it on the Christian world.
Good tie-in; Muslims=9/11. Exactly the association the conservative christians want everyone to believe.
Yeah, we all know what happened after the statement from Jesus. Those who believe themselves to be righteous continued to throw stones, all thru the centuries, and up to our present day.
What is the "christian world"? America? If so, who declared this country to be the christian world?
You may be right, the christians certainly don't want any competition for controlling things. Bulldozer religion...they know how to deal with anything or anyone who stands in their way.
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Texas
320 posts, read 226,257 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Visvaldis View Post
Good tie-in; Muslims=9/11. Exactly the association the conservative christians want everyone to believe.
Yeah, we all know what happened after the statement from Jesus. Those who believe themselves to be righteous continued to throw stones, all thru the centuries, and up to our present day.
What is the "christian world"? America? If so, who declared this country to be the christian world?
You may be right, the christians certainly don't want any competition for controlling things. Bulldozer religion...they know how to deal with anything or anyone who stands in their way.
I went to the gas station last night and noticed the woman behind the counter appeared to be someone from the Middle East. I asked her, mainly because she had a huge scarf on her shoulders, if she's a Muslim. She smiled and said, "Yes, I am." I asked her why she wasn't wearing her head scarf, and she said God does not judge the physical clothing we wear, but the content of our heart with Him.

Major eye opener. I only hope more Muslims are like this nice lady.
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Old 09-06-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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BBC NEWS | Middle East | Syria 'fires on Israel warplanes'

Isaiah 17:1 — The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap

Just food for thought
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:12 PM
 
Location: SanAnFortWAbiHoustoDalCentral, Texas
791 posts, read 2,018,318 times
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Should Islam become the dominant religion in the USa, you may be a christian but you will be called a dhimmi, a second class hanger on or nobody. Should Islam become the dominant religion in the USa, you will not need to worry about christian fundamentalist or christian influence on your constitution, Islam will be the law of the land.

Should Islam become the dominant religion in the USa, gentlemen, your women will be raped. Ladies, don't worry about the burqa, no one will see the bruises.

I'm sure the examples could go on but that would get tiring and somewhat alarmist. Watch Islamic activity in your 'blind justice' courts because that is where Islam will bring down your current lifestyle, not in Congress.

If you don't understand this then you are not bothering to connect the dots. Remember the dots.... 9/11 ?
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