(Original post by AlexanderHam)
It's very interesting how one of the actions that started the chain of events leading to the Islamic genocide of Hindus in Kashmir was the corrupt chief minister building a mosque over a Hindu temple.
This is classic Islam; murdering and pillaging their way into power and then abolishing and wiping out the native culture, homogenising everything down to an Arab Muslim common denominator and often abolishing ancient civilisations, ways of life, religions and languages in the process. They then build mosques over the conquered houses of worships, like churches and temples, as the ultimate and naked display of their power, a kind of cultural rape of the vanquished.
This is what happened to the incredible Egyptian culture which, by the 7th century, was the most amazing mixing-pot of ancient Egyptian, Ptolemaic Greek, Hebrew and Roman influences. All wiped out in the name of Islam and with the homogenising acid of Arabic culture and practices that dissolves the native ouevre.
This is what they did to the Byzantine Empire
; the repository of European civilisation, art and culture from both Romans and Greeks, while the West went through the dark ages. The ruler of this sophisticated civlisation was, legally, the Roman Emperor, the Eastern half of the empire having survived another thousand years after the fall of the West (in fact, the Byzantines didn't call themselves Byzantines; although Greek-speaking, they called themselves Romans and called their empire the Roman Empire). This time the acidic homogenising culture was the Turkic cultures. The sack of Constantinople
in 1453, and subsequent transformation of churches like the Hagia Sophia into mosques (often with the amazing frescoes and mosaics made of gold, rubies, lapis lazuli and exotic paints stripped off the walls and melted down to be sold off in the bazaar). Imagine all those libraries and government archives, the thousand years of diplomatic and government records, the holdings of the churches and monasteries, the variety and depth of literature going back to the Roman Republic and ancient Greek city states, containing hundreds of thousands of texts that are now completely lost to history. The total destruction of the Imperial Library of Constantinople
in 1453 stands as much, in fact probably far more, than the destruction of the library of Alexandria. We can thank Islam for that.
We saw this happen to the cultural inheritors of the Babylonian and Sumerian cultures, to the flourishing and sophisticated Greek-speaking culture that was predominant in and around Palestine and Syria. We saw it happen to the Jewish tribes of Arabia, who had been resident there long before the vulgar crook and fraud, the desert warlord, turned up and started his religious protection racket.
Now it would be perfectly valid for the Arab Muslim community of today to say, "That happened 1200 years ago, are you required to answer for the actions of Charlemagne?", to which the answer is we don't venerate and semi-worship Charlemagne. We don't celebrate ancient conquests by the Romans or Byzantines as a current part of our culture and heritage. We don't speak of the Frankish kings in breathless terms of admiration and a progenitor and model for all who came after. The Muslim culture is so very pleased with itself when it looks back at the Islamic conquests. This love of battle, of conquest, the religious climate which led to so much
of the Quran being about relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims, about conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims, about when and how Muslims may divvy up the loot when they conquer non-Muslims. That veneration of violence and conquest and medieval values are a huge reason, in my opinion, why Islam is in such a complete mess today.
If they are going to celebrate this culture of conquest, then they should be prepared for us to criticise it and the awful consequences it had for world culture (which we are seeing again with the attempted genocide of groups like the Yezidi, one of the very few pre-Christian non-Hebraic religious groups left in the Middle East.... and with the attempt to destroy Palmyra and antiquities)