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September 20, 2006

Raging Muslims' Selective Historic Memory

Gail Hapke looked into the context of the quote Pope Benedict used to suposedly insult Muslims. Her finding is facinating:

How interesting indeed, that in the old days of Muslim ascendency, no one offered to cut off the head of the questioning infidel, although they could easily have done so. Instead, his gracious hosts encouraged him to speak his mind and amused themselves by answering his objections and correcting his misconceptions, as they understood them.

The behavior of the Qadi and his Sultan, in my opinion, should be celebrated as one of the high points of Muslim civilization. Has that civilization declined so much in the intervening centuries, that the way debates are settled is now by vitriol and violence instead of by reasoned and dignified discourse?

As usual in the blogosphere, read the whole thing. Don't be like some violent, rampaging Muslims. What I've learned is although Islam is deeply in touch with its history it's selective. I'm guessing fundamentalist Muslims see the tolerance Muslim leaders practiced in Manuel II Palaiologos' day to skew from the "true Islam." But realize that tolerance was practiced during Islam's heyday when it was a world power and Europe feared its encroachment.

"Who Was the 'Educated Persian?'"

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Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Foreign Affairs at 01:14 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)