Sunday, October 23, 2005

An Islamic History of Europe Pt 1.

Forget an Islamic History, how about an Extremly Ironic Islamic History.

I came in halfway through this program, and it's still on, but I can't get past the straight-faced delivery by the narrator regarding Palermo in Italy:

It took 75 years to subdue Palermo, but once the slaughter was over, the same conditions as Spain applied: Christians and Jews had to pay a special tax and were henceforth allowed to practice their religions.

It all sounds warm and fuzzy, but it took 75 years to subdue? That doesn't sound very peaceful to me. We've only been in Iraq for 2 years or so, and people are upset with that.

I didn't hear any justification for attacking Palermo and taking nearly a century to turn it into a muslim territory, but that doesn't appear to bother the producers of this overly biased drivel. Add to that, Palermo was only occupied by muslims for 200 years.

It sounds like Rageh Omaar, the presentor is much enamoured of Islamic culture. That's all well and good, but that still doesn't make it okay to waste 75 years to conquer another land.

If we want to look at the Iraq situation (which will of course get thrown about), I believ that Saddam Hussein should have been overthrown. He is now on trial, although I have misgivings about how it will all play out. If the US and allies were to pull out now and leave the Iraqi people to their own devices, part of me would be fine with that.

There is, however a part of me that is full of apprehension. How long will it take for human rights to be thrown out of the window?

How long will it take for those Iraqi people who actually want secular rule to be terrorised into submission and silence?

How quickly will sharia rule reduce the women back to slave status and when will we start seeing reports of women committing suicide under said rule?

(regarding women's rights under Islam: as a mother, I ask any muslim women to justify to me the marriage of a 6 year-old daughter to a 50 year-old man, with the consummation taking place three years later. My daughter is three. Whenever I consider that the prophet of Islam married a child when he was an old man, it does my head in. I can't understand it, and I can't condone it. For that alone, I could never be other than infidel. There is no justification. That is not the role model I would choose for myself or my family.)

Regarding the tax that is imposed upon non-muslim religions in muslim countries, that is still in effect today. As is the discrimination practised against minorities, such as businesses being closed down because of christian-sounding names.

For the record, I have not been to Egypt, for example, but I have friends who fled to Australia because of this. They wanted a life free to be who they are. Christians.

For a bit of light reading, how about what viewers of the BBC had to say about this show after it aired?


At 9:44 PM, Anonymous blogstrop said...

Good post Debra - who invited them to Palermo, or anywhere else for that matter?
And as for the BBC viewer comments: a lot of positive ones were to be expected, given the number of Islamic viewers now residing in that green and formerly pleasant land. However I think the BBC does (just to be sure) edit its comment pages, like webdiary or the SMH - or else those who disagree have by and large stopped caring about corresponding with bastions of PC like them.

At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I invite you to consider that contempt prior to investigation is the death of possibility. I therefore wonder whether it would indeed have been at all possible for you to have extracted *anything* of value out of the program.

Perhaps the question regarding the legitimacy of any invading force ever being justifiable, is of such a rhetoical nature - that it bears not a mention? Then, that said, railing against that which is unknown, simply for the sake of railing is as predictable in outcome and as fulfilling in result as shooting proverbial fish in a barrel. Give it your best shot baby - you are one of life's winners, to be sure!!

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Nilk said...

Anonymous, while I can appreciate your verbiage, surely plain english might be a bit easier.

I wouldn't get upset if you just said you thought I was a bozo for watching a show when I went in with a closed mind, and to stop whining about it because I knew what I was getting in for.

Am I one of life's winners? Absolutely. I may not have complete happiness, but I am relatively content with who I am, which is more than I can say for a lot of others.

But then, I don't live my life according to imaginary past glories. I wasn't there, and neither were you. Yes, the Islamic workd did contribute greatly to thw scientific world, but how many centuries ago was that? Surely, Edison, Watson and Crick, Curie, Pasteur, Nightingale, Ford and the Wright brothers, Copernicua, Galileo, Newton, Linnaeus, Darwin, the Lumiere brothers et al made worthwile contributions? OR do we just toss them aside as aberrations?

The Islamic world is stuck in a timewarp. Yes, there is peace in Islam, but only in Islam. For everyone else, there seems to be a hell of a lot of war.

At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, stumbled onto your page here.. so.. 1/ Blogstrop.. 'who invited them in'.. are you kidding, who invited in the Normans, the Greeks, the Romans, the Persians, Mongels etc etc.. all over this planet, peoples ínvited' themselves in and brought 'their' version of enlightenment with them.
2/ Nilknarf.. of course the program is biased towards Islam, just as any Christian based program is biased towards the Christian faith. But the presenter did make some good points on Islamic history and their achievments at that time. Remember, throughout all of history we have had cultures do some marvelous things while at the same time commit acts of barbarity, and it hasn't changed today. Just for the record, I'm not a Jew, Muslim etc, I'm 100% Chatholic and employed in Church in Rome, BUT, I'm not biased towards my religion just because I believe in one God and someone else believes in another. Thanks for letting me vent :)

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Nilk said...

Welcome to Boganville, anonymous. Vent all you like. That's the beauty of the internet!

I agree that there were amazing achievements at the time, but that is the point. At the time.

But since the decline from their glory days back in the middle ages, there has been very little else added.

Where are the medical advances? Where is the literature that is equal to Omar Khayyam? Where is the social conscience in islamic countries?

Judaism, and the christian traditions (I'm a catholic convert, myself) have pretty much moved on past a lot of the barbarity. Yes, there are pockets of imbeciles who spout the old testament as justification for illegal acts, but you will rarely find them decapitating children, for example.

It is not the christians or jews or buddhists or hindus or even the satanists who see bombing shopping centres and restaurants, burning down churches or rioting over a dvd of a play that was shown 2 years ago. (Too lazy to link, sorry).

I know that there are a lot of muslims who see these occurrences as being anathema to Islam, but when it is a pattern that is repeated all over the world with increasing intensity, then maybe it's a problem that lies at the core of Islam.

At 8:19 PM, Blogger Jai Normosone said...

I was a bogan once (aka: a bevan) - a young bloke who hoons around in cars.

I did it for about 6 months or so before deciding that it was a waste of time considering that I was studying, training, and working all at the same time as well. I also got sick of talking in one-syllable sentences to the other bogans around town :)

I guess 'bogan' has a different definition to Victorians considering that you seem more intelligent than your average bear.... :)

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Nilk said...

I use the term with the tongue firmly planted in cheek. Even though I grew up in the western suburbs, I've never been accused of being a bogan in real life, so you can relax.


Thanks for the compliment, too.

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please visit to be enlightened with True Islam in todays world.


At 1:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bogan,

Where did you see this program? I am trying to get a copy or DVD of it. You'd be interested to know that for long years in my work as a Quality Assurance Engineer I only concentrated on what goes wrong with a project, process or product.

It is not until recently that I have realised that I have missed out on so many great concepts, ideas and acheievements in the same projects, processes and products

Not until I started compairing objectively with other companies their sitaution with the three abovementioned P's that my preconceived notions and belief system started to change.

Reading the comments and your profile, I am curious; have you read for Herman Hesse?
If not may I recommend
1. Siddhartha
2. Demian
3. steppenwolf
4. The glass beads game

Respectively(I mean in that order).

Finally being a government worker (probably posing as an undercover agent trying to lure hate mail and than issue warrents for their arrest.........),
Would you enliten me on how would you compare the below to the occupation of Palermo:

1. Spraying with Agent Orange the forests in Vietnam.
2. Death of more than a Million Vietnamese.
3. Hiroshina.
4. Nagazaki.
5. Support for Saddam Hussien during the Iraq/Iran War. (This One I think is fully justified now given the unfolded Iraq scene with Iranians like national security advisor Muwafeq Al-Rbaie', Hakim, Sadir running Iraq)... thanks by the way.
It is Rightwing Bogans like you we have thank for this calamity.

No order for the answer is necessary.

a Muslim Semi-Scholar

At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DEAR NILK, I WAS TRYING TO SEND MY VIEWS TO BBC BUT IT DIDNT WORK CAN U MAKE SURE THEY REACH THIS GUY IN BBC PLEASE?THANK YOU dear rageh omaar,i watched your unobjective program called an islamic history of europe as i noticed you were not fair,about european inventions as you try to link them with arabic studies,as you failed(as a true muslim)to interview an american expert in a paris mosque with half naked legs showing.i would like to remind you that even first lady hillary clinton visited a mosque in istanbul couple years ago she was well covered,as you mentioned spanish christians kicked out arabs from continent did you noticed you wave to shepherd from your nice vehicle but he failed to wave you back?does it remind you that all europe is racist and doesnt want to mix with different cultures espacially arab?i could keep united kingdom out of this as it tries a bit harder than france where they burn 5000cars a year because of an idiots comments who is running for presidency this year against my favoirete mrs royal?my other point is that in spain u called it event but most spanish parent were taking their kids to show them how spanish kicked arabs (where its hurts)out of european continent!u wre looking happy as i was watching when u got happy as u got writing your sons name on a paper in arabic in spanish.and you were late for your appointment with chris that shows you are true arabic common problem with us being i am turkish(a nation who holded most important role in islamic world as halife or kaliphe,that ruled half of europe as an islamic nation and north africa as you failed to mention in your documentary,they built more than thousands mosques in europe speacilly in istanbul as it being very important for roman empire)my other point is in spain u have met a jewish art student,you could find an muslim student if you want to express yourself better in this programme as jewish nation being defended their case(hollacoust)very strongly in the world as they dont need any more from you,the worst part of your programme was that you didnt even once mention ottoman or turkish in your documentry,as they were(and still are!)muslim nation that concoqured half of europe and north of africa,best regards,mehmet kahraman

At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 1:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello one and all, I am an ignorant street kid from London (non muslim) but i can read and somtimes even do. I am about to start a ba in history at either SOAS, UCL, or LSE. Firstly I feel that no one hour television documentary could give a complete and balanced account of Islams contribution to European history. However I found the doc very informative and and quite objective. The fact that this programme has managed to arouse anger from muslims and non muslims alike is testiment to this. To say that Rageh ignored the contributuions of europeans to science and culture is ridiculous when the title of the programme was "An Islamic History Of Europe". With the limited knowledge of world history that I posses it seems to me that all cultures and religions have made contributions to modern western civilisation throughout history some posotive and some negative, and from reading the comments that precede this, it seems that this is still the case today. Relax, don't be scared, it's ok. I would just like to add that I am a mature student just in case you thought this was written by an 18 year old kid. I have spent time in Israel and Egypt, and was christened as a baby.
So God Bless You All!

At 2:30 PM, Blogger dr.zizo said...

Hi Nilk ,
I'll speak in 3 points , said that our prophet marry a 6 years old child with the consummation 3 years later , actually this is wrong , he married her at age 9yrs with the consummation at 12years ,
and if u revised the history of USA and UK you will find that in their law in the 19th century the age for marriage was 10 years , so the prophet didn't do something strange , it was normal thing in all cultures. said the Muslim forces the non-Muslim to pay tax in their countries ,well i'll tell you who pay it and why , it is only paid by the adult non Muslim males and not by kids,elderly or women and it is instead serving and working in the army but if one of them wish to work in the army he doesn't pay it. said that the sharia rule will reduce the women back to slave status ,well if you read the English law in the 19th century you will find that the man has the right to sell and buy his wife!!!! can u imagine , and till early in the 20th century the woman has no rights to deal with her money or belongings ,it is absolute rights to her husband !!!! these things were never found in Islam one day .
i hope this helps and you get benefit from it

At 1:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear blogstop, nilk and others,

It is unfortunate that you've missed the point of this production entirely. Firstly, the intent of the programme was not to demean or lessen the impact of the various great inventors or discoverers that you mentioned, but to acquaint the viewers of an important era of history.
The ignorance with which this has been received reiterates the point; an ordinary person belonging to the west today is unaware of this part of history.

True, today the muslim world isn't the same, but the greek civilization isn't here anymore as well and even then one is mindful and praiseful of it. The reason being, that as rational progressive beings we need to be able to view things objetively.
There is a degree of respect that the west needs to show towards the eastern cultures and not view them as having had no significant contribution to the modern world.

I have experienced this arrogance first hand and whereas the east needs to modernize (or even westernize as blatantly put forth by so many westerners today, the west needs to be better educated so that the people can understand the dynamic of human history.

At 1:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, please watch this:

This isn't made by muslims so it might appeal more to your sensibilities.

At 2:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worth checking as well:


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