Well the answer to your questions were eloquently given in the debate. Seems the mods don't want anyone to know, unfortunately.
It seems they don't like links to YouTube as I've seen other posts with those that were simply deleted. Curious why that would be the case though - links to other sites are apparently acceptable - particularly Wikipedia - but not that one.
That’s sort of like arguing that the invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia by Russia, or the invasion of Poland by Hitler were “moving into a power vacuum”.
When Winston Churchill pointed out that an 'Iron Curtain' has fallen across Europe, he and the others at Potsdam enabled it to happen. Of all of them only Truman knew that Stalin was as good as his word and that Russia would build a series of buffer states across Europe to protect it from western thought and possible invasion. The vacuum that I refer to, in the 13th century was very unlike that of 1945. In '45' the devastation of WWII was nearly complete as Russia fought not only the Nazis it fought its own historical battles with the west. Russians methods were more on the order of Sherman not the precision of the western allies.* In the 13th century Rome had withdrawn and took Roman professionalism with it leaving local barbarian strong men. While the Muslim armies did find pockets of feudal resistance that resistance was unorganized and easily defeated. While the west and Christianity were very close to absolute defeat, certain other factors prevailed against the Muslim occupation of Europe. ! #
* by precision of the western allies I mean that the western Allies focused on strategic Nazi strong points and most of western Europe witnessed German withdrawals to reinforce those strong points. The Russian troops fought as if they were retaliating for the tactics of Napoleon punishing anyone in their path.
! The Muslim empire was a confederation and the far west remained in competition with the eastern sultanates. The Nasrid dynasty ruled the Iberian peninsula until Charles Martel began the retake ending with the ultimate defeat at the hands of Aragon and Castile. # Internal conflicts of a political nature undermined the Islamic principles that motivated Muslim expansion.
# At this point the stories of the Spanish Knights enter history 'el cid' Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar and ending with St. Ignatius, Ignatius of Loyola bringing Spain from feudalism to the Renaissance.
the literal truth of the Quran, that Muhammad talked to Allah, that the Quran is the “revealed word of God”
Actually, the Koran is the word of God revealed by Gabriel who spoke for God. Muhammad gave himself an out on that issue. Muhammad was illiterate but not stupid by any standard.
is deeply embedded in every Muslim society, and "fundamentalism" is simply the excess of this culture.
I'll not go to that interpretation to explain today's Islamic radicalism. I don't know if you have read any of Robert Hughes comments on art but one of his books is 'The Shock of the New". Using his title I find thatin the 20th century 'The Shock of the New" is the medium of television. Television is just as accountable for Islamic radicalism as the disparate wealth in the near east. Television is a pacifier in the west but in the east it vivifies the financial and intellectual poverty of the man on the street in the east. In many civilizations pain has been a controlling element but as Huxley demonstrated pleasure is far more powerful over the mind. In the novel '1984' Orwell demonstrated that pain was a stabilizing controller of populations but Huxley demonstrated that the whole world can control itself with pleasure. ('Brave New World') Even at the end of Huxley's novel and with the introduction of pain, the people interpret pain as simply a new pleasure to be explored.
Yesterday, I attempted to explain that Islamic fundamentalism, or radical Muslims, are merely controllers. Al Qaeda is not a bunch a men and boys squatting in an alley loading AK-47s and swatting flies. On the contrary, Al Qaeda are dressed in suits and sitting in high rise apartments of condominiums throughout the world typing away on their laptops and connected through the Internet. To them Islam is a rallying point to control the mob. When the west points at Islam, as many do, they feed Al Qaeda propaganda. Al Qaeda has fed the mob with Islamic tracts and when the west points at Islam instead of the mob's feeders they play Al Qaeda's hand.
"bounden duty of every muslim—man and woman—to acquire knowledge"
This is very true but the knowledge that Al Qaeda and the Taliban provide women is how to read the Koran the way they want the Koran read having nothing of what the Muhammad provided to them in the Qua'ran. If you remember how they treated educated women, you will find extreme punishment for those who could read or write. Women doctors were executed for practising medicine. The public executions were mainly women and the executions were held in crowded stadiums. This was was not Islam but murder; may Al Qaeda and the Taliban rot in hell forever.
Does you wife drive a car, and do you still think favorably about public floggings in countries where it is allowed, how about stoning, public beheadings, animal sacrifice ?
Yes, my wife drives. No, I don't think favorably about public floggings in this day and age, because the requisite conditions for stiff punishments are not present (it would make sense in a perfect society where morality and riteousness exist at a high level). Stoning, no, public beheadings, no. Animal sacrifice, depends on the intention and method, if for the appeasment of some deity, no (God does not need anything from us), if done in a cruel manner, no, if for the purpose of feeding a poor family and learning the value of sacrifice for the greater good, and with the least pain to the animal, yes.
Actually, the Koran is the word of God revealed by Gabriel who spoke for God. Muhammad gave himself an out on that issue. Muhammad was illiterate but not stupid by any standard. [Post #34]
My recollection from my reading in the last while about the Quran and bits of various translations is that vast swaths of it are phrased as Allah doing a bunch of the talking and not as Gabriel regaling Muhammad with the latest goings-on in heaven; there’s no surah that I know of that has anything like this: “So, Big Al – I frequently call Allah Al – and I were sitting around, in between deflowering some virgins, and Big Al said, ‘You know Gabe’ – he and I are tight you know – ‘you really should have another word with Muhammad’” ....
In addition, Why I Am Not a Muslim quotes all sorts of credible scholars to the effect that the phrasing in the Quran is more consistent with Muhammad talking of himself as Allah.
In any case, absent some solid evidence, claims of talking to God or to one of his henchmen seem just as delusional.
Television is just as accountable for Islamic radicalism as the disparate wealth in the near east. Television is a pacifier in the west but in the east it vivifies the financial and intellectual poverty of the man on the street in the east. [Post #35]
Such disparities – either between the First and Third “Worlds” or even within the First – are not at all conducive to societal health; tend to lead to revolutions of one sort or another. Although blaming television for the disparities themselves seems to be a stretch – more likely to lead to their rectification.
On the contrary, Al Qaeda are dressed in suits and sitting in high rise apartments of condominiums throughout the world typing away on their laptops and connected through the Internet. To them Islam is a rallying point to control the mob.
Sure, there are political motivations in play – as there have probably been from “time immemorial” or at least from the time that Constantine decided, apparently, to use Christianity to weld the Empire together. But I don’t think it is credible to just attack the heads of such movements when attacking the roots – the philosophies – which nourish the mobs can be just as effective, if not more so, in discrediting and disarming them all. You really should take a look at Warraq’s Why I Am Not a Muslim for his criticism of Western intellectuals for focusing on the former to the exclusion of the latter.
But maybe your allegiance to Catholicism makes it difficult to see the similarities and the issues, although I’ll concede there are some significant differences ....
That judge is a Muslim following Sharia law ... [Post #45]
Seems to be some question of that, at least according to this blog which has some quotes from the judge in question. Although I certainly hope and expect that the decision will be appealed and/or the judge removed from the bench – or at least severely chastised about the ears with a heavy book of law ....