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Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are among the world’s most influential religions, but only Islam, which emerged so brightly from the Dark Ages, has had its brand tarnished — perhaps irreparably — by a vigorous terror trade.
Many Christians and Jews have spent their lives creating a free society, while some Muslims have exhausted theirs trying to dismantle it. The reason? An unyielding submission to a religion that has sacrificed progress and human relations along its spiritual journey, its heart beating in the trenches of a global holy war to restore the Muslim caliphate.
Muslims debuted in the seventh century with great expectations. They spent the next 600 years establishing an empire that stretched from China and the Indian subcontinent, across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Sicily, and the Iberian Peninsula, to the Pyrenees. Muslims invented universities, hospitals, and the toothbrush. Still, their success did not come because they promoted religion over science. Instead, it was borne of an independent Muslim mindset that championed progress for its own sake.
Mongol marauders ended that reign in 1299, later converting to Islam themselves. Around that time, one of the first mass bioterrorism attacks in history occurred — on the Muslim watch.
In 1346, during the siege of Caffa, now a region in the Ukraine, Turkic-speaking Muslims called the Tartars hurled plague-ridden corpses over city walls, causing an epidemic that some believe helped bring the bubonic plague to Europe. The Black Death went on to kill 100 million people across Europe.
After the golden age, the Muslim Ottoman Empire seized control of Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, ruling ruthlessly for the next 624 years through a single family. Its legacy included the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in their historic homeland in present-day Turkey, which still denies that holocaust today.
The Ottoman government’s destruction in 1923 divided the Middle East into its existing states, leaving Muslims largely listless on the world stage, until the creation of Israel in 1948 renewed the Koran-mandated zeal to eradicate their Jewish archenemy, and its allies. Arab Muslims spent the next six decades waging a global holy war against Israel.
Successive western governments have tried vainly to broker peace, while their docile new generations have given Muslims a virtual pass on their indoctrinated intolerances. In between, the Muslim diaspora has tried to assimilate into its adopted lands, with questionable success.
Islam’s golden age is long gone. But it is replaced by a new epoch of extremist Islam, as jihadists try to spread the “religion of peace” — one terror attack at a time.
Next week: An interview with an apostate.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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