Help me verify information of the history of Islam.

Larty
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Help me verify information of the history of Islam.

I had a conversation on YouTube with an Islamic guy.We had a long conversation on the existence of God via YouTube -private messaging. He once asked me to tell him my conceptions of Islam, so he could clear up any misconceptions I might have. I wrote the following (okay, this may be highly predudiced stuff with little basis in reality, but he asked for it):

 

[My Message]

I know that Islam takes all critisism as offensive. Critisism is one of the main pillars of western civilisation, and Islam demands that their religion may not be critisised for what ever retarded, idiotic reason. Islam, along all religions in the world demand respect they don't deserve, and will never get.

Islam seems to have an awfully positive attitude towards violence. So does christianity, but for some reason christians have a record of less violence in the 20th and 21st century than muslims. It may be because of christian ignorance of the bad things in the Bible. Muslims are in countries with less education and human values than christians, so it may have something to do with Islamic, primitive world view.

Muslims are supposed to pray like 3 times a day. It's ridiculous to demand something like this. People have more useful things to do than pray THREE times a day, which has been proven to have no effect on anything.

Then there's Islamic women... I can't believe how such inhumanity can still persist today. I don't know how Islam has influenced this, but men and women are anything but equal in Islamic countries.

These are reasons why Islam is one of the largests threaths to the civilised world. Not just Islam, but religion in general.

[End of My Message]

 

And his response: This is going to be a long wall of text, but I will remove some irrelevant parts…

 

[Start Message]


First of all... I don not know where you get the idea that... Islam takes all criticism offensive.... Actually you are the first person who ever told me anything like that....Islam actually makes you look at the world critically to question, to strive and seek for knowledge... BUT ONLY after it has laid down the foundations of the main belief... the true nature of the oneness of God....

This is the main message of Islam... to worship God, the creator alone, with no partners..
and not to associate with God....anything from within his creation...

One of many Biblical references: Mark 12 : 28-29

[28] And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
[29] And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

Why do you say Islam has a positive attitude towards violence....? It clearly does not. Many people in the west have the misconception that Islam was spread using the sword...

This is complete untrue...

the first simple reason why is that there can not be compulsion in any religion... and that is also true in Islam... I can not force you or anyone to be a Muslim or an Islam-er....

The second reason.... Just look at the world's Muslim population... Which country has the most Muslim population...? ....Indonesia...right .. now tell me which army ransacked Indonesia and force the people under the sword to adhere to Islam.... None... no such army....Because Islam was spread to those regions by merchants.... Travelling on business... just being simple examples ... and people observing how these Muslim merchants behaved, how they interacted with others, and how they made their dealings... and naturally felt attracted to them....or their way....

There was no SWORD...

The Quran doesn't even have the word sword in it.... Even though there are about 8 different words in Arabic for sword....

Why did you say Muslim countries have less education, less human values and is primitive...? Do you know anything about Islamic History and the impact it had on today's world.... Probably not...... alchemy.. an Arabic word... algebra.. an Arabic Word... algorithm... an arabic word.... Most of the sciences.... The muslims were at the fore-front.... Astronomy, biology, chemistry.....mathematics... the number zero... again.... The muslims in India... came up with the application of zero... to be used mathematically like never before (decimals and stuff)......

Who do you think discovered the new world.....???? In the summer of 1492 Christopher Columbus "discovered" America.... right.....??? ....WRONG...!!!! 1000 years ago the oldest University al Azher in Egypt already had a GLOBE of the world....1000 years ago... 500 years before Columbus sailed... and where did Columbus sail from Spain.... Who ruled Spain.... For 700 years Spain was ruled by the Muslims...While the rest of Europe was lost in the Dark Ages.... Muslim Spain... was flourishing....It had running water, sewage system and even street lights.... That's right..... street lights in Cordoba, Spain.... 600 years before anything of that sort was seen in London...(look it up)....Even the first Universities of London -- Oxford -- are copies of the great schools of Spain...

NOT SO PRIMITIVE...

[End Message]

Really? Did Egyptians know in 100AD that the earth was round? Did Islamic countries create the basic infrastructure for modern cities? The message continues with a second part:

 

[Start message]

By the way...... the Muslim rule of Spain which lasted for 700 years.... Ended in January of 1492...six months before Columbus set sail....look it up... COINCEDENCE... or.... COVER UP...

Women in Islam...a real hot topic...... I know its hard...but just try to look at it outside the box...for a minute....Islam is the world's fastest growing religion... (the Vatican released a report just this week)... from this majority of them is Women..... BUT why if its so oppressive to Women.....because Muslim women are asked to be modest and cover themselves up... just like catholic nuns do...

Islam actually came and liberated women... Prior to Islam women were the property of men... they had no rights.... After Islam they had many rights....

1400 years ago Islam gave women their own rights... they were no longer property of men....but were equals...1400 yrs ago... in 585 AD Council of Macon, France... bishops voted that women don't have souls...... not up until the 20th century when it was reversed.......

1400 years ago Islam gave women the right to vote....it was only in 1906 when women were allowed to vote in your own country Finland.....1300 years later....

Its funny how many of these Islamic achievements are never mentioned in the media..... makes you wonder....

The number 1 reason why the world is afraid of Islam.... It is because Islam does not allow for Interest... The modern world runs on interest...... all the banks of the worlds would no longer operate on interest... and that's why there is so much opposition against Islam... Not because of any other reason... they don't care what we believe.... But are just afraid of an Interest-free World... Think about it the system is set up so that the rich only get richer... they lend money to people who don't have any and charge them a substantial fee...

[End Message]

I really don’t understand the “coincidence or cover up” –part.

I would want to hear all thoughts on whether this information is correct. I don’t want to spend days on the internet, hoping to find information. I thought that you guys at the RRS forum could help.

Trust and believe in no god, but trust and believe in yourself.


Larty
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 It doesn’t seem like

 

It doesn’t seem like anyone has the patience to read all this text, so I will just write some main questions:

1) Was Islam spread peacefully, with non-violent means?

2) Have Islamic cultures greatly advanced scientific understanding?

3) Was Islamic Spain a greatly advanced nation at 1000AD, with higher standard of living than the rest of the world?

4) Did Islamic cultures allow more rights for women than other cultures at the time?

 

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Jeffrick
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Islam

 To answer number 1, No , the prophets armies carried Islam at the point of a sword until those Armies were stopped in battle.   Number 2, Yes, Muslim scholers  buildt on top of Greek and Roman learning.  Number 3, Yes it was. Number 4, No, Muslims seem to have a far different definition of equality then I do, but I've never heard of a female Caliph, I did hear of harums, honor killings , face coverings etc. in Christen Europe of the time Women inherited realms, large and small, nunneries, small buisnesses, and they did not have to cover their faces and hide in seperate rooms from men.

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zarathustra
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muslim wrote: First of

muslim wrote:


First of all... I don not know where you get the idea that... Islam takes all criticism offensive.... Actually you are the first person who ever told me anything like that....

Would he care to explain why Salman Rushdie had to stay in hiding for so many years?  Ayan Hirsi Ali?  Theo Van Gogh...oops, never mind.  How about why the Norwegian and Danish embassies were set on fire in Damascus due to a cartoon in an independent newspaper?

muslim wrote:



Why do you say Islam has a positive attitude towards violence....? It clearly does not. Many people in the west have the misconception that Islam was spread using the sword...

This is complete untrue...

the first simple reason why is that there can not be compulsion in any religion... and that is also true in Islam... I can not force you or anyone to be a Muslim or an Islam-er....

The second reason.... Just look at the world's Muslim population... Which country has the most Muslim population...? ....Indonesia...right .. now tell me which army ransacked Indonesia and force the people under the sword to adhere to Islam.... None... no such army....Because Islam was spread to those regions by merchants.... Travelling on business... just being simple examples ... and people observing how these Muslim merchants behaved, how they interacted with others, and how they made their dealings... and naturally felt attracted to them....or their way....

What country has the world's 2nd largest muslim population?  Answer: India.  What is his account of how islam took root there?  In fact, how did mohammed assume control mecca in the first place?  And there's this They Might Be Giants song that I'd like to play for him sometime...

muslim wrote:

Probably not...... alchemy.. an Arabic word...

And that's something to be proud of?

muslim wrote:

algebra.. an Arabic Word... algorithm... an arabic word.... Most of the sciences.... The muslims were at the fore-front....

The operative phrase is "were".  You can only milk the 8-12th centuries so much.  It's the 21st century now.  What have you done for us lately?

muslim wrote:
  the number zero... again.... The muslims in India... came up with the application of zero...

Pork rinds.  The decimal system and zero were developed in India well before islam arrived (non-peacefully) in the 8th century. 

muslim wrote:

to be used mathematically like never before (decimals and stuff)......

Who do you think discovered the new world.....???? In the summer of 1492 Christopher Columbus "discovered" America.... right.....??? ....WRONG...!!!! 1000 years ago the oldest University al Azher in Egypt already had a GLOBE of the world....1000 years ago... 500 years before Columbus sailed...

Don't know whether this is true or not.  But I would think if this was established knowledge 500 years before Columbus began his expedition, he would have known he wouldn't find India & China by sailing west...

muslim wrote:

Islam actually came and liberated women... Prior to Islam women were the property of men... they had no rights.... After Islam they had many rights....

So how many men can a muslim woman marry?


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rispettoso
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Larty wrote:1) Was Islam

Larty wrote:
1) Was Islam spread peacefully, with non-violent means?
Perhaps so in Indonesia, but in Asia, Europa, and Africa, definitevely not.

Larty wrote:
2) Have Islamic cultures greatly advanced scientific understanding?
I would certainly agree.

Larty wrote:
3) Was Islamic Spain a greatly advanced nation at 1000AD, with higher standard of living than the rest of the world?
"the rest of the world" is exagerate, as Chinese civilization was very advanced then. I could say that Islamic Spain had then a more advanced culture than the rest of Europe.

Quote:
4) Did Islamic cultures allow more rights for women than other cultures at the time?
Yes, definitevely so. She was granted the right of divorce, for example (I do not think an european woman of that period could do the same). Or the right of property ownership, that in Europe, while not forbidden, was strictly secondary to men's rights.

Apart from these questions, it seems to me that you did not address a most imposing part of Islam, and a crucial difference between it and Christianity.
Islam is not about separation between State and religion. Islam is a all-comprehensive vision of society, and it has the capability (well, it thinks so) and the will to regulate every aspect of a state. Its politics, its economics, its society.

Islam does not foresee, in fact, it can not accept a State that does not has a religious fondation. Nor a set of civil laws that would not be based on Islamic law.

In Europe, Church tried to influence the State (it is still trying...), but it always recognized that there should be a separation. This separation was clearly stated by his founder:

Matthew 22:21 wrote:
Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's"

In Islam, this is heresy. Since his birth, Islam was used by his founder as a political tool, an instrument of power. Religion gave to the State the force of fanatism, the force of Absolute Right. It was a blessing for the State, during the first centuries of Islam.

That same force has now become an huge burden. Modern society is immensely more complex than the simple medieval society in which Islam was born. But still, that religion thinks that it can regulate every aspect of economy and society - in the same way it did 1400 years ago.

So, I could say that one thousand years ago Islam was far more advanced than Christianity. But it has squandered this advantage by remaining fixed on laws ever more incapable to rule a transforming society. In doing so, it has freezed social developments, culture, politics, everything.