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Understanding the Islam/West Narrative

Any honest and goal appraisal of Islam’s ancient jihad on the Christian global is eye-beginning, to say the very least. In the first century of its existence (between 632-732) Islam completely conquered, Arabized, and Islamized almost 3-quarters of the post-Roman Christian international, thereby completely severing it. Europe got here to be known as “the West” because it turned into literally the final and westernmost appendage of Christendom no longer to be swallowed up by means of Islam.

For more or less a millennium thereafter, Arabs, Berbers, Turks, and Tatars — all of whom called and saw themselves as Muslims — released raid after raid, all justified and lauded as jihads, into virtually each nook of Europe. They reached as a long way as Iceland and provoked the U.S. Into its first battle as a state. The devastation turned into indescribable; a few areas in Europe, in particular in Spain and the Balkans, stay inhabitable due to the incessant raiding; some 15 million Europeans were enslaved during this perennial jihad and, in step with modern statistics, handled horrifically.

In brief, “if we… ask ourselves how and when the contemporary belief of Europe and the European identity became born,” writes historian Franco Cardini, “we recognise the volume to which Islam was a component (albeit a terrible one) in its introduction. Repeated Muslim aggression towards Europe among the 7th to eighth centuries, then among the fourteenth and the eighteenth centuries… changed into a ‘violent midwife’ to Europe.”

Here the inevitable question arises: How should any such lengthy, nicely-documented records of unmitigated Islamic aggression that had big repercussions on the improvement of Western civilization now be presented because the antithesis of reality?

The solution revolves around some of present day philosophies — from the Enlightenment to ethical/cultural relativism — that have every contributed to an all-pervasive “Narrative” concerning the historical courting between Islam and the West; a records that, in providing the West as aggressor and Islam as victim — hence the latter’s ongoing “grievance”-based totally animosity — is the antithesis of fact.

To understand this, one must first understand that, regardless of its many manifestations, diversifications, and emphases over the centuries, the Narrative’s unstated using force has in large part been the identical: to demonize and thus justify a smash faraway from Europe’s traditional history, faith, identity, and mores. If this sounds farfetched, remember: while by means of any objective wellknown the West is accountable for nearly each boon taken as a right today — from clinical, technological, monetary, and medicinal advances, to the abolition of slavery and anti-discrimination laws — nowadays no human beings of any race or civilization despise their history except Western human beings. Clearly something is amiss.

Or keep in mind how leftists/liberals/progressives, who all the time whine in opposition to any vestige of Western traditionalism, habitually make commonplace motive with Islam — no matter the latter’s honestly oppressive characteristics. Thus feminists denounce the Western “patriarchy,” but say nothing in opposition to the Muslim treatment of ladies as chattel; homosexuals denounce Christian bakeries, but say nothing against the Muslim execution of homosexuals; multiculturalists denounce Christians who refuse to suppress their religion to accommodate the spiritual sensibilities of Muslim minorities, but say nothing against the entrenched and open Muslim persecution of Christians.

The reason for those discrepancies is straightforward: “The enemy [Islam] of my enemy [Christianity] is my pal.”

From here, how and why one of these formally well-known history of Muslim aggression in opposition to Europe became no longer simply suppressed but reversed need to begin making sense: of all non-European, non-Christian peoples, best Muslims lived along and interacted with (this is, continuously encroached and warred on) Europe for over a millennium; this made Muslims the most effective humans — the only foil — that would be used to aid the Narrative’s argument towards premodern Europe. But first an intellectually pleasurable way of casting Muslims as victims no longer conquerors changed into wanted.

Enter literary professor Edward Said’s 1978 e-book, Orientalism. Its crucial thesis is that the Orientalists — the Europeans who started the instructional study of the East centuries ago — were no longer writing objectively approximately Muslims and their history, but as an alternative deliberately slandering and stereotyping them a good way to justify dominating them at some point of the colonial era.

This made perfect feel — but handiest due to the fact the postmodern Western mind had already been primed for it. For if, as Marxist Materialism teaches, thoughts/religions haven’t any influence on records (and for that reason, financial need, now not “jihad,” brought on Muslims to extend); if, as Relativism and its spawn Multiculturalism train, there are not any absolute truths, non secular or otherwise (and hence no culture or civilization is “better” than every other); if, as pop psychology teaches, violent and bad behavior is constantly a manufactured from societal injustices (and for this reason the extra Muslims behave violently, the more that most effective proves they’re annoyed victims) — then what does one make of the aforementioned centuries of European writings that uniformly depict Muslims as ideologically driven by means of violence and lust, and the lessons of Muhammad as diabolically inspired?

Simple: brush aside all of them as bigoted and hypocritical lies by using nefarious Christians and Europeans motive on demonizing a advanced, more tolerant faith and civilization. Thus a whole new academic method to Islam — stripped of all ancient writings now not conforming to the Narrative — changed into born. History might now not form ideas and attitudes; instead, preexisting thoughts and attitudes — wishful questioning — would shape records.

Bernard Lewis, himself a target of Edward Said’s Orientalism, summarized this new technique — or “pseudo history” — nicely:

According to a currently elegant epistemological view, absolute reality is both nonexistent or not possible. Therefore, reality doesn’t be counted; records don’t count. All discourse is a manifestation of a electricity dating, and all information is slanted. Therefore, accuracy doesn’t matter; proof doesn’t rely. All that subjects is the mindset — the reasons and functions — of the consumer of expertise, and this could really be claimed for oneself or imputed to another. In imputing motives, the irrelevance of fact, information, proof, or even plausibility is a wonderful help. The mere assertion suffices” (Islam and the West, 115).

Orientalism’s fulfillment lay less in anything intrinsic to it — American classicist Bruce Thornton characterizes it as an “incoherent amalgam of dubious postmodern theory, sentimental Third Worldism, obtrusive historical mistakes, and Western guilt” — and greater as it healthy the West’s triumphing zeitgeist (which, of course, flourishes on “doubtful postmodern idea, sentimental Third Worldism, obtrusive historical errors, and Western guilt”).

Nor does the Narrative predominate today due to the fact humans are well study or take note of academe; as French historian Marc Ferro verified in his Cinema and History (1988), the overpowering majority of Western people’s understanding of records comes from films. And most recent films coping with premodern Europeans and Muslims — Robin Hood (1991), Kingdom of Heaven (2005) — contrasts hypocritical, intolerant, and fanatical Christians with state-of-the-art, superior, and tolerant Muslims. Commenting on such movies again in 1997, Lewis wrote, “The misrepresentation of the past inside the cinema is probably the maximum fertile and powerful source of such incorrect information at the present time…”

Twenty years later the Narrative has most effective metastasized and infected all factors of public existence, consisting of politics and so-called “mainstream information.” Meanwhile, social and different media giants — YouTube, Google, Facebook, Twitter — an increasing number of censor fabric that contradicts the Narrative.

Such is how previously well-known histories had been turned the other way up and, in this case, used to weaken the West — the finest sin of that’s ever again to suppose or behave like its “lousy” ancestors did regarding Islam.

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