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  1. Zia Shah

    Additional reasons to watch against Islamophobia — Quoting from Wikipedia:The most infamous event from the city’s history dates from late 1098, during the First Crusade. After the Crusaders, led by Raymond de Saint Gilles and Bohemond of Taranto, successfully besieged Antioch they found themselves with insufficient supplies of food. Their raids on the surrounding countryside during the winter months did not help the situation. By December 12 when they reached Ma`arra, many of them were suffering from starvation and malnutrition. They managed to breach the city’s walls and massacred about 20,000 inhabitants, as they often did when they captured a city. However, this time, as they could not find enough food, they resorted to cannibalism.[1]One of the crusader commanders wrote to Pope Urban II: “A terrible famine racked the army in Ma`arra, and placed it in the cruel necessity of feeding itself upon the bodies of the Saracens.[1]Radulph of Caen, another chronicler, wrote: “In Ma`arra our troops boiled pagan adults in cooking-pots; they impaled children on spits and devoured them grilled.”[1]These events were also chronicled by Fulcher of Chartres, who wrote: “I shudder to tell that many of our people, harassed by the madness of excessive hunger, cut pieces from the buttocks of the Saracens already dead there, which they cooked, but when it was not yet roasted enough by the fire, they devoured it with savage mouth.”[2]Among the European records of the incident was the French poem ‘The Leaguer of Antioch’, which contains such lines as,Then came to him the King Tafur, and with him fifty scoreOf men-at-arms, not one of them but hunger gnawed him sore.Thou holy Hermit, counsel us, and help us at our need;Help, for God’s grace, these starving men with wherewithal to feed.’But Peter answered, ‘Out, ye drones, a helpless pack that cry,While all unburied round about the slaughtered Paynim lie.A dainty dish is Paynim flesh, with salt and roasting due.From “The Leaguer of Antioch”[3]Those events had a strong impact on the local inhabitants of Southwest Asia. The crusaders already had a reputation for cruelty and barbarism towards Muslims, Jews and even local Christians, Catholic and Orthodox alike. (the Crusades began shortly after the Great Schism of 1054). Many authors suggest that the crusaders’ behaviour was not really born of their hunger but fanatical belief that the Muslims were even lower than the animals. Amin Maalouf in his book The Crusades Through Arab Eyes points out the most crucial line for such belief among the Muslims: “Not only did our troops not shrink from eating dead Turks and Saracens; they also ate dogs!” by Albert of Aix.References1. Amin Maalouf, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, trans. Jon Rothschild (News York: Schocken Books, 1984), 39.2 Edward Peters, The First Crusade: The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres and Other Source Materials (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998), 84.3. Von Sybel; History and Literature of the Crusades; translated by Lady Duff GordonAdditional Readings:The Cannibals of Ma`arra at Utah IndymediaEncyclopedia of the Orienthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma%27arrat_al-Numan

  2. Zia Shah

    Watching against copy cat Emperor Nero! — A lot of world history has been created by copy cat Neroes, who have established themselves by being defenders against an external, partial or non-existent threat, appealing to the sentiments of the masses of fear and prejuidice. In this century Islamophobia can certainly serve as an explosive fuel for copy cat Neroes. All of us will do well to know the style of Nero:According to Tacitus, upon hearing the news of the great fire, in Rome, Nero returned to Rome to organize a relief effort, which he paid for from his own funds. Nero’s contributions to the relief extended to personally taking part in the search for and rescue of victims of the blaze, spending days searching the debris without even his bodyguards. After the fire, Nero opened his palaces to provide shelter for the homeless, and arranged for food supplies to be delivered in order to prevent starvation among the survivors. In the wake of the fire, he made a new urban development plan. Houses after the fire were spaced out, built in brick, and faced by porticos on wide roads. Nero also built a new palace complex known as the Domus Aurea in an area cleared by the fire. According to Tacitus, the population searched for a scapegoat and rumors held Nero responsible. To deflect blame, Nero targeted Christians. He ordered Christians to be thrown to dogs, while others were crucified and burned. Tacitus described the event:“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians …, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt.”The following link describes a copy cat of Nero who was not Islamophobica but Islamomaniac, but was able to play on the prejuidice of the masses to hold onto power for 11 years:http://www.muslimsunrise.com/dmddocuments/2010_fall.pdf#page=17

  3. Zia Shah

    Some positive steps taken by the Catholic Church — Dr. Maurice Buccaille writes about Catholic Church’s efforts to fight Islamophobia, in his book the Bible, the Quran and science:In the Introduction to this work, I mentioned the great change that has taken place inthe last few years and I quoted a document produced by the Office for Non-ChristianAffairs at the Vatican under the title Orientations for a Dialogue between Christiansand Muslims (Orientations pour un dialogue entre chrétiens et musulmans). It is a veryimportant document in that it shows the new position adopted towards Islam. As weread in the third edition of this study (1970), this new position calls for ‘a revision ofour attitude towards it and a critical examination of our prejudices’ . . . ‘We shouldfirst set about progressively changing the way our Christian brothers see it. This is themost important of all.’ . . . It refutes the falsely spread notion that Muslim morality hardly exists and the other notion, shared by so many Jews and Christians, of Islamic fanaticism. It makes the following comment on this: “In fact, Islam was hardly any more fanatical during its history than the sacredbastions of Christianity whenever the Christian faith took on, as it were, a politicalvalue.” At this point, the authors quote expressions from the Qur’an that show how, inthe West, the expression ‘HolyWar'[49] has been mis-translated; “in Arabic it is Aljihâd fî sabîl Allâh, the effort on God’s road”, “the effort to spread Islam and defend itagainst its aggressors.” The Vatican document continues as follows: “The jihâd is notat all the Biblical kherem; it does not lead to extermination, but to the spreading ofGod’s and man’s rights to new lands.”-“The past violence of the jihâd generallyfollowed the rules of war; at the time of the Crusades moreover, it was not always theMuslims that perpetrated the worst slaughters.”Finally, the document deals with the prejudice according to which “Islam is a hideboundreligion which keeps its followers in a kind of superannuated Middle Ages,making them unfit to adapt to the technical conquests of the modern age.” It comparesanalogous situations observed in Christian countries and states the following: “wefind, (. ..) in the traditional expansion of Muslim thought, a principle of possibleevolution in civilian society .”I am certain that this defense of Islam by the Vatican will surprise many believerstoday, be they Muslims, Jews or Christians. It is a demonstration of sincerity andopen-mindedness that is singularly in contrast with the attitudes inherited from thepast. The number of people in the West who are aware of the new attitudes adopted bythe highest authorities in the Catholic Church is however very small.Once one is aware of this fact, it comes as less of a surprise to learn of the actions thatsealed this reconciliation: firstly, there was the official visit made by the President ofthe Office for Non-Christian Affairs at the Vatican to King Faisal of Saudi Arabia;then the official reception given by Pope Paul VI to the Grand Ulema of Saudi Arabiain the course of 1974. Henceforth, one understands more clearly the spiritualsignificance of the fact that His Grace Bishop Elchinger received the Grand Ulema athis cathedral in Strasbourg and invited them during their visit to pray in the choir.This they did before the altar, turned towards Makka.Thus the representatives of the Muslim and Christian worlds at their highest level,who share a faith in the same God and a mutual respect for their differences ofopinion, have agreed to open a dialogue.http://i3.makcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/139591/files//2009/09/xx.pdf

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