The Islamic conquests had nothing to do with Islam

Auster’s catalog of non-Islam theories of Islamic extremism just keeps expanding. Here’s the latest, from the ur-Islam apologist herself, the ineffable, the insufferable, the one and only Karen Armstrong:

The early conquests in Persia and Byzantium after the Prophet’s death were inspired by political rather than religious aspirations.

Wow, it’s not only modern Islamic extremism that has nothing to do with Islam, even the original Moslem conquests had nothing to do with Islam! Apparently Muhammad did not even command war in the Koran. (Armstrong ought to get together with Captain Ed, who recently described the original Moslem conquests as the “Islamist” conquests.) In Armstrong’s treatment, appearing in a piece in the Guardian entitled “We cannot afford to maintain these ancient prejudices against Islam,” there is and can be literally nothing bad about Islam. All the problems between Islam and the West have been due to European/Christian prejudice, cruelty, and neurosis.

Most interesting is her idea that Europeans have violence and hatred within themselves, which they can’t face, so they project it onto Muslims. Thus she ventures that Islam was not described as a “religion of the sword” until the time of the Crusades. You see, those nasty prejudiced Euros projected their own violence onto the Muslims. Similarly, Christian sexual repression is the real root of the criticism of Muhammad’s lechery. All of which leads up to Pope Benedict XVI, who is just the latest in a long line of Euro-nutjobs unwilling to face the disorder within themselves, and taking it out on the Muslims:

It was when the Christians of Europe were fighting brutal holy wars against Muslims in the Middle East that Islam first became known in the west as the religion of the sword. At this time, when the popes were trying to impose celibacy on the reluctant clergy, Muhammad was portrayed by the scholar monks of Europe as a lecher, and Islam condemned—with ill-concealed envy—as a faith that encouraged Muslims to indulge their basest sexual instincts. At a time when European social order was deeply hierarchical, despite the egalitarian message of the gospel, Islam was condemned for giving too much respect to women and other menials.

In a state of unhealthy denial, Christians were projecting subterranean disquiet about their activities on to the victims of the Crusades, creating fantastic enemies in their own image and likeness. This habit has persisted. The Muslims who have objected so vociferously to the Pope’s denigration of Islam have accused him of “hypocrisy”, pointing out that the Catholic church is ill-placed to condemn violent jihad when it has itself been guilty of unholy violence in crusades, persecutions and inquisitions and, under Pope Pius XII, tacitly condoned the Nazi Holocaust.

The notion of Westerners “creating fantastic enemies in their own image and likeness” is from the same playbook as British leftist Neil Clark’ assertion in Patrick Buchanan’s magazine, The Anti-American Leftist, excuse me, The American Conservative, that Muslim terrorists were an “image” that had been “manufactured” by American neoconservatives.

If liberalism is defined as always excusing the non-Western Other and blaming the West, then Armstrong is the ultimate liberal.

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Carl Simpson writes:

Read Karen Armstrong’s utterly amazing attempt to blame jihad and sharia upon Christian ‘violent Crusaderism’ and ‘sexual oppression’ and compare with VFR’s own Shrewsbury’s wonderful description of the liberal mindset on 9/14. Is this not a near-perfect, textbook example? She even implies that Christianity is responsible for the mass-murder of Jews carried out by the occultist and pagan leftist utopians of Germany’s Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), better known as Nazis.

Just out of curiosity, I wonder how Armstrong would explain away the horrific Muslim onslaught against the Hindu civilization in India and against Asian Buddhists? (I seem to recall that VFR’s very articulate Indian reader has reported something about the extent of this particular genocide carried out by the “Religion of Peace®”, the depth of which is only beginning to emerge thanks to studies of Indian and Western historians. Maybe that’s the fault of the evil white Christian patriarchs as well, who were circling above the carnage in their spaceships—directing the ongoing genocide in between orgies with 72 virgin girls.

Captain Ed’s a mere novice compared to Mother Armstrong, who is right up there with the rest of the great coven of the sisterhood like Sonntag, Dworkin, Friedan, Steinem, Molly Yard, et al.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 20, 2006 01:31 AM | Send

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