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As History Gently Weeps…

November 14, 2010

“Clio, the muse of history, is as thoroughly infected with lies as a street whore with syphilis.”

World,

You are infected with intellectual mass hysteria and popular delusions of perceived purity.

Purity in race, culture, religion, and especially purity in historical narrative. It is the latter that has interested me recently. The control of what and how the past was, is, essentially, the control of what and how the present is (to paraphrase that Orwellian mantra). History was/is, usually, how we measure our present, whether by trying to convince ourselves that we are progressing materially and morally (with the latter one still in doubt) or allowing us to contemplate on what our slithery identity really is.

In Europe, an example of this  mass hysteria manifests in regards to the continent’s relationship with Muslims (from theology to fashion).  This latest, brilliant piece on the increase in popularity of Mohammed as a name for boys in London is a symptom of this continual convulsion. The underlining emotion of the news story is the fear that Islam is conquering the “free and liberal” European continent with demon babies.

Muslims are daring to build minarets, wearing the hijab/burka, and are overtaking the rest in the naming baby boys…which means, they are having lots of babies! (OMG! Armageddon! Terror!)

People assume that there is a coherent and comprehensive European identity and value system so uniquely European that people of the Islamic faith do not share in (or people in general who aren’t European…like savage Africans, shifty Orientals, slippery Latinos).

History paints a strikingly different portrait. So let’s lurch up on some of that trail…


First, and foremost, and I can’t believe I have to write this…but the name Mohammed existed prior to the inception of Islam, and became popular after the religion grew (consider how the name David became popular for Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Atheists). To go as far as to say, or even assume,that a person who is named Mohammed at birth will automatically grow into a religious individual (and here people assume as well that religious means fundamentalist, or something so vile) is absurd, and says much about a person’s own inherent issues…(Bill Maher, who I loath, has recently been nominated for Idiot of the Month for committing such an act). If we are determined to judge a person by the name, there are much more sillier names to get worked up about (Personally, I vote for  those named Toby to be hunted down like the scum that they are).

If one is gonna get worked up about a minaret, one should at least be aware that Gothic architecture is a homage and remixing of Mosques.If your gonna ban minarets or mosques, shouldn’t Gothic architecture get the boot too? Seriously, its so grotesque and its been contaminated by that Islamic touch.

There are so many chronicled examples to note: The Renaissance was sparked by the experiences of Europeans who travelled to West Asia and were shocked on how cool it was (those were the days, eh).  Public hospitals, libraries, and research institutions were adopted by the Europeans from the West Asian region. Even the word, alcohol, treasured by many, is a distorted Arabic term al-khol. The examples litter our present world. And it’s almost, always a two-way street.

Consider this, cyber-voyeurs…

Alexander the Great is one of Europe’s colossal historical figures. The creator of one of the largest empires during the ancient era, spanning from the Adriatic sea to the Indus river. Through him, the Hellenization process occurred, and his legacy has left its mark on proceeding empires in Europe (from the Romans and beyond). What makes this Macedonian even more appealing is the intermixing of societies, whether in his royal courts or on the streets of the societies he had conquered.

The effect was so great, that it left a lasting impression on Islam, centuries later.

The story of the Dhul-Qarnayn (The Two Horned One, and because Arabic is so complex, it can mean the Two Aged One) for Muslims, the laymen and the scholars, had a high appreciation for this historical figure. The respect so lavish, that some scholars, in the past, have gone so far as to argue that Alexander may have been a prophet sent by God. Some, not all, mind you- for many, he was at least defined as a “friend to God” (Refer to the parallels of how Europeans Christian viewed Salah El-Din, centuries later, with admiration; the few arguing adamantly that he was a closeted Christian).

One poet wrote:

Dhu’l-Qarnayn before me was a Muslim
Conquered kings thronged his court,
East and west he ruled, yet he sought
Knowledge true from a learned sage.
He saw where the sun sinks from view
In a pool of mud and fetid slime
Before him Bilqis [Queen of Sheba] my father’s sister
Ruled them until the hoopoe came to her.

This small example of the time-spanning ongoing relationship between the West Asian region and the European continent gives us much to ponder.

The most obvious point, for me, is that there has always been an active relationship. It has been bloody, for sure, but underneath the blood, there has always been the exchange of ideas, philosophies, and more that to actually argue an on-going existence of purity in culture or history is no longer possible. This is true for the rest of the world today.

There are marks left on these two societies that goes both ways. Aristotelian logic and other allegedly-exclusively European values are entrenched within West Asian philosophy and science, just like Europe uses Arabic numerals to crunch numbers, Islamic and Arabic science to further their own knowledge, and so it goes back and forth. “We” can not deny our history, neither should (the proverbial) “they”. Spain, and southern Europe, were under Muslim control for over 500 years; something is bound to stick and spread, don’t you think?

And Muslims, these days, do get all defensive about their own purity…granted this is some-what understandable with how the political climate is (a growing perfect shit-storm), but they should be honest about the influences on their history (I’m particularly looking at you, wacky Wahhabis with your wacky ways). Shari’a law and Islamic philosophy was influenced by Roman, Babylonian, Zoroastrian, Jewish and Christian roots – e.g. where do you think the controversial punishment of stoning came from ? (hint: it ain’t in the Quran).  The region itself has been home to numerous empires and societies, rising and falling with the tides of time, so something was bound to leave its stench as well.

The essential problem (at least one of many) with humanity today is our present-centricity. We are biased against the past because we are arrogant enough to think we’ve developed so far (O! Now, we have the Internet! Satellites! Magnificent war machines! Medical marvels ! 3D Television! A Bidet! Oh, so much more!).  But in the long trail of history, half sunk shattered visages do lie, and that should caution our arrogance…

A comprehensive awareness of history is a cure. However, it should be an awareness that history itself is forcefully fixed to fit into the present’s socio-political context and sentiments. We see this all the time within nation-states that are trying to crave out a distinct identity against their neighbours and competitors. Aristotle once wrote: “If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development.”

In this fast age and limited capacity of memory – we need to understand the foundations and what encompasses the foundation of how we got to “here””.

If we don’t, we get violent stupidity; like this.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. liako permalink
    October 22, 2011 10:30 pm

    Very nice article. It’s nice to see there are people out there who are still able to think for themselves and not blindly follow what they are told to believe.

    Just a note, it’s important to sometimes mention in articles such as this that Alexander the Great was from Macedonia, but has no connection with the the former Ygoslav country called ‘Macedonia’ today (FYROM is the official global name for this nation). Alexander was a Macedonian and thus Greek, just like Leonidas was a Spartan and thus Greek.

    In case anyone was wondering…

    • MacedoniaForever permalink
      March 8, 2014 8:07 am

      Aleksandar was from mountain country Macedonia and he was Macedonian who depized Greec people. Aleksandar spoke with the komanders of hes army only Macedonian language and never Greec language. Aleksandar was Macedonian from Macedonia in Balkans not in Greec and that is the fact.

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