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View Diary: Islam 101: Sawm (157 comments)

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  •  yeah but the then numerous Christians (6+ / 0-)

    in the Midlle East were right there with the Arabs & Jews advancing that civilization.

    My hope is that someday soon the vast majority of adherents of the 3 Abrahamic religions will recognize that there is much more that binds them than separates them.  I mean, its not a new concept.

    Thanks to JDsg for his post!

    •  Not to mention that much of what is erroneously (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Navy Vet Terp, SchuyH, ivorybill

      attributed to Arabic/Islamic scholarship was actually Byzantine and actually Roman in origin. Much of what is considered Arabic scholarship was translation of earlier lost or unattributed Byzantine work that made its way back to Western civilization through the Moors, etc..

      "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

      by pengiep on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:19:53 AM PDT

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      •  And a good portion of Judaism (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        can out of the Egyptian mythologies. And don't forget the huge influence of the Persian tales...

        The mythological character called Abraham was not the originator of the ideas that led to three major religions. It's far more complicated than that. I think it would upset most Christians, Jews and Muslims to know that they owe the pagans (those darn infidels!) a big thanks for all the stuff they believe.

      •  an interesting example of this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical, commonmass

        is the prohibition on the depiction of the human form in Islam.  In very early Islam, there was an active figural artistic tradition - seen on the earliest Islamic coins, on paintings and mosaics in early Umayyad period buildings, even in very early manuscripts.

        But around 700 CE both the Byzantine iconoclasts and some Islamic theologians decided, in parallel and influencing each other, that God would be offended if anyone drew the human form.  The irony is that these Islamic theologians opposed images of humans because of icon worship by Christians, and the Byzantine iconoclasts ("icon-breakers") opposed images because they felt that worshipping images was the reason why God abandoned them and let the Muslims conquer most of the Middle East. Two or three generations after the start of Islam, both Christian and Muslim fanatics were bashing the heads off of ancient statues, defacing books and threatening artists.

        The Byzantines returned to icon veneration within another 100 years or so.  The prohibition of figural representation in Islam continued... although there were a few periods and places in which this did not apply.  The Kurdish emirates after Salahaddin are famous for figurative art, as was the Persian civilization.

        Make of it what you will... but Islam is largely an outgrowth of monophysite Christianity, and Eastern Christianity - as much as they fought Islam, incorporated aspects of Islam within itself.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Thu May 30, 2013 at 04:32:51 PM PDT

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      •  Way to downplay Arab and Muslim (5+ / 0-)

        advances in all sorts of areas like the sciences and medicine, mathematics, historiography, sociology etc as well as the fascinating interchanges between Muslim theologians and their Christian and Jewish counterparts, many of whom were influenced by Islamic thought.

      •  Guess it depends on what "much" is... (5+ / 0-)

        There's no doubt that early Islamic scholars helped to "save" quite a bit of the Classical canon. The question is were these scholars mere "mute scribes" of Classical texts and ideas, or were they innovative scholars and scientists in their own right? All of the evidence points to the latter. Denial of early Islamic contributions to scientific scholarship and the glorification of the "classical narrative" (a straight line from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance, with very limited contributions from mute Islamic scribes) is an element of the larger Orientalist project, an ahistorical narrative embodying an anti-Islamic discourse, whether almost unconsciously (as Huff's The Rise of Early Modern Science [2003]) or quite explicitly (as the execrable Robert Spencer's The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam [2005]). I'd recommend Saliba's Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance (2007) for a thorough analysis of this discourse.

        Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

        by angry marmot on Fri May 31, 2013 at 05:14:11 AM PDT

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