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23 August 2014


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norris O'brien

Is that a joke? Islam was spread with the sword and held together to the extent possible with the sword. The trade and commerce came later over existing routes that already were in use in the Byzantine and Sassanian empires. p l



Thanks for the great post and Lawrence quotes. The man was truly a "tragic genius" (aren't they all in some way?). The commentary thread is superb as well.



Col. Lang,

I think he's an Israeli asset (if he knows it or not) being funded by the Saudis. I think the US turned a blind eye to the group because their actions served to eliminate our, or should I say the enemies of Israel, who are now ours. I hope that changes quickly.
Netanyahu's comparison of ISIS with Hamas was a pathetic attempt at deflection. ISIS is behaving like Israel...expansionist plans, bombing mosques and churches, killing journalists!
Btw...another journalist was released and is now in Tel Aviv. Anyone know how that happened?

The beaver


Sadly Shazad was killed ( murdered) in May 2011. He was the Pakistan bureau chief for Asia Times Online, and had written extensively on the Taliban, AQ and Afghanistan, including al-Qaeda's infiltration of the Pakistani military, especially the Navy.

Who abducted him, tortured him and then killed him? No one knows but people still believe that it i sthe work of the ISI.



"I think he's an Israeli asset (if he knows it or not)" Say what? pl

FB Ali

Col Lang,

"Islam was spread with the sword...."

I think you'll agree that this statement requires some elaboration.

It is true that the early Islamic empire was established through military victories over the Sassanian and Byzantine empires. However, the peoples of these conquered territories were not forcibly converted (as some may misunderstand). The basic reason being that this would have meant a dilution of the 'ruling class' and the shared 'spoils of war' as well as a reduction in the taxation base.

Writing about the conversion of the Persians to Islam, the noted scholar, Dr W Montgomery Watt, wrote, "...the fundamental reason for their acceptance of Islam was that they wanted to belong to this empire. For this desire to belong there were various material motives....These economic and social factors...were probably reinforced, at least in some cases, by an awareness of the empire as a holy or charismatic community". (Islam and the Integration of Society, p.124).

This analysis applies generally to conversions in other areas.


fb ali

Several centuries of the jizya and dhimmi status largely completed the process except among the every steadfast. pl

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