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I am well aware that barbarians^W_Christians_ burnt a lot of Greek "books"; on 
the other hand, I am profoundly aware that, in the Middle Ages, thousands of 
Christian monks carefully copied a _very large_ number of classical "books" so 
that they might reach us.

<joking/light mode on>
If I had a one-sided attitude, apart from dismissing/minimizing Christian 
atrocities, I would probably observe that the number of items burnt by the 
Muslims was far greater.  I might probably also take into account thousands of 
volumes destroyed in the eastern conquests -- but I have to RTFM more on this 
part, as I said.  I am not interested in the maths of burnt scrolls, or in the 
(ante litteram) Guinness of the burnt scrolls. <joking/light mode off>

The point I was making is clear: in a well-defined historical period, Islam 
(in its purest ie full-blown totalitarian form) caused Culture serious, 
terrible damage.  You had just remarked that Mohammed didn't appear to be a 
very learned man.

N.B.  I did NOT say that _all_ Islamic-related civilization has _always_ 
caused damage.  The development of eg algebra in the Middle Ages being a 
trivial counter-example.

To complete the picture, it should be remarked that other religions, as well 
as ideologies (just think of Mr Hitler in the past century) practised this, 
er, book-burning sport -- to a varying extent of selectiveness/destructiveness.

I call a spade a spade: here I would say "some _barbarians_, in the name of 
Christ,...". Barbarian [regardless of religion] is a barbarian is a barbarian. 

[**] Here Kline refers to the destruction of the Serapide's temple by 

> >> You mean the Eastern story of the atrocities committed by
> >> Christians?  Those were violent times.  I don't think the Muslims
> >> something like 700were worse than the Christians.
> >
> > I was referring to Islamic atrocities in the East (eg India).  I had
> > been reading some material about that on the 'Net (cf Hindu
> > Holocaust).  l'll have to RTFM on this, too. :-)
> Yes, do that.

If you search the 'Net, you'll find references.  BTW, I was referring to 
RFTMing serious _written material_, and I am going to do that in the next few 

> >>> I now gather that, at a doctrinal level, there exists no "moderate"
> >>> Islam at all.
> >>
> >> Could you explain that?  There may be fewer Muslims who just pay lip
> >> service to their religion than there are Christians, but I wouldn't
> >> even be sure about that.  I grew up in Malaysia, a country with
> Islam
> >> as its state religion.  While I don't approve at all of enforced
> >> religion (if you're Malay, you *must* be Muslim), until this Mulslim
> >> fundamentalism thing sprung up, I found Islam a very gentle
> religion.
> >> For most people, it still is.
> >
> > "Moderate interpreters" simply discard certain parts of the Koran.
> They do the same with the bible.
>   Deuteronomy 7:1-3
>   When the LORD your God brings you to the land that you are about to
>   invade and occupy,

I read something like "to take possession" here.  Never mind.

>   and He dislodges many nations before you--the
>   Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites,
>   and Jebusiites, seven nations much larger than you---and the LORD
>   your God delivers them to you and you defeat them, you must doom
>   them to destruction: grant them no terms and give them no quarter.
> What does this mean if you interpret it literally?  And you know there
> are dozens of such arguments.

There is a historical development (a divine 
perspective/plan/whatever_you_like_to_call_it) -- or if you prefer, God spoke 
at different times, saying different things (appropriate to different 
historical times).  The books were NOT all written at the same time.

Despite the initial privilidged position of Israel in God's salvation plan 
(the OT), in the OT itself there ARE references to the universality of 
salvation (eg Is. 49-6).

AFAIK/R, there are no references to an endlosung for __all non-elected 
peoples__. Not to mention the fact that the most 
important/conclusive/completing/definitive part (cf Mt 5,17-48) is the NT.

More RTFM needed, though -- I am not a biblist.  OT message (and language) is 
far from easy.

<waaaaay off topic> 
The study of civilizations of the Near East has had a number of far-reaching 
consequences.  For instance, there are points of contact between biblical 
Israel and those civilizations.  

Also, rather than a group of "Indo-european" dialects at the root of all 
"Indo-european" languages, there is an Akkadian/Sumerian matrix for the  
languages formerly known as "Indo-European".  A noteworthy result of these 
studies being the clarification of Anaximander's "apeiron", which is NOT the 
"infinite" or "indeterminate", but the "dust" (cf G. Semerano, "the 
Infinite").  Oooops, sorry, I am getting more off-topic than ever.

</waaaaay off topic>

> > Whence the image of gentle religion.  Thus, however, they betray the
> > actual totalitarian doctrin underlying the Koran; fundamentalists
> > don't.
> This is a very one-sided argument.

I am afraid the actual nature of Islam is totalitarian, whether you like it or 
not.  This does NOT prevent a number of Muslims from being good and nice 
people -- thanks to the action of "moderate intepreters".

> >>> Of course, strong political reasons make all western political
> >>> leaders speak of ahem "moderate Islam".
> >>
> >> As opposed to moderate Christianity or moderate Judaism?  Members of
> >> all three religions continue to commit atrocities in the name of
> their
> >> religion.
> >
> > Christ != Muhammad
> Your point?

Christ did not commit atrocities.  He said nothing like "Go kill all those 
unbelievers in my name, and I'll give you 72 virgins in the afterlife" 

AFAIR, Buddha never said "Please, please, please, go kill all those who don't 
accept my ideas."

IMO, those who commit atrocities in the name of Christ (or any other peaceful 
thinker) are __twice__ barbarians.

Pretty clear.

> > Bruno and Galileo (a _Catholic_ scientist) were well-known examples
> of
> > "Christian" intolerance.  I am afraid this has nothing to do with what
> Christ
> > said, though.  More generally, "Christian" misdoings have very little
> to do
> > with the NT.  These so-called "Christians" were actually barbarians
> (cf eg the
> > crusades) -- of the worst kind.
> >
> > Religio instrumentum regni.  In the Middle Ages (and later: cf Bruno,
> > Galileo), a number of "popes" applied this very ancient principle of
> politics.
> >
> > Incidentally, Matthew says: "Nolite possidere aurum neque argentum
> neque
> > pecuniam in zonis vestris non peram in via neque duas tunicas neque
> > calciamenta neque virgam dignus enim est operarius cibo suo [...]". 
> This is
> > not exactly in harmony with the existence of a rich _State_ of the
> Church,
> > namely with "popes" pursuing _temporal_ power and interests.  To the
> shame of
> > all Christianity per omnia saecula saeculorum.
> So what are you getting at?

When they betray their own moral doctrine (viz. the NT), Christians are 
__twice__ barbarians.  The above examples show the contradiction between 
_principles_ and _behavio(u)r/policy_.  

By contrast, the Muslims who commit misdoings (such as killing the 
unbelievers) are simply following their doctrine.  So they are just _once_ 
barbarians. :-)

I'll repeat it once again, just in case: regardless of one's own moral 
principles (if any...), rose is a rose^W^W^W^Wbarbarian is a barbarian is a 

> > By contrast, Islamic atrocities are in full harmony with what Mr
> > Muhammad himself, a very, erm, "gentle" prophet
> I didn't say that.
> > ("THE Prophet"), said, did, and wrote.
> Can you give me a quotation?

Mohammed's life is probably the best quotation.

Incidentally, www.secularislam.org is an interesting site.  There are others 
(cf Hindu Holocaust).  I'll have to RTFM enough written material to get a more 
detailed/unbiased/balanced picture, though.

I am surprised at the _universality_ of the NT -- think eg of women: _women_ 
are the first witnesses of Christ's resurrection, at a time when they hardly 
had any rights, and even fewer as witnesses (!).  Thus, I consider as the 
worst barbarians those who commit crimes in the name of Christ, or of any 
other peaceful thinker.

-- Salvo

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