Were Conquered Christians Really Liberated Muslims?

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). 


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Of course, with the weakening of Islam in the modern era, embarrassed Muslims began to euphemize their imperialistic history, portraying jihad as “defensive,” “spiritual,” etc.—culminating with Soliman’s fairy tale. Even the unapologetic Sayyid Qutb, the sheikh of “radical Islam,” interpreted jihad and the conquests as “altruistic” endeavors to “liberate” mankind.

Such sophistry is inevitable; for the Muslim conquests pose a thorny problem for Muslims. As David Cook writes in Understanding Jihad, p.167:

[T]he conquests were seen from the beginning as one of the incontrovertible proofs of Islam. To disavow them or to examine them critically—which has yet to happen in the Muslim world—will be very painful for Muslims especially Arabic-speaking Muslims. At every point… when Muslims have tried to abandon militant jihad for the internal, spiritual jihad… the memory of the conquests and the need to rationalize them have defeated this effort. The problem may lie in the unwillingness to confront the fact that the conquests were basically unjustified. They were not a “liberation” and they were not desired by the non-Muslim peoples; they were endured and finally accepted.

The question remains: Are Islam’s apologists disingenuous or deluded? When it comes to “bridge-building” Soliman—who provides “sensitivity training” to the FBI and Pentagon—one is inclined to answer in the former: his book contains academic crimes, including flagrant mistranslations to support his thesis and wild, but undocumented, assertions (for example, that the Arians, like the Muslims, used to proclaim “There is no god but Allah and Jesus is his prophet”).

That said, Muslim self-deception—typified by the impulsive need to always exonerate Islam—is a very real and widespread phenomenon. I am reminded of an Arabic op-ed I read last year in Al-Masry Al-Youm, which opened bluntly by saying: “We Muslims have an inferiority complex…and feel that our Islamic religion needs constant, daily affirmation from Europeans and Americans… What rapturous joy takes us when one of them converts—as if to reassure us that our religion is ‘okay.’” Discussing how the Arab world exulted when it erroneously thought that Muslim critic Henryk Broder had accepted Islam—based on sarcastic remarks he had made—the author wrote “but we are a people who do not understand sarcasm, since it is subtle and requires a bit of thinking and intellectualizing; rather, we read quickly, with a hopeful eye, not an eye for truth and reality.”

Considering Islam’s lax views on deception, this comes as no surprise. After all, whether Muslims consciously deceive infidels or unconsciously deceive themselves, the goal has long been one: empowering Islam and its adherents—reality be damned.

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  • Chezwick_mac

    Read Bat Ye'or's 'The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam' for a chilling account of the brutalities and depredations of the Islamic conquests. Entire cultures were extirpated, people murdered en mass, cities ransacked, monasteries destroyed, thousands of years of recorded learning incinerated overnight.

    One helluva show!

    • davarino

      Thank allah those people were liberated.

    • old white guy

      time to realize that islam is built on violence and lies. there is no truth in islam other than that violence is the way it gets converts and eliminates those who don't want to be part of it.

      • dude911

        beware the face of mohammad__while it may be pleasant to look upon__behind his back is a bloody knife

    • Arvin

      Yet, the world's oldest monasteries remain in muslims lands. Read about the fourth crusade and find out who destroyed the Eastern Christainity, instead of getting all your info from one person with very little creditability.

      • SpiritOf1683

        Tiome to get the hell out of the West, parasitical hate-filled Muslim savage.

        • ahmadnb

          Typical response from a brain-dead fool…

          • SpiritOf1683

            And a typical response from a West-hating, sponging, sub-amoeboid I.Q Muslim savage. Get back to Pakistan, scum.

          • ahmadnb

            Scum yourself, medevial, stinking, illiterate, innumerate savage living in a shack by the river and bathing once a year…
            First of all, I'm not from Pakistan…and never was.
            Second, I love the West.
            Third, I have 2 BSE degrees from American colleges, one of them a strong, pro-Western, Christian college that taught me to love the West and one that I will credit for making me switch to the political Right back in 1994. I've got over 10 years of experience working in the hi-tech industry. How about you? What have you got?
            I'll be surprised if you're not on welfare and living in your momma's basement smoking dope and getting it on with the honeys whenever you've got a chance to do so. It's what I would expect from someone who has nothing of substance to offer. Or, perhaps, you're some serf who somehow time-travelled all the way back from medevial Europe. So go back to your time and place, serf…and go serve your overlord. Perhaps you can satisfy his closet gay fantasies…

          • SpiritOf1683

            And you're a liar to boot. Get out stinking West-hating parasite and go back to the sewer from whence you came from.

          • ahmadnb

            STFU, serf. You know I'm telling the truth but wish to live within your little medevial shack of self-deceiving lies. Mr. Epicycle for orbital science, Roman numerals for use in math ('cos Indian numerrals are too "Islamic"), make 'em Jews lend money with interest and then hate them for it, then force them to accept Christianity and kill 'em when they don't and those you suspect of being closet Jews…need I go on? Go ahead and refute any of the above statements! I challenge you to tell the truth. Respond with anything other than the usual "you're a West-hating parasite" and I'll promote you to the level of monkey.

          • SpiritOf1683

            Living on benefit perfectly describes you and your ilk, parasitical Muslim barbarian.

          • ahmadnb

            I don't live on benefits like you. I work for a living, always have, and your life is better because of the likes of me. You're living off of my hard-earned tax dollars. So STFU, dirty serf, and mow my lawn if you want some cash from me. And I won't let you step into my home until after you've had a decent bath. And if you want to work for me, you'll have to prove to me that you're eligible to work in this country…I don't hire illegals.

  • LibertyMan

    Hmmmm, even Muslim scripture says Mohammad thought Christians were Christians. Is this any more or lass absurd that the sociopath in charge of Iran tells us that the Nazi's didn't commit ethnic cleansing, particularly against the Jews.

    We live in an Age where we can't just point the finger at Islamists. Secular Religionists do the same when the look away on what is happened in their Utopia Theocracies like the Soviet Union, Red China and Nazi Germany.

    We live in an age where truth has little value.

  • kafirman

    The significance of Soliman's Islamic historical revisionism is the implication that Islamic brutalities and offensive conquests are, for those Muslims who are not fully unskinned by Islam, hard to accept. To the "moderate Muslim," they are morally painful.

    A real political leader would use Islamic history, and especially Mohammad's offensive genocidal campaigns, to morally defeat Islam.

  • JosephWiess

    If that's the truth, then why are the copts being killed and their monasteries being burned to the ground.
    It's because Muslims are overgrown children with behavior control and self control problems.

    • jonmc

      Don't be naive!
      The only Copts left are the recidivists who didn't immediately transfer their allegiance from "Prophet Jesus" to "prophet Mohammed" when the "light of Islam" reached Egypt. Therefore, they weren't "proto-Muslims" anyway and so deserve everything they get – the polytheistic, idolaterous pig-dogs of Kuffar of (spit) Christians that they are.
      (And in case any Muslims are reading this: it is sarcasm and irony.)

  • sara

    The Democrat Party at its finest….at the Gulen Rumi Forum no less!
    http://wwwtwosetsofbooks.blogspot.com/2011/04/exc

  • Wesley69

    This is a rewriting of history.

    The problems in the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) prior to the Muslim invasion set the stage for the Islamic conquests of Syria, Egypt and North Africa and Spain.

    First, this region was invaded by the Persians, until after a bloody struggle, it was reconquered by the Byzantine Empire Heraclius.

    Both empires were severely exhausted by their long conflict when the Muslims came onto the scene.

    The Battle of Yarmuk was the game changer. Had the Muslims been defeated, Islam would have suffered a serious setback & may have been restricted to Arabia.

    The Coptics were persecuted by the Emperors in Constantinople as heretics and when the Muslims arrived, they were greeted as liberators. The ERE or Byzantine Empire was torn from 330 up until its fall in 1453 with religious strife.

  • sss

    That makes Atheists Islamic too, because they don't believe Jesus is God.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/lion_of_kabul Andre

    It is amazing what islam is getting away with. Our governments and the MSM are in collusion. Not to report these findings to our uneducated masses is criminal. If and when the clash begins, I am personnaly going to go after the enablers once the mess is cleaned up.

  • ziontruth

    Conversely, the Koranic narrative posits the Jews (at least those of Arabia in Mo's time) to be some kind of Christians. "The Jews say Ezra [the Scribe] is the son of God," says the Koran, thus accusing the Jews of ascribing partners to God. In reality, Judaism is as strictly unitarian in its theology as is Islam. The Koranic quote is a blatant lie.

    Once a lie like this is in the Koran, what is there to talk about? When Maimonides made the ruling that Jews are permitted to discuss the Torah with Christians but prohibited from doing the same with Muslims, he gave the rationale that the Christians accept the words of the Torah as-is, differing with the Jews only in their interpretation, while the Muslims don't accept the Torah to be of divine authority, therefore there is nothing to discuss. The Jewish-Muslim dialog has always been limited to theology.

  • Wesley69

    The Coptics had a running battle with Byantium over Christian doctrine and you are right, some Byzantine Emperors were Monophysites. In fact, Emperor Heraclius did try to arrange a compromise between the Chalcedonian Christians and the Monophysites. When the Muslims arrived in Egypt, they had already driven the Byzantines from Syria. They were in the process of destroying Sassanid rule in Persia. By the 8th Century, they had conquered Spain.

    The Byzantine Empire resisted the advances of the Islamic States until the Battle of Battle of Manzikert in 1071. The Byzantine Empire really never recovered from the loss of the Anatolian Heartland to the Seljuk Turks. In 1095, the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I calls on the West for help against the Muslims. The age of the Crusades begin. The Fourth Crusade, you refer to, lead to the sacking of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire.

    You are correct in that from this, the Byzantines never recovered, though they restored the Empire in 1261. By 1453, the Ottoman Turks put an end to the Byzantine State and the Ottoman Empire established its capital at Constantinople renamed Istanbul.

    • PAthena

      Constantinople was the name of what is now only called Istanbul until the 1930s. Istanbul was a popular name for it long before the Turkish conquest; it is Greek, meaning "to the city," "eis tan polis," like Manhattan called "the City" or the City of London called "the City."

      • Wesley69

        The history of the Byzantine Empire is fascinating. That is survived as a successor state of the old Roman Empire ranks it up there with the Imperial dynasties of China. Once Constantinople was conquered, the Ottoman Turks, expanding on the territory of the original Eastern Roman Empire, invaded the Balkans, but were stopped at Vienna. Its history is also fascinating. Only after WWI does it disappear, but the problems it leaves behind, in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Palestinine (Israel-Jordan) still plague us today.

        • Philip_Daniel

          "but were stopped at Vienna"

          Actually, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth became an Ottoman vassal with the signing of the Treaty of Buchach by King Michael Korybut Wisniowiecki (which also ceded Podolia in the southwest Ukraine to direct Ottoman rule). Of course, the Sejm (parliament of nobles) refused to recognize Ottoman suzerainty and pay the tribute, so they were thenceforth seen as rebellious subjects by the Ottomans, until the vassal status was repudiated with the Treaty of Zurawno in 1676 and the Commonwealth regained its independence. Ottoman claims of suzerainty over the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, though never really implemented, represent the greatest extent of Ottoman territorial claims in Europe.

          • Wesley69

            The dates are important and are latter than what you have presented.

            The siege of Vienna began on 14 July 1683, by the Ottoman Empire. The decisive battle took place on 11 and 12 of September, with the Ottomans retreating from that city.

            This marked the beginning of the end of Ottoman expansion into Eastern Europe. Austria signed a peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire in 1699. So I stand by my statement.

          • Philip_Daniel

            The Treaty of Buchach was signed in 1672 between King Michael Korybut Wisniowiecki and Sultan Mehmed IV. I will admit that Ottoman suzerainty was never actually enforced over the Commonwealth, but it was on the books, so to speak, and collective Polish-Lithuanian refusal under Wisniowiecki and his successor Jan Sobieski continued the war between the powers in the Ukraine, then in Hungary and Austria. You are correct that the westernmost expansion of the Ottomans was to the gates of Vienna in 1529 and then again in 1683; afterwards, the Hapsburgs liberated Hungary.

          • Wesley69

            Interesting facts. But like all empires, they begin a slow decline. Some are fortunate like Byzantium was. Enjoyed this romp through history with you. So many people do not know how events happened in the past that have a huge bearing on the future, such as the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, after WWI, and the emergence of modern day Turkey. Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, TransJordan (future Israel, unrealized Arab state, Jordan) were the imperialist prizes of WWI for Britain & France. The creation of Israel dates back to the time during WWI, with the issuing of the Balfour Declaration.

  • Conservative Canadian

    Do Muslims actually believe in these nutty revisionist histories? That is, is their thinking totally irrational? Or, do they understand that these pronouncements are a false but effective tactic to humiliate and wear down the non-Muslim listeners?

    • Lena

      Every child rasied in the middle east is taught edited history.By adulthood the lies are so ingrained the insanity makes sense.PA cartoon/comics Al-Fateh are a good example.
      They believe if they repeat their bastardized history enough it will become fact.They destroy all records/relics that don’t fall into their fallacies .
      By Muhammad’s own claims he was born a Jew.Allah was the name of a Semitic god.The goal of elliminating Jewish history and claiming it as their own began long ago.Look at the Holy of Holies.
      The vast majority of their conquests were won by kidnapped,enslaved,mercenary and victimization claim assistants.
      Persians,Malmuks,Assyrians,Jannissaries,Zoastrians the list goes on for 1400 yrs and every continent.There are societies that completely disapeared from muslim slaughter and muslims absorbed their art,history,sciences,writing,discoveries and inventions as their own.They have outlawd religions and strictly enforced it until the religions no longer exist and are forgotten.

  • Jaladhi

    Islam is anything but truth, honesty, morality, religion, kindness, conscience, …!

    Islam is deceit, lies, violence, supremacist, misogyny, evil, pedophile, cult, revisionist, savagery, barbaric, …

    That about sums it up – there are no if and buts!!

  • Jedishaferyn1

    Islam is just like any other totalitarian system of government (and in fact provided inspiration to many of the notorious dictators of the 20th century) in that it requires the manipulation of history. The Nazis claimed that they were descendants of Aryan "super-dooper supermen" and the Communists established a fictional narrative about the worker's struggle that completely ignores history (just look at all the touchy-feely Che movies). But Islam has been at this for well over a millenium and has conditioned its followers to be able to hold two contrary pieces of information together to form a mythic "history" of the world.

  • Lena

    My questions are:where are the cult experts,psychologist and psychiatrist ?
    Where are the opinions and investigations from the ppl who studied Patty Hearst,Charles Manson,Moonies,David Koresh,Ted Bundy and the thousands of historians in the world? Do we expect the few ppl making a stand publicly to win this battle for our culture,society,freedom and ideals against 1.2 billion fanatics?
    Why is our media mute on this subject? Why are our politicians virtually spitting on the graves of our men who died for freedom?
    A “few” radicals,fundamentalist or extremists is a blatant lie when you have 3 generations educated ,in 90% of the middle east ,to believe every one who does not accept their beliefs,laws,religion and superiority should submit,convert,pay or die to them .

  • tanstaafl

    I don't know……………….Christianity (as it stands today) has very little in common with Islam.