If Islam conquered the Aztecs
Seth J. Frantzman
December 30th, 2006
Mel Gibson’s new film Apocalypto opens with the quote “great civilizations are never conquered from the outside until they have destroyed themselves from within.” This is an interesting beginning for a film depicting the destruction of a tribe, the selling its members into slavery, a heartless empire, human sacrifice, retained honor, family and in its closing scene the arrival in Mexico of Spanish Conquistadors.
The story is loosely based on the Aztec empire, whose massive capital city Tenochtitlan rivaled Madrid in size in the 16th century, and its relations with its neighbors. The 16th century apparently saw the height of this empire which was only destroyed by the arrival of the Spanish. However the film shows that cracks are forming in its facade, rampant deforestation and degradation of common workers into nothing more than slaves and the peoples endless thirst for slaves and sacrifice and blood have led to a corrupt bourgeoisie society of bloodthirsty superstitious people. The only remotely honorable members of its society are those warriors who go out into the ‘forest’ to find new slaves. For the tribes living near the empire, depicted in this film as truly half naked aboriginals although in truth they were only slightly less civilized and advanced in their building expertise and size of their metropolises than the Aztecs, the Aztec war machine is devastating. None are left alive. Increasingly a mysterious illness(perhaps smallpox imported by the conquistadors who have arrived on outlying islands decades prior) is causing death in the areas outside the Aztec capital.
Hernando Cortes, like Hernando De Soto, Cabeza De Vaca, Vasco De Gama, Christopher Columbus, Francisco Pizarro and his other near contemporaries was a man of low birth and reasonable humble beginnings in the middling classes of Europe, which as has been pointed out by many had a civilization only slightly more advanced than the Aztecs themselves. The first Europeans had set foot in today’s Mexico in 1518 and in 1519, with 600 men and 20 horses, Cortes was sent to conquer the new lands. Like the tale of so many of the nations of North America and elsewhere(say Australia and Africa and the Americas) in their relations with Europeans(as we say in parlance ‘indigenous’ or ‘native’ or ‘aboriginal’ peoples and the colonailistic-imperialists) the tragedy of the Aztecs bares a common thread. The Aztec king welcomed Cortes, soon a large number of Aztec notables were killed by the Spaniards, the Aztecs rebelled, the Spanish destroyed the Aztec capital city and killed many of its people, those not dead soon died of plague and only a remnant remained. The Spanish colonial system should hardly be called one for it consisted mostly of Spanish men producing large numbers of mestizo or ‘mixed’ children with indigenous women and of cutting off the hands of recalcitrant Indians and searching for gold. Before the haranguing of Bartolomé de las Casas, that the natives should be converted rather than crushed, enslaved and killed, there was very little ‘state building’ of a ‘colony’ in Mexico, but truly the building of an imperial province of New Spain.
Slavery was not new in the world and it was not apparently brought to the Americas by the Spanish, since the Aztecs and other Indian tribes also enslaved one another. However the imposition of Christianity was certainly one major aspect of Spanish role. Cortes was said to regard “the Church as the main instrument for the education of the Indian.” In addition, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia “the condition of the Indians, especially those of the Greater Antilles, was not a satisfactory one. The earliest Spanish colonists in America were not the choicest examples of their race, neither were they numerous enough to improve the country and its resources as fast as they wished. Hence it was that the Indians were pressed into service; but those of the Antilles were not fitted for labour. The Indians had endured such tragedies since the arrival of Columbus in 1492 and in Mexico since 1520. However they early on had the advocacy of Bartolomé de las Casas, a Dominican priest, who had arrived as a young man in Hispañola in 1502. “Everywhere he found abuses, and everywhere painted them in the blackest colours, making no allowances for local conditions or for the dark side of the Indian character. That the natives, owing to centuries of isolation, were unable to understand European civilization did not enter his mind. He saw in them only victims of unjustifiable aggression.” He had been one of the drivers behind the "New Laws", “with their amendments of 1543 and 1544, were a surprise and a source of much concern, especially in America. They did not abolish serfdom, but they limited it in such a manner that the original settlers (Conquistadores) saw before them utter ruin by the eventual loss of their fiefs.”(http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03397a.htm)
It is interesting here to wonder about slavery. According to historical sources “Slavery had repeatedly been abolished, except in the case of prisoners of war and as a punishment for rebellion.” This is an interesting problem considering that Black slaves would be imported to the New World up into the 1860s, and would not fully be abolished until 2 million Americans had laid down their lives to end it and until the Anti-Slavery Society in London encouraged the British government to bombard the slave ports in west Africa and at Zanzibar in East Africa. However the Catholic Encyclopedia explains, in elliptical language that must be quoted here in full,
“The charge often made against Las Casas, that he introduced negro slavery into the New World, is unjust. As early as 1505 negroes were sent to the Antilles to work in mines. After that they were repeatedly imported, but without his co-operation. Besides, slavery was at that time sanctioned by Spanish custom and law. But the fact that he tolerated slavery in the case of negroes, while condemning Indian servitude, appears to us a logical inconsistency. It did not occur to him that the personal liberty of negroes and Indians alike was sacred, and that in point of civilization there was little difference between the two races. At a later period he recognized his error, but the cause of the Indians had so completely absorbed his sympathies that he did nothing for the black race.”
This is what happened in the Americas in the 16th century and after. Mel Gibson’s film seems to ask at least one question, among its many, namely whether the arrival of the conquistadors saved the Indians from themselves. Without giving away the final scene this film shows an ‘indigenous’ empire engaged in mass pollution and rape, slavery, and the thirst for blood, a literal empire of murder and terror. Perhaps in a strange way the arrival of the conquistadors and their ‘colonialism’ and ‘imperialism’ did indeed save at least a few Indians from the fate of those shown in the film. On the other hand the smallpox epidemic the Europeans brought with them accomplished in the end to a great extent what no Las Casas could ever prevent, the natural death of a vast majority of the native peoples of the Americas, at an alarming rate many times exceeding 90% of the peoples.
But what we can learn from this overall story is at least two things: Not all ‘indigenous natives’ were pure and ‘noble’ and not all Europeans were bloodthirsty colonialists. In some ways the case of the Aztecs is especially nuanced for it was an expanding empire that only stopped its destruction because a much larger empire defeated it. This is realism, not colonialism. The winners happened to be white, but for their skin color, there was nothing ‘racist’ implicitly about this relationship(the concept of Race had not been invented anyway by that period and wouldn’t be until the 1870s), they simply triumphed. Had things been differently, as many would hope today, the Aztecs would have discovered Madrid and enslaved its people(This is the question to eloquently asked in Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel, which itself is terribly flawed in its thesis that all human achievement is due solely to evolution and resources and has nothing to do with individual people or culture).
Modern Post-humanism post-modernist Liberal moral relativism has turned most of this story on its head. The Whites are implicitly racist and greedy and their race says it all, they are white and therefore bad. They destroyed a wonderful, exotic and beautiful and apparently ‘tolerant’ diverse, multi-cultural civilization that had no ideas of racism, called the Aztecs. Later the cynical Las Casas exploited the Indians in some roundabout way in order to apparently profit off of book sales in which he pretended to sympathize with them, and by freeing the natives he ushered in the importation of African slaves. He must have had one bad bone in his body, for instance perhaps he sanctioned some sort of idea that natives were different than Europeans, or perhaps he was over-sympathetic and therefore ‘racist’ because he thought the natives not able to make up their own minds, or he was ‘racist’ because of his skin color.
Later efforts to abolish slavery by the ‘bad’ anti-slavery society surely are seen today as mere cynical manipulation of the all-notorious media in order to cast a bad light on ‘peaceful’ Islam and those anti-slavery advocated like Henry Morton Stanley and David Livingston only pretended to free slaves while secretly amassing great fortunes at the expense of the ‘poor’ Arab slave traders operating in the interior of Africa in the 19th century. Thus all British anti-slavery was itself racist for it dared to challenge the right of Arabs to enslave Blacks and since Arab culture was deeply entwined with slavery and since slavery is not ‘racist’ when Islam is involved in the slave trade because Islam is never ‘racist’ therefore it was ‘racist’ for colonialistic white Europeans to end slavery.
In the end even anti-slavery efforts in the Americas are chalked up to greed and evil because Abraham Lincoln is said to be a ‘racist’ and because the Civil War was not about slavery, despite the fact that it was the cause, but really about states rights and perhaps the greed of the northern factory owners who opposed the southern agrarians. Moral Relativism further tells us that we must never judge slavery in ‘other’ societies because that is part of culture, as is human sacrifice and gang rape or other such things, nevertheless even though slavery was apparently intertwined with Southern Culture in antebellum America, this is said to obviously be a great blight on the history of western civilization, which is inherently racist anyhow.
But if we step back from these two views of history, and after all there is not truth in history since all history is ‘interpretation’ we must than ask a more interesting question. What if Islam had conquered the Aztecs? After 9/11 in most American Universities and even high schools and in American intellectual culture Islam became a ‘religion of peace’ and a ‘tolerant’ religion that was ‘perverted by a few people who don’t represent Islam, anymore than Timothy McVeigh represents Christianity’. In addition Islam needed to be understood so that Americans would not once again walk down their oft-too-traveled road of racism(which is inherent and natural to them apparently) and a new term was coined, ‘Islamophobia’. This term was coined so that Islam could be the new victim, the new gays, who had been victimized by the much maligned ‘Homophobia’, and the new blacks, Islam and Muslims and especially Arabs were seen as the most discriminated against members of American society, and perhaps European society as well. The news-media never again showed the reels of Arab Palestinians dancing in the streets of Gaza, that had been aired on 9/11 and the footage taken that day(despite conspiracy theories to the contrary) and the media began phasing out the word ‘terrorists’ and ‘war on terror’ because of the idea that ‘terrorist’ might be taken to mean ‘Muslim’ or ‘Arab’. Then the word ‘Islam’ and ‘Muslim’ was banned from use when describing the war in the Sudan, Nigeria, Thailand or Russia or other places where Muslim movements were involved in terrorism or insurgency against countries. The religion of peace had certainly won the linguistic war. Most students at University were encouraged to take classes on Islam, Korans and the understanding of them were distributed at one college campus and a few high schools began having ‘Muslim week’ where students were encouraged to go on a ‘Jihad’(which as we are reminded everyday has a ‘lesser’ and ‘greater’ side to it, the ‘greater’ being the ‘inner Jihad’ against ones own sins), dress like Muslims and go on the Hajj. Islam had indeed won.
Part of the new chalice of Islam that everyone had to drink from after 9/11 was the persistent theory that Islam was neither racist, sexist, colonialistic or intolerant. The great departments of Middle Eastern Studies, mostly funded by the same Saudi Arabians who funded the 9/11 hijackers and fund most mosques and proselytizing in the west, were quick to remind everyone of these five pillars of Islam that differentiated itself from the West.
But what if Islam conquered the Aztecs? We have a number of scenarios that might have played out because we know of other places Islam conquered. If these campaigns are recalled correctly they are: North Africa, Persia, Anatolia and the Middle East in the 7th, Spain in the 8th century, Africa in the 10th, India in the 11th, Eastern Europe in the 15th and lesser campaigns which secured East Asia and Indonesia in the 18th and Central Asia and the Caucuses and Ukraine in the 16th and 18th respectively.
If we collate these comparisons we can come to some conclusions about how things might have worked out in Aztecia(the authors own word for the Aztec empire and neighboring areas). As in North Africa and Spain, where an indigenous population of Berbers and others thrived, the native people would have been enslaved when they resisted in battle. As at the siege of Famagusta, Constantinople or Thessalonica(Salonika) some of the inhabitants of great cities would have been sold into slavery almost in total. As in East Asia major cities like Samarkand were reduced to nothingness as a ‘slave levy’ was forced upon them following capitulation, the ‘levy’ included all men between the ages of 14-40 and all women from 13-35, thus meaning there would be few people left to procreate a new civilization. It is not known if Islam would have brought with it viruses such as small pox, however either way the city of Tenochtitlan would have been laid waste to some extent and new governors, Arabs presumably, sent to govern it. For a while, perhaps a few centuries as in North Africa and elsewhere, large numbers of non-Muslims would dwell in the countryside. In times of great spirituality roving bands of Sufis and dervishes might have gone down to the native villages and encouraged converts. Needless to say natives, viewed as ‘pagans’ and thus un-believers under Islam would have been treated harshly and their holy buildings destroyed and looted as was the case in India during the raids of Mohammed of Ghazni in 11th and 12th centuries. If a particular virulent, extreme or intolerant ruler came to govern the province he might launch a Jihad or ‘crusading holy war’ to whipe out heresy among the natives. Those natives who converted would rarely rise to high positions because there would be great suspicion that they were not ‘real Muslims’ who are usually regarded as those Arabs who might have been companions of Mohammed. However large numbers of native women who had been enslaved would be sold to local Arab landlords who would then give birth to mixed children and those children, free under Islamic law, would sometimes have the chance to rise high. Native men who converted to Islam and were pressed into slavery, many times captured at a young age by a slave raid out from the Aztec capital, now named Islamistanbul, might rise to high rank in the army. The Army itself would, after a few centuries probably be composed, as it was in Iraq and in Eastern Europe after a few hundred years of Muslim rule, would be composed mostly of native stock, most probably Mayans who had not been decimated in the original conquest of the Aztecia. The universe of new Arabia, as the America would have been called, would have been quite diverse, blacks would have arrived from Zanzibar, Arabs, Turks, and even Indian Muslims and some European traders, granted rights to trade out of the benevolence of Islam as they were in the Ottoman empire, would have filled the cities. In the countryside, ever readying for a time when Islam might seem weak, a larger mass of native stock, some converted to Islam and some still professing the native religion and some in between, would be hoping for salvation. Perhaps, as happened among Christians in Spain in the 10th century and in Eastern Europe in the 15th, some of their religious leaders might openly criticize Islam and invite execution for heresy. One leader might dare to spit on a mosque or call Mohammed the ‘son of Satan’ and thus be skinned alive at the Great Mosque in Islamistanbul, and he might note in his last seconds of life that the mosque was built atop the ruins where once stood the great temple of the sun, where virgins had been sacrificed to the gods. Virgins, captured as slaves would still be paraded down the streets, now for sale at the local slave market. The top Muslim clergy, made up of purer stock Arabs imported from abroad would preach form the madrasa attached to the great mosque about the savageries of the natives and how Islam had brought civilization and enlightenment from their jahaliyah or ignorance, just as Islam had done in Arabia. Needless to say there would be no Muslim lay preacher speaking out against slavery and servitude and the beatings of slaves or claiming that all the practices of the conquering Muslims had been wantonly cruel, Islam had never produced such a person that we know of anywhere in all its history.
This would have been the world of Mexico had it been conquered by Islam. Later books would be written in the west describing how the ‘servitude system of Islamic Mexico’ was freer and more tolerant and egalitarian than the similar system practiced in North America. In addition it would be pointed out that the system of Islamic slavery was not ‘racist’ because it did not discriminate by skin color. Writings would later show that in fact the early history if Islamic Mexico had been more tolerant than some thought, that slave raids were in fact a product of capital and commerce, not Islamic in nature and writing would mostly accept the Islamic interpretation that the pre-Muslim peoples of Mexico were savage, brutal and evil. When a few natives achieved independence from Mexico and went on to butcher the Muslim colonizers, as happened in India and Serbia, the literature would show that they were the truly intolerant ones. Later Orientalism would claim that no non-Muslim Mexican history of Mexico was acceptable because an outsider cannot understand the ‘other’ and thus only the majority Muslim Mexican can understand his or her own society. Thus upper-class Muslims in Mexico, mostly of Arab ancestry, would write the history of Mexico and chronicle the glorious exploits of its conqueror, Abdul Kadim, and how its people were saved from themselves by the arrival of benevolent, not racist, tolerant Islam. Eventually all history of the pre-Muslim Aztecs and Mayas would be pushed aside so that only their few surviving Temples, that had not been turned into mosques or razed to the ground as ‘divil worshipping sites(as was the case in India was many Hindu Temples), would be left as relics and one day a fanatical movement rebelling against the ‘secular’ Islamic government in Mexico would dynamite most of the last remaining temples or at least try to(as was done in Afghanistan with the Bamiyan Buddhas and attempted in Egypt). When a few natives requested the right to pray at the ruins of their temple, now the ‘great Mosque’ in the capital city and also the forth most holy site in Islam where bones belonging to one of the companions of ‘the prophet’ had recently been miraculously unearthed(as was done at Nazareth in 1998 and in Istanbul/Constantinople and Ayodha in India, and of course in Jerusalem), an international court of inquiry would be established to decide how much of the ruins, how many stones to be exact, the native people could actually claim as their own. Later rioting Muslims, who had been told in the press that the natives represented a ‘crusader infiltration’ and wanted to destroy the great mosque, would attack the natives who wanted worshipping rights and the natives would be arrested for ‘provocation’(as has happened in Jerusalem to Jews, in Nazareth to Christians, in Ayodha to Hindus and Constantinople to Christians). Of course Islamic law would apply to Mexico so that men might marry four women and divorce them at will while they would relatively no rights to divorce and so that Muslim men might marry non-Muslim women but it would be forbidden for a native men to marry a Muslim woman without converting(as is the law in all Muslim countries including ones with minorities such as Malaysia and the Palestinian authority). Later a Mexican Muslim terrorist would be implicated as the 12th hijacker on 9/11, arrested in August of that year by mistake, he would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. He would claim that ‘allah the merciful had guided my hand to fight the un-believers’ and be sentenced to life in prison, while news-media and Noam Chomsky would caution viewed to not confuse his statements with ‘genuine Islam’.
If Islam had conquered Mexico its first years would not have been any different than the arrival of the Spanish. Eventually there would have been noticeable differences particularly in the use of slaves. Depending on how things worked out it might have ended up that in particularly dense jungle areas of Oaxaca large Indian populations practicing their native religions might have held out, however in most Muslim history whereas Christian and Jewish populations have held out and dwindled over hundreds of years, only in South and East Asia have non-Muslim populations survived Muslim conquest. Slavery would have remained legal up into the late 19th century and would only have been abolished at the behest of the west. Never would any Muslim have come along to champion rights of ‘native peoples’ for that never happened in Muslim history. Conversion to Islam probably would have taken longer for Islam usually acted as a conquering religion without straying outside cities, hence the large numbers of minorities in Muslim India and Eastern Serbia, and even in Turkey up to the close present. However the end result would have been the same, any place that remained Muslim for more than 400 years eventually became almost 100% Muslim. In terms of the supposed upward mobility of the slaves there might have been some differences but not substantial. Ironically the Spaniards mirrored Muslims in their treatment of natives women, by bedding so many they produced many offspring. There would have been one real difference. For the most part the army of new Spain did not employ native auxiliaries and never had the idea, as the Ottomans did, to kidnap natives and train them as elite fighters. Thus they relied on imported Spanish blood or Mestizos to fight for them. Only in Brazil is there a parallel where the Paraguayan war of 1860-63 was fought by Brazil mostly with blacks, who proved to be better and hardier fighters than Indians. Thus large numbers of blacks, perhaps originally slaves and then former slaves were pressed into the army. This was also true in Belize where blacks formed much of the armed forces and in places such as Trinidad and Tobago blacks formed much of the armed forces rather than the Indian(from India in this case) population. But this was an aberration. In terms of overall ‘diversity’ there is no evidence that Muslim places really were more ‘diverse’ for the European and colonial capitals of old were places for many people to come together. Mexico and other South American states have a long history of diverse immigrant populations such as Italians, Turks, Arabs and Germans.
The irony is that only the historiography would differentiate between Spanish Mexico and Islamic Mexico in terms of what ‘really’ happened. Spanish Mexico is judged as negative because it is associated with the west and colonialism and racism and the destruction of native peoples. Islamic Mexico, had it existed, would surely have ended up as Islamic Turkey, or Islamic India or Malaysia, or Zanzibar or Muslim Spain or Ottoman Eastern Europe or Muslim Indonesia, it would have been viewed as a positive history of ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ and it would mostly be seen as a natural development of a native people rather than colonialism. This is why books about the Crusades see them as ‘European colonialism in the Middle Ages’(as is chronicled in the book by Joshua Prawer, ‘The Crusader's Kingdom: European Colonialism in the Middle Ages’ which argues that “Interposed between the fall of the Roman Empire and the great Age of Discovery, the Crusades represented the opening chapter of European expansionism and were forerunners to the colonial movement that changed the course of world history..throws new light on the origins of colonialism and the nature of a colonial empire.”). Islam is not seen as ‘colonialistic’ or ‘racist’ or ‘imperialistic’ for the sheer Post-Humanist reason that it is the ‘other’ and the other can never rival the inherently flawed west in its crimes. Thus any imposition that perhaps there was no ‘golden age of Muslim Spain’ where Christians and Jews, despite there dhimmi status, supposedly were living in a perfect utopia. Perhaps there was no exotic glory to Constantinople or Salonika, as recently chronicled by two books, Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430-1950 by Mark Mazower and Constantinople: City of the World's Desire, 1453-1924 by Phillip Mansel. In addition other books paint glowing pictures of Islam as it ruled over other cities and their minorities such as When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World: The Rise And Fall of Islam's Greatest Dynasty by Hugh Kennedy. Muslim Spain is glorified in The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain by Maria Rosa Menocal.
What we are talking about here is two things. On the one hand we have the cynicisizing of all things western, every aspect of western history, ancient forays by westerners into Africa are seen as ‘racist’ despite the fact that the very word ‘race’ denoted something akin to ‘nation’ today without the ethnic stereotypes it has today. In addition ancient holy wars of the west, such as the crusades are seen as ‘precursors to colonialism’. By this logic the Athenian expedition to Syracuse in the 5th century B.C is surely also part of the colonialistic nature of the west. So the west’s history is critiqued to death, denigrated and every action seen as inherently manipulative, conspiratorial and ill-meaning. Even those in western history who seemingly live beyond their times and have great prescience such as the ‘freedom of man’ of Jefferson and Lincoln, or freeing of slaves and recognition of natives as ‘human’ such as Las Casas are castigated as nothing more than enlightened bigots.
At the same time that every scene in western history is seen in a shade of black, every scene in the history of Islam is scene in beauty and exoticism. A slave market in Richmond Virginia has the stench of evil and vile whereas the slave market in Baghdad is full of flavor, with scents and scenes of majesty, beautiful flowing robes and a great magnitude of people from all the world. All imbedded inside a romantic bizarre. In short, western writing on Islam has not progressed since Lawrence of Arabia, in fact it has gotten worse so that it is mere caricature. In addition new theories such as moral-relativism and Orientalism tell westerners it is not even proper to write about other cultures. This is part of one of the great charades and lies of the present period.
It does a disservice not only to the west but also to others. It tells Islam: “you are too emotional to confront your own history so you shouldn’t be held to our standards and in fact you are the most romantic wonderful thing, the true ‘other’ of our imagination.” It tells the west that “there is not truth in history, all things are cultural and you westerners have been responsible for much of the evil that has taken place and much of the evil that exists today such as terror is your fault.” It tells the non-western and non-Muslim, such as the Hindu that “your history does not matter however if you hate Muslims then you are just like the former racist westerner and your society should be tolerant.” Thus history is completely obscured. There is no history. India is a perfect example of this. At Ayodha an ancient Hindu temple was paved over by a mosque. The modern Hindu party, BJP, wants the site back. The secular state said no so the mob tore it down. This mob was condemned across the world as ‘intolerant, a terrible racist underbelly of Indian society, a disgusting cynical group of people manipulating Hinduism, which previously was so tolerant.’ Ironically in Jerusalem in 1929 when a similar rumor spread among the Muslims that the Jews were going to destroy the Mosque at the Temple mount the Muslims killed hundreds of Jews in the city of Hebron. Magically the Jews were condemned for ‘instigating and provoking the Muslims” just as the Pope was condemned in the summer of 2006 for causing Muslim violence by ‘offending Muslims when he called them violent.’ Serbian nationalism, which had it been Islamic would be called ‘anti-colonialist’ was widely condemned in the west as the ‘new Nazism’ and the west went to the Muslim’s aid in Bosnia and Albania. The irony here is that the Serbs were condemned for being the ‘perennial victim cynically manipulating history so that the power elite such as Milosevic could wage ethnic cleansing upon innocent Muslims.’ It was odd that here in this instance the people who had been colonized by the Ottomans, the Serbs, since the 16th century were now condemned for being ‘victims’ and ‘whining’. They were said to be ‘expert victims’ always manipulating their history, the battle of Kosovo Polje, for negative purposes. Strangely when Muslims rioted in Jerusalem against the ‘Zionists and the Crusaders’ they were not seen as ‘manipulating history’, and when they spoke of the colonialism they had suffered at the hands of the crusaders no one castigated them for complaining and having a long history. The fact the Bin Laden whined about Muslim Spain being retaken by the aptly named reconquista was not said to be a ‘cynical manipulation’. Instead the response among western intellectuals was to claim he had ‘very real grievances’.
Somehow though non-Muslims in Muslim countries, non-Muslims who have formerly been colonized by Muslims or Muslims of other ethnicities in Muslim countries are not said to have any decent grievances and Islam is never interpreted as being colonialistic(only in a recent book by Efraim Karsh entitled Islamic Imperialism which doesn’t include half the subjected discussed here).
Let us try and add up all the places currently not covered by modern academics: All of Eastern Europe including the Greeks, Bulgars, Rumanians and Serbs, as well as the Albanians who were not all converted to Islam. Southern Russia including the Tartars, Chechens(before they converted), the Armenians, Ukrainians and Georgians, Modern Turkey, including the people who no longer exist: the Pontic Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks, the former people of Iraq, the Assyrians and Chaldeans who are Christian, the Kurds, the Maronites, the Alewites, the Christian Arabs of Palestine, the Copts, the Berbers, the former Christians who were all disappeared in North Africa in the 12th century, the African blacks of Sudan, the Ethiopians, the Blacks of east Africa, the Nubians of Egypt, the Zaroastrians of Persia/Iran, the Bahais and the Jews of Iran, the Sikhs and Hindus of India and Pakistan, who now no longer exist in Pakistan, the numerous native peoples of the Caucuses and Central Asia and Siberia, the numerous peoples of Southeast Asia, the Chinese of Indonesia, the Buddhists of Malaysia and the Chinese of Malaysia, the Africans and non-Muslims of sub-saharan west Africa and numerous other people who simply do not exist anymore because of Islam. Far be it from us to remember that the reason there are Bamiyan Buddhas, or were until the Taliban destroyed them, in Afghanistan is because before Islam Buddhism was the religion of the Afghans and the hill tribes of Pakistan such as the Waziris, Baluchis and Pathans had their own religions.
However history has conspired to deprive us of these stories. Histories of Central Asia for some reason begin in the 8th century with the arrival of Islam such as the one by Svat Soucek, histories of the ‘Arab Peoples’ begin with the 7th century and Islam, such as the one by Albert Hourani. Histories of north Africa invariably also begin with the Muslim Spain, as do histories of Turkey and Spain and the rest of the Middle East. Indian histories very quickly fast forward to the arrival of Islam or the first incursions of it in the 11th and 12th centuries. In addition histories of cities like Constantinople, Smyrna and Salonika invariably begin with, inexplicably due to their long history, with the Ottoman conquest. All other history of these regions, such as Egyptian, Persian, Mesopotamian, Spanish, Anatolia(Turkey) and elsewhere are usually referred to as ‘Classical’ or ‘Biblical’ or ‘antiquities’. How it is that everything before Islam, even in the west, has taken on the title as ‘before’ as it is called in Islam Jahaliyeh or ‘the time of ignorance’ is strange. New histories of South Africa invariably date ‘independence’ from 1994, as histories of Zimbabwe date it from 1980, and it is in this style of dating, the inevitable granting of the benefit of the doubt to a certain peoples interpretation of history that is a crime.
Moral Relativism would have us believe all interpretations are equal. If this were true than the Coptic interpretation or the Assyrian or the Armenian or the Jewish would not be shunted aside in favor of the Islamic view of history. In addition neither would the Hindu or the Serbian. However something strange happened along the way and it was this juncture that turned moral-relativism into Post-Humanism. The difference is that the latter believes not only that all interpretations and cultures are equal but that the ‘other’ is in fact better and more pure and that in the chance that the west is confronting a given civilization, such as Islam, then that interpretation is above the west’s and above all others. How else to explain that the west has allied its interpretation of Hindu India to the Muslim view, rather than the Hindu one? The Post-Humanist has a mantra and it is not just that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’ and ‘tolerant’ and ‘not racist’ but also that there is no ‘clash of civilizations(the famous Huntington thesis)’ but an alliance of civilizations. Nonetheless it invariably accepts one civilizations view of the world. Therefore it has plenty of sympathy for Islamists, wherever they should appear, whether it is Indonesia, Africa, the Middle East or Europe but very little sympathy for native cultures such as African Blacks, Assyrians, Copts, Serbs or Hindus. This is a strange situation where the vast majority of the intellect of the west is involved in supporting religious fanaticism and colonialistic doctrines but it may be no surprise.
Despite the claim that the west and the leftist supports ‘diversity’ this is mostly a lie for the true Post-Humanist supports Islam and Islam is the opposite of diversity but rather it is homogeneity. One must only look at the laws of Muslim countries or Saudi Arabia to see the end result of Islam, which is no diversity whatsoever. In addition the Post-Humanist also argues that the most diverse countries need to be ‘more tolerant’ hence the reason Russia, the United States, India, Israel and the U.K are cited as ‘racist’ countries that need more work on their ‘diversity’ and ‘acceptance’. Countries that are almost 100% homogenous, such as Japan, Saudi Arabia and Finland, are seen as invariably not-racist, despite the obvious opposite conclusion of logic. Hence pre-war Poland, which had many Jews and Germans, was described as ‘racist’ whereas post-war Poland, which had no Germans and a handful of Jews, was called ‘tolerant’. How it is that a country whose people had blood on their hands from the Holocaust and many of whome participated in post-war pogroms, such as at Jielce, were not called ‘racists’ is beyond description. The same can be observed in Serbia and India and Israel. In each case these countries had large minorities whereas their neighbors did not, Pakistan forced all the Sikhs and Hindus out, Croatia killed all the Serbs and Jordan had no non-Muslims, however it was Israel, India and Serbia that were and are described as ‘racist’.
Thus the post-humanist collaborates with the Islamist in order to destroy diversity and re-write history. It is a strange collaboration, on the one hand rabidly pro-homosexual marriage, irreligious, against abortion and the death penalty and on the other semi-fascist, extremely religious and all for the death penalty for homosexuals and practitioners of abortion. However in the conceptualization of history and ‘right and wrong’ is where the alliance lies.
Imagine a world where instead of this history was built on actual fact. Imagine a history that told the truth about slavery in all societies. Where slavery and human sacrifice was not white-washed but shown for what it was. A history where rather than applying outmoded words like racism and colonialism there was a description of what took place and possible comparison to other examples. If such a situation existed one might readily compare the policy of the conquering Spaniards in 1519 to the conquering Ottomans in 1453 in their parallel treatment of native peoples. One might learn much about how the world has functioned in the past. Instead history has indeed ended, not in the Francis Fukuyama sense, but in the sense that it no longer encapsulates what actually took place. In order to read between the lines one must read a text on the crusades and edit out all the judgments pushed upon the protagonists and one must read a book on Salonika and embellish a little then they are treated to only 2 mentions of slavery out of a book of 400 pages(imagine a history of Richmond, Virginia that didn’t mention the role of slavery in that society). The historian is no longer such but rather a warrior at the ramparts of truth, forced today to spend most of his time sifting through lies rather then learning anything new. He is forced into a terrible all consuming battle with half-wits and intellectual animals whose wicked distortions have all but obfuscated the past.