Spreading Islam in Europe

Published: April 24, 2011

The writer is a lawyer based in London ayesha.khan@tribune.com.pk

They gather on Fridays, after prayers, at London’s Regent’s Park Mosque. Trousers pulled up a few inches above the ankles, beards prominent, carrying black flags with the kalma written in white, there are women among them also, shrouded in black, top to toe, and converts, both black and white, bearded to fit in, the keffiyeh dangling rebelliously around their necks. Manifestly angry and intimidating, they rally to instil fear in the hearts of the infidels who surround them.

It is a vicious cycle. The English Defence League, every bit as rabid as the Muslims they take on, shouts anti-Islam and anti-immigrant slogans, while groups like Muslims Against Crusades burn poppies on Armistice Day or threaten to disrupt the royal wedding. Disgruntled and primarily under 40, these young Muslims across Europe use scare tactics. Waving sticks to call for Sharia in Britain is either delusional dawaa or payback for the racism suffered by their older generations.

To be fair, the Crusades are not a figment of the Muslim imagination. In fact, it was in fighting the Muslims that Europe consolidated its identity. In a fascinating Channel 4 documentary entitled, “When the Moors Ruled in Europe”, Bettany Hughes reveals that nearly 700 years of history, the time that Spain was an Islamic society, has been written out of European textbooks, “its legacy virtually erased from western history”.

As someone who has visited Andalucian heritage sites several times, it does not surprise me in the least that Queen Isabella and her husband Ferdinand chose to be buried at the Alhambra, surrounded by Quranic verses, in one of the most architecturally pleasing and serene spots created by man, even as they fought off the last 70,000 Muslims of Granada. Although 300,000 Muslims had been expelled, a million Arabic books burned, and all of Alhambra’s archives incinerated during the Spanish Inquisition, the beautiful buildings were not destroyed. These include those in Granada, Sevilla and the grand mosque of Cordoba that now serves as a church.

What is far more important, however, are the recent archaeological findings that reveal, contrary to previous belief, that there was hardly any evidence of violence in the four-year period that it took for the Muslims to gain control of all of modern-day Spain (then Andalucia). Instead, the Visigoths, who then inhabited the area, were so impressed by the superior ways of the Muslims that they welcomed their rule. The Muslims, in turn, turned Cordoba, the capital, into the largest, most civilised and cosmopolitan city in Europe, where Jews and Christians lived peacefully alongside their Muslim rulers. Greek texts translated and built upon by Muslim scholars were brought to the rest of Europe via Andalucia. Trade thrived and paper was introduced to Europe by the Muslims, replacing parchment, an innovation akin to the internet of today. The Muslim doctors of the time performed surgeries that were not seen in the rest of Europe till a few centuries later. Algebra, alchemy and advanced astronomy were Muslim inventions. Muslim laws were far sophisticated, providing contracts for ploughing, giving rights to those who did not own the land. And in the year 859 AD, the first university in the world was founded by a Muslim woman by the name of Fatima al Fihri, which still exists as the University of Al-Karaouine in modern-day Fes, Morocco. Even the city of Madrid was founded by a Muslim.

Islam, in its early years, was thus spread by reason and intellect, and not by the sword. After the death of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in 632 AD, expansion in the seventh century was so rapid that by 711 AD, the Muslims, having already gained control of North Africa, crossed the straits of Gibraltar into Spain, which they ruled for centuries, until in 1492, coincidentally, the same year that Christopher Columbus set sail and discovered America, the last Muslim ruler in Spain, Boabdil, surrendered the Emirate of Granada. Going over this history, I cannot help but be reminded of what an African American convert to Islam who is writing a book on how Hazrat Khadija’s (RA) Christian relatives nurtured the Holy Prophet (pbuh) told me once. “We Muslims,” he said, “set Europe up for the Enlightenment and became stupid ourselves”.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (103)

  • Dr Mishra
    Apr 24, 2011 - 12:36AM

    I am always very happy to read about the accomplishments of the Muslim civilisation in the past.
    That begs the obvious question- whither your renaissance ? All other religions and societies- India and hindus included have progressed rapidly in the last 50 years. There needs to be a debate in Pak society, why did they fall so much behind India.
    A word of caution- some of the info given above may not be accurate. The statement- …And in the year 859 AD, the first university in the world was founded by a Muslim ….is not correct.

    The hindu universities of Nalanda and Takshila are much older, I think 200 BC. At any time these students held thousands of students, many from overseas.
    Lovely article overall.Recommend

  • Hasan
    Apr 24, 2011 - 12:56AM

    What is far more important, however,
    are the recent archaeological findings
    that reveal, contrary to previous
    belief, that there was hardly any
    evidence of violence in the four-year
    period that it took for the Muslims to
    gain control of all of modern-day
    Spain (then Andalucia). Instead, the
    Visigoths, who then inhabited the
    area, were so impressed by the
    superior ways of the Muslims that they
    welcomed their rule.

    By this standard all Muslim countries should readily give up their lands to the west and should welcome western rule; certainly Afghanistan is a prime candidate for voluntary handover. I doubt that anyone lets others take over their land no matter how superior others appear, they may borrow other’s superior ways but will not let go of their sovereignty. This is just agianst human nature. I very much doubt Tariq bin Ziyad was a peaceful man. He and Muslims had no business attacking a foreign Christian land. Christians in turn kicked out Muslims when they were strong enough to do so. Score settled. You can’t force into someone else’s home and then complain of beating. Funny that when Traid bin Ziyad attacks others and kills he’s a hero but when bush does the same he’s a villain.Recommend

  • John
    Apr 24, 2011 - 1:21AM

    “We Muslims,” he said, “set Europe up for the Enlightenment and became stupid ourselves”

    Indeed they set the Europeans into enlightenment, by providing a contrasting society. That is what the Europeans are fearful now, on watching those Kalma written individuals.

    The written history left by Persian court chroniclers of Mogul emperors of the sub continent gives a different picture of “enlightenment” than the Spanish history.

    One just have to visit Kandahar mosque steps to know where it all began.

    Not all is rosy, Madame!Recommend

  • Ashok
    Apr 24, 2011 - 1:39AM

    I think this post has a little too much self glorification. I can’t believe senior writers in an English newspaper write lines like “Islam, in it’s early years, was thus spread by reason and intellect” – I’m sorry to say, but no religion or spiritual discourse is based on ‘reason and intellect’ – this is euphemistic nonsense. Are you pretending that the world was devoid of ‘reason and intellect’ before Islam came into the picture? Were religious practices in the area before Islam somehow devoid or lesser than Islam? Why do Arabic and Turkik customs need to be ‘spread’ in the first place? Will chanting “Allah” one thousand times build you a bridge, construct a hospital or remove all the planet’s suffering and poverty? Organized religion may be better at mobilizing people and things more so than unorganized religions when historically examined, but that’s because there is a motive, to “spread”. This is similar to churches building schools, hospitals, etc. While these are kind and good acts, they are many times done along the lines of removing local customs or spiritual views in order to culturally subjugate. Genuine acts of kindness, mobilization for good causes and rationality don’t require religion.

    Another way to think about this is colonialism in the Indian subcontinent. Surely, the various European colonialists had a better understanding of high level administrative practices than many of the local administrative set ups – does that justify their ‘spread’?

    I also was amused at seeing this writer’s response to a piece by Ayesha Siddiqa on whether Pakistan resembles North Korea more or Israel more (http://tribune.com.pk/story/19048/is-pakistan-like-israel-or-north-korea/) . I get the feeling that she suffers a complex that takes the shape of the following: “My country/religion is better/more justified than yours because I was born into it”. It is by no means unique and is a rather widespread phenomenon.Recommend

  • General Chaman
    Apr 24, 2011 - 1:40AM

    Not sure what your point is..most white women are converting to Islam and having muslim babies. so Islam will spread either way. Why do you need to look back 1000 yrs back.Recommend

  • Verboten
    Apr 24, 2011 - 2:22AM

    Just as Europeans tend to leave off crediting the Muslim civilization, the Muslim civilization in turn tends to leave off crediting the Indian civilization for its knowledge of mathematics, including algebra, astronomy and surgery. Avicenna had translations of the Sushruta Samhita (800 BCE) which describes several surgical procedures including cataract surgery and rhinoplasty. As historical accuracy improves in the internet era, all these things are coming to the knowledge of more and more persons. No way to hold this back now.

    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sushruta_Samhita

    “The medical works of both Sushruta and Charaka were translated into Arabic language during the Abbasid Caliphate (750 AD).[7] These Arabic works made their way into Europe via intermediaries.[7] In Italy the Branca family of Sicily and Gasparo Tagliacozzi (Bologna) became familiar with the techniques of Sushruta.”Recommend

  • Akk
    Apr 24, 2011 - 2:31AM

    Most of the facts are simply incorrect!!!!
    1) First School of learning – taxila (present day pakistan,something to be proud of )
    2) First University – Nalanda.(Bihar)
    3) Invention of Zero & Algebra – Aryabhatta and his school – Ancient India.
    Muslims did contribute by bringing architecture and Fountains, and introduction of these methods to Europe.
    BTW It was not all hunky Dorey in Spain .. There was religious prosecution and destruction of churches , e.g. the central mosque of Crodoba .. ( now a UNESCO world heritage site) was once “Visigothic Christian church “. Also Almansur’s forcces plundered the greatest Christian shrine on the peninsula,the shrine of Santiago of Compostela. The Ummayad dynasty in spain fell in 1033 AD and about 30 Warlords were fighting each other for influence.After that it was all downhill for the Muslims.. The Spanish Hero was El Cid.Just Imagine if Muslims were not ruled out from Spain, the US would be a Muslim Country .. as Columbus would have reported his findings to his Muslim rulers. :D.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 24, 2011 - 3:02AM

    I don’t see the relevance, however I note the fact that Islam and Muslims in general were lot smarter in times gone by than the present day!!
    As you pointed out the Moors in Spain and the ultimate best were the Mughals in South east asia at the time too!
    So the question really should be as to what has happened to the current generation of Muslims? Especially in Europe and more so in UK, as they enjoy the benefits of the society they reside in, however contribute zero in any form or manner!!!Recommend

  • Apr 24, 2011 - 3:12AM

    excellent articleRecommend

  • Zeeshan
    Apr 24, 2011 - 3:29AM

    Still talking about the Crusades and Andalus…, it is unfortunate that some people still find it relevant to justify or not take into account actual events with events from very far in the past. People will only look up to other people in general if they are tolerant and open-minded now (in the 21st century) not in past centuries which unfortunately isn’t the case of too many, at least in our country.Recommend

  • pl/sql
    Apr 24, 2011 - 3:31AM

    @Author
    So if England and other western countries ask muslims very politely NOT to spread Islam at all in their countries, will they retreat?Recommend

  • sajid
    Apr 24, 2011 - 4:01AM

    it was king roderick of the visigoths who were in control of Spain at the time when the moors sailed over, the locals were sick of the visigoths and there high taxes and yes they did welcome the Muslims and even gave them directions to were the kings castle stood, over the coming centuries different Muslim dynasties ruled moorish spain from the abbasiyds to the fatihmids ( shia/sunnis) who payed Christian militas to attack each other, were stands now the great mosque is were the visigoth church use to be, and cordoba was the beacon of light in a dark europe. “Andalusia” was coined by the moors and it means “the land of the vandals”Recommend

  • Mastishhk
    Apr 24, 2011 - 4:48AM

    @ Author..Was everything in the world discovered and invented by the muslims or were their contributors from other faiths as well…?????

    (Muslim laws were far sophisticated)…..Compared to present days Muslim Laws?????
    If the present day Muslim laws are any reflection on ancient Muslim laws, one can imagine the conditition during those eras …But then you have a right to believe what u believe !!!Recommend

  • Apr 24, 2011 - 5:51AM

    Nope, studying and in ovating is too much handwork, especially when one can grab a microphone and call on the Queen to convert to Islam, impose Shariat, but also abdicate as a woman cannot be head of state. What is tragic is not that the West have forgotten Muslim contribution to their socieity, but we ourselves have. We like to remind ourselves that once upon a time Spain was under Muslim rule, and everyone gushes with pride as if 700 odd years later, we had something to do with it. No! What we forget is that Spain became a center for learning, invention, philosophizing, debate and discussion between different faiths. Today, the same would be impossible, and those who attempt to do so are branded zionist agents, adulterers of faith or “bad Muslims”. Recommend

  • Badal
    Apr 24, 2011 - 6:48AM

    Indeed. Islam can still conquer, but only when the Muslim world has its universities, scholars, muses…in place. Raving mullahs, strategic assets and top-to-toe clad women can never reclaim that past. Recommend

  • Alan
    Apr 24, 2011 - 7:26AM

    Due to the intolerance and violence of Islam, the West was forced to get unified and fight back in Spain and other countries – that allowed the West to find it’s strength.

    A similar world is brewing now. All civilized people (Muslims and non-Muslims) will have to fight for civilization again by pushing back on the violence and supremacism of Islam.Recommend

  • Syed Ali
    Apr 24, 2011 - 7:55AM

    Ayesha! Islam spread in different parts of world by different methods. You are right to point out that speard in Europe was largely because of good governance, spread of knowledge and development in science. If we look into history, while Islam was opening its wings in spain, it was also finding afoot print in Sri Lanka and Inidia.
    But unlike, europe, in India, Islam spread with efforts of sufis. I guess, it was just by divine plan that according to the nature of the people and their taste, God almight sent different knids of people to different parts of world. In India, before Islam, there was strong tradition of music and spirtualisim. Hindu Pundits were top notch spirtualists and it were only Sufis, trained in mysticism, metaphysics, self annhilation nad music who were able to contest them. No other religion had the power to survive the mystic talents of sadhus and pundits. Thats one reason for many other religions taht eventually blended with Hinduisim. One can find sufis in spainish and european history too. But by and large, the sufis there were not a source of inspiration for conversion. Christain Europe for centuries had seen their own saints and had found no solace in following the hard life style of them. New knowledge and science became a very attractive subject for europeans and they were quick to get impressed. I guess, our over zealous mullahs, if they are keen to spread Islam to europe, they must develop formidable knowledge in science.Recommend

  • kumar shiv
    Apr 24, 2011 - 8:03AM

    dont do takiyeh. Islam spread by the sword and slavery and so it was in Europe and Asia. no amount of lying and obfuscation will change the facts. your attempt to rewrite history is doomed.Recommend

  • Justar
    Apr 24, 2011 - 8:36AM

    Fascinating.
    Muslims seemed so much more graceful and noble in character then. It seems inevitable that the stature of a people rises and falls like the tide, unless they are so spiritually gifted that they are able to excel in worldly matters without falling prey to its excesses.Recommend

  • Qamber
    Apr 24, 2011 - 8:46AM

    A brilliant article! I really i wish and hope that the young Muslims of today can understand the points that you have raised here, as day in and day out I see more and more intelligent and educated Muslims taking the path of aggression.Recommend

  • yasir
    Apr 24, 2011 - 9:14AM

    of course .Recommend

  • mind control
    Apr 24, 2011 - 9:35AM

    “We Muslims,” he said, “set Europe up for the Enlightenment and became stupid ourselves”.

    And did a fairly good job of it.

    On a more serious note, realising that ‘Enlightenment’ is not neccessarily a threat to Islam,and therefore does not need to be repulsed with force, will go a long way in making the world a more peaceful place.Recommend

  • Syed Ali
    Apr 24, 2011 - 10:30AM

    @kumar shiv:
    Your assertions are wrong. If you think our interpertitiuon of history is wrong. Thats fine because evry body got a right to make his opinion about history. But at least, believe in present. Despite all the projected negativity, Islam is the most widely spreading religion in USA and europe. Are people getting forcefully converted?
    If muslims had used swords to spread Islam, then you would not have been of a different religion from us.Recommend

  • Somdet
    Apr 24, 2011 - 10:39AM

    Read ‘The Last Jew” by Noah Gordon, set in the 13th/14th century europe. It beautifully unravels how the local polulation of those times and areas converted back and forth to save their lives, from pagan to muslim to christianity to …., depending on who the ruler of the land. these also included the doctors, scientists, intellectuals of those time. so the claim on muslim philosophers, scientists, doctors, thinkers doesnt count much as such they were only saving their skins from the host king, whichever religion he/she was at that time. both christianity and muslims spread by sword and fear most of the time.

    one thing I fail to understand why the muslims in sub-continent get worked up for those happenings in europe, which clearly were local phenomenon to that area owing to proximity of southern europe, western asia and north africa around the mediaterranian sea.Recommend

  • humayun habib
    Apr 24, 2011 - 10:50AM

    i can already see a violent anti islam streak in kumar shiv’s comments. anyways, it is good to be objectively nostalgic while making some tangible progress. my assesment – western and india media r already playing a wonderful benign smearing war against islam. Recommend

  • M Ali Khan
    Apr 24, 2011 - 10:56AM

    Muslims gave Europe its Enlightenment, only to become stupid themselves!

    @General Chaman:
    what about the number of people LEAVING Islam? High birth rates in this day and age is not something to be proud of.Recommend

  • M Ali Khan
    Apr 24, 2011 - 11:00AM

    @kumar shiv:
    again with the ‘taqiyyah’ nonsense. right-wing fundos in the West really love over-using that term that did not ever exist in Islam, and was instead used by the Shia minority to avoid exposing themselves and persecuted during the Abbasid rule!Recommend

  • MastMaula
    Apr 24, 2011 - 11:12AM

    Dear Author, you seem to be surrounded completely by the delusions of Islam.
    You wrote:
    “And in the year 859 AD, the first university in the world was founded by a Muslim woman by the name of Fatima al Fihri.” Did you forget Taxila and Nalanda Universities first ever great universities in the world

    “Algebra, alchemy and advanced astronomy were Muslim inventions.”. Are you sure these were given by muslims to the world? Please check and substantiate your claims.Recommend

  • I am stupid
    Apr 24, 2011 - 11:32AM

    Madam,
    You are writing this article staying in a secular country. If you were in a country which was totally Islamic like Saudi or Afghanistan or Somalia then even before people read and publish your article they would have you flogged in public for you for not wearing Burkha. And more over the world knows how secular Islamic countries are…..Recommend

  • SaudiRules
    Apr 24, 2011 - 11:50AM

    hmmm…islamic moore civilization flourished in christian spain/europe and then under moghul in hindu/india, again ottaman under secular turks and greeks (semi europian).
    If the islamic khalifart is/was so gooooooood..how come societies never flourished in islamic middle east/arabs and now islamic pakistan?Recommend

  • Rajesh Joshi
    Apr 24, 2011 - 11:50AM

    Very good piece of fiction. “And in the year 859 AD, the worlds first university was established by a Muslim woman”. I guess Taxila (a Pakistani town now) and Nalanda Universities are a figment of Hindu imagination, isn’t it?Recommend

  • Apr 24, 2011 - 12:05PM

    why should any one give their lands to the americans ?
    are they as pious as the muslims ? never.
    never ever.

    don’t you know what the americans did.

    some one blasted their twin towers and the next thing is they started bombing afganistan.
    what have afganistan got to do with this. it is one of the most poor and under developed nation in the world. they could never bomb or hack and hijack us planes. if they could they would do it NOWRecommend

  • Badshah
    Apr 24, 2011 - 12:35PM

    I’ll suggest the writer to please read Mr. Mubarak Haidar’s book “Tahzeebi Nargisiat”!Recommend

  • Jack
    Apr 24, 2011 - 12:38PM

    @kumar shiv: Can you, for the sake of all readers, please briefly state what Hinduism teaches its followers about:
    (a) Womens’ status in society;
    (b) Social welfare obligations;
    (c) Equality of members of different casts;
    (d) The place of religion in matters of state; and
    (e) Standards of personal matters and conduct eg modesty and cleanliness?
    Please enlighten us.Recommend

  • Ravi
    Apr 24, 2011 - 12:49PM

    @Somdet:
    you took my words man……….
    Absolutely Superb……..Recommend

  • Junglee
    Apr 24, 2011 - 12:53PM

    @Jack

    Can please briefly state what Islam teaches its followers about:

    Women’s rights in Islam with respect to Burkha
    Can you explain why women donot get the same things what men get in heaven ?
    How islam treats non-believers
    How different sects within Islam are treated (Shia, Ahmaddiyyas, etc)
    Can you explain the toilet etiquettes that have been followed traditionally in Islam
    How Islam treats apostates ?

    It would be great if you enlighten the world first.

    The point is that every religion in this world has its own problems but sticking to the age old tradition totally unwilling to accept change is the problem. Recommend

  • M M Malik
    Apr 24, 2011 - 1:08PM

    Muslim Spain prospered because it was peaceful. Jews, Christians and Muslims lived harmoniously.
    Striking fear in the hearts of infidels is the worst way of spreading Islam. Recommend

  • Apr 24, 2011 - 1:13PM

    I dont believe the jews were not persecuted under the Moors – they were forced to wear a visible badge of their religion at all times. And there is good and bad with every intiative -so while this lady of yours set up a university, on the other side of the globe, a centuries-old univiersity was set on fire by an Afghan invader on discovering that the quran was not in the library of Nalanda. IF only the monks of Nalanda knew the art of deception – takiyeh is it?Recommend

  • frenchfries
    Apr 24, 2011 - 1:33PM

    @abd-
    “why should any one give their lands to the americans ?
    are they as pious as the muslims ? never.”

    One more shahid afridi in the making with pious and big muslim heart. hahaha.Recommend

  • Ravi
    Apr 24, 2011 - 1:50PM

    @Jack:
    a) Womens’ status in society;
    Women were treated like mothers and sisters …..
    Apart from one rituals “Sati pratha” (which i never found any mention in gita or other holy books of my religion hinduism so can’t say how it started) we had no bias against women.
    And about sati we abolished it 100 years back (by dayanand saraswati) .
    (b) Social welfare obligations;
    Social welfare was carried on so well that we never needed to invade another country for money and material (you can google hindus political history) just like muslims and christians did.
    Education was top most priority and most innovations happened in hindu era at that time.(yoga pranayam dhayan etc)
    (c) Equality of members of different casts;
    Rig Veda says every body born is a shudra (untouchable) irrespective of to whome he/she is born. To become a brahman he/she has to be illuminated by true knowledge “Gyan”.
    No “body” is brahman,but brahman is a highest state of one’s spirituality.
    (d) The place of religion in matters of state;
    When hindu religion came up there was no other religion so concept of secularism was alien to it. So if the rulers were inclined to hindu religious rules for their daily discharge of duties. So what’s the big deal??????
    But hindu religion says that the “greatest rule is of time and hence you have to change with it”
    And i think we have considerably changed with time.
    Standards of personal matters and conduct eg modesty and cleanliness?
    I think the concept of brahman must have enlightened you by now about standards of personal matters and cleanliness.
    And yes their were certain misconception about the religion like casteism (which were started by the priest class) But tell me one religion where priest class is/was not corrupt.
    Or should i enlighten you about what you pastors are doing these days????
    Or these mullahs are doing for islam….
    But even then i would say that there were hoards were good people in hindus religion at all times(who were churned out by “brahman” pandits by giving them right religious knowledge)Recommend

  • Somdet
    Apr 24, 2011 - 2:25PM

    @Ravi
    @Jack:
    a) Womens’ status in society;
    Women were treated like mothers and sisters …..
    Apart from one rituals “Sati pratha” (which i never found any mention in gita or other holy books of my religion hinduism so can’t say how it started) we had no bias against women.
    And about sati we abolished it 100 years back (by dayanand saraswati) .

    -Absolutely correct. Moreover Sati pratha was a result of some social evils (property rights etc.) + mostly due to muslim invadors who were in a habit of mass raping of the surviving widows, as required and stated in Quran 4:24 All married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. You can’t have sex with married women, unless they are slaves obtained in war (with whom you may rape or do whatever you like). Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Apr 24, 2011 - 2:29PM

    @Syed Ali:
    “@kumar shiv:
    Your assertions are wrong. If you think our interpertitiuon of history is wrong. Thats fine because evry body got a right to make his opinion about history. But at least, believe in present. Despite all the projected negativity, Islam is the most widely spreading religion in USA and europe. Are people getting forcefully converted?
    If muslims had used swords to spread Islam, then you would not have been of a different religion from us.”
    And you would still been Hindu. Most probabily the religion of Shiv.Recommend

  • rk singh
    Apr 24, 2011 - 2:44PM

    Ms.Khan, you have enthusiasm of a school girl. Like school girls, you make lots of mistakes reading history. Moors became very hated by late 1500s. That was the reason of their downfall.
    They built great structures, but at the cost of tax-payers and became their own reasons for downfall. Just like TAJ MAHAL was for Moghuls.

    “We Muslims,” he said, “set Europe up for the Enlightenment and became stupid ourselves”

    Enlightment for Europe came more from Italy and England, rather than Spain. Spain was a sick man of europe for a long long time.

    Also, pl be noted, Islam was rarely a religion of peace (Hindus can lay claim to it). I dont think people should ARGUE over it. Even most muslims will agree. History of India was written with blood after Mohammed Ghori/Ghazni started attacking. Mohammed Ghori lost the first war, and got caputred, but was realeased with honour by Prithvi Raj Chauhan. Next time he attacks again with more soldiers and more alliances. This time Prithvi is captured and what happened? He was taken to Kabul and tourtured to death. So much for fair-play.

    So many 1000s of temples ere destroyed, but do we complain? Hinduism is alive solely due to the valour and self-less sacrifice shown by warriors of Sikhism, Marathas, Rajputs and many other Indian tribes. They literally weakened Mughal rule. Luckily British came here, who were intrested only in the loot. Not conversion.

    As for people converting to Islam, people convert to Hinduism too, literally in droves (hare krishna movement). Even lesser gods like Satya sai baba/ baba rajneesh boasts of impressive followers from west (some top notch scientists from europe). Hinduism does not even encourage outsiders to convert. Does not mean the religions are great or best. Europeans are 70% athesists lately. They have progresse a lot. So they look down upon muslims who are dogmatic and uncultured and uncivilised.

    Sad to see why Muslims run behind non-muslims coercing them to convert. Why cant you people have satisfaction in Quality. Does Quantity count???? Example Zaorastrians. There are less than 100,000 in world today. They probably contribute more than all of the muslim world added up. So is the case with Jews. They ar just 12 million (compared with 1.6 billion muslims).

    So whatif the whole world becomes just Islamic? We will be rid of all our miseries? I am sure we will have more. First try and make your countries shining examples of tolerance, equality, hygene, Innovation etc. The world will embrace Islam and you dont have to pull out some half reserched topics of 600 old european history.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 24, 2011 - 4:06PM

    @Tony Singh:
    The spread of Islam in today’s europe is not so much just thru conversions, but more thru breeding!!
    One only has to see, How many children in a family units of Muslims and compare that to non Muslims, especially in UK.
    Hence this provides them political clout thru votebanks as they tend to live in concentrated areas with high muslim population.
    Sadly for Uk taxpayers, their children are not taken care of by Allah, but by the state to which they contribute little if anything!!Recommend

  • Indian USA
    Apr 24, 2011 - 4:30PM

    Please dont tell Islam spread by intellect not by sword..

    Somnath temple destroyed at least 6-7 times by Muslim invaders..so is ayodhya..and many more..

    nalanda university completely destroyed by Muslim invaders..

    There is a documentory that i had seen from western press telling how there was mass suicide of Hindu girls and women after Muslim invaders seems to winning.

    Muslim invaders when they conquer any city first thing they do is to destroy spiritual place and places of public honor so as to demoralize people of that city..

    If Islam spread by intellect why then why they have to do all this thing..

    But this self glorification is understood considering situation of Muslims.. Look at what Muslim are passing through.Now in america, Muslim bashing has become mainstream.Every bearded person is looked with suspicion.Even some Muslim do not want to disclose their identity.

    I thank your Quide e Azam for partition.It would have been difficult to live in INDIA with 30% Muslims.Recommend

  • Abhinav
    Apr 24, 2011 - 5:00PM

    This is very good article to understand the thinking of moderate muslim. While the message is good that logical and rational thinking individual will not try to spread the religion through intimidation and violance. But suggesting that Islam was and can spread though logical reasoning is a big joke. Specially in 21st century no sane person will wish that his religion will become the only religion in the world. It is day dreaming of bigots who feel insecure until everyone starts believing in same ideology.Recommend

  • sanjithmenon
    Apr 24, 2011 - 5:31PM

    just wait for some time more, not one indian or Pakistani will be allowed to settle either in Britain or Europe, thanks to some weirdo Muslims, who have learnt a distorted version of Islam, thanks to Saudi trained Mullahs.Recommend

  • LooseSalwar
    Apr 24, 2011 - 5:32PM

    Ah! Sword and Sandal fantasies. Love those.Recommend

  • FactCheck
    Apr 24, 2011 - 5:44PM

    So in nut shell the world we as we no today and everything we know today is created by muslims an about ~1379 years. What rubbish?

    History especially ancient history is twisted and delivered to people with little or no intellect by pseudo intellectuals.

    One thing is for certain, the day man invented organized religion is the start of every misery in this world. Recommend

  • Arsenal
    Apr 24, 2011 - 6:44PM

    Absolutely fantastic article madam. I too am a student of history and specifically interested in history of the Muslim rule in Spain. You forgot to mention the contribution of Ibn-Rushd (Known as Averroes in Europe) in the Western philosophical thought. He wrote 20,000 pages on subjects as varied as philosophy, medicine, law, grammer and Plato. You are correct in stating that the Muslim rule in Spain is also renowned for the peaceful co-existence between the Muslims, Jews and the Christians. In fact the historians have coined a term “La Convivencia” to describe that prolonged period of peace and harmony in otherwise medieval Europe. Recommend

  • Financial Services Authority
    Apr 24, 2011 - 7:03PM

    @Hedgefunder…Typical shallow response . Firstly, lets get the record straight – the mass financial destruction caused by hedge funds and bankers (35 trillion dollars and counting) dwarfs the contributions the UK state makes to people on low income. But no the capitalists and soul-less folks like yourself point to the downtrodden in society just so that no one can raise a finger at the true termites and parasites of the modern age. The fact of the matter is that not only are the bankers and hedge fund managers responsible for the present day recessions and unemployment but they have all been bailed out by the tax payers. I think its high time that you get a real job rather than sucking on ordinary peoples blood.Recommend

  • Yusaf Khan
    Apr 24, 2011 - 7:15PM

    All those idiots moaning that University of Al-Karaouine in modern-day Fes, Morocco, is the not the oldest standing university please look it up on Wikipedia. I know you guys are generally lazy and full of hot air so here i have just made your life easier — see the link below:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ListofoldestuniversitiesincontinuousoperationRecommend

  • UmarK
    Apr 24, 2011 - 8:19PM

    @Dr Mishra:
    “There needs to be a debate in Pak society, why did they fall so much behind India”.
    How about a need to be a debate in Indian society, why did they fall so much behind China, or many other countries in general.

    There are plenty of articles around doing exactly that any how. Not everything is about India and Pakistan. You missed the purpose and essence of this article altogether, and brought in your hatred uninvited. Recommend

  • UmarK
    Apr 24, 2011 - 8:25PM

    @Hasan:
    Tariq bin Ziad can be compared with Captian Cook and Christopher columbus. That was a different era. You are generalizing too much. Bush is no one when compared to those people. Recommend

  • Arthur
    Apr 24, 2011 - 8:44PM

    The recent mass migration from Muslim countries to Europe and the Americas was not to spread Islam. The people moved because they could find educational opportunities and freedom of speech and expression. Also good medical care and most of all a safe place to live.
    Today many Muslim countries are in revolution because people are fed up with lack of food,
    lack of freedom, and lack of opportunity. They are dying in the streets. There is even now as we exchange our thoughts in this very civilized and polite forum, a huge wave of refugees leaving these countries fleeing for their safety.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 24, 2011 - 8:53PM

    @Financial Services Authority:
    I don’t recall any funds that required govt bail outs! As they are private and do not reflect on any public borrowings or finances of any public bodies!
    What we are good at is very simple ! Making money for clients and ourselves !
    So If one wants to start the blame game, then go find some other causes!!!
    Also keep the sob sob stories to yourself too! We live in free market economies and capitalist system, so why complain? Try the socialist system and see what happened to them! Perhaps you ought to consider relocating to North korea or Cuba for that matter !!
    Even Cuba has seen the light !!! Recommend

  • Twit
    Apr 24, 2011 - 9:05PM

    It is remarkable that English educated people in Pakistan can resort to this kind of self-glorification and falsification of history without checking facts. You are lucky that you have access to the Internet and a simple search will tell you the different facts on many of your assertions.
    “And in the year 859 AD, the first university in the world was founded by a Muslim woman by the name of Fatima al Fihri, which still exists as the University of Al-Karaouine in modern-day Fes, Morocco.”

    Search for Nalanda, Taxila on the Internet and you will find how in history not taught in your country’s textbooks Muslims destroyed centres of learning in ancient world. You could be right though, after destroying universities of kafirs this lady indeed may have started the first university in memory.

    “Islam, in its early years, was thus spread by reason and intellect, and not by the sword.”
    Have you ever wondered the different surnames in your country, Rathore, Bhat, Butt, Bugti etc where it came from? You are telling me that all these people simple gave up their religion and embraced Islam?

    “Although 300,000 Muslims had been expelled, a million Arabic books burned, and all of Alhambra’s archives incinerated during the Spanish Inquisition, the beautiful buildings were not destroyed. ”
    Please search for Nalanda university on the Internet. There is a saying, what goes round comes round. Sorry, you may not believe it, as its not in Arabic.

    “Algebra, alchemy and advanced astronomy were Muslim inventions. ”
    Do you know the meaning of invention? You are just repeating what your mullahs have told you. Evidently you have not read about advancements made by people in India (including Pakistan then) and China centuries before improvements where rightly made by many Muslim scholars.

    As long as you live in denial, addressing non-Muslims as them and us, falsifying history and teaching your children untruths, the problems faced by Muslims as you have described are not going to go. Next time you write something, please check your facts. Muslims are getting awakened too, and will one day rebutt your nonsense.Recommend

  • Arthur
    Apr 24, 2011 - 9:14PM

    Historians also coined the word “Reconquista” which refers to the driving out by force the Muslims from Spain. Today many Europeans are fearful of Muslims who don’t integrate into
    their new societies. Right wing political groups have begun to propose laws which will slow down the Muslim immigration. Even today as we speak there is a huge wave of immigration
    from Muslim countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East. They are coming because of the
    clear and present danger resulting from the revolutions in their home countries. The previous wave of Muslim immigration was due to the lack of opportunities in the home countries. Today there is a lack of food and safety.Recommend

  • Khurram
    Apr 24, 2011 - 10:25PM

    @Somdet:”one thing I fail to understand why the muslims in sub-continent get worked up for those happenings in europe, which clearly were local phenomenon to that area owing to proximity of southern europe, western asia and north africa around the mediaterranian sea.”
    There is a good reason why we always take a special pride and own up all the past glories, successes and great contributions of Arabs. I cannot speak for Indian Muslims (being lesser Muslims they are not our equals), but here in Pakistan ever since her birth and 1980s in particular there has been a concerted effort on our part to completely disconnect ourselves from our Pre-Partition History and to form a strong Bond and seek a new Identity with the Arabs and the people of the Middle East (because we have more Ansaris, Qureshis, Siddiqueis, Syeds and Hashmis living in Karachi alone than in all the Arab world put together)it is another thing whether or not those ignorant Iranians and Arabs keep on denying us that recognition and honour which we so earnestly hope to achieve. It is also so sad and unfortunate that despite our best and sincere efforts to join them, some of them ungrateful(Arabs)have even been heard calling us rather disdainfully Hinood O Berberi. I am sure such remarks can deeply hurt our self-esteem if we had one but luckily we are perhaps the only people amongst the nations of the world who by some rare mutation never could develop a National Self Esteem to speak of and thus we are very well insulated against such insulting remarks, we simply ignore them. I cannot say how long and difficult our struggle to reclaim our place among the Arabs going to be and whether or not we will ever succeed in the end, all I know is that we will continue, until such time when they accept us unconditionally as brothers,usurping the pride in the deeds of Arabs (related or not) after all do we not pretend to be the true successors of Muhammad bin Qasim? I hope this will satify your curiosity about us and why behave a bit differently than normal people ought to.

    Ms Ayesha Ijaz Khan, I would also like to take the opportunity to sincerely thank you for writing an article that not only embraces our soul but generates within us an enormous pride for the Muslim Golden Age that encompassed knowledge, reason, peace and prosperity.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 24, 2011 - 10:29PM

    @Twit:
    Thank you , for enlightening those who are bit dim!!!! well written and to the point, so hopefully the those with selective difficulty will absorbed the info!Recommend

  • Financial Services Authority
    Apr 24, 2011 - 10:48PM

    @Hedgefunder….oh yeah that capitalist stuff only works in the text books written by sellouts and weasels. We all know the real capitalist world is dominated by insider traders and Mafia type people who only know one thing how to defraud their counter parties. We all know the kind of people that dominate your world, remember Fabulous Fab of Goldman Sachs. Your hero, Mr. Fab, was knowingly selling faulty insurance on mortgages —- as one of the senators rightly commented that it was akin to selling faulty brakes on a car and then buying insurance on the driver. And by the way don’t say no hedge fund was bailed out. All the central banks working in unison to buy back the junk that these banks owned indirectly helped out everyone who happened to be long anything. Hence, 2009 was a steller year for a lot of hedge funds. Oh yeah – it wasn’t because you were smart Mr. Hedgefunder, it was because all of you got BAILED OUT by the ordinary folks who are paying for that bailout with their lives. Recommend

  • Munna Bhai
    Apr 24, 2011 - 11:31PM

    Madam,
    You have to read history correctly before writing such articles.
    Just take one temple, the Somanath Temple and look how Islamic rulers have been attacking it relentlessly. Most of the churches, synogogs have m

    In 725 Junayad, the Arab governor of Sind, sent his armies to destroy the second temple.
    In 1024 AD, the temple was once again destroyed by Mahmud Ghazni[6] who raided the temple from across the Thar Desert
    In 1296 AD, the temple was once again destroyed by Sultan Allauddin Khilji’s army.
    In 1375 AD, the temple was once again destroyed by Muzaffar Shah I, the Sultan of Gujarat
    In 1451 AD, the temple was once again destroyed by Mahmud Begda, the Sultan of Gujarat.
    In 1701 AD, the temple was once again destroyed by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

    Then same is true every other place where Islam spread. Recommend

  • simple man
    Apr 24, 2011 - 11:53PM

    I suggest the author to google “spain islam jihad history”Recommend

  • Somdet
    Apr 25, 2011 - 12:04AM

    @Khurram
    completely understand your underlying pain bro and loved your satirical way of replying. I dont want to say much. best wishes. Recommend

  • Khurram
    Apr 25, 2011 - 1:08AM

    To all Indians and Others who comment on the articles and blogs written by Pakistanis. We do not appreciate your presence on these pages especially when you expose most of the stuff we had assumed to be the gospel truths since time immemorial as mere invented lies and figments of imagination.Recommend

  • Verboten
    Apr 25, 2011 - 1:49AM

    To my Muslim friends: You will enjoy this online exhibit of Muslim contributions in science and technology over the centuries… Peace. :-)

    http://www.1001inventions.com/Recommend

  • syed ali
    Apr 25, 2011 - 2:15AM

    @rk singh: Your history book starts with Mahmood Ghouri, thats why, you see India in Blood after that. However, you forget to mention that it was the inner fighting of various Hindu tribes that weakned the Rajout states and emboldened the Ghouris. Pirthivi Raj made an effort to unite them and his efforts were successful to some extent but it was too late. Long before Muhammad bin Qasim or Ghouri, Paras Ram ( a Brahmin) forced a battle on Khasatria in which thousands were killed in Northren India. There is ample evidence, that before Rajputs made peace with Akbar and even after they did so, the in fighting and blood shed never stopped. Various Tribes considered themselved superior to others and would not hesitate to attack others, take their property or conquer their women.
    More over, if you would take time to read history of India, taking away religion from it, you will see war after war, war after war with out stop until British occupied. The very reason Rajputs became a marshal race was not just because of their blood but also because of their bravery and fighting. If Hinduism was peaceful, then why did they have to join military and fight with each other? Please do not over simplify history and look in your own back yard before labelling other people.Recommend

  • Avanti
    Apr 25, 2011 - 5:00AM

    So, 99% of the world becomes muslim. But of many different kinds. Now, some kinds are better than the other kinds. So, the better ones want to impose their way of doing things and the not so better ones resist.

    Then an article is published in ET that the all non-better ones are converting into the better ones. The readers argue either way.

    But remember – some of the better ones are even more better ones than the other better ones. So . . . well, you get the idea.Recommend

  • kailash
    Apr 25, 2011 - 7:07AM

    Islam spreads by simply having more babies even though they live on govt subsidized foods. I can give 4 family address in my apartment complex. They drive 1990s old cars but have 4+ kids each family. Wives r under e()veils. so pathetic to see these families. No family planning..

    This is the only way Islam is growing in WEST.. not by any love for it.. but by fools and stupid education by its Mullahs..Recommend

  • Muslim Rajput.
    Apr 25, 2011 - 8:55AM

    Now no matter what Non-Muslims do or Muslims painted as
    “Islam is going to rule the World! Recommend

  • observer
    Apr 25, 2011 - 9:34AM

    @Yousaf Khan

    Please examine your link again. It is about universities in *’continuous operation’. The claim ,however, was made about,”And in the year 859 AD, the *first university in the world was founded by a Muslim woman by the name of Fatima al Fihri,…**

    About Nalanda, the same Wikipedia says, “It has been called “one of the first great universities in recorded history.”[2] Some buildings were constructed by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka the Great [3] (i.e. Raja Asoka: 273–232 BCE).

    If you notice it was founded in 2nd Century BC, 859AD, will be about 1000 years later.

    Wikipedia further says,”Nalanda was sacked by Turkic Muslim invaders under Bakhtiyar Khalji in 1193.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nalanda

    Now it is not Nalanda’s fault that it was destroyed by an invader on religious grounds. Let us say followers of other religions have been more tolerant of places of learning.Recommend

  • Ranjit
    Apr 25, 2011 - 11:51AM

    I think writer should know what she is writing.It is expected from her to have a comprehensive knowledge of History.Her writing is full of error.She is Pakistani and does not know about Taxila??She doesn’t know this land has give Sushruta
    In present world we have a two set of religion.One Eastern Religion and Western religion.Eastern religion–Hinduism,Buddhism,Jainism,Sikhism,Shintoism and Taoism.
    Western Religion–Chirstan,Moslem and Judaism.Any person who is having little bit of knowledge would know Eastern Religion for thousands of year never had a conflict,co exist with each other peacefully.Develop society and civilization which teaches love respect for fellow human being.In contrast,Western religion is full of blood thirsty war of supremacy.They killed millions of innocent people for spreading their religion.Even today they are killing people for their religious cause.They think converting people in their religion is biggest achievement…As far as Muslim religion is concern,in case of India,ruins of Nalanda and Vikramshila University still showing the barbarity of desert religion.World knows how religion has turned Afganistan from prosperity,civility,high class culture to barbaric,narrow minded,backward country in the world. Recommend

  • Pure Desi
    Apr 25, 2011 - 12:34PM

    What a shame,this writer taking pride in event which happened in Spain or Arab.A slave can not have pride.The land where do you stand today,had a rich heritage,refined culture,sophisticate civilization.Desert religion is can not challenge to the religion of land.Mother of all language Sanskrit develop on this land,Rig Veda was composed on this land,Grammar,Philosophy,Science,Math develop on this very land.If any person hijack your home does not mean he was the true owner of the home. Recommend

  • hassan
    Apr 25, 2011 - 1:35PM

    I attended a congregation of Dr Zakir Naik once, where he pretty much said the same thing written above.

    In addition to this, he also said that, all the scientific concepts and discoveries have already been mentioned in our Holy Book, including the Big Bang Theory. He interpreted some verses and said this actually means that and everyone happily clapped, basking in the afterglow of a religion that is the greatest in the universe.

    Then one girl spoilt it all. She asked the learned doctor, “You say that all the modern discoveries are already explained in the Holy Book. It is magnificent ! But, Can you tell us …is there anything in the book that is already mentioned but yet to be discovered by the Scientists?”

    The great Doctor instead asked the girl to enumerate how many discoveries are there in Bible !! And the audience gave him a standing ovation for that !!Recommend

  • rk singh
    Apr 25, 2011 - 3:31PM

    @ sayed ali

    Various Tribes considered themselved superior to others and would not hesitate to attack others, take their property or conquer their women.

    wow. greta imagination you have. Islam came to india sometime in 8th century (sindh occupied by arabs). Before this, these kind of barbaric practices are un-heard of in India.

    Capturing enemy women is against the ideals of Hinduism. Hindus respect the women of enemies. Not to be touched. That is why Hinduism is called a Dharmic religion(along with buddhism, sikhism and jainism). Unlike desert religions of the world we have, where looting caravans and marrying off enemy women is divine.

    You can go through the history of middle east. You will find shining examples of women being captured and become harem booty. You call this religion. Sorry to say that.Recommend

  • Saad Durrani
    Apr 25, 2011 - 3:32PM

    Well well, it seems that everyone missed the point of the Author and went on to “Indiafy” things. Indians, we think you are awesome and your culture is awesome. Everything about you is great and we cannot compare ourselves with you. I hope this makes you happy because a Pakistani this is the best I can do, for India at least.

    Ayesha has made a very slight hint towards the on-going “corrections” (aka murder) of Pakistani textbooks. She is saying that a whole era is missing in Spanish textbooks.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 25, 2011 - 4:16PM

    @Financial Services Authority:
    Why are you here???
    Stick to the subject, otherwise do go and set up a blog on the issue you want to discuss!! Your user name suggests that even within the square mile your lot really don’t have much clout ! The amount of successful prosecutions and investigations conducted against the actual costs to the taxpayers like us is well out of relevance!!!!!!!
    Your lot are just for show!! nothing more ! So enjoys those salaries at taxpayers expense and actually do make a show of doing some work so as to justify those monthy cheques you receive!Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Apr 25, 2011 - 4:22PM

    @Hasan:
    Tariq Bin Zayed did not attack Spain for sake of fun or frolick. The merchants from Maghreb
    which today comprises Morocco and Tunisia were attacked and killed by Iberian pirates. The
    Sultan of Morocco asked the Spainish King that the pirates be punished and the victims be
    returned in coffins. The heads were sent in a sack,so tell me if your dear ones heads are sent to you in such a manner. Will you turn your other cheek which the Christian Neocons did not on 09/11. Or will you raise your hands to Kali which Bush and his Coterie did. Try to
    visualize the legacy left by the Moors in Spain and that being left by Neocons in Afghanistan
    and Iraq. And who knows what would be eventually our fate fighting their imposed war of terror and the fate of many other Muslim Nations at hands of Zion’s poodles. Such as our created bigots who believe and thrive on deductive reasoning. The day we in Islamic Bloc
    begin to balance our thoughts between Intellectual intelligence and Emotional Intelligence we
    would also learn to use inductive logic more and stand taller than the West.Recommend

  • Hasan
    Apr 25, 2011 - 4:26PM

    @Saad Durrani:

    She is saying that a whole era is
    missing in Spanish textbooks.

    Here’s the missing era for your and author’s information;

    The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise

    An excerpt;

    The history of Islamic Spain begins,
    of course, with violent conquest.
    Helped by internal dissension among
    the Visigoths, in 711 A.D. Islamic
    warriors entered Christian Spain and
    defeated the Visigothic king Rodrigo.
    These Muslims were a mixture of North
    African Berbers, or “Moors,” who made
    up the majority, and Syrians, all led
    by a small number of Arabs proper
    (from the Arabian peninsula). The
    Crónica Bizantina of 741 A.D., the
    Crónica mozárabe of 754 A.D. and the
    illustrations to the
    thirteenth-century Cantigas de Santa
    María chronicle the brutality with
    which the Muslims subjugated the
    Catholic population.

    Spanish are doing Muslims a favour by not including the missing era in the textbooks.Recommend

  • Hasan
    Apr 25, 2011 - 5:25PM

    @Khalid Rahim:

    Tariq Bin Zayed did not attack Spain
    for sake of fun or frolick. The
    merchants from Maghreb which today
    comprises Morocco and Tunisia were
    attacked and killed by Iberian
    pirates. The Sultan of Morocco asked
    the Spainish King that the pirates be
    punished and the victims be returned
    in coffins.

    Sounds like Bush was only following Tariq bin Ziyad’s footsteps when he attacked Afghanistan after Taliban refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks which killed thousands of Americans.Recommend

  • John
    Apr 25, 2011 - 5:44PM

    @Munna Bhai:
    In case if you are wondering where the relics of Original Somnath are, they are at the footsteps of Kandahar mosque in Afghanistan and few other places in India itself. Recommend

  • Jason
    Apr 25, 2011 - 6:04PM

    It is ridiculous that the writer addresses people who follow islam as one common homogenous race. “Muslim” is not a inherent genetic identity (like race or ethnicity) but an acquired one based on religion, which itself is an acquired trait. Anybody can become a “muslim” by simply converting to one and claim credit for the alleged acts and accomplishment of other “muslims”. I see this as a practice among people who have no significant genetic identity and try to confuse the two to assume or derive some semblance of identity. I do not see how a Pakistani or an African or an Indonesian, who are so distinctly and widely different from each other, can claim credit for acts done by Arabs or other Middle-East ethnicity by simply claiming to follow the same religion.Recommend

  • Avanti
    Apr 25, 2011 - 6:10PM

    @Hasan: “In addition to this, he also said that, all the scientific concepts and discoveries have already been mentioned in our Holy Book, including the Big Bang Theory”

    Wow! Now if you ever get a chance, watch the Cosmos series by the great Carl Sagan. See what he says about Big Bang. The Vedas – thousands of years older than any other book – have calculated the life of universe to be about 7 billions years – about 50% off from the scientific theory of 15 billions years. They could count in billions way back then! Talk of advanced knowledge.Recommend

  • Avanti
    Apr 25, 2011 - 6:27PM

    Sorry – I meant Hassan.Recommend

  • Maria
    Apr 25, 2011 - 6:29PM

    When you see the pathetic state of most Muslim migrants in Europe who are socio economically struggling, you wonder whether more numbers of Muslims in Europe just means more poverty.Recommend

  • let there be peace
    Apr 25, 2011 - 7:22PM

    @UmarK:
    you wrote “How about a need to be a debate in Indian society, why did they fall so much behind China, or many other countries in general.”

    the answer is simple and straight forward — caste system + Islam + european colonialism

    now may I know, why did Islamic societies fall behind (if at all they were ahead at any time in history!!) which is the topic of discussion here.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Apr 25, 2011 - 7:28PM

    Nonsense article. You have access to the internet I suggest you use it. Start with Wikipedia and look up the term “spread of Islam” – it’s not rocket science.Recommend

  • Maulana Diesel
    Apr 25, 2011 - 10:38PM

    I love this article. A look at the comments shows that it has managed to bring out all the anti-Islamic venom in the open. I read the article a few times to see if i was missing something? Nope…very straightforward, talks about the peace and achievements during the Moorish rule in Spain. Does not mention India or Hinduism. So this proves that all the trolls from across the border have one and only one agenda to troll around the web and spew out venom against any article that might have anything positive to say about Islam. The fact that there are more than 200 million Muslims in India just shows how much discrimination and hatred they must be experiencing on a daily basis. Recommend

  • Apr 25, 2011 - 10:40PM

    “We Muslims,” he said, “set Europe up for the Enlightenment and became stupid ourselves”.

    And this is precisely the problem. It is an excellent article. The point of the article was to explain how we revel in our “glorious” past which I am absolutely sure has been distorted beyond reprehensible levels; I mean, if we can distort our present (Kayani, Zardari, Sharif nexus anyone?) and our past (alcohol was banned in Pakistan during Zia’s era ladies and gents, not when Pakistan came into existence) then there is also no qualm about distorting history like the Europeans have done with the Moorish history.

    What these Muslims fail to realize is that you can only sway someone through repeated reasoned argument. Not by beating your sticks and threats. And also someone needs to tell them that since they are citizens of that specific Western country, it is their Islamic duty to follow the laws of that land. Or did their Islamiat teacher forget to teach them that?Recommend

  • Shock horror
    Apr 26, 2011 - 1:47AM

    @Ayesha Ijaz Khan
    Islam is bound to spread in Europe and United Kingdom when you and your compatriots are allowed to come and settle down there, and then breed at a much higher rate than the host population. Furthermore a far greater proportion of muslims are unemployed in Europe than any other community, and the crime rate amongst muslims is far greater than any other community. If you doubt any part of this statement then check out the facts for yourself. As a lawyer you will know how to research for facts.Recommend

  • Andrea
    Apr 26, 2011 - 4:04AM

    Most Muslims in Europe or the UK live at the lowest sector of society. How can they help improve society there when they bring it down by just using social assistance.Recommend

  • Raghu
    Apr 26, 2011 - 10:37AM

    @syed ali:
    I recommend you to read A L Bosham book….the wonder that was India….I just want to highlight one point….In India opposing armies used to fight,and in near by area peasant used be unmindful of those activity busy in plowing the land.India was politically divided,but culturally and spiritually always one land.It was Adharmic to harm harvest,property and woman.In length and breadth of India all the king follows it. Recommend

  • Dhartiputra
    Apr 26, 2011 - 11:08AM

    @Khurram:
    “you expose most of the stuff we had assumed to be the gospel truths since time immemorial as mere invented lies and figments of imagination.”

    Yes Mr.Khurram you will take our history as a gospel truth.But my question to you…Who are you?Are you Arab?Are you Turkish?Are you Persian?Are you Indian? What is your root?Recommend

  • Anjum
    Apr 26, 2011 - 11:25AM

    @kumar shiv:
    Please do read the history before saying anything about it. Islam spread through love and humanity instead of sword and slavery. Do talk on facts instead of just your hate about Islam. Recommend

  • Apr 26, 2011 - 3:48PM

    Very interesting article but the world is seeing the developments in the muslim world and the mess the world will go through eventually.Recommend

  • hassan
    Apr 26, 2011 - 5:14PM

    @Anjum:

    Mahmud of Ghazni was born in Ghazni, Afghanistan. (Babur was also from Kabul, Afghanistan.)

    The distance from Ghazni to Delhi is more than 1000 kilometers. And Somnath, in Gujarat, further 1000 kilometers away. You can imagine how hard it must have been for Ghazni (or Babur) and his hundreds of soldiers to travel from Afghanistan to India, on foot, crossing an inhospitable mountain range and rivers and valleys.

    During the time of Ghazni, India was prosperous. As another writer in a blog here has noted, due to annual flooding of rivers, the Indian subcontinent was fertile beyond imagination. Even the lazy agriculturist was able to have two harvests in a year. There were fruits aplenty and the cows were bountiful. And they did not know how to fight.

    Ghazni heard all these. But he heard another bit which infuriated him. The lazy infidels were not only prosperous but also worshipped idols which they covered with gold and sapphires.

    Immediately on hearing this, the great Ghazni set out to India to have a chat with those infidel rajahs. Why did he go there? For spreading love and humanity through Islam?

    Even in these days of modern fast transport, you need a lot of motivation to travel from Kabul to Delhi and to Somnath. And in those days, it must have been a torturous,months-long journey to travel on horses, crossing mountains and treacherous passes, during harsh winters and hot summers. But, these great rulers have braved all these hostile weather to cross the passes, mountains, deserts, valleys and rivers to reach Northern India.

    So, what was the pressing motivation for Mahmud of Ghazni to travel, despite all these hardships, all the way from Afghanistan to India? Why did Babur or Timur or Nadir Shah or Abdali took so much trouble, crossing so much distance to reach India? Do you think thousands of soldiers will march with their leader, undertaking so much hardship without having a specific reward in mind?

    Even for a person with limited common sense would know that their motivation, reward was wealth waiting to be plundered. They took so much trouble and crossed all hurdles so that they can loot from prosperous peasants in north india who, not familiar to blood thirsty rulers, did not know how to put up a resistance.

    If you believe that they travelled to India to spread Islam through love and humanity, then you will believe anything !!Recommend

  • Khurram
    Apr 26, 2011 - 8:53PM

    @Dhartiputra: Sir both of my above given comments were written in a lighter vein but there is lots of truth and pain concealed behind them. In my second comment the one you have responded to, had you noticed bit carefully you would have found the usage of word Assumed instead Held, this deliberate exchange of words conveys all.
    Now who am I? If you must know, I am as much a dhartiputra as much one can be for that matter as much you are. I am a Rajput by race and a proud Muslim by faith. My ancestors moved out of Rajputana to Punjab in the early twelfth century and accepted Islam from the Shaikh Farid al-Din Ganj-i-Shakar a most revered Sufi Saint of Chisti Order. We never disowned our pre-conversion history and legacy rather still take a deep pride in it. I wish all of my countrymen take as much pride in our common legacy and heritage we shared before 1947 and still do. Sadly there are vested interest, unfounded fears and wrong perceptions on both sides of the border much more on our side. It has done an incalculable damage, please believe me a great majority of us born in the eighties have no clue as to who we really are Arabs or of Indian descent. I hope this would satisfy you inquiry. Recommend

  • Perspective
    Apr 27, 2011 - 12:56AM

    Islamic teachings tell us that there have been many prophets since man appeared.
    The teachings of these prophets have been distorted by people (followers and others) to whom the message has been sent.
    Different groups of people vary in their collective nature by differences in tribe, gene pool, geographical area, environment etc.
    Each prophet has had a varying amount of success.
    Some groups may be more passive (eg Hindus) than others (eg Muslims, Christians, Jews). The prophets sent to the less passive groups had a more difficult time of it.
    Essentially, we all spring from the same well of creation and diversity has been the key to why the human race has thrived.
    Perhaps our life spans are too short and collective recorded memories too disjointed and inert to comprehend a bigger picture, but for sure, man will always keep things in disequilibrium for there is no activity without that.
    What I am trying to say is . . . if we are all going to argue, can we at least be civil? – we are all, after all, in a zero sum game with butterfly wing flap connectivity.
    We will realise this when our Sun star begins to collapse or some other massive event makes us realise how foolish our egos have made us. Until then, we will only see things clearly at an individual level at the time when our life ebbs away.Recommend

  • Rafay Kareem
    Apr 27, 2011 - 8:00AM

    Very informative article Ayesha, you made your point well.Recommend

  • Justar
    Apr 27, 2011 - 11:43AM

    The majority of Muslims are peaceful, tolerant and wonderful people. They are getting bad press from the activities of a few.
    Karen Armstrong has a very balanced view on Muslims and her writings (based on extensive research) also describe a golden rule of the Muslims in Spain.
    Thank you Ayesha, for reminding Muslims how great they can be.Recommend

  • Nick
    Apr 27, 2011 - 10:05PM

    @Hasan:
    You should be a bit more careful in you logic. The argument you are making would also mean then that the native peoples of the Americas as well as other places in the world such as Australia, etc. should and would be justified in fighting against all of those of us in those countries where are the decendents of European colonialists. And that they would be justified to expel us as well, if they were able to do so. Recommend

  • Suls
    Apr 28, 2011 - 3:01AM

    A great article reflecting a glorious past and a spirit of a people that were progressive in nature. Their magnificent architecture, inventions and advancment in areas such as math, sociology, chemistry, travel e.c.t should be noted and given praise, irrespective if it contributed to the renaissance. Also many muslim polymaths should be honored such as ibn rushd, ibn Sina, al Ghazzali, Geber, al Farabi, al Kindi and many more. Lets not forget that lands predominantly inhabitat by Muslim have also been under colonization, subjected to war and invasion. I belive that this has lead to the current impass that Muslims find themselves in, hardening attidtudes as a response. However to be fair Muslims need to understand their glorious past and rekindle adherence to their historical traditon which emphasises outstanding character.Recommend

  • Nobody
    May 19, 2011 - 8:20AM

    @Indian USA:
    Clearly, a “tolerant” and “secular” constitution does NOT a tolerant, secular (in the true sense of the word) or accepting society make. Thanks for proving that! Guess it’s not only Pakistani’s who suffer from selective tolerance. Recommend

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