Video: Muhammad and the Origins of Islam

Video: Islamic Conquest of Christian Egypt, 639-646

via Islam Watch.

9/11 terrorists caught testing Boston airport security months before attacks

via 9/11 terrorists caught testing airport security months before attacks | New York Post.

At least three eyewitnesses spotted al Qaeda hijackers casing the security checkpoints at Boston’s Logan Airport months before the 9/11 attacks. They saw something and said something — but were ignored, newly unveiled court papers reveal.

One of the witnesses, an American Airlines official, actually confronted hijacking ringleader Mohamed Atta after watching him videotape and test a security checkpoint in May 2001 — four months before he boarded the American Airlines flight that crashed into the World Trade Center.

The witness alerted security, but authorities never questioned the belligerent Egyptian national or flagged him as a threat.

“I’m convinced that had action been taken after the sighting of Atta, the 9/11 attacks, at least at Logan, could have been deterred,” said Brian Sullivan, a former FAA special agent who at the time warned of holes in security at the airport.

The three Boston witnesses were never publicly revealed, even though they were interviewed by the FBI and found to be credible. Their names didn’t even appear as footnotes in the 9/11 commission report.

But what they testified to seeing — only revealed now as part of the discovery in a settled 9/11 wrongful-death suit against the airlines and the government — can only be described as chilling.

Read it all.

What’s chilling is that 13 years after 9/11, we have a president who has surrounded himself with terror-linked Muslims and days after a Muslim beheads an innocent grandmother in Oklahoma, Obama dispatches a personal message of support to the beheader’s mosque. That is chilling.

9/11 Raw Video Footage

“Those

who cannot

remember

the past

are

condemned

to repeat it.”

 

Please share this and our other 9/11 posts stuck on the home page today.

How Islam Set Back Western Civilization

And continues to do so, as the world is witnessing, today. Excerpted from How Islam Set Back Western Civilization. By Matthew Hanley

The Belgian historian Henri Pirenne asked a related question: what, in fact, caused the Dark Ages? In his posthumous Mohammed and Charlemagne (1939), Pirenne contested the conventionally accepted explanation for the fall of classical civilization: the formal dissolution of the Western Roman Empire in 476, following its descent into decadence, paved the way for a barbarism that led inexorably to the subsequent Dark Ages of the 7th to 10th centuries.

Pirenne observed that the governing barbarians did not obliterate the Roman infrastructure, and that the overall modus vivendi carried on much like it had, prior to its fall, because the “barbarians” adopted the prevailing Roman ethos. They did not foist their own language, laws, or customs on Rome.

Pirenne stressed that the source of the Roman Empire’s vitality cannot be disassociated from its essentially Mediterranean character and orientation; that clearly remained intact for quite a while. Western trade flourished as before, connected with the great cities of the East – where prosperity, population, and learning were concentrated. The overall features of life throughout the region in 600 were similar to what they had been in 400.

It was not until the advent of Islam in the 7th century, precisely then and only then, that destruction really arrived. Recurrent Islamic raids altered the very orientation of the littoral peoples; they fled the Mediterranean and for the first time looked to the north. East was severed from West, and the previously unified Mediterranean, “having become a Musalman lake, was no longer a thoroughfare of commerce and of thought which it always had been.”

Unlike the German invaders, wherever the Arabs went they ruled. This was a dimension of their religious claims. They sought not conversion per se, but demanded subjection, creating an insuperable barrier between the conquered and the Muslims: “What a contrast between them [the Arabs] and Theodoric, who placed himself at the service of those he had conquered, and sought to assimilate himself to them!” The whole region was thereby transformed, as the Arabs ushered in “a complete break with the past.”

Egyptian papyri, which had been widespread in the West (and a solid indicator of literacy), disappeared, as did distinctive coins that were in use right up until the Arab conquest – leading to the barter system.Despite the literary and archaeological sources, however, Pirenne’s arguments were dismissed in favor of the view that Islam had been (unlike “repressive” Christianity) an enlightening force.

In Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited (2012),Emmet Scott has taken up Pirenne’s thesis. Though he is primarily interested in the controversy it generated, he does not shy away from rendering a verdict: “scholarship has now arrived at several conclusions which are really beyond dispute, and which tend to offer definitive support for Pirenne.”

In the late sixth and early seventh centuries, classical civilization was intact and humming along, even expanding. In fact, some regions were “flourishing as never before”; Spain in particular, as well as Gaul, was enjoying a resurgent late classical culture.

Scott points to the hundreds of known Visigothic-era structures, even noting that by the early 7th century architects had brought back meticulously cut stone; these structures, Scott observes, were “far superior, technically and artistically, to their successors of the tenth century Romanesque.” In fact, the rich Visigothic architectural legacy stands in conspicuous contradistinction to the “virtually complete absence of all archaeology from the first two centuries of the Islamic epoch.” Only in the mid-tenth century do artifacts reemerge.

The great cities of the East – in Syria and Asia Minor – suffered violent destruction at the hand of the Arabs in the early seventh century. Sudden ruin during war, it might be objected, is one thing; these cities, however, were never rebuilt. In fact, significant archaeological remains in the entire Mediterranean as well as Middle Eastern regions (beyond Roman influence) seem to have entirely vanished for the next three centuries.

Construction – to say nothing of preservation – was not nurtured by Islam. Indeed, “almost all knowledge of these countries’ histories disappears, and does so almost overnight.” Of Egypt, Scott writes that the change imposed upon them in the early 7th century “can only be described as catastrophic.”

Islamic lands, as Naipaul recounts with personalized detail, have tended to experience a measure of what Egypt did so acutely: the effective loss of her own history. Moreover, another highly significant feature is now part of the archaeological record: a layer of sediment found throughout the Mediterranean known as the “Younger Fill.” This stratum of subsoil, which is not confined to the Mediterranean but is found in all the shores occupied by Muslims, represents the “geographical signature of the end of Graeco-Roman civilization.”

This subsoil was deposited between the mid-seventh and mid-tenth centuries, precisely coinciding with the deafening archaeological silence. It can be explained by the wholesale abandonment of irrigational and agricultural systems when the littoral peoples abandoned coastal settlements for hilltop fortifications in response to unremitting Muslim raids.

Misconceptions about the Crusades

via The Real History of the Crusades | Shoebat.com.

Misconceptions about the Crusades are all too common. The Crusades are generally portrayed as a series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics. They are supposed to have been the epitome of self-righteousness and intolerance, a black stain on the history of the Catholic Church in particular and Western civilization in general. A breed of proto-imperialists, the Crusaders introduced Western aggression to the peaceful Middle East and then deformed the enlightened Muslim culture, leaving it in ruins. For variations on this theme, one need not look far. See, for example, Steven Runciman’s famous three-volume epic, History of the Crusades, or the BBC/A&E documentary, The Crusades, hosted by Terry Jones. Both are terrible history yet wonderfully entertaining.

So what is the truth about the Crusades? Scholars are still working some of that out. But much can already be said with certainty. For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression—an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.

Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword. Muslim thought divides the world into two spheres, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War. Christianity—and for that matter any other non-Muslim religion—has no abode. Christians and Jews can be tolerated within a Muslim state under Muslim rule. But, in traditional Islam, Christian and Jewish states must be destroyed and their lands conquered. When Mohammed was waging war against Mecca in the seventh century, Christianity was the dominant religion of power and wealth. As the faith of the Roman Empire, it spanned the entire Mediterranean, including the Middle East, where it was born. The Christian world, therefore, was a prime target for the earliest caliphs, and it would remain so for Muslim leaders for the next thousand years.

With enormous energy, the warriors of Islam struck out against the Christians shortly after Mohammed’s death. They were extremely successful. Palestine, Syria, and Egypt—once the most heavily Christian areas in the world—quickly succumbed. By the eighth century, Muslim armies had conquered all of Christian North Africa and Spain. In the eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks conquered Asia Minor (modern Turkey), which had been Christian since the time of St. Paul. The old Roman Empire, known to modern historians as the Byzantine Empire, was reduced to little more than Greece. In desperation, the emperor in Constantinople sent word to the Christians of western Europe asking them to aid their brothers and sisters in the East.

Understand the crusaders
That is what gave birth to the Crusades. They were not the brainchild of an ambitious pope or rapacious knights but a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world. At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense.

Pope Urban II called upon the knights of Christendom to push back the conquests of Islam at the Council of Clermont in 1095. The response was tremendous. Many thousands of warriors took the vow of the cross and prepared for war. Why did they do it? The answer to that question has been badly misunderstood. In the wake of the Enlightenment, it was usually asserted that Crusaders were merely lacklands and ne’er-do-wells who took advantage of an opportunity to rob and pillage in a faraway land. The Crusaders’ expressed sentiments of piety, self-sacrifice, and love for God were obviously not to be taken seriously. They were only a front for darker designs.

During the past two decades, computer-assisted charter studies have demolished that contrivance. Scholars have discovered that crusading knights were generally wealthy men with plenty of their own land in Europe. Nevertheless, they willingly gave up everything to undertake the holy mission. Crusading was not cheap. Even wealthy lords could easily impoverish themselves and their families by joining a Crusade. They did so not because they expected material wealth (which many of them had already) but because they hoped to store up treasure where rust and moth could not corrupt. They were keenly aware of their sinfulness and eager to undertake the hardships of the Crusade as a penitential act of charity and love. Europe is littered with thousands of medieval charters attesting to these sentiments, charters in which these men still speak to us today if we will listen. Of course, they were not opposed to capturing booty if it could be had. But the truth is that the Crusades were notoriously bad for plunder. A few people got rich, but the vast majority returned with nothing.

What really happened?
Urban II gave the Crusaders two goals, both of which would remain central to the eastern Crusades for centuries. The first was to rescue the Christians of the East. As his successor, Pope Innocent III, later wrote:

 How does a man love according to divine precept his neighbor as himself when, knowing that his Christian brothers in faith and in name are held by the perfidious Muslims in strict confinement and weighed down by the yoke of heaviest servitude, he does not devote himself to the task of freeing them? … Is it by chance that you do not know that many thousands of Christians are bound in slavery and imprisoned by the Muslims, tortured with innumerable torments?

“Crusading,” Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith has rightly argued, was understood as an “an act of love”—in this case, the love of one’s neighbor. The Crusade was seen as an errand of mercy to right a terrible wrong. As Pope Innocent III wrote to the Knights Templar, “You carry out in deeds the words of the Gospel, ‘Greater love than this hath no man, that he lay down his life for his friends.’” Continue reading

“And You Did Not Speak Out” (video)

In case you didn’t hear this in your church, temple, synagogue, mosque or other religious institution this weekend. via “And You Did Not Speak Out” – YouTube.

Also (re)read this post:  “They Thought They Were Free” (they now being “we”).

Related videos here.

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