Sunday, September 25, 2005

Israeli Occupation? Moslems are Just Being Modest

Like the rest of the world, the Palestinian Arabs and the Moslem world as a whole gives a geshrei about the Israeli 'occupation' along with cries of American 'occupation' of Iraq, imperialism, globalization, etc.

Moslem history is worth looking at in comparison.

In an article for The New Yorker back in 2001 entitled the The Revolt of Islam Bernard Lewis writes about the European counter-attack against Moslem invasion during the Middle Ages:

The Tatars were expelled from Russia, and the Moors from Spain. But in southeastern Europe, where the Ottoman sultan confronted first the Byzantine and then the Holy Roman Emperor, Muslim power prevailed, and these setbacks were seen as minor and peripheral. As late as the seventeenth century, Turkish pashas still ruled in Budapest and Belgrade, Turkish armies were besieging Vienna, and Barbary corsairs were raiding lands as distant as the British Isles and, on one occasion, in 1627, even Iceland. [emphasis added]

The material in the article appears also in Lewis' The Crisis of Islam (see page 51).

On page 34 of that book, he describes the beginning of Moslem Imperialism:

The then Christian provinces of Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa were absorbed and in due course Islamized and Arabized, and they served as bases for the further invasion of Europe and the conquest of Spain and Portugal and much of southern Italy. By the early eighth century the conquering Arab armies were even advancing beyond the Pyrenees into France. [emphasis added]

Lewis describes the European attempt to end the Moslem occupation in contemporary terms:

By this time the jihad had become almost entirely defensive--resisting the Reconquest in Spain and Russia, resisting the movements for national self-liberation by the Christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire, and finally, as Muslims see it, defending the very heartlands of Islam against infidel attack. [emphasis added]

Lewis adds how Moslems describe this period of Christian self-liberation:

This phase has come to be known as imperialism.

Apparently Zionism is not the first nationalist movement to be labeled 'imperialist' by the Moslem world.

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