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Friday, May 12, 2017

A fascinating historical revision

The idea that the "Arab Conquests" might have actually been Persian may explain, in part, why Iran believes it should be the center of the Islamic world:
The two greatest powers in the Middle East at the beginning of the seventh century were Byzantium and Sassanian Persia. In 602 the Persian king Chosroes (Khosrau) II went to war against the Byzantine usurper Phocas, who had earlier murdered Chosroes' friend and father-in-law the Emperor Maurice. The war did not end with the death of Phocas (610), but continued into the reign of Heraclius, and was to prove ruinous to the Byzantines. Jerusalem was taken by the Persians in 614, a disaster which was quickly followed by the loss of most of Asia Minor between 616 and 618 and Egypt in 619/20. Chosroes II now equalled the achievements of his Persian predecessors in the sixth century BC, with his forces marching across North Africa to annex the Libyan province of Cyrenaea in 621. The story told by the Byzantines of how Heraclius, in the face of this overwhelming calamity, rallied his armies and reconquered all the lost territories – only to lose the same territories again to the Arabs from 632 onwards – has a ring of fantasy about it, and historians have long viewed it with scepticism. Certainly there is no doubting the power and influence of the Persians in this epoch.

The earliest Islam, as revealed by archaeology, is in fact profoundly Persian; and indeed the first trace of Islam recovered in excavation are coins of Sassanian Persian design bearing the image either of Chosroes II (d. 628) or of his grandson Yazdegerd III (d. 651). On one side we find the portrait of the king, on the reverse the picture of a Zoroastrian Fire Temple. The only thing that marks these out as Islamic is the legend besm Allah (in the name of God), written in the Syriac script, beside the Fire Temple. (The Arabic script did not then exist). According to the Encyclopdaedia Iranica:

“These coins usually have a portrait of a Sasanian emperor with an honorific inscription and various ornaments. To the right of the portrait is a ruler’s or governor’s name written in Pahlavi script. On the reverse there is a Zoroastrian fire altar with attendants on either side. At the far left is the year of issue expressed in words, and at the right is the place of minting. In all these features, the Arab-Sasanian coinages are similar to Sasanian silver drahms. The major difference between the two series is the presence of some additional Arabic inscription on most coins issued under Muslim authority, but some coins with no Arabic can still be attributed to the Islamic period. The Arab-Sasanian coinages are not imitations, since they were surely designed and manufactured by the same people as the late Sasanian issues, illustrating the continuity of administration and economic life in the early years of Muslim rule in Iran.” (“Arab-Sasanian Coins,” Encyclopdaedia Iranica, at www.iranica.com/articles/arab-sasanian-coins)

Note the remark: “The Arab-Sasanian coinages are not imitations,” but were “designed and manufactured by the same people as the late Sasanian issues.” We note also that the date provided on these artefacts is written in Persian script, and it would appear that those who minted the coins, native Persians, did not understand Arabic.
It would also explain the seeming, and relatively sudden, vanishing of what had been for more than 1500 years one of the great world powers, if it was not a vanishing, but a mere transformation.

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86 Comments:

Anonymous Icicle May 12, 2017 11:53 PM  

So Arabs were always useless? Even Saladin was a Kurd.

Blogger Jackie Chun May 13, 2017 12:03 AM  

I think you just vindicated one of my friends who, when I explained to him how Islam started out by conquering Persia, asked me (paraphrase): How the fuck did the Persian empire lose to a bunch of ragged bedouins?

Anonymous John Scalzi Unfinished Asimov Project May 13, 2017 12:04 AM  

I'm broadly familiar, in an Outline of History/Oxford History of the World way, with the period, so I've always been intrigued by the irony of this supposed death-gasp of the Roman/Persian wars, with the two antagonists supposedly leaving each other so exhausted that the Arabs swept in and washed back Byzantium and washed up the Sassanids altogether.

I also came to this essay aware of the curious fact that the "rightly-guided caliphs" and half of the Ommayad caliphate basically left Persian administration supposedly intact and Persian in place as the language of officialdom.

And since Abbasid Baghdad was basically a Persian town (Braudel so describes it) if all this revision is true, then essentially the Abbasid caliphate and the removal of the capital to Baghdad in 750 would be a Persian countercoup.

Which is part of the big problem I have making sense of this. If the rightly-guided caliphs are either Arabized transmutations of Sassanid emperors or generals, and if the Persian wing of the caliphate regained control circa 750, that doesn't leave a big window of time for the Islamic Sassanids to lose all memory of the great achievement they had made.

I mean, it's a heck of a thing to let some Arab camelriders ride shotgun on your great expansion of conquest, then usurp your neo-Zoroastrianism and Mormonize it with a bunch of racist Arabic jibber-jabber, then succeed in reasserting control from your ethnic homeland BUT lose all record of what had really happened.

And the Byzantines, even if complicit in wishing to polish the memory of their resistance-- it seems very peculiar.

Is there any archaological evidence across North Africa or into Iberia that Persian armies were spearheading the Islamic conquests?

Anonymous Sensei May 13, 2017 12:13 AM  

@3
I mean, it's a heck of a thing to let some Arab camelriders ride shotgun on your great expansion of conquest, then usurp your neo-Zoroastrianism and Mormonize it with a bunch of racist Arabic jibber-jabber, then succeed in reasserting control from your ethnic homeland BUT lose all record of what had really happened.

Maybe they had SJWs...

Anonymous John Scalzi Unfinished Asimov Project May 13, 2017 12:19 AM  

--And then, too, if the Persian-centric Abbasids are reasserting control after essentially only a 50 year window of Arabization (and even to this day Muslims, as I understand it, tend to frown upon the whole Ommayad dynasty-- the Oxford VSI entry on "Islamic History" claims this), why at the same time did they not role back Arabization?

Looking up in IH:AVSI,

" . . . but much of Abbasid civilization--including literature, history, theology, religious sciences, Quranic studies, and even Arabic poetry and linguistics--was created and dominated by people who composed books in Arabic but told bedtime stories in Persian. Persians were very much aware of their cultural dominance and a literary movement arose promoting Persian culture and reminding the Arabs of their indebtedness to it." (Silverstein p 54)

Well, that too is very curious! And yet, again, I still wonder why the Sassanids proper, since they must, under this revisionist account, have at least a few decades of triumph in which to commemorate their triumphs, so totally lose control of their own religion and history to yokel allies? How did the Ommayads in Damascus manage to clean out Persian self-awareness of their late history--and THAT without imposing the Arab language by decree on government, or without oppressive slaughter of the Persian natives? Or can the can of historical erasure be kicked still further down the line: did the Seljuks, say, find it prudent to maximize Arabia at the expense of Persia? If Chosroes II is the first caliph, I feel there must be much more still to uncover.

Blogger Matthew May 13, 2017 12:20 AM  

See also Robert Spencer's Did Muhammad Exist?.

Blogger Matthew May 13, 2017 12:23 AM  

Sensei wrote:@3

I mean, it's a heck of a thing to let some Arab camelriders ride shotgun on your great expansion of conquest, then usurp your neo-Zoroastrianism and Mormonize it with a bunch of racist Arabic jibber-jabber, then succeed in reasserting control from your ethnic homeland BUT lose all record of what had really happened.

Maybe they had SJWs...


Maybe they had Jews.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft May 13, 2017 12:27 AM  

Well that would be... interesting.

Anonymous John Scalzi Unfinished Asimov Project May 13, 2017 12:34 AM  

--I mean, would the Abbasids have purged their libraries of all their Persian or Hebrew or Syriac or whatever Korans?

Technically the Ommayads had a hundred years at the helm. Let's say only the rightly-guided caliphs are an Arab mythologized correspondence to Sassanid rulership in the "caliphate" (super-Sassanid empire). A hundred years is a more probably window for erasing Persian Islam from memory. But revisionism or no revisionism, the first half of the Ommayad caliphate really WASN'T Arabized in official language or culture. If government is carried on still in Persian, that's a fine point in favor of the Sassanid Persian Islam revision. It's still conceivable some Arabs had usurped government and only gradually got around to the business of cultural appropriation; but in order to explain the mythologization of the real history it is more persuasive to have a longer window of Arab usurpation inside the empire. Neither Christianity nor Constantinople erased Roman history-- we don't think the Aeneid was written in Greek. If the Persians merely suffered a brief interval of interloping Arabs pretending it was All About Them, I wouldn't just carry on telling bedtime stories in Persian--I'd bring back my Real Koran too (Nestorian missal or whatever the heck it might really have been).

Anonymous Looking Glass May 13, 2017 12:42 AM  

@7 Matthew

It's actually more they had the Christians running the money. It's the reason Christian groups have survived under Muslim rule for so long.

Islam in general & Arabs in particular have a deep Game Theory problem. Initial conversion of a culture produces an extremely rapid Conquest of other areas, mostly because you're about to run out of Women by generation 2. By generation 3, you're already seeing significant in-breeding because of cousin marriage.

So, around 100 years after conversion, everyone but your tribal leaders are in-breed and you're seeing a collapse in culture-wide IQ by probably 1 SD. The Shi'ites managed to avoid this because, and this NOT a joke, prostitution is functionally legal. Most of the rest of the cultures also, it has to be noted, aren't Arab.

The Arabs, it needs to be kept in mind, are something akin to if the stupidest hillbilly you've ever met suddenly became military dictator and established a new religion. The rest of the Islamic world views them with a lot more disdain than they'd openly voice. So, to the deep insult of the rest of the Islamic world, the Arabs are the murderous form of the Clampetts. Who says the Lord doesn't have a sense of humor?

But the stupid always rubs off. Always. When things don't work well, the instinct is always to "go back to the basics!". Well, in Islam, that's an utterly incompetent tribal warlord system that marries up all of the available Women to a small collection of Men. This collapses social cohesion and brings about the very heavy conformity aspects of the cultures.

Anonymous Looking Glass May 13, 2017 12:49 AM  

@9 John Scalzi Unfinished Asimov Project

"Well practiced" Islam, it should be noted, is best understood as a massive Inferiority Complex with significant Anger Management issues. Though it's hard to separate which is the Islam and which is the fact it's the religion of a bunch of goat-raping desert wanders from the 7th century?

Islam doesn't build societies. It injects pre-existing ones with Anger, Will and more Murder. That's why things go in waves and, since they'd be operating by instinct, I would assume the instinct would be to remove the annoying Persians from their records. What would an in-breed SJW do when given power? I honestly don't know the full answer, but removing everyone else to puff up their own glory makes a lot of sense. Kings used to do that all the time, anyway.

Blogger tublecane May 13, 2017 1:04 AM  

"...explain, in part, why Iran believes it should be the center of the Islamic world"

Does anyone ever need a reason to think of themselves as the center of the world?

Anonymous Clay The Swamp Spartan May 13, 2017 1:04 AM  

Here's some stoopid rubbing for you...

Ah, they can't decide which hand to wipe their ass with. Maybe they never invented toilet paper.

Which reminds me...ever see tribal Africans on the NAT GEO channel using chairs?

I'm sorry...I'm a bit perturbed. Some folks invaded my favorite crappie spot under the bridge.

Nice at first, but turned belligerent. I could either shoot them, or, leave. (there is a matter of civility with fishing for perch)

Anonymous Rip May 13, 2017 1:15 AM  

If Islam wasn't spread by Arab conquests though, then why did Persia convert to Islam?

Blogger Jourdan May 13, 2017 1:22 AM  

This is true, but as Samuel Huntington explained in his masterpiece, there are two civilizations whose Core States are defective in that each one, for the same reason, cannot fulfill its role as leader.

Brazil, in Latin America, due to language.

Iran, in the Islamic world, due to language, and religious minority status.

Both *should* be clear leaders and both desire this role, but both cannot be.

Anonymous Deplorable me May 13, 2017 1:41 AM  

Okay, so presuming the superiority of Persians, how do you say "Alexander pwned Darius" in Persian?

Anonymous badhairday May 13, 2017 1:50 AM  

Ah, so that's why Mecca is in Iran....

Anonymous Sharrukin May 13, 2017 1:58 AM  

14. Rip

If Islam wasn't spread by Arab conquests though, then why did Persia convert to Islam?

The Semitic western regions of Persia were largely Arabic-Semitic and may have adopted the Christian heresy (Ebionites) that later emerged as Islam. Chosroe the Second is said to have adopted a form of Christianity (from his wife Shirin) which later became Islam.

In short, Persia fell to Islam in the same way the Romans fell to Christianity.

The battles and clashes would have been an internal religious struggle later mythologized as the Arab conquest to justify Arab-Muslim predominance.

Blogger VFM6974 May 13, 2017 3:27 AM  

I think of Islam as a failed imperialist movement that was forced to transition into 4th generation warefare and got very adept at it while the whole world was playing PC-games. Satan armies do develop new tactics.

Blogger AdognamedOp May 13, 2017 3:32 AM  

The origin of Islamic coinage is still under debate so it's not the best source for piecing history together in any meaningful sense.

OpenID chronicrpg May 13, 2017 3:55 AM  

There is every reason to be doubtful of a historical revision that presumes bitter enemies cooperating on a campaign of deliberate historical falsification and Persians keeping crediting their greatest achievement to Arabs whom they loathe to this day.

Early Caliphate culture was predominantly Persian for the same reason culture of early Germanic kindgoms in Spain, Italy and Africa was predominantly Roman.

Blogger Elizabeth May 13, 2017 5:30 AM  

chronicrpg wrote:There is every reason to be doubtful of a historical revision that presumes bitter enemies cooperating on a campaign of deliberate historical falsification and Persians keeping crediting their greatest achievement to Arabs whom they loathe to this day.

Early Caliphate culture was predominantly Persian for the same reason culture of early Germanic kindgoms in Spain, Italy and Africa was predominantly Roman.


Seems pretty fantastic to me, too.

I would think that Moslem rulers in newly-conquered areas might choose not to antagonize their new subjects unnecessarily. The new rulers were a tiny minority, so keep the crosses on the coins, tax non-Moslems lightly for the "privilege" of keeping their religion, leave local elites in charge as long as they didn't make trouble, etc.

Anonymous Carlos Danger May 13, 2017 5:58 AM  

The Mongols played a big role in that destruction. Focus also shifted East, into India to create the Moghul culture which lasted until India was colonized.

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 13, 2017 7:01 AM  

Sounds like they started putting Spanish on their signs for the emigres.

Blogger Old Ez May 13, 2017 7:42 AM  

Isnt it possible that the Muslims just carried over some of the language of Persian religion into the Islamic system? My favorite Spengler quote is "No faith yet has altered the world, and no fact can ever rebut a faith."

Anonymous DirkH May 13, 2017 7:44 AM  

@22. Elizabeth May 13, 2017 5:30 AM
" I would think that Moslem rulers in newly-conquered areas might choose not to antagonize their new subjects unnecessarily. The new rulers were a tiny minority, so keep the crosses on the coins, tax non-Moslems lightly for the "privilege" of keeping their religion, "

Close but no cigar:
NO taxation guaranteed over your entire lifetime for any new CONVERTS to Islam and
NO RIGHTS for anyone who doesn't convert.

the result was that mass conversion took place, and the newly converted had the right to let their goats graze anywhere including the fields of non-converts. This accelerated the desertification in North Africa. A system similar to communism or Malthus' Tragedy Of The Commons: a system based on looting, a zero sum game, resulting in the nonproductivity of Islam to this day. Which also points to a Bedouin origin of Islam: Desert dwellers are used to zero sum games.

Blogger Johnny May 13, 2017 8:03 AM  

26. DirkH

Also while Islam is a nasty business in some ways, they do practice a degree of equality among the faithful. That makes conversion desirable for the lower ranking individuals in these early and oppressive societies.

Blogger Johnny May 13, 2017 8:13 AM  

Looking Glass wrote:@7 Matthew

It's actually more they had the Christians running the money. It's the reason Christian groups have survived under Muslim rule for so long.

Islam in general & Arabs in particular have a deep Game Theory problem. Initial conversion of a culture produces an extremely rapid Conquest of other areas, mostly because you're about to run out of Women by generation 2. By generation 3, you're already seeing significant in-breeding because of cousin marriage.

So, around 100 years after conversion, everyone but your tribal leaders are in-breed and you're seeing a collapse in culture-wide IQ by probably 1 SD. The Shi'ites managed to avoid this because, and this NOT a joke, prostitution is functionally legal. Most of the rest of the cultures also, it has to be noted, aren't Arab.

The Arabs, it needs to be kept in mind, are something akin to if the stupidest hillbilly you've ever met suddenly became military dictator and established a new religion. The rest of the Islamic world views them with a lot more disdain than they'd openly voice. So, to the deep insult of the rest of the Islamic world, the Arabs are the murderous form of the Clampetts. Who says the Lord doesn't have a sense of humor?

But the stupid always rubs off. Always. When things don't work well, the instinct is always to "go back to the basics!". Well, in Islam, that's an utterly incompetent tribal warlord system that marries up all of the available Women to a small collection of Men. This collapses social cohesion and brings about the very heavy conformity aspects of the cultures.


"tribal warlord system that marries up all of the available Women"

A left out detail is that Islamic societies produce large numbers of sexually frustrated men with no outlet other than female captives from other societies. Thus the tendency is either slave taking by raids or war, most commonly directed against non Islamic societies.

From the time of its formation until the Europeans shut down (or slowed) slave taking in the 1820's, the House of Islam was continuously at war or raiding all its non Islamic neighbors. And now that European power is waning, the aggressive tendencies are coming back.

Blogger James May 13, 2017 8:35 AM  

So, why would the Persians adopt Arabic as the official "religious" language? What happens to a culture when they start using another language, even if only for ceremonial and administrative functions? Does any culture allow such a feature to be introduced outside of actual conquest?

Blogger Johnny May 13, 2017 8:35 AM  

Perhaps an analog for Islam taking over would be Judaism taking over in Palestine. The claim is that it was a conquest by Joshua that in reality was either greatly more limited or never happened. People love stories and conquest by war is more exciting than conquest by gradual conversion.

Anonymous Jay Will May 13, 2017 8:39 AM  

There's a youtube video showing a BBC scum sucking shill, who believes all the lies she's been taught, talking to a Syrian on the street (selling food on the street the fucking savage).

She can't understand his anger, or why he thinks they are lying.

"But little sandnigga man, we are just trying to help, Assad is an evil man, we can't save you unless we destroy your country and kill all your children"

Thankfully low IQ, and high esteem Yanks, are right on board with the shill and will happily go kill all the sand niggaz for their betters.

He probably thinks he's Persian the deluded fool lol, your all head choppaz to us brahh!!

Anonymous Looking Glass May 13, 2017 8:43 AM  

@28 Johnny

New Converts also tend to be more zealous than others, just as a general statement of Human Nature. Combined together with the "benefits" of conversion, and you get why the Islamic Empires had something of a rollover period. Big wave, crash, next wave, crash. Never actually building anything, but occasionally picking up pieces here and there from already established cultures.

Granted, the cultures that did better with Islam rejected a whole lot of it. The opposite is true for Christianity.

And, the most important lesson I took from the failure of the Occupation of Iraq, Order trumps *every* other societal consideration. Always. Doesn't matter how bad the Order is, as long as exists and makes sense to the Locals. Self-rule is really difficult for Northern European Protestants. Everyone else has real problems pulling it off. Islam always enforces Order and, for a number of places, it's probably been an improvement over what they had.

Blogger Johnny May 13, 2017 8:58 AM  

@32 Looking Glass

>>New Converts also tend to be more zealous than others, just as a general statement of Human Nature.

That is what makes Islam so dangerous right at the moment. They are going through a revival; producing, shall we say, simulated new converts. Along with the rest of us, Jews in particular should be strongly against these Arabic-Islamic immigrants. That they are not is a crazy misjudgment by an apparently intelligent people.

>>Self-rule is really difficult for Northern European Protestants.

If you are thinking of modern times, perhaps. But the thing is, science and the humanist doctrine has religion watered down into an almost non entity.

Blogger Chris Lutz May 13, 2017 9:05 AM  

I've always believed one of the best ways to handle Iran was to play up Iran's Persian origins. Talk about how great the Persian empire was until it became Islamic and after a brief spurt receded into a backwater of relevance. I would blast that propaganda 24-7 into Iran and watch the mullahs start to sweat. Actually watch the Arabs start to sweat as well.

Anonymous Dyskord May 13, 2017 9:33 AM  

The fall of the Persian Empire is a direct parallel to the fall of Europe to the Muzzie refugees.
If Europe allows itself to be subsumed by the Islamic horde in time the muzzies will claim the European victories as their own. Discoveries in science, Biology etc will be accredited to some random sand N166ger, at least the approved ones. The rest will be destroyed with the libraries and statues and institutions not Shariah approved or conforming to the lie of Arab superiority.

in a century all that's left are disparate tribes rules by warlords under the nominal control of a Caliphate.
Islam is a cultural cancer that wipes out stronger healthier cultures and subsuming their history and accomplishments while wiping their existance from this earth.

Blogger en_forcer May 13, 2017 9:36 AM  

Emmet Scott also discusses the idea of the persians converting to Islam as a way to explain their sudden military strength and speed of conquest. He wrote a section on it in his book Charlemagne vs. Mohammed. He mostly discusses Henri Pirenne's thesis in this book but he does include a chapter on some of his work about how Islam appears among the Sassanids of Persia. An absolutely fascinating read. Vox mentioned it in a post or discussion some months back and I'm glad I picked it up. (I wanted to know more about the fall of Rome).

Anonymous Crew May 13, 2017 9:54 AM  

It turns out that there is a page on Emmet Scott and his book on @Infogalactic:

https://infogalactic.com/info/Emmet_Scott
https://infogalactic.com/info/Mohammed_and_Charlemagne_Revisited:_The_History_of_a_Controversy

OpenID frankluke May 13, 2017 9:59 AM  

>See also Robert Spencer's Did Muhammad Exist?.

We aren't allowed to ask such questions. Now, academics can spend 24/8 claiming that all the extrabibilical evidence for Christ is fake, but don't you dare ask that about Mohammed!

I remember thinking about the different criteria used to establish something was historical. One of them is the criterion of embarrassment, that is, if a recorded fact wold embarrass the writer, it is probably true. For example, the four gospels record women as the first witnesses of the empty tomb with the 12 in hiding. Ok, that's embarrassing for the men; therefore, they would be less likely to make it up.

Let's apply that to Mohammed. They record that he had a 6yo bride with whom he did not consummate the marriage until she was 9. Using simply the criterion of embarrassment, we might conclude that is true and evidence for Mohammed's existence because he committed this act.

However, when you mention it to Muslims (as I have done on several occasions), they are not bothered by this fact at all. "But he should consummate with his bride!" they say. "If she is married, then, under Sharia law, she is old enough!" they say.

So let's call it a wash. They should be embarrassed by it but since they aren't, it doesn't give any evidence for the existence of Mohammed.

Blogger Miguel Bárbaro May 13, 2017 9:59 AM  

I read a while ago that most of islamic philosophers and thinkers were Persians, not low IQ arabs.

Blogger marco moltisanti May 13, 2017 10:02 AM  

This doesn't make sense to me. Have you read the Koran? The #1 take away I got from it is never, ever engage in pagan practices like worshiping idols or you will most assuredly go to hell. I don't see how anything with the image of a Zoroastrian fire altar could be considered remotely Islamic.

It's much softer on Christians and Jews ("people of the book"). There's even a surah where Mohammed (or God if you want, I guess) specifically sides with the Christian Byzantines against the fire-worshiping Persian pagans. Furthermore, it's my understanding that "Allah" is just Arabic for "God." That is, I believe Arab Christians also call God "Allah" as did ancient Arab pagans.

I'm not claiming to be an expert though. Maybe there's something I'm not understanding.

Anonymous God hates cucks May 13, 2017 10:06 AM  

"Perhaps an analog for Islam taking over would be Judaism taking over in Palestine. The claim is that it was a conquest by Joshua that in reality was either greatly more limited or never happened. People love stories and conquest by war is more exciting than conquest by gradual conversion."

http://creation.com/the-story-of-jericho

Blogger Zimri May 13, 2017 10:12 AM  

"The earliest Islam, as revealed by archaeology, is in fact profoundly Persian;"

This isn't true. The Dome of the Rock ("72", by consensus agreed to be 691 AD) is in the octagonal, domed form of a Byzantine-Christian martyrion. Also in Egypt the Arabs took over the old Greek pagarchal administration wholesale, only later phasing it out with Arabic.

Also, the Qur'an really isn't a Zoroastrian-base document. It is a Samaritan / Jewish based document: with heaviest reliance on Moses, and a grudging acceptance of Jesus always explained (away) as a prophet. If Islam started out as an attempt to bring basal Mosaists in harmony with the tottering Sasanians, I would expect Jesus to be rejected almost entirely, and instead to see some suras trying to rehabilitate Zoroaster and maybe Mazdak.

There is just too many questions raised in Scott's model.

Add to this that Emmet Scott believes that we're living in 1717 AD on account of three centuries mistakenly added to the historical record, as he has doubled-down in "A Guide to the Phantom Dark Age" (2014), and we're left with an overly-excitable fellow with a bent toward conspiracy theory.

Blogger Lovekraft May 13, 2017 10:15 AM  

The day before 9/11 (when I had no clue what was about to happen) I was sitting with my dog in the local park and noticed there was an especially high number of muslims there. Even the females were out. One female was about five feet away from me and I will never forget the delusional, glazey-eyed smile she gave me.

Turns out that look wasn't one of friendship but rather that of the insane gleefully expressing hatred for my kind.

Anonymous Crew May 13, 2017 10:19 AM  

@zimri: You don't read carefully do you ...

Scott claims that Islam is derived from a Judaizing Christian Sect:

In the above two volumes I also argued that the Sassanid king Chosroes II (reigned 590-628) converted to the Ebionite (or Judaic) form of Christianity (or, more accurately, Judaic Jesus movement) and that Ebionitism, popular throughout the Middle East since the fourth century, formed the doctrinal bedrock of what later came to be known as Islam.

On the Persian character:

Certainly the earliest Islam detected by archaeologists is thoroughly Persian in character in terms of art, architecture, iconography, and even pottery. Thus for example, the crescent moon with the star, Islam’s symbol par excellence, is in fact an Iranian religious motif and appears on Persian coins many centuries before the advent of Islam.

http://gatesofvienna.net/2016/08/the-sunni-shia-divide-and-islams-puzzling-origins/

Anonymous Morgan May 13, 2017 10:27 AM  

I don't buy it. Too clever by half. Read Peter Crawford's THE WAR OF THE THREE RELIGIONS which is about the 25 year Byzantine-Sassanid War and the eruption of the Moslems out of Arabia. The two empires were bled white by a generational war. The Sassanids especially so with a series of short lived Shahs and civil wars after the end of the Byzantine war.

Blogger CM May 13, 2017 10:30 AM  

Elizabeth wrote:chronicrpg wrote:There is every reason to be doubtful of a historical revision that presumes bitter enemies cooperating on a campaign of deliberate historical falsification and Persians keeping crediting their greatest achievement to Arabs whom they loathe to this day.

Early Caliphate culture was predominantly Persian for the same reason culture of early Germanic kindgoms in Spain, Italy and Africa was predominantly Roman.


Seems pretty fantastic to me, too.

I would think that Moslem rulers in newly-conquered areas might choose not to antagonize their new subjects unnecessarily. The new rulers were a tiny minority, so keep the crosses on the coins, tax non-Moslems lightly for the "privilege" of keeping their religion, leave local elites in charge as long as they didn't make trouble, etc.


I don't think this is right in the cases of either European reclamation or in this (though I don't know much about Middle Eastern history post-Graecian Empire.

With Europe, there was still Roman control over much of the continent before the tribes reclaimed it from the Romans. It wasn't the tribes being "nice" to romans, but that the tribesmen who had adopted Roman ways, trained as Roman soldiers, participated in Roman culture then became the routers and possibly the leaders of the new civilization post-Rome. Henri Pirenne (correct name?) said that the Germanic tribes actually WANTED to be Roman... which he thinks is a distinct difference between the sacking of Rome and the sacking of Byzantium (the Moslems/Arabs/Persians didn't want to be Byzantine).

If we want to analogize from Europe and Rome to Middle East and Persia, I would guess at a very loose control of Arabia/Arabian Middle East by Persia with well connected and "Perisanified" Arabians leading some revolt against Persia.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab May 13, 2017 10:35 AM  

Rip wrote:If Islam wasn't spread by Arab conquests though, then why did Persia convert to Islam?

Because Christianity was Roman or more correctly Byzantium's baby. You don't adopt the religion of your oldest rival. Not without some major revisions.

Anonymous BbigGayKoranBurner May 13, 2017 10:55 AM  

I say let all moslems fight to the death & the winner can lay claim to the center of islam. How does the fire temple work out with islam being a moon religion? Islam is the zerg of humanity offering rape in life and enslavement of all infidels you kill in the afterlife.

coins, tax non-Moslems lightly for the "privilege" of keeping their religion

Jizya, the tax on non moslems, is meant to be an oppressive tax enough to support jihad. It turns out moslems consider welfare/dole to be jizya.

that doesn't leave a big window of time for the Islamic Sassanids to lose all memory of the great achievement they had made

Jews are capable of forgetting a winning opposing argument in mere seconds perhaps its a middle east thing.

so totally lose control of their own religion and history to yokel allies?

Imagine Ron Paul wearing a bow tie talking about sound money/policy versus Mad Moham yelling RAPE RAPE

converts. This accelerated the desertification in North Africa.

someone posted before an article about how moslems destroyed fertile conquered land thru stupidity but I don't think I saved it can you post it again?

Anonymous kfg May 13, 2017 11:11 AM  

"How does the fire temple work out with islam being a moon religion?"

It doesn't. Ergo the "moon god" thing is false. It's a 20th century meme with no basis. Let it go.

Blogger Zimri May 13, 2017 11:15 AM  

Crew, we all agree Islam is based on a Judaeo-Christian sect. (Even some modern Muslims are getting in on this, like Mustafa Akyol.)

Given that, Scott argues for an additional thesis: that the last Sasanians had adopted para-/proto-Islam already and then - somehow - were betrayed and forced into something more recognisably the Arab Religion.

In this case I expect more remnants of Zoroastrianism in the Qur'an. We know what they'd look like: the remnants of Christianity, mainly Syriac, littering the suras. But these remnants don't exist for Zoroastrianism.

Anonymous kfg May 13, 2017 11:25 AM  

" - somehow - were betrayed and forced into something more recognisably the Arab Religion."

The Romans, as the conquerors, not the conquered, adopted Mithraism, Zoroastrianism and Christianity from the people they conquered.

To take it out of a religious context in the hopes of defusing the emotional reaction, note that India never conquered England, yet curry is considered a staple of English food.

This is just the sort of shit that happens when you go about the whole empire thang.

Anonymous BBGKB May 13, 2017 11:37 AM  

OT:Baby deaths soar in leftist Utopia. This time not from abortion

"deaths of infants under the age of one soared by 30 percent in 2016"
https://www.yahoo.com/news/venezuela-prosecutors-oppose-military-trial-unrest-182106334.html

Anonymous Vermithrax Pejorative May 13, 2017 11:43 AM  

The book In the Shadow of the Sword by Tom Holland covered some of the same issues as this article; Syrian and Zoroastrian influence and the likelihood that the official history of Islam is political fiction written years later to boost the importance of Arabia. Holland claims the actual Arab armies came from further north near Syria and Mesopotamia and were strongly influenced by Roman (Byzantine), Jewish, and Persian culture. In fact Islam is obviously a syncretism of those cultures' religious ideas with Bedouin tribal culture. That much seems right to me.

Taking that a step further and claiming that the Arab conquests were really Persian seems like crossing the line into conspiracy theory.

Anonymous The Shrike May 13, 2017 11:49 AM  

"In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me. 2 In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. 3 I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. 4 I watched the ram as it charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against it, and none could rescue from its power. It did as it pleased and became great.

5 As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between its eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. 6 It came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at it in great rage. 7 I saw it attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering its two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against it; the goat knocked it to the ground and trampled on it, and none could rescue the ram from its power. 8 The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven.

9 Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land. 10 It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. 11 It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the Lord; it took away the daily sacrifice from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down. 12 Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people[a] and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.

13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people?”

14 He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.”

The Interpretation of the Vision
15 While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.”

17 As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. “Son of man,”[b] he said to me, “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.”

18 While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet.

19 He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end.[c] 20 The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king." - Daniel 8

If Greece = Turkey...

Anonymous Snidely Whiplash May 13, 2017 11:56 AM  

Rip wrote:If Islam wasn't spread by Arab conquests though, then why did Persia convert to Islam?
Zoroastrianism was worn out. It was the official religion that nobody believe. Much like Islam in Iran right now. Something like 1% of the population attends Friday Prayers. Everybody drinks, but never ever in public. A decent, well-aimed kick would bring the whole thing down.
Islam delivered that kick.

Blogger Nate May 13, 2017 12:07 PM  

i had a teacher that came here from Iran after the revolution. He hated Iran and insisted he was not Iranian. He was Persian. And he loathed Arabs more than anyone I had ever met.. until I met an Egyptian. Then I found out was loathing Arabs really was.

Blogger Basil Makedon May 13, 2017 12:16 PM  

I'm not so sure about Islam being a Persian invention. Certainly, Islam borrowed from the religious traditions around it. For example, Zoroastrian ideas about Paradise filtered into Islam. Heretical views of Christ are also imported. Islam itself is a religion of Arab superiority, so it would be strange if it were a Persian invention.

The "Islamic Fairy Tale" that is put forth today has serious historical issues. There are essentially no references to Muhammad or to the Koran until post 690 -- two generations after Muhammad supposedly existed. Most of what is "known" about Muhammad and his life are set forth in the Haddith collections which are several centuries after the events. Worse, it appears that as time passed more was "known" about his life as the Haddith collections continued to expand and expand. Imagine what would result if we threw out the four gospels all the epistle and just relied on sources written post 300 AD.

Robert Spencer argues that Muhammad did not actually exist. I think that he makes some good points, but strains too hard to make his case. I think that Tom Holland is closer to the truth.

I would argue that Muhammad is more like King Arthur. Perhaps loosely based on a real person, with deeds of other people grafted on. Islam itself appears to be an invention of Abdl Malik circa 690 is the aftermath of an Arab civil war as a means to unify the large Arab empire.

Blogger Sheila4g May 13, 2017 12:37 PM  

@32 Looking Glass: "Order trumps *every* other societal consideration. Always. Doesn't matter how bad the Order is, as long as exists and makes sense to the Locals. Self-rule is really difficult . . . "

Excellent point. A version of which I always use against any libertarian argument. Freedom to fail terrifies most people far more than control does.

@33 Johnny: "Along with the rest of us, Jews in particular should be strongly against these Arabic-Islamic immigrants. That they are not is a crazy misjudgment by an apparently intelligent people."

The Jewish version of history prominently features times under Arab rule {particularly Moorish Spain} as the height of civilizational flowering and tolerance/advancement of Jews.

@34 Chris Lutz: "I've always believed one of the best ways to handle Iran was to play up Iran's Persian origins."

Most Iranians I know are bristling with pride in their history and culture, and make an explicitly racial distinction between themselves and Arabs. At least in the Dallas area, they do not worship at any of the local mosques with Arab/Pakistani/African Mohammedans, but only separately amongst other Iranians.

@38 frankluke: "I remember thinking about the different criteria used to establish something was historical. One of them is the criterion of embarrassment, that is, if a recorded fact wold embarrass the writer, it is probably true."

Hadn't heard of that criterion, but excellent point. A large part of my accepting the validity of Josh McDonald's "More Than a Carpenter," which led to my acceptance of Jesus, was McDonald's discussion of the gospels' historicity.



Blogger Elkanah Haon May 13, 2017 12:42 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Elkanah Haon May 13, 2017 12:43 PM  

Fascinating.

Was just re-reading upon on 'Hagarism' - the hypothesis (put forward by mainstream academic Islam experts Crone and Cook) that Islam was essentially created as a result of a Jewish attempt to recruit barbarian Arab armies to make up for their lack of numbers in an attempt to reconquer Palestine - an experiment which obviously got wildly out of hand.

I've often wondered how the seemingly bizarre survival of Persian identity and language came about despite the supposed Arab Muslim conquests of that civilization. This would certainly explain it.

Jews or Persians - which seem likeliest to have accidently recruited Arab Barbarians by inventing a pseudo-religion, which became a cult, which became an extremely violent religion, in an attempt to overcome Christendom?

Blogger Were-Puppy May 13, 2017 12:48 PM  

I ran across this earlier. She is explaining about the Kurds and claims they are Iranians aka Persians.
https://youtu.be/NIqCuwzxhNw

Blogger Zimri May 13, 2017 12:51 PM  

Sheila4g - the criterion of embarrassment is more famous in Christianity in Tertullian's words, "I believe it because it is ineptus" - that is, these facts aren't useful for a made-up religion, so are probably true.

Bart Ehrman - atheist - accepts three points of early Christian dogma that Christians themselves recognised as a problem: the virgin birth (easily interpreted as a bastard birth), the baptism by John (who dares baptise the incarnate God?), and the crucifixion (a disgrace in Rome, a curse in Jerusalem).

Blogger Zimri May 13, 2017 12:54 PM  

Iranian in terms of a people just means anyone speaking an Iranian language. Kurds and Persians, and also Baluchis and Tajiks, and all the strange pockets along the southern Caspian coast.

Interestingly the Armenians were thought to be Iranian too for a long time. Their language got hit hard by imposed loanwords. Like how English got hit by Norman French and related Latinate languages in their train.

Blogger Rez Zircon May 13, 2017 1:16 PM  

@49 Actually, Islam does contain some elements of Zoroastrian practice, such as praying five times per day whilst asslifted toward $HolyPlace.

It's pretty clear that the Quran started as a mishmash of Jewish and Christian texts (probably mostly in Syriac and Aramaic, not Arabic), and to my editor's eye, has suffered from at least a couple layers of bad translations. And I have a suspicion what got included was mostly a function of where Jewish scribes (the main literate class of the region) were widely available, and that as one went east, this became a scarce resource, hence the lack of Zoroastrian content.

Also my grok is that the caliph who gathered and burned all nonconforming Qurans had a special enmity toward Zoroastrians, so may have deliberately targeted any versions that contained Zoroastrian text.

Blogger Rez Zircon May 13, 2017 1:25 PM  

@56 I think you are probably correct -- that the Mohammed revered today did not exist as such, but was loosely based on one or more actual persons, so more solid than Spencer's complete negation.

One thing I got from the Quran is that at least one major author went to a Hebrew school, was a lousy student, got chastised by his teachers, and spent the rest of his life indulging in a revenge fantasy against Jews. There's enough of that in the Quran, with the same theme over and over, that one suspects it came from one person's collection of letters or memoirs.

Blogger Cataline Sergius May 13, 2017 1:46 PM  

My own view is that Islam started as a heretical off shoot of Arianism.

Although the Arians while denying the Trinity, did not deny the divinity of Christ. Which Islam explicitly does. Arius himself complained about being smeared by this heresy.

Blogger Cataline Sergius May 13, 2017 1:50 PM  

@63

Possible as well. It explains the Surrahs on the Dome of The Rock, which are in no known version the Koran.

Anonymous William Barton May 13, 2017 2:06 PM  

I always thought of the Abbasid Caliphate as the Revenge of the Sassanian Deep State. The first four Caliphs were the Arab ones, the Ummayads were guided by Greek Civil Servants (as Oriens was largely Monophysite at the time). Arabic mainly displaced Aramaic as a vernacular language, in Monophysite Christian Oriens and Mesopotaia. The "Come Back to Ormazd" revival never took hold oiutside the Iranian plateau anyway. It's always a good idea to view this whole buisness in the context of St. Paul not having been a Disciple. Religions get hijacked all the time...

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 13, 2017 2:07 PM  

Cataline Sergius wrote:My own view is that Islam started as a heretical off shoot of Arianism.
More likely Nestorianism, which was the official Christianity allowed by the Sassanids.

Blogger Basil Makedon May 13, 2017 3:02 PM  

@65 @68

As you point out Islamic doctrine on Christ goes way, way beyond Arianism or Nestorianism. Islam denies not only the divine nature of Christ, but also denies Death (for our sins) and Resurrection. It's like a hyper-violent Arianism on meth.

@64

True, not much good is said about Jews in the Koran. However, worse is said about Christians -- it just doesn't pop out at you the same way.

Shirk is their unforgivable Sin, it is so bad that it causes Creation to groan in pain and terror. Shirk is associating partners with their god, which we do in their view with the Son and the Holy Spirit. We don't think of ourselves as being an "exaggerator" in religion or a polytheist, but that is essentially how they view us.

@59

Actually, the Romans and the Persians both recruited various Arab tribes as allies and set them to guarding their frontiers. We tend to focus on the Franks, Vandals, Alamans and Goths since we focus on the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, but the same things were happening in Syria, Palestine and the Levant. For that matter, the Romans used Berbers in North Africa for the same role.

Heraclius and the Eastern Romans were basically down to their last throw. Heraclius petitioned the Church to melt down the Church plate for funds. After the war, Rome was victorious, but bankrupt and exhausted. Heraclius couldn't pay the Arab foederatti anymore and neither could the Persians. I think they just united and rebelled and took control of the regions they were supposed to be guarding. Heraclius did evacuate the Ghassanid (deposed) royal family west with him.

In other words, it wasn't so much of a Arab conquest (at least at first) but a declaration of independence and an ejection of the Roman or Persian garrisons in places like Damascus, Jerusalem, Bosra, etc.

If you read Machiavelli, he describes how half-hearted the various Italian mercenaries "fought" each other in Renaissance Italy -- which is to say they had "battles" with thousands of troops and dozens of casualties.

I envision the Arabs "fighting" each other for Roman and Persian coin. Then, when the Romans and Persians punched themselves out completely, they decided to turn on their former employers when the pay stopped.

Blogger Johnny May 13, 2017 3:52 PM  

>>If you read Machiavelli, he describes how half-hearted the various Italian mercenaries "fought" each other in Renaissance Italy -- which is to say they had "battles" with thousands of troops and dozens of casualties.

After the European nobility stabilized a lot of the wars were sort of like athletic contests only with a body count. One side or the other proved that it was tougher in a very limited engagement, and then everybody went home.

Blogger VFM #7634 May 13, 2017 3:53 PM  

It would also explain the seeming, and relatively sudden, vanishing of what had been for more than 1500 years one of the great world powers, if it was not a vanishing, but a mere transformation.

@VD
I've always understood it in the more conventional manner that no Christian power was ever able to completely kick the Persians' asses and overrun their empire, but the Arabs did. Persia was a brick wall to Christendom's east that the Arabs managed to blow up.

The Persians' historical religion of Zoroastrianism was heavily persecuted by their new Islamic rulers, and there was heavy pressure on the Persians to adopt Islam, much more than on the Christians. But deep down, the Persians resented it.

The Turkic peoples, OTOH, are a much better example of people who willingly adopted Islam and made it their own. It has been noted for a while that Turkic Islam was heavily Persianized, and both Turkey and Azerbaijan arose essentially as colonies of transplants of Turkic peoples from Central Asia under the Seljuks.

Note that even today, Iranian migrants living in the West tend to quickly dump Islam, while Turks wear Islam as a badge of identity. Teh Wikipedia says that only 31% of Iranian Americans are Muslim, and Christian churches in Europe report those asylum seekers interested in converting are usually from Iran or Afghanistan (which is also heavily Persian).

My own view is that Islam started as a heretical off shoot of Arianism.

Although the Arians while denying the Trinity, did not deny the divinity of Christ. Which Islam explicitly does. Arius himself complained about being smeared by this heresy.



More likely Nestorianism, which was the official Christianity allowed by the Sassanids.


@65 Cataline Sergius @68 Snidely Whiplash
I've heard the Koran was written by a rabbi and a Nestorian monk because Muhammad was illiterate.

Islam is essentially a supervirus that arose from a melange of Judaism and various Christian heresies kicking around the area, with all mystery stripped out of it so it would be readily adopted by a low-IQ population, and widespread sexual license granted to its male practitioners to attract the horny.

The Turkic peoples were phallic worshippers when they were still pagan, after all.

Blogger VFM #7634 May 13, 2017 4:01 PM  


Shirk is their unforgivable Sin, it is so bad that it causes Creation to groan in pain and terror. Shirk is associating partners with their god, which we do in their view with the Son and the Holy Spirit. We don't think of ourselves as being an "exaggerator" in religion or a polytheist, but that is essentially how they view us.


@69 Basil Makedon
This is why Muslims are schizophrenic about Christians. They can either tolerate us as People of the Book, or heavily persecute us as pagans, depending upon the ruler's mood.

It helps explain why Christianity lasted so long in certain parts of the Middle East, and was wiped out in others such as the Maghreb, where from what I understand, most of the Muslim rulers considered Christians to be in shirk.

Blogger Scott Birch May 13, 2017 4:38 PM  

Persia was decadent at the time. People believed believed in demons and cantrips in the same way as modern wimmin belive in 'negativity' and 'affirmations'. Religion and institutions were decaying and fragmrnting. Their achilles heel was probably vlose to the centre, with daughters of the rich converting first and the powerful seeing this new religion as something to exploit. Sound familiar?

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable May 13, 2017 5:01 PM  

Those solipsistic desert tribes are all inveterate liars that would rather sin than be a sucker. They even admire successful liars, such as Clock Boy a.k.a. Scavenger Boy, who revived his religion's longstanding practice of stealing a white's invention and claiming it as his own.

Seriously, the brief flowerings of Islamic science after a conquest makes me suspect that they were stealing the natives' knowledge and pretending that the discoveries and inventions were their own. And only lasting a few generations is about right for how long it would take for them to rape the smartness out of their slaves, by diluting it with their inbred stupidity genes.

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit May 13, 2017 5:09 PM  

If you read Machiavelli, he describes how half-hearted the various Italian mercenaries "fought" each other in Renaissance Italy -- which is to say they had "battles" with thousands of troops and dozens of casualties.

Condottieri conservatives...

Anonymous Daniel H May 13, 2017 5:13 PM  

@40
>>This doesn't make sense to me. Have you read the Koran? The #1 take away I got from it is never, ever engage in pagan practices like worshiping idols or you will most assuredly go to hell. I don't see how anything with the image of a Zoroastrian fire altar could be considered remotely Islamic. <<

The first Koran doesn't appear until about 200 years after Mohammed's supposed career. The first caliphs minted coins 1) depicting themselves, 2) with Christian imagery on them.

The first 200-300 years of Islam are a fog of mystery. And since Muslims will resist any investigation into early Islam, prohibiting or frustrating the work of archeologists in these lands, the origins of Islam will remain a mystery for a long time to come.

Blogger Basil Makedon May 13, 2017 6:01 PM  

@72

True, the Koran contradicts itself endlessly and then the "scholars" argue whether one verse "abrogates" the other.

Personally, I think that a key difference is that the Mahgreb was basically out of reach of Christian armies for 800 years and the Levant was almost always in reach of Christian armies, as a result they had to be somewhat careful not to push too hard so as to avoid revolts.

@75

Agreed, that is exactly what they are. I wish I had seen that ten years ago.

@76

Indeed. I suspect that some of their scholars realize that the whole thing is a house of cards. Internally and externally they must attempt to dissuade any investigation or criticism. To a certain extent they call Westerners who question them "bigots" or "orientalists," but this is yet another reason why they advocate for Blasphemy laws. In the end, I don't think this strategy will work for them.

Anonymous Looking Glass May 13, 2017 6:52 PM  

@55 Nate

I don't know how much the Turk was putting me on about it, but I was informed there's an entire slate of brutally racist insults about Arabs in Turkish. And they love to use them.

Westerners just don't do racial hatred very much, which is part of why much of the supposed "White on others" stuff is, from a top-down view, such a joke.


@59 Elkanah Haon

Considering the Apostle Paul's interactions with the Judaizers during the very early Christian period, the rise of Communism (Jewish Socialism), Cultural Marxism, Feminism and even good chunks of Talmudic Judasiam itself, there's actually a deep history of Jews (culture or deeply religious) setting up pseudo-religions to serve their end. One might even think it a natural impulse, frankly.

There's actually a funny aspect to this in a different part of the world. Got into a discussion with a Japanese Christian one time about the possible Jewish origins to Shinto. I thought it was one of those funny theories that local Christians toss up. (Irish being a lost tribe; stuff like that.) It's actually not such a "funny" little theory.

Shinto, even in ancient practice, is something of a real oddity among religions. It has, also, always been a tad half-baked. It shows significant signs of being some iterative copy of an Invasion of Canaan-era Judaism. Considering the Yayoi People appear to have mostly migrated to the Japanese Islands somewhere between 500 BC and 200 AD, it fits the time line that goes along with the Genetic Population Movement studies. The drift seems to have come from roughly Iranian highlands across China and down into the southern islands, which eventually moved north. Which means a religion, without blood sacrifices, traveling along that route isn't impossible. That chunk of the Silk Road has been active for thousands of years. And Shinto is a comparatively calmer religion than a lot of others, so that would always have been a pull.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 13, 2017 7:17 PM  

Sorry, Shinto is fundamentally different from Semitic paganism. Although it bears a striking resemblance to what little we know of pre-Celtic European religion.

Blogger Assyrian Nationalist May 13, 2017 7:41 PM  

Sharrukin wrote:
The Semitic western regions of Persia were largely Arabic-Semitic and may have adopted the Christian heresy (Ebionites) that later emerged as Islam. Chosroe the Second is said to have adopted a form of Christianity (from his wife Shirin) which later became Islam.


Christianity spread in Persia predominately through Assyrian missionaries, and they were adherents of the Church of the East, not Ebionites.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 13, 2017 7:58 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Didact May 13, 2017 8:39 PM  

Y'all might like Emmet Scott's actual book on the subject, The Impact of Islam. I read it a few years ago and it was absolutely fascinating. While Mr. Scott himself is not a historian of significant note, his book is essentially a synthesis of a number of superb scholarly works that already exist in the field of Islamic history, including of course the work of the excellent and outspoken Dr. Robert Spencer.

Mr. Scott's books on the subject of Islam are superbly written and very easy to read, even for someone who isn't necessarily interested in history. His first book on the subject, Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy, turns upside-down our entire conventional understanding of how the Dark Ages came about in Europe. Many of us (self included) were taught in grade school that the Dark Ages was due entirely to the collapse of the Roman Empire and the decadence of the Europeans that struggled to rebuild the Roman civilisation afterwards. But this is completely and totally wrong. In reality, Islam, and nothing else, was the cause of a three-century-long Dark Age within Europe, and managed to very nearly kill off the flourishing, highly cultured Visigothic kingdoms that sprang forth from the ashes of the Empire at the end of the 5th Century.

His second book, The Impact of Islam, is less interesting to someone like me simply because it is, for the most part, a re-tread of things that I already knew long before reading the book. But it is the appendix to this book that is truly fascinating.

Within it, Mr. Scott goes into much greater detail the exact reasons why the reform Judaism heresy of the Ebionites was in fact the foundation of Islam, and why the early history of Islam was so distinctly Persian in character.

Bottom line: most of what we think we know about early Islam is simply wrong. Much of it is outright propaganda; the rest consists of severe distortions of known history, and Mr. Scott has done us all a tremendous service by revealing to us the truth through his research, grounded as it is in fact, archaeological evidence, and primary-source documents.

Blogger Didact May 13, 2017 8:46 PM  

Cataline Sergius wrote:My own view is that Islam started as a heretical off shoot of Arianism.

Although the Arians while denying the Trinity, did not deny the divinity of Christ. Which Islam explicitly does. Arius himself complained about being smeared by this heresy.


@66,

This is not far off from the truth. Hillaire Belloc said as much, more or less, in his The Great Heresies. He devoted much of that book to explaining the great heresy of Mohammedanism and pointed out that it was, basically, a revision of the original Arian doctrine that denied the divinity of the Lord Christ. This is further reinforced by the fact that, within Islam, the sign of the Cross is considered anathema; Islamic doctrine holds that it was an impostor that died upon the Cross, not Christ Himself, and that therefore the Cross is a symbol of deep and eternal shame.

Islamic doctrine explicitly and clearly denies the divinity of Christ, and further confuses His origins by calling him Isha, the son of Maryam- who appears to be a composite within Islamic literature of both the Virgin Mary and Miriam, the sister of Aaron and therefore of Moses.

Essentially, Jesus is presented in Islamic doctrine as a relative of Moses, a prophet of Islam, but a man and nothing more. He is not divine in any way.

That all of this is blasphemous and wrong-headed beyond measure is almost beside the point. Islam is, at its core, basically a highly effective and extremely dangerous heresy of Christianity that MUST be stopped, contained, and eventually destroyed.

Blogger Gospace May 14, 2017 4:51 PM  

Every time this blog has a post on religion, I learn more about religion and its place in history in a single reading of the post and all the comments then I did in all my schooling.

Blogger JP May 14, 2017 10:36 PM  

OT, but the Criterion of Embarrassment mentioned by Frankluke and others is a pretty good test of veracity in the modern day as well. If CNN mentions that there's starvation in Venezuela, it's a pretty good chance that that's the truth.

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