This video by br. Isa Ma is a great snap-shot on the history of Islam in China. It is 20 minutes – but the brother is an engaging speaker. Continue reading
Noel Malcolm’s latest book looks particularly interesting, entitiled, Useful Enemies: Islam and The Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought, 1450-1750 (published 2019). Continue reading
Kwame Anthony Appiah examines the myth of the ‘West’. The subtitle for his article acts as an abstract: “The values of liberty, tolerance and rational inquiry are not the birthright of a single culture. In fact, the very notion of something called ‘western culture’ is a modern invention.”
“So the very idea of the “west,” to name a heritage and object of study, doesn’t really emerge until the 1890s, during a heated era of imperialism, and gains broader currency only in the 20th century. When, around the time of the first world war, Oswald Spengler wrote the influential book translated as The Decline of the West – a book that introduced many readers to the concept – he scoffed at the notion that there were continuities between western culture and the classical world…
There was a time when the Greek-speaking (polytheistic) world made in-roads into the Judaic (monotheistic) one. As a result, some Jews became Hellenised. Who were the Hellenised Jews? And is there a warning, here, for us, nowadays?
The main argument about the criticisms of Early Islamic history has been put forward in recent times by Tom Holland, the fiction writer and historian (Islam – The Untold Story). His argument can be summarised as:
Putting aside the absolute hilarity of his claims, his points have, nonetheless, been critiqued – as weak – in many places, the most succinct of which (on the net) includes:
Was the Prophet’s Madinan ‘State’ (the first Islamic ‘State’), which is frequently hailed as the model, the ‘ideal state’ for devout practitioners of Islam (practicing Muslims), an Islamo-Fascist State?
Please click here to see why the first Islamic State was not even a ‘State’ as we understand it.
So in terms of all those modern Muslim nation-states we have nowadays, where does the appellation ‘Fascist’ come from?
Did a ‘State’ as we understand ‘State’ even exist in the first Islamic ‘State’?
End of post.
O.K., let’s begin again.
Dr Khalid Blankinship wrote an article called ‘The History of the Caliphate‘. In this, he was actually responding to a question about whether the khilâfah (Caliphate) had a continuous existence till the office was terminated by the newly founded, modern, secular state of Turkey (1342 AH/1924 CE).