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  Indian Economy: Growth -3
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha - 08-14-2003, 03:07 AM - Forum: Business & Economy - Replies (358)

[url="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/08/0812_030812_indiadinosaur.html"]New carnivorous dinosaur identified[/url]

[url="http://www.projectexploration.org/"]Indian abelisaur[/url]

New Indian dinosaur identified. Apparently Prez. Kalam is going to inaugrate the display of the skull today.

  Colonial History of India
Posted by: acharya - 08-13-2003, 02:52 PM - Forum: Indian History - Replies (409)


1498 – Vasco De Gama lands in India via the searoute During this time there existed an elaborate Indian ocean economy.

1599 – English East India Company formed

1602 – Dutch East Indian Company formed.

1658 – French East Indian Company formed

1707 – Death of Aurangzeb and end of Mughal rule

1785 – Robert Clive in India

1835 – Maculay plans for civilizing the natives so that a class of people is created who think and do exactly like their masters. His words were to this effect: I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values,people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.

(Source: The Awakening Ray, Vol. 4 No. 5, The Gnostic Centre )

The main philosophy was to incrementally indoctrinate the children with principles that are sympathetic to colonisers philosophy. Make future generations weak in mind, body and spirit. Avoid teaching children the basic facts about their own history. Teach them that natural aggression is wrong and docile submission is right. Teach them that any basis of a moral foundation, like the principles of religion, is a weakness to be avoided in the name of freedom and also redefine the concept of patriotism to support colonisers views.

1853 - Sir Arthur Cunningham was the first to archeologicaly examine Harappa in 1853 and 1856. Finding some Kushana coins in the site, he attributed the city to the Kushana period ( Imam 1966) It is shocking to note that about one hundered miles of the Lahore-Multan railway was ballasted by bricks retrieved from the ruins at Harappa by rapacious railroad contractors; “ No invader of India had ever so ruthlessly and wantonly destroyed her ancient remains as did the railway contractors in the civilized 19th century ” ( Edwin Bryant – Quest for the origins of the vedic culture Page 331-332)

This made the Anglo Saxon realize that the Indians have the remains of civilization just like the Mesopotamia. The big plan for India was created to change the course of history of India. The British by this time were already doing research on all the other ancient civilization such as Egypt, Mesopotamia etc

1857 – First War of independence- the sepoy mutiny made British feel against the Muslims of India and also fear of them in the future. This laid the groundwork for a divide and rule policy for the Indian sub-continent. After the war, Whitehall assumed direct responsibility for the administration of India, ending 250 years of rule by the British East India Company. This war changed the resolve of the British towards Indians and made them racist towards the native population. Till then the practice of marriage with the local women was considered normal ( especially punjabis and Muslims) and mixed blood was not frowned upon. After the change in attitude the British made sure that they segregated the native population from themselves and their family and created a class system for previleges and favor.

1863 – Max Muller proposes the Aryan Invasion Theory – Probably due to the absence of any civilization finding this concocted theory was proposed and it took a life of its own. Since the native version of the history was discarded the Harappan phase of Indian civilization was brushed aside.The major

1867 - Creation of Deoband Muslim school so that ashrafs can come closer to the rest of the local Muslim converts and create a united Muslim front against the British. Till then the ashrafs looked themselves as the higher and the ruling class. Syed Ali starts the Aligarh Muslim education center to bring Muslims to the forefront of the european education. Deobandis were Muslim reformers who setup the first madrassahs for the purpose of training future clerics.

1875 – First seals of Indian civilization found by Sir Alexander Cunningham in 1875( Source: Ancient Civilizations by Hugh Bowden) – This made the Anglo Saxons realize that the Indians have the remains of civilization just like the Mesopotamia. The big plan for India was created to change the course of history of India by influencing the elite class of the indian soceity and to shape future generations, control the schools. The British by this time were already doing research on all the other ancient civilization such as Egypt, Mesopotamia etc. They had for the last few centuries already studied the islamic civilization( the first Arabic chair in the west was set up in 1630s). Indus civilization was not pursued rigorously in case a large section of Indians get nationalistic feelings.

The British had committed a great mistake in 1857 by accidentally uniting Moslems and Hindus against them in some areas by their policies. They were more careful in their game after that. However, they saw that the true danger to their dominance were the educated Hindus who were in possession of both Western and traditional Indic knowledge. This was the class that could easily challenge them as it was still wedded to the Hindu ways and capable of using the power of the newly acquired Western knowledge against the British. Sir John Stratchey (FInance minister 1874):

“The existence side by side of these (Hindu and Muslim) hostile creeds is one of the strong points in our political position in India. The better classes of Mohammedans are a source of strength and not weakness. They constitute a comparatively small but an energetic minority of the population whose political interests are identical with ours.” Sir James Caird of Thanjavur, 1879: "there was no class except Brahmins, which was so hostile to the English."

1881 – The first census in British India done. This is a massive project to really classify the largest human group into various classes by their origins and social strata supposidly for benign motive. This has helped the british and later the west to target individual groups for various reliogious and military purposes.

1885 – Indian National Conference formed as a tool of the British government to influence the course of the Independence movement and for the emancipation of the suffering Indians. The main reason for forming this organization is to create a platform to dissipate the nationalistic sentiments and to control the nature of the debate and pace of the changes in the political class of the Indians. The political conciousness of the hindus could be moulded and controlled with such platform. The terms of debate between the Hindus and Muslims were also influenced with the help of key people in the party as it evolved in the next 50 years.

The main philosphy was to shape the political philosophy, infiltrate the government: Whenever and wherever possible place those sympathetic to your philosophy into office at all levels—the higher, the better—so they can sway the direction of the country within every function of government, promising solutions and benefits for all. In such a way you can tilt legislation toward incrementally increasing the control of and dependency on government—a government that you are shaping.

1906 - split of Bengal during Great Game at the heights between the Russians and the British in the Eurasian landmass. The British needed an ally who would be able to resist the thrust of the Tsars. Russian expansion started in 1582 and continued to central asia and the pacific till late 1700s. The next target of the British was Tibet and British were worried about Tibet coming under the influence of Russia. The plan was to keep India under the British dominion for the next 500 years and was expressed in commonwealth speeches in early 1900-1910.

1911 – Capital shift from Calcutta to New Delhi. This was to reduce the increasing demands for independence in the enlightened Bengal which had the most interaction with the west . This was a diversion so that the seat of power should be perceived similar to the Mughal empire. This also broke the deep intellectual nationalist discourse in Bengal and weakened it. The ultimate aim is to make sure that the Muslims would also start seeing a Muslim homeland in Indian sub-continent.

1917 – First World war. Fall of Ottoman empire and creation of middle eastern states under the direct influence of the British. British looked at the Muslims of the middle east and the Muslims of the India as one and buitl relationship with the arabs and the ashrafs of the sub-continent.

1920s - Discovery of mohenjedaro, harrapa – final confirmation of the existence and history of Indian civilization. This may have made the British to push through the plans for division of India.

1930 – Plans to divide the country hatched when the middle east was secure after the first world war and Saudi arabia was already a state. The assessment of the colonial powers was that the history of the natives has been discovered with archeology and they would find their true belonging. It would be difficult to keep the country colonized for a long time.

1939 – Second world war – British still to recover from the first world war and willing to lessen their burden in the empire.

1940 - Lahore resolution for a separate Muslim homeland. Secretly British were siding with the Muslim league/ashrafs to create a homeland for them for future collaboration. There is increasing evidence that Lahore resolution was made in that location and time so that the future homeland of the Pakistan will have Punjab as the cultural/political and military center.

1947 – Indian Independence/partition. And Pakistan formation.

1971 – Split of Pakistan the largest Muslim nation into Pakistan and Bangladesh

  Clash of civilizations
Posted by: acharya - 08-13-2003, 01:30 PM - Forum: Trash Can - Replies (111)

I feel this is an important topic but we have to wait as the events are

unfolding and it is little too early. This topic can wait until IPKF deployment

is confirmed. Please read the Messrs. HH, Ramana and Anaath Das views. And the

questions posed at the end.

Ramana wrote:

A couple of years back I had thought Arhari was RAPE. Tim Hoytt pointed out that

just because he spouts RAPE thoughts he might not be so. On further gogling I

found that Arhari is from India but totally alienated. He is a scholar in Intl

Affairs and teaches at a lot of US DoD think tanks. What all this is to suggest

he is uber RAPE.

And as is being pointed out in bits and pieces by some of our long view members

is he is still pushing the old 'political center for Islam story of the last two

centuries. Eg see H^2 second post in the India and US thread page 5 or 6. KSA

formation secured the Islamic religious center. Would be very interested in

Arhari's antecedents. I am willing to speculate and say he is a descendent of

the governing elite of the Indian Muslims say Mughal era.



Hauma Hamiddha


Member # 4896

posted 18 June 2003 12:35 AM




The US is in for the long haul for a fight against Islamic terrorism. And who do

we fight - Pak sponsored terrorists. So there is a convergence of interests.


I disagree. The above is an overly simple view of the picture. The US is not

really in an all out fight against Islamic terror. It wants to castrate the

Arabs who are danger to its colony Israel. At the same time it wants to pacify

the Moslems by creating an alternative representaitve for them "far away" from

Western interests. So though a violent clash between the Christian West and

Islam is very much in our interests, it is not really happening. Instead they

want strengthen TSP as the "far away" Islamic represtantive (especially given

the ease with which their generals GUBO). Further, they see breaking India as

means to gain access to China via the eastern fragments of India (hence the

Christian terrorism in the East) Now look at the following move: Getting TSP to

recognize Israel. I see this as the most dangerous step the US is negotiating

with respect to India. If this is achieved there is a finite possibility that

the Intra-Abrahamic feuds are curtailed and we could lose the foot-hold we had

against the Islamic world via Israel.

So when we help them we must make them help us too! I am sure that is what is

going on though not so obviously.

The war on Islamic violence is the single uniting factor between India and

Israel. If this neutralized then our military supplies could be in serious




And then why should we oppose the US? The French are supplying Augustas to them,

the British are training their pilots. Their airforce has 150 (or so) Mirage -

3/5 compared to about 32 operational F-16s. They surely need French help for

maintaining the Mirages. And what about the Chinese?

There are a lot of benefits of being close to the US.


Of these China is a clear enemy. England and US are covertly hostile. France

sells tp anyone who buys: right from the days when the sold weapons to both

Moslems and Maharattas. I am not suggesting that we do no business with these

countries for our own interests. However, there is no chance to get close to

them when they are already in bed with Houri-seekers.


BTW, H^2 has said in one post what we have been saying in many disconnected

posts over the past two years. I would like Anaath Das to comment on this.

Anaath Das wrote:


H^2 is 100% on target.

Sadly, it can be confirmed that several of our friends introduced to us by PVN

are very eager about this. Their brethren ruling the roost further west are even

more so.

Both these groups have collective amnesia about how similar "victories" effected

through the Shah in 1960s-70s Iran backfired in a big way.

This is how Shunashepa must have felt when he was approached to appease Varuna.


My thoughts:

Each and every word of HH is worth the weight of gold. HH's insight from the

historical perspective indicates what lies ahead for us. This certainly warrants

a new topic something along the lines of Implications of the softening(as I see

there is no end) of clash of civilisations. As Ramana said HH summed up very

well what had been dicussed over the past two years. We may have a lot of

questions that we need to get the thorough understanding of it.

1) This recognition and reconciliation among governments of "Intra-Abrahamic"

faiths, will it reach their people? Will there be an end to Mahamad Attas?

2) Will they overcome the colliding two nation theories and "rescuing the souls"


3) What was the relationship among Judaism, Christianity and Islam prior to

World War I? This is the most important question to measure the future.

4) How long can USA buy and guarantee peace among USA, Israel, the Middle East,

Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan as there are serious economic issues here(for


5) With the growing influence of Islam on African Americans, what would be the

impact of the clash when it ascends and reaches the height?

6) What are the implications on Indian Muslims? What role they will play?

7) What are the implications on Indian Christians? What role they will play?

8) Under this growing scenario, what would be the best way to tackle(for India)

when it comes to Abrahamic and the Chinese nations? (I sincerely feel, going by

the history of few millenia(discounting last 75 years), it is imperative India

and China realise and get a better understanding. Hopefully China will see the

light and resolve all outstanding issues peacefully. And they (China) stop

sponsoring TSP)

9) With the increasing population of Muslims in low and declining ones of

European nations, what impact will it have? Europeans(except Spain for few

centuries) haven't faced what Indians(of pre and post 1947) faced.

10) In conjunction with above(the item no. 9) what would that be on USA? The

difference being USA's huge population and 9/11(Cole, Embassy and other


11) And many more.

Prerequsite reading/understanding would be the Islamist, anti-Pakistan is not

equal to anti-Islam, the Great Game topics to a great extent and events of post

world war II to a lesser extent.

Posted by Prabhakar Babu (Member # 1724) on 19 June 2003, 10:32 AM:

I don't think there will be a major Clash of Civilisation. Economy will be the

driving force for all future conflicts. Economy will be driven by resource

availability [including Oil, Water, human resources].

Russia have lot of Oil, but their population is going south. Even yesterday when

there was No-Confidence motion on PM of Russia, the point was Russia doesn't

have any big economy except Oil.

Europe doesnt have lot of oil and their population is going south. So they

become more dependent on Immigrants to keep their motor running. So they have

much softer view on world. They avoid clashes. They don't have big army.

Asia is mixed, they have Oil, they have population, but water?? big No. That is

where all the fights are going to be Iraq-Turkey, India-Pakistan, China-India,


USA have water, Oil to some extent, and population is comfortable. But to

maintain super-power status their week point will be Oil, so they show interest

in Mid-east. That is why we see so many Isolationist in USA because they think

they are self-content.

I left out Africa, and South America since i don't have that much data.

But to summarize, i think the clashes will not be based on Civilization, but on

Economy [Oil, Water and work force/population]

Posted by Raj Kumar (Member # 2360) on 19 June 2003, 11:04 AM:

All conflicts have been due to one of the following;



Posted by ramana (Member # 356) on 19 June 2003, 11:07 AM:

From Arun_Gupta:



Member # 3483

posted 19 June 2003 10:54 AM


A democratic secular Iraq is in India's interests, if only for the reason that

by occupying important Islamic space, it deflates the value of Pakistan.

Since someone brought up the analogy of a chess game, in a chess game, you

sometimes cannot calculate ahead enough, you just move your pawns and pieces on

general principles - occupying or opening up space, gaining tempo, etc.

Thus, if pro-deployment folks are able to provide a grand narrative without too

many specifics of how this specific move helps in the chess game, but simply on

general principles of chess, this is a valid argument.


Similarly a secular multiethnic setup in Afghanistan that values differences

will also help in bringing the fundoos to modern times and thus neagatively

impact the importance of TSP. I submit that there is a bigger aims which force

the West from allowing India into these countries in a way that can shape their

future and thought processes. From H^2 and parasuram's posts these are Indian

influenced areas from time immemorial.

I have question for all. Was the project to move the political center far away

from Europe and Western interests(Jerusalem) hatched in the 20th Century are

before that say mid ninteenth century. IOW when did the West take interest in

Arabia while it was under Turkish rule? And the timeline for the revivial of the

Indian Muslim elite.

Posted by Kaushal (Member # 138) on 19 June 2003, 11:20 AM:

I have question for all. Was the project to move the political center far away

from Europe and Western interests(Jerusalem) hatched in the 20th Century are

before that say mid ninteenth century. IOW when did the West take interest in

Arabia while it was under Turkish rule? And the timeline for the revivial of the

Indian Muslim elite.

1857 was the turning point. The last remnant of a Islamic Empire was decisively

smashed. The Brits exacted a terrible revenge of these remnants in Dilli,

culminating in the blinding of Bahadur Shah Zafar before they exiled him to


Turkey officially capitulated as an empire after WW I, but the rot had set in

earlier and the Brits(and the French) were poaching in the Turkish empire long

before then.

It didnt take long for them to realize that their real opponent in India was the

Indic civilization, which was almost comatose but still had a pulse and started

stirring. We have to thank the Parsees for the initial phases of this revival

(Dadabhai Naoroji), but by 1870's the pendulum had swung back in favor of the

Indian Muslim and the appeasement of people like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and the

Agha Khan had begun.

It would be a grave error to underestimate the draw of civilization and culture

in general and religion in particular on the events of today and in the future.

Just because Indian Hindus welcome diversity and pluralism, as they have always

done, it cannot be assumed that such is the case for the rest of the world.

Posted by ramana (Member # 356) on 19 June 2003, 11:52 AM:

Kaushal, Are we being limited by our Indic prism? I agree that was an important

year but reflect on situation in Europe. Turkey was the 'Sick man of Europe' and

very much a wild card. The Crimean War was just over. And the Brits were about

to launch the Great Game to deny access of warm water ports for the Russians.

The Arabs never acknowledged the Khalifah status of the Turkish Sultan otherwise

they would never have joined the Brits in WWI. In later half of 1800 we find

suddenly there are British explorers and Arab linguists. Where did these come

from? Lawrence of Arabia did not emerge from a vaccum.

I think these have a bearing on the new Islam project. Free up the religous

center from the Turks and create a politcial center far away from these borders.

The Indian Muslim elite seemed right choice for this project. But where it went

awry was those who concieved the project did not reckon with the fundamental

streak in the religion. When the Wahabis captured the Hejaz their doctrine got a

big boost and the discovery of oil in KSA gave them the sinews to spread their

bad dreams.

The current makeover seems to still retain the TSP for its original goals.

However one should remember that Arabs hate Israel for the Palestine question

while TSP hates them for being Jewish. So the project will not succeed.

I owe a lot to acharya for helping and clarifying the thought process on the

this matter. What amazes me is that H^2 has also come to similar conclusions

from his prespective.

Hats of to the Indian freedom movement for making the Brits leave India with the

project uncompleted.

Posted by acharya (Member # 289) on 19 June 2003, 11:58 AM:

By the beginning of the 20th century the entire Muslim world came under western

domination except Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. According to

Bernard Lewis there was no attraction to colonize the last two countries because

they were very poor territories but he did not mention the failed British

attempt to conquer to Afghanistan. Even Turkey and Iran came under indirect

control of the West.

With increase in muslim population in the west from 1972 to 1982 discourse in

the core state for Islamic civilization increased.

There was a need for geo-political Islamic block which can be given a

recognition in the world. Turkey was considered but it has problems. Quote from

a reviewer: “Without a core state the Muslims can never restore their dignity in

the world and be equal partners with other civilizations. It is only a core

Muslim state that could address the paradox of geopolitics in the interest of

international peace and security.” And the only country that fits that status is

Turkey because as observed by Huntington it has history, population, middle

level economic development, national coherence, military tradition and

competence to be the core state of Islam. So long as Turkey continues to define

itself as a secular state leadership of Islam is denied it.

Pakistan is one candidate which has been eager for such a role of political

center and are willing to do anything to get a political structure and center

which can project such a world islamic political center with influence. Since

they are not the spiritual center of Islam they need the support of Kingdom of

Saudi Arabia.

Posted by Kaushal (Member # 138) on 19 June 2003, 12:18 PM:

While we in india are naturally Indocentric, Bernard lewis is hampered by

ignorance of events in the heartland of Asia. Bernard Lewis is very

Semitic-centric and makes the assumption that what happens in the region around

Jerusalem is key and that Islam is fundamentally a religion of semitic speaking


The fact of the matter is that the center of gravity of Islam has shifted

towards the Indian subcontinent (450 million Muslims) and Indonesia (200

million) and the majority of muslims today no longer speak a semitic

language.This is a development that is post nineteenth century. These 2 areas

comprise half of islam and the CG of Islam is no longer KSA and the Arabs, but

has shifted inexorably towards Iran and further east, and i wouldnt be surprised

if the geographical CG of islam is somewhere near Afghanistan or even as far

east as India.

Posted by acharya (Member # 289) on 19 June 2003, 12:20 PM:

INteraction of the west with Islamic civilization

Only recent history is considered since the rise of the west.

1453 Ottoman Turks capture Constantinople and bring the Byzantine Empire to an


1492 Christians capture Granada, capital of last of the Muslim states in Spain.

1517 Ottoman Turks conquer Syria and Egypt and end Mamluk Sultanate.

1520-66 Reign of Sultan Suleiman "the Magnificent"; Ottoman rule extended along

the coast of North Africa; by the end of the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire

included present-day Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Yugoslavia and

parts of Hungary and the Ukraine.

1639 Ottomans take Iraq (from Persia).

First arabic dept estd. in Oxford and Cambridge

1683 - Siege of Vienna - Turks are turned back and henceforth the Ottoman threat

to Europe ebbs.

1798 Napoleon Bonaparte launches an Egyptian expedition and brings Egypt under

French rule.

1805 The Ottomans appoint an Albanian officer, Mohammed Ali, as viceroy or pasha

of Egypt; he finally breaks the power of the Mamluks.

1820 Britain signs treaty with Gulf shaikhs to protect its shipping.

1830 France begins the conquest of Algeria.

1834 British establish steamship service to India via Suez. (This is why

annexing Aden soon after was vital)

1839 The British take the port of Aden.

1869 Suez Canal opened (A joint Egyptian/French concern)

1882 British captured Suez Canal and assumed sole control.

1912 Morocco becomes a French protectorate; Arab Nationalism and opposition to

Ottoman rule begin to develop.

1914 Ottoman Empire enters World War One as an ally of Germany.

1916 Arab revolt against the Ottomans in Hijaz; Sherif Hussein of Mecca had

agreed to enter World War One on the side of the Allies, in return for British

promises of independence of what is now Syria, Palestine/Israel, Jordan, Iraq

and the Arabian Peninsula; Britain signs a secret pact (the Sykes-Picot

Agreement) with France dividing the Arab regions of the Ottoman Empire between


1917 The British oust the Ottomans from Jerusalem and Baghdad; in the Balfour

Declaration, Britain declares its support for the establishment of a 'national

home for the Jewish people' in Palestine.

1918 End of Ottoman rule in Arab lands.

1920 The League of Nations awards mandates for Syria and Lebanon to France and

for Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq to Britain.

1926 Having conquered Hijaz, Ibn Sa'ud proclaims himself its king.

1932 Iraq becomes independent; Ibn Sa'ud proclaims kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

1934 Independence of North Yemen recognised.

1936 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty ends British occupation except in Suez Canal zone.

1946 Syria becomes an independent republic; Britain recognises the independence

of Transjordan.

1948 End of British mandate in Palestine; Israel is established; first

Arab-Israeli war. 750,000 Palestinians become refugees

1951 Libya becomes an independent kingdom.

1952 Military coup in Cairo; King Farouk abdicates; King Hussein takes over in


1953 Egypt becomes a republic.

1958 Formation of United Arab Republic by Egypt and Syria; civil war in Lebanon;

Iraq proclaimed a republic following revolution and shortly after leaves Baghdad


1961 Kuwait becomes independent; Syria secedes from the United Arab Republic.

1971 Britain leaves the Gulf. United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Bahrain

become independent.

1973 Arab-Israeli war of Ramadan/Yom Kippur.

1974 Arab summit recognises PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the

Palestinian people

1970s - Ascendency of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Posted by Kaushal (Member # 138) on 19 June 2003, 12:38 PM:

The first series of interactions with the west came to an end with the Battle at

Poitiers in France in 732 CE between Charles Martel and the Ummayad Arabs, after

which there was an Arab presence in Spain for 700 years - an influence that can

be seen even today in the distinctiveness of Spanish culture from the rest of


The battle of Poitiers is contemporaneous with the defeat of Raja Daher in Sindh

by M bin Qasim. Of course in many parts of Europe(e.g.France) the percentage of

Muslims today is no different than in India.

Posted by Arun_Gupta (Member # 3483) on 19 June 2003, 12:40 PM:


To the list above, I'd add 1683 - Siege of Vienna - Turks are turned back and

henceforth the Ottoman threat to Europe ebbs.

Posted by Arun_Gupta (Member # 3483) on 19 June 2003, 12:52 PM:

Poitiers marks the end of the Arab advance into Western Europe.

The failed seige of Constantinople in 678 marks the end of the Arab advance into

Eastern Europe.

Posted by Sriram Kaushik (Member # 4194) on 19 June 2003, 12:59 PM:

Excellent Sirs. Learning a lot.

The words that stood out are "military supplies could be in serious trouble" and

when retraced how HH arrived to a conclusion, it made a lot of sense.

The primary motivation of this topic: that "supplies" should be reliable(Israel

proved in Kargil), recent in technology (apart from innovating and upgrading

ourselves) and how this softening of the clash among Abrahamic faiths have

implications on the security of India(and Indic civilisation).

For this we have to know the past(how they interacted among themselves and with

others), understand what is happening in the present(Iraq situation,

Israel-Palestinian roadmap, Islamic recognition of the state of Israel, Islamic

demographic changes in Europe and USA and its implications, the resultant (right

wing) Christians' emergence in the Europe and USA, both of them influencing

governmental policies towards India and its security etc) and how to handle this

situation of Abrahamic and Chinese civilisations, overtly or covertly, colluding

to undermine India.

I'll also think on the questions raised as I learn and please feel free to


Prabhakar, I'll give my thoughts by tommorrow or so. I'm with you partially on


Posted by Kaushal (Member # 138) on 19 June 2003, 01:04 PM:

The Golden age of the arab khalifs comes to an end with the sack of Baghdad by

the Mongol Hulagu , which coincides with the Islamic conquest of India by the

Central Asian(afghanized) Turks. The Mongols also made several forays into India

at the same time but were eventually repulsed by the Khaljis. While Timur prides

himself on his Mongol heritage the fact of the matter is that he was a Turk as

were his Timurid descendants the Moghals. The first 3 Moghals spoke a Turkish

dialect (Chagatai).

The reign of Suleiman the magnificent in Istanbul is contemporaneous with the

beginning of the timurids in india.

Posted by alan desouza (Member # 5008) on 19 June 2003, 02:06 PM:


The fact of the matter is that the center of gravity of Islam has shifted

towards the Indian subcontinent (450 million Muslims) and Indonesia (200

million) and the majority of muslims today no longer speak a semitic language.

I disagree with this. Demographically and or geographically this may be

accurate, but the arab world [iran is a wild card here] dominates islamist

thinking. islamists whether in lahore, dacca,acheh or bali draw inspiration from

arab islamists like ayub etc, while arab islamists afaik are not influenced by

south asian or se asian islamists.

Posted by acharya (Member # 289) on 19 June 2003, 02:19 PM:

I agree with Alan, The CG of the Islamic world is not in the numbers but in the

mind. The arab population IS the center of gravity but that precisely is the

cause of instability. The seeds of the intra-civilization conflict is built in.

Hence you have some ashrafs in TSP being unhappy with the KSA regime and want to

take the center stage.

Posted by ramana (Member # 356) on 19 June 2003, 05:44 PM:

Pioneer Op-Ed : Militant Islam un-Said

Militant Islam un-Said

Priyadarsi Dutta

Edward W Said's debunking of Samuel Huntington's clash of civilisations theory

('The Clash of Ignorance'; The Pioneer, June 9, 2003) conceals a bitter irony.

Israel-baiter Said is no different from our Hindu pseudo-secularists and

proxy-Islamists who preach "secularism" safe in India defended by a Hindu-Sikh

army. But they dare not undertake that exercise in Pakistan for even though

"secularism" is dear, life is certainly dearer. Said, who claims to have been

displaced by Israeli "aggression" of 1948, is an Arab Christian.

Given that he is a passionate campaigner for the Palestinian cause, it is ironic

that Said's own Christian community is being squeezed out of West Asia by

Muslims. Bethlehem is today two-third Muslim majority. In Jerusalem, Christians

had edge over Muslims in 1920, but today they have been pummeled to a meagre two

per cent. Christians formed 55 per cent of Lebanon in 1920. In 1970s they felt

the ground beneath their feet slipping away against the rising population of

Lebanese Muslims and the influx of Palestinian refugees. The only way they felt

the disaster could be avoided was to carve out a lesser Lebanon for Christians

in East Beirut, the Northern part of Mount Lebanon, and the coastal area north

of Beirut. This was the crux of the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) in which

Christians suffered discomfiture. In post-war Lebanon, Christians have not only

lost their influence in every field but their population share has plummeted to

25 per cent.

Hailing from an affluent background and based in America, Said could be an

Israel-baiter. But was it indiscreet that Lebanese Christians had constantly

sought good relations with Israel. In 1940s, Archbishop of Beirut Ignatius

Mubarak publicly voiced his sympathy for Zionism. In 1976, fiercest Christian

militia Guardians of Cedar argued publicly that the Christians should ask Israel

to save what was left of Lebanon. If Israel were successful in its attempt of

creating a Christian-dominated Lebanon, Christianity's last bastion in West Asia

could have been saved.

Edward Said was aware that the title of Samuel Huntington's essay later expanded

into a book. The Clash of Civilizations was derived from an expression of

veteran exponent of Islamic history Bernard Lewis (1990). But what Said seems to

fudge or not know is the first person to acquaint America with nature of radical

Islam was Daniel Pipes, whose book, In the Path of God - Islam and Political

Power (1983), was written on the backdrop of Islamic Revolution in Iran and the

US embassy staff hostage crisis in Tehran. That was the first time the Americans

felt targeted by a militant interpretation of Islam.

A perusal of the Mediterranean history would demonstrate that the clash of

civilisations is not new and still less somebody's individual invention. It

predates the Crusades but is epitomised by the fall of Byzantine capital

Constantinople and its metamorphosis into Turkish Istanbul 550 years ago in

1453. Even pre-Christian civilisations like Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian,

Jewish, Phoenician (and Punic), Greek and Roman etc., had vigorously struggled

and interacted with each other. But often harmony surpassed struggle like amity

between Phoenicians and Jews. Emergence and spread of Christianity had a

positive Hellenic dimension to these civilisations. But Islam brought it

definite power struggle against pre-Islamic civilisations and Christianity. A

Greek Alexander was welcomed in Egypt in 331 BC since he brought them liberation

from inclement Persian rule and paid obeisance to Egyptian religion. But in

1798, Napoleon, though he liberated Egyptians from rule of Mamluk Turks, was

looked upon as a Christian usurper in Muslim territory though he paid homage to

Islam. Between Alexander and Napoleon two proselytising religions viz

Christianity and Islam has emerged and clashed with each other around the


Said confuses readers with his silly example that Muslims don't abjure western

dress and hence not anti-Western. Unlike Indian Muslims of the early 20th

century, today's radical Islamists are highly tech-savvy. Just see how many

websites are there in support of the Shariat law. Osama bin Laden had a British

degree in Mechanical Engineering and was amongst the first to use Global

Satellite Telephony; Omar Sheikh attended the London School of Economics;

Mohammed Atta, who rammed the airplane in the WTC on 9/11; studied in Hamburg.

Hamas Chief Abed-el Aziz Rantissi is a Pediatrician who speaks impeccable


Radical Islamists are not only using Western inventions but also Western systems

like democracy and freedom of expression paradoxically to create a world without

democracy or free speech.

Posted by Kaushal (Member # 138) on 19 June 2003, 05:49 PM:

But the numbers will eventually play a role. In 30 years the number of muslims

in the Indian subcontinent will be at least 600 million and the population of

Indonesian muslims will be over 300 million. That makes 900 million , not

counting Iran which would be another 100 million. This is not counting the

central asian and Chinese muslims. This makes well over 50% of the total,maybe

even more than 60%. The demographic CG of this population will be well east of


How will islam handle this diversity is the question. The Arabs will be a

definite minority within Islam. Most Muslims who do not understand Arabic will

not understand the Quran and will have to read it in translation, which is

specifically forbidden.

Posted by Rajesh (Member # 5247) on 19 June 2003, 06:17 PM:


How will islam handle this diversity is the question. The Arabs will be a

definite minority within Islam. Most Muslims who do not understand Arabic will

not understand the Quran and will have to read it in translation, which is

specifically forbidden.

For an idea look at christianity, its pluralism and tolerance..

Posted by Nilesh (Member # 5362) on 19 June 2003, 07:06 PM:

I'd add the following to the timeline:

1834 British establish steamship service to India via Suez. (This is why

annexing Aden soon after was vital)

1869 Suez Canal opened (A joint Egyptian/French concern)

1882 British captured Suez Canal and assumed sole control.

Posted by alan desouza (Member # 5008) on 19 June 2003, 07:09 PM:

Arabs are already a minority. 300 m out of a total of 1.2 B(?).

There is an imperial idea at the heart of islamism, based on ethnecity and race.

The struggle of the islamists can be seen as a conflict between imperialists and


the imperialists want the caliphate back as it was in the 9th century, a purely

arab empire.

islamist leaders in south east asian countries, always claim blood ties with

arabic ancestors.

suharwardy , the bengal muslim leader, who played perhaps as important a part in

partition as jinnah, claimed arab ancestory!

Here is a quote from the paki gov web site


A new language URDU, derived mainly from Arabic and Persian vocabulary and

adapting indigenous words and idioms, came into existence.

Is this not a farcical example of the imperial / colonial mindset? Is'nt urdu

really hindustani with words and idioms borrowed from perisan and arabic ?

Unless this imperial idea is defeated, larger number of non-arab muslims may not

be significant.

Posted by Hauma Hamiddha (Member # 4896) on 19 June 2003, 07:28 PM:


While Timur prides himself on his Mongol heritage the fact of the matter is

that he was a Turk as were his Timurid descendants the Moghals. The first 3

Moghals spoke a Turkish dialect (Chagatai).

Unfortunately the old History thread is dead: I had posted the details of

Timur's antecedents there. He was a Mongol, contrary to many popular assertions,

including by the great Rene Grousset. However, Beatrice Forbes-Manz has

convincingly established that he was a Turkified Mongol, of the Barlas clan. He

descends from the Mongol general of Chingiz Kha'Khan named Qara'char Barlas.

Barlas clansmen constituted 50 % of the official cadre of the Timurid empires.

Many modern TSPian elites are of the Barlas family!

Posted by shiv (Member # 367) on 19 June 2003, 08:00 PM:

May I add some thoughts here not directly in line with what has been said so far

- but an impression that occured to me based on an email I received from an

Italian (American).

I once wrote a rather anguished article for an alumni e-newsletter entitled "Is

the American civilization a disguided barbarian civilization?". My thought were

based on the horrifying scenes of one of those school student massacres in the

US and cliched, less than logical responses of the US gun lobby.

The email I received was interesting and it is possible that this person was

looking at the American civilization from a Southern European, "Roman Empire"

viewpoint. Note that one of the meanings of "barbarian" is as follows:



a Greek word used in the New Testament (Rom. 1:14) to denote one

of another nation. In Col. 3:11, the word more definitely

designates those nations of the Roman empire that did not speak


The message said that the Americans follow a modern version of an ancient

Northern European style of life. In pre-history and early Europe these people

worshipped personal power and wealth and people who becamse powerful if

necessary by looting and winning in personal combat. These winners took all and

were worshipped, as was wealth. Americans. according to this person still do

exactly that - but the worship of winners in combat has been replaced by worship

of winners in sport.

I am not sure how far this thesis is correct - but it seems to me to have some

elements that ring true. If that is the case there is a disctict difference

between this "winner takes-all" culture and any other culture of mutual

dependence and cooperation. But cultures of mutual cooperation and coexistence

to my knowledge have existed only in the "most primitive" forest people/tribal

type cultures that one hears of. I don't really know if the Indic civilization

specifically abhors "shameless" pursuit of gain and specifically extols the need

for cooperation without exclusive competition. But compared to the so-called

"Northern European" model, it certainly looks like that.

The two paradigms are bound to come into conflict and I wonder if the entire

"colonial era" was just that.

Soory for the ramble - I hope I have not been too obscure.

Posted by Hauma Hamiddha (Member # 4896) on 19 June 2003, 08:02 PM:

Interesting thread, but just one thought for now:

When Ambhi (Omphis in Greek) is said to have gone out to meet Alexander he is

said to have stated the following: "People wage war for food, water, wealth, but

we have all of those in plenty for all of us. If you want some you may have some

of it too." Alexander is said to have stated in return: I wage war for attaining

Kleos (sanskrit: shravas) through the strength of my arms".

While the Ambhi-Alexander meeting was not exactly a civilizational conflict, it

illustrates something about them. The civilizational wars can be very asymmetric

in the way in which they are perceived by the concerned parties. This in part

leads to the confusion about them. Thus, if take two early examples of

civilizational conflict: when Christianity was denuding Greek and Roman

religions, and later native European religions, the victims did not realize the

extant to which they were under attack. Essentially, they thought through it

like Ambhi reasoning it out with Alexander. We see the same general trend amidst

our compatriots in the civilizational context we are currently engaged in. It

can never be over-emphasized as to how similar native Greek, Roman and European

traditions were to the Indic tradition. So their fall in one of the earliest

civilizational conflicts is lesson to be carefully studied.

Next when we see the civilizational conflict between India and China, India

clearly triumphed. The Chinese reacted to it merely with brutum fulmen, not

having the devices of Abrahamic civilizations in conflict. Thus, they could

never succeed in erasing the signs of Indian civilizational conquest completely

(The other end of the spectrum where the attacked civilization knows fully well

that it is under attack but does not figure out a correct response). Finally,

internalization of Marxism (a modern cousin of Islam) gave them a means of

rolling back the Indian civilizational effects.

Posted by AnilD (Member # 5342) on 19 June 2003, 08:41 PM:

Kaushal asked " How will islam handle this diversity is the question?"

I am not sure if you ask this question rhetorically, glibly, tongue in cheek -

or in a rare "tired" moment.

The answer is well known to you and you have expounded on it eloquently

countless times.

Posted by parsuram (Member # 4343) on 19 June 2003, 09:36 PM:

I have always had a problem with the concept of Islam as a civilization, so I

guess I have a problem with the premise of this thread. It is clear to me that

Islam is an ideology, even a theology, but a civilization? That is stretching

it. Western civilization, for instance, has some basic tenets (Greek

rationalism, eg). The foundations are broad enough to tolerate a wide variety of

functioning societies within it. Ditto Hindu/buddhist civilization. So, what is

this Islamic civilisation? What is its track record? - for instance by

fundamental yardsticks for civilizations such as contribution to individual and

collective human development under its sway from its inception. Are the Beduin

Arabs that much further along in human development or positive evolution since

the advent of Mohammad and Islam? No. So what is this Islamic "civilization" all

about? I will offer that it is really an exclusive ideology that promotes for

its members an opportunistic and parasitic growth based on feeding off of real

civilized societies. Elsewhere on these forums I likened them to an

approximation of a locust swarm type societies. I still believe that Islamic

societies, from their inception, have prospered only by exploiting the human and

natural resources of other civilizations and of geography and geology etc. I

fail to see any outstanding original contribution from over a thousand years of

Islamic dominance of human societies. They plundered the genius of civilizations

that they conquored in war, and when those assets were used up, they folded. so

what is this "clash of civilizations" all about. It is about civilizations

protecting themselves from this ideology of conquest and exploitation. No matter

the diversity of ethnic background etc., islamic ideology is seductive in that

it promisses some thing for very little - or at least in return for excersising

base human instincts. Not to put too fine a point on it, Islam promotes anarchy

for the purpose of loot and plunder. Therefore 911. Islamic societies are so far

behind in the matter of human development that their only means to progress now

is at the expense of other societies that have put in the hard work to succeed

to varying degrees, and are continue to do so.

Posted by acharya (Member # 289) on 19 June 2003, 09:46 PM:

Parasuram, this is for you


Posted by shiv (Member # 367) on 19 June 2003, 10:03 PM:


Originally posted by Kaushal:

The fact of the matter is that the center of gravity of Islam has shifted

towards the Indian subcontinent (450 million Muslims) and Indonesia (200

million) and the majority of muslims today no longer speak a semitic language.

I am greatly colored once again by a gripping book that I am still reading.

(Arab Mind, Rafael Patai)

Arabs were a small people lost in the wilderness until the coming of Islam.

After the prophet Mohammed Arabs went on a never before, never after" expansion

spree that took the ARABIC language, Arab culture and Islam right across

Northern Africa and West Asia. The area of its influence is HUGE and any

indigenous languages were replaced by Arabic. But Islam continued to spread

wider and Arabic did not get that far. Arabic did not replace indigenous

languages in Turkey, Persia and India. But Islam sucessfully supplanted existing

indigenous religions in Turkey and Persia. That came to a halt in India and that

is where we are now.

The structure of Islam as far as I can see is akin to that of a ratchet, a one

way street when it comes to religious belief. But as a government it is an utter

failure because it is so Arabic. It represnts a very small segment of humanity

and has not yet developed mechanisms to cope with cultural diversity other than

by total elimination and subjugation.

In short, any civilization that comes up against the hybrid Arab/Islam

civilization faces ONLY what the whole thing started with, that is conquest with

a view to eventual subjugation and creating a whole lot of people who believe in

submission to the god. Even in this there is an Arab-Islamic caste system

despite vehement denials. Arabs are at the top of the heap, Non arab muslim

below that and non Arab non muslims at the bottom. As far as I can tell Islam -

with one Arabic book to work from has NO clear mechanism to cope with cultural


If the Arab/Islamic culture is described as one civilization, we have many

others too, incluing the Indic ones and the "Northern European" one I referred

to earlier.

Posted by parsuram (Member # 4343) on 19 June 2003, 11:18 PM:


Thanks. Will go through it tonite.

Posted by manju (Member # 5128) on 19 June 2003, 11:54 PM:

Raj Kumar


Member # 2360

posted 19 June 2003 11:04 AM


All conflicts have been due to one of the following;




In Kannada

HeNNu MaNNU Honnu

(means the same as above)

Posted by ramana (Member # 356) on 20 June 2003, 12:10 AM:

acharya, could you post the text of the link. Am not able to get access.

Parsuram, Please read History of Civilizations by Fernand Braudel. (Penguin

Books) I know its there in any good uty book store. Braudel describes how Islam

built on the civilizations that it swept under. He gives very good examples.

Posted by acharya (Member # 289) on 20 June 2003, 12:15 AM:

What Went Wrong with the Muslims? A Review of: Bernard Lewis 2002. What Went

Wrong? The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East Weidenfeld &

Nicholson London


Ibrahim Ado-Kurawa B. Sc (HONS) M. Sc Zoology (Applied Entomology)

Director Research, Institute for Contemporary Research (ICR) Kano and General

Editor Weekly Pyramid The Magazine

Kano, Nigeria

(majekarofi@yahoo.com )



This book by a leading Western scholar of Islam is indeed very important because

of its theme and the current trend in world politics. And it should be read

along with the more detailed Samuel Huntington s Clash of Civilizations and the

Remaking of World Order, another scholar whose paradigm of clash of civilization

is accepted by Western policy makers. The main argument or thesis of Lewis is

that Muslims are the source of their predicaments in the world today but they

tend to blame others. His recipe is westernization. According to him Muslims

must assimilate western culture for them to able to catch up with the West and

restore their dignity in the world. His thesis in this sense is opposite of

Huntington s observation that regards such an ideology as Kemelism, a failed

ideology which makes a country or nation torn. Kemalist response has always been

unsuccessful because it infects the country with a cultural schizophrenia, which

is difficult to expunge. Japan and China were earlier forced into momentary

infatuation with this ideology but they later discarded it and opted for

reformism[1]. Huntington s prescriptions for world peace are the recognition of

cultural differences and refrain from the imposition of one universal culture.

But as an intellectual and a patriot he wants the pre-eminence of the western

world and the maintenance of its dominant position in the world.

By the beginning of the 20th century the entire Muslim world came under western

domination except Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. According to Lewis

there was no attraction to colonize the last two countries because they were

very poor territories but he did not mention the failed British attempt to

conquer to Afghanistan[2]. Even Turkey and Iran came under indirect control of

the West. In fact U.S. involvement in Iran was one of the most bizarre forms of

imperialism in history[3]. To Lewis colonial domination was too brief to account

for all the problems of the Muslims. Therefore the Muslims should find another

excuse for their backwardness.

Lewis is also not concerned with the fact that most of the dictators and tyrants

in the Middle East were either sponsored or came to be close associates of the

West as confirmed by other scholars and intelligence Chiefs who see such linkage

as a necessity of defending Western interests[4]. That is why the Algerian

election that was aborted because the Islamic party was about to win was not

important enough to deserve the attention of Lewis. The double standards of the

West in its pretension of promoting democracy and human rights are also not

important enough to deserve his attention. But Huntington in a recent interview

with The Observer[5] confirmed that the west cannot afford to promote human

rights in Saudi Arabia in fact he acknowledged that when he was a member of the

National Security Council they never contemplated promoting human rights in that


Western involvement in countries of the Middle East and other Muslim countries

did not receive the attention of Lewis because he could easily attempt to

dismiss such involvement as conspiracy theories. But the scholarly community

cannot afford such a dismissal. The role of Ambassador Glaspie in instigating

Sadam to invade Kuwait was well presented by a Saudi Prince and commander during

the gulf war[6]. When Sadam entered the trap and invaded Kuwait because he

thought the U.S. was indifferent to such a move President George Bush (Snr)

turned the table and declared that U.S. has special interest in the security of

the region.

According to Lewis, Muslims or Middle Easterners cannot attribute their

predicament to the Jewish state of Israel. After all how many Jews are there in

the world. He discounted the influence of the Jews in the U.S. as a myth or an

exaggeration. But he was quick to demonstrate how few Jews were able to defeat

the Arabs, who have even outgunned the Jews. Scholars do not need the conspiracy

theory contained in the protocols of the learned elders of Zion to demonstrate

Jewish influence in the West. It is nothing but intellectual bullying to say

that Israel can ever survive with out the support of the U.S. or that the Jews

were super human and the Arabs dullards hence their defeat at the hands of half

a million Jews as Lewis attempted to show. Who is the largest recipient of U.S.

foreign aid? In 1986 the per capita aid of US to Israel was $8000[7], which was

more than the per capita of most Arab countries. Currently the U.S. gives $13

million per day of U.S taxpayers money[8] to Israel to subsidize its occupation

of Palestine and brutality against the Palestinians. This is contained in a

letter Rand Carter wrote to the U.S. President in which he stated the number of

UN resolutions violated by Israel[9]. It is not only Muslims who noticed the

influence of the Jews in the U.S. In fact non-Muslims have documented the

evidences beyond reasonable doubt[10].

It is unfortunate that Lewis downplayed the influence of pro-Israel lobby, which

is so powerful even in Europe. For example France and Belgium have been

described as anti-Semitic because of their criticism of Sharon s policies.

Belgium attempted to try him because of the war crimes he committed in Sabra and

Chatila[11]. The powerful pro-Israeli lobby has succeeded in making all

objective critics of Israel anti-Semites including those who call for justice

for the innocent Palestinians. This is as if the Palestinians are not

Semites[12]. To silence critics of Israeli injustice Europe s greatest taboo is

invoked: criticize Israel and you are anti-Semite just as surely as if you were

throwing paint at a synagogue in Paris [13].

Lewis never bothered about Jansen s suggestion that most western scholars are

not objective while treating the conflict between Muslims and the state of

Israel. He might have discarded Jansen s observations because as an authority he

wants to tell the Muslims look these are your problems and here are the solution

take them or leave them. But Jansen s observations can not be discarded easily,

this was what he wrote:

For example, the British academic Dr. Bernand Lewis is a prolific writer on

modern Middle Eastern topics. His first books on the Arabs appeared after the

establishment of Israel. He is a passionate defender of that country, to the

extent that he has testified in its defence to committees of the United States

Congress. Should not this political stance affect our opinion of his scholarly

objectivity when he writes of countries that are sown enemies of Israel (and

with the exception of Egypt every single Muslim state is such)?[14]

Muslims represented by the Ottoman Empire thought that the secret of western

success was military power therefore they embarked on military reforms but this

did not reverse their retreat and the subsequent destruction of their empire.

Muslims assimilated western military innovation in both hardware and discipline

even Khomeini s Iran accepted the drill and uniform based on Western style. Yet

Muslim defeat has remained irreversible. Napoleon was the first to expose Muslim

weakness when he landed in Egypt with a small expeditionary force and took over

the pearl of the Muslim world. That trend has continued to this day with the

widely celebrated defeat of the Taliban. Even if Muslims adopt western military

hardware and strategy they cannot go anywhere so Lewis argues that the answers

must be found elsewhere.

In chapter two Lewis demonstrated Muslims failure to resolve their problems

because of wrong assumption that the solution is acquisition of wealth and

power. He presented catalogue of Muslims distress. Again western imperialism was

brushed aside. But Western imperialism is the greatest disaster in human memory

the Africans know better than anyone. It has been proved reasonable doubt that

the crisis in central Africa was caused by western companies so this cancer is

not restricted to the Middle East[15]. The U.S. Congress turned deaf ear to the

evidences given to it by an American journalists on the atrocities of the

companies and U.S. government agencies[16].

Another example of imperialism currently in progress and similar to the Middle

East is Western involvement in Afghanistan an area that is the easiest outlet

for the oil rich Muslim central Asia. This is because Afghanistan is

indispensable to regional control and transport of oil in central Asia as Egypt

was in Middle East [17]. Other routes will depend on Russia and China the rivals

of the West in that region. The U.S. supported the Mujahidun and they were even

honored by President Regan as the moral equivalents of America s founding

fathers[18]. Zbignew Brzenski[19] the architect of the initial policy of U.S. in

that region stated clearly how the U.S. administration planned and executed its

strategy of using the Muslims to get at the Soviets. Brzenski said The day the

Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have

the opportunity of giving the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years,

Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that

brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet Empire .

He was asked whether he does not regret fueling Islamic fundamentalism and the

emergence of Taliban he quickly dispelled that and asked: What is more important

to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire?

Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the

cold War? [20]

In chapter three Lewis attempted to show the cultural and social barriers that

inhibited Muslim development to the stage of westernization. As usual the

dominant theme is the emancipation of women an area in which the Muslims could

easily be castigated. But the contradiction is that despots and tyrants have

always advanced the women s rights in Muslim countries for example Attaturk,

Sadam, Qadafi and the rulers of Yemen. He observed that: Among the Arab

countries legal emancipation of women went farthest in Iraq and in the former

South Yemen, both ruled by notoriously repressive regimes . As expected Lewis

never mentioned the continuous Muslim women s love for Islamic practices such as

the veil. The secularists in Turkey have oppressed Muslim women who chose the

veil voluntarily as the case in France and other western societies. Is that

democracy or freedom? Again this does not deserve the attention of Lewis, like

the Turkish secularist his position is that the Muslim women do not know the

problem. Therefore they need to be guided. Also he did not resolve the

contradiction that the despots are the promoters of women s rights in the Muslim


Chapter five on secularism and the civil society is perhaps the most persuasive

attempt. This is the core of the book. It acknowledged that secularism is a

solution to Christian problem but in a brilliant style it tried to show that the

Muslims over time have contacted the Christian disease therefore they need the

cure. The most interesting case is Shiite Islam, which in recent years

established clerical rule therefore he observed that they might be triggering a

reformation. Perhaps if he had studied Soroush the man hailed as Martin Luther

of Islam in the West he would have concluded that secularism would triumph in

fact Soroush has already been defeated by it[21]. But this chapter like all the

other chapters mentioned above cannot withstand analytical rigor. Only chapters

four and six can escape such a scrutiny because there may be little or no

disagreement with the Muslim positions.

According to Lewis all the above observations he made cannot be the reasons for

Muslims failure in the modern world but it is caused by refusal to Westernize,

after all the Japanese westernized and were followed by the Koreans who have all

overtaken the Muslims. Some scholars will argue that Japanese modernized but did

not westernize their culture. Lewis documented the elements of Westernization

assimilated by the Japanese, which the Muslims refused to assimilate. His theory

is based on the fact that in every era of human history, modernity, or some

equivalent term has meant the ways, norms, and standards of the dominant and

expanding civilization .the dominant civilization is Western, and Western

standards therefore define modernity (p. 150). Few non-Western scholars will

agree Lee Kaun of Singapore and other advocates of Asian values will be the

first to object. The argument will continue. Why were Attaturk and his

successors failures despite their total submission to the West in everything

while the Confucian Asians who were selective in submission were successful?

Lewis never treated these questions.

The most important shortcoming of the book is that it has shown beyond

reasonable doubt that the Turks followed all the steps of westernization but it

deliberately refused to acknowledge that Kemelism is a failure. Attaturk was an

overzealous secularist and his military successors have remained secularist

fundamentalists because they insist that only their claim of universalism is

valid and all others must conform to their standards [22]. Kemelists have

refused to allow an unfettered democracy by denying some parties the right to

participate in the political process. Why is it that despite its westernization

as prescribed by Lewis, Turkey has remained a failure? The Simple is answer is

that his thesis is flawed. Why? This is because he deliberately ignored or down

played some facts in his analysis. One of the reasons for this is that Lewis is

aware of his position in the academic world and the difficulty many Muslims will

face in debunking his feeble thesis especially in the aftermath of September 11,

which made the book a best seller and demonized all Muslims who disagree with

Western conservative scholarship as terrorists.

Lewis downplayed the reasons for the rise of the West. This was deliberate

because of his thesis. He rhetorically asked why were the voyages of the

discoveries from Christian Europe or precisely Iberia and not the Atlantic coast

of the Muslim world. The Harvard scholar, Sachs excellently illustrated the rise

of Europe in comparison to decline of the Muslim world:

In fact the role of culture in the relative decline of the Islamic world is

vastly overrated. The difficulties in Islamic societies have more to do with

geopolitics and geography than with any unbridgeable differences with the west .

Islam was both made and undone in part by its geography

Over the course of centuries, the demographic balance shifted decisively in

favour of Europe .[23]

He went on to demonstrate how the population of Europe supported by a better

environment made it to over