The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, for example, shows no regard for either Christian or Islamic heritage.
Since violence erupted across
Similar destruction has also been taking place elsewhere. After Islamists moved into Northern Mali, the great cultural city of
Such events are not without precedent in Egypt. The Ancient Library of Alexandria which contained irreplaceable scrolls and manuscripts dating as far back as 300 BC. was forever lost in a devastating fire. Even today the library is regarded as a symbol of “knowledge and culture destroyed.”
Though four theories exist about the cause of the library fire, most Western scholars do not believe the blaze was the result of the Muslim invasion and conquest of Egypt in 641. Early Muslim writers, however, claim the conflagration was ordered by Caliph Umar.
As Robert Spencer notes in his book Not Peace but a Sword, when Umar was asked why the library should be burned, he replied, “If the books in it agree with the Qur’an, they are superfluous. If they disagree with the Qur’an, they are heretical. Only one book was needed.”
Even if the theory about the Alexandria library is not true, there are other examples that of similar destruction. Less than two years ago, nearly 200,000 books were destroyed in the Egyptian Scientific Institute in Cairo.
Religious icons, statues, paintings and the like are regarded as apostasy by Islamic purists. That is why representations and cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad are so inflammatory to the true believers.
After Mohamed Morsi became president of
The most popular story about the Sphinx at
As so frequently happens in the chasm between Islam and the West, such concepts are completely alien to our way of thinking. Why would Muslims want to destroy Islamic culture?
Much of the reason relates to ancient tribal traditions of the desert which are still very much in evidence in the
Robert Spencer explains, “You can pretty much correlate in Islamic history the strength and aggression and rise of the great Islamic empires of the past with the size of the Jewish and Christian communities that were subjugated within those empires and were paying for that imperial expansion. When those communities were exhausted economically, then the Islamic empires went into decline. This is an absolute correlation.”
One need only look at
As long as Islam remains a one way street, there can be no compromise with the West. As Spencer points out, “In Islam, any moral law can be set aside for the good of the Muslims. This is Islam’s only functional moral absolute.”
Such an idea is difficult to accept when a solution seems so simple by our own Western standards. When destruction is the gateway to survival and victory, however, be it human lives or the antiquities of civilization or both, there are no simple solutions.
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