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Hijrah
12-19-2006, 11:18 PM
I read DK's history of the world, and let's just say that what they had to say about Muslims was...not so pleasant...very contradictory to what I read on li homepage. First off is it actually true that in 670 AD(about 30 gregorian years after Rasoolullah!), when Islam spread across North Africa, it was spread literally by force killing anyone who refused Islam? This is something I viewed on history channel on a documentary of the sahara. I see some very good things about the ottomans but is it actually true that they massacred the inhabitants when they conquered istanbul in 1453. For the crusades, is it true that it was due to Muslims persecuting christians on their way to pilgrimages? There was one thread I made on India, brother kadafi refuted what was said but in the book I read it is said that one of the rulers massacred up to 50,000 hindus, what is seen in the li homepage seems very good, however what is to be said about this if there is anything to be said at all...

:sl:
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IzakHalevas
12-20-2006, 12:51 AM
Islam entered Africa shortly after its inception in the seventh century AD. After the death of Muhammad, the rasul, or "messenger," and prophet of Islam, in 632, the first caliph ("deputy of the prophet") of Islam, Abu Bakr, ambitiously undertook a series of military conquests to spread the new faith across the world. Although he died two years later, his nephew, Umar, continued the ambitious program. In 636, the Muslims occupied Jerusalem, Damascus, and Antioch; in 651, they had conquered all of Persia. But they also moved west into Africa, for Arabic culture saw itself as continuous not only with Middle Eastern culture, but with northern African culture as well. In 646, the Muslims conquered Egypt and quickly spread across northern Africa. From northern Africa, they invaded Spain in 711. Look at the dates: Islam is founded in 610 when Muhammed has the first of his revelations in the caves above the city of Qumran. In 711, one hundred years later, the Muslims conquered the Middle East, Persia, the Arabian Peninsula, northern Africa, and had just entered Europe. The initial spread of Islam is the single most dramatic cultural change in the history of the world, and it loomed large in the subsequent history of African civilizations.

The largest African cities and kingdoms were located in the Sahel, a desert and savannah region south of the Sahara. After 750 AD, these cities and kingdoms arose because they served as waystations and terminus points for the trade routes across northern Africa. The northern Africans, however, were Muslim; one particular people, the Berbers, were a north African people who were fervently Muslim. The Berbers and their wars of conversion figure very large in the history of the Sahelian kingdoms; by the 1300's, these large kingdoms became Islamic and, more importantly, centers of Islamic learning.

Beyond religion, there are several important cultural practices that the Arabic culture of Islam gave to Africa. The first is literacy. Egypt and the Nilotic kingdoms of the Ku****es and the Nubians had long traditions of writing, and the Ethiopians had acquired it through their ties to the Semitic peoples of southern Arabia. But these writing systems did not spread throughout Africa. Islam, however, as a religion of the book, spread writing and literacy everywhere it went. Many Africans dealt with two languages: their native language and Arabic, which was the language of texts. However, this gradually changed as Africans began using the Arabic alphabet to write their own languages. To this date, Arabic script is one of the most common scripts for writing African languages.

With literacy, the Arabs brought formal educational systems. In north Africa and the Sahel, these systems and institutions would produce a great flowering of African thought and science. In fact, the city of Timbuctu had perhaps the greatest university in the world.

Islam also brought social fragmentation. As the faith spread throughout Africa, political authority of established African institutions and kingdoms began to collapse under the burden, particularly when groups of Muslims declared holy war, or jihad, against pagan social groups.
http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/CIVAFRCA/ISLAM.HTM


Not sure how reliable it is though, but the man is an expert supposedly.
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Hijrah
12-20-2006, 01:15 AM
That seems a lot less biased actually but it is hardly relevant to the answers I am actually seeking, thanks though.
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Hijrah
12-20-2006, 03:16 AM
Bump!...looking for answers!...
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Malaikah
12-20-2006, 03:24 AM
:sl:

I do not know, but even if some people did do that, you know that it is totally haram to force someone to become a Muslim right?
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Hijrah
12-20-2006, 03:33 AM
either way islamic history is islamic history, on the front page of this site, there is all this stuff about the crusades saying it was done for no reason, no doubt it was wrong either way, but the fact of the matter is this site contains appreciation of ottoman rule and such so I'm thinking this could be refuted, this is an entirely different matter from Islam in itself
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Skillganon
12-20-2006, 03:40 AM
I really do not think this will create fitnah. Just wait for someone with appropriate knowledge.
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Woodrow
12-20-2006, 04:08 AM
to be quite honest. the post is a bit overwhelming. It contains very many questions and most of us do not have the ansers to all of them, so we feel a little intimidated to try to answer the little we know.

I will try to break the ice on this and just address one small part.

First off is it actually true that in 670 AD(about 30 gregorian years after Rasoolullah!), when Islam spread across North Africa, it was spread literally by force killing anyone who refused Islam?
When dealing with only the visible outcome that would be factual. However, to know the whole truth a person needs to dig deeper and know a bit of African history to answer that.

The Arab world was familiar with North Africa and had already established trade centers throughout North Africa. There were Arab settlements and there was also frequent wars to keep the trade centers in the hands of the Arabs.

Islam arrived in North Africa (the Maghreb) just seven years after the death of the Prophet Mohammed in 639. The 4,000 strong Arab invading forces came from Mecca under the leadership of the military ruler Amr ibn al-Asi. The Arabs were not entirely foreign to North Africa - they were well known as traders. There were also some well-established Arab communities. Within three years of arriving, the Arabs moved South, in retreat from the Byzantine fleet, to found the city of Cairo.
ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY
At the time of invasion the Christian Coptic Church was being persecuted on doctrinal grounds by the Byzantine church in Constantinople. Many Christians welcomed the Muslim forces as possible allies against Byzantium. After an initial display of force, the Muslims treated the Church leaders with deference.

In the long term, those that refused to convert to Islam were penalised. They had to pay high taxes and were barred or evicted from positions in government. There was periodic persecution, notably at the end of the 10th century and at the beginning of the 11th century, but no executions. Pockets of Christians remained in Egypt; there was also resistance to Islam from the Berbers and from the Christian church in Nubia.
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/af...chapter3.shtml

PLAGUE
Another critical event was the arrival of the Plague or Black Death in 1348 from Europe via Sicily. It reduced the population of the Maghreb between a third and a quarter. It seriously undermined the economy both in terms of trade and agricultural production.

"Civilisation decreased with the decrease of mankind. Cities and buildings were laid waste, roads and way signs were obliterated, settlements and mansions became empty, dynasties and tribes grew weak. The entire inhabited world changed…"
Excerpt from The Muqaddimah: an Introduction to History by Tunisian historian Ibn Khaldun, who lost both his parents in the plague.
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/af...chapter3.shtml

The famous Arab historian Ibn Khaldun says that the name Ifriqiya was given after Ifriqos bin Qais bin Saifi, one of the Kings of Yemen. To Al-Bakri, the boundries of Ifriqiya were Barga on the East and Tangier on the West, which means that in addition to the Africa proper of the Romans, it included Tripolitania, Numidia and Mauritania. Today, by the use of the word Ifiriqiya or Africa, the Arabs as well as non-Arabs mean the entire continent of Africa which includes North Africa (including the Maghrib), East Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, and South Africa. It was significant that the first shelter of early Muslims was in Africa (Abyssinia, 615 CE). By the time Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) began his mission, the Egyptians and Syrians had partially severed their active link with the Roman Empire.
When the Arab conquest began in 647 CE, the Exarch Gregory had already denounced allegiance to Constantinople and had proclaimed himself as an Emperor. In Egypt, the native Copts were instructed by their bishop in Alexandria to offer no resistance to the Arab Muslims marching toward Egypt. The first serious attempt to expand Islam in Africa is credited to 'Uqabah (Okba) b. Nafi, who is revered to this day as the founder of Muslim Africa. In most of the areas conquered, the former religions of those areas, whether Christianity, zoroastrianism, Judaism or indigenous cults, continued to survive, without generally any oppression for centuries after the conquest by Muslim armies. Thus even in those areas where political authority was in the hands of Muslims owing allegiance to the central power of the Caliphate in Damascus or Baghdad, the actual Islamization of the population was generally a fairly slow process of absorption.
Islam spread in North Africa with remarkable speed, and by the year 732 C.E., which marked the first centennial of Muhammed's death, his followers were the masters of an empire greater than that of Rome at its Zenith, an empire extending from the Bay of Biscay to the Indus and the confines of China and from the Aral Sea to the lower contracts of the Nile. The name of the Prophet, as Messenger of God along with the name of God [Allah] was being called out five times a day from thousands of minarets scattered all over North Africa, South-Western Europe, and Western and Central Asia.
Now it is true that during the early years of the spread of Islam North Africa was a very violent place. Wars were common and death was very common both from war and plague. But, neither of this were done in the name of Islam and the spread of Islam was peacefull and not forced. The Berbers who were one of the strongest resisters of Islam eventually came to be the largest spreaders of it because of their nomadic life style throughout North Africa.


The Berbers have lived in North Africa since the earliest recorded time. References to them date from about 3000 B.C. and occur frequently in ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman sources.

For many centuries the Berbers inhabited the coast of North Africa from Egypt to the Atlantic Ocean. They continued to inhabit the region until the 7th century AD, when the Arabs conquered North Africa and drove many Berber tribes inland to the Atlas Mountains and to areas in and near the Sahara.

After the Arab conquest, the Berbers embraced the Muslim faith of their new rulers. Succeeding centuries were marked by almost continuous struggles for power in North Africa among the various Berber tribes, between the Berbers and the Arabs, and between both these peoples and Spanish, Portuguese, and Turkish invaders.
So to answer you question. I would say that although there had been much violence in North Africa, the violence was not the reason for the spread of Islam and there is no indication that any people were forced to convert under the sword. I personaly believe there may have been isolated incidents of that happening, but that would be the result of individuals and not as any expedition to spread Islam.
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AmarFaisal
12-20-2006, 04:08 AM
All books, be them on literature, history or fiction reflect the personality, thoughts and attitude of a person towards a certain subject. If your read a book by DK , for eg., n are looking for answers to a big question to clear the doubt in ur mind, Then the best thing is to go ahead n look for other authors of World/Islamic history and compare what is said by one to what is writen by another. Don't look for short cuts. Research on the history and u will find an answer to ur question.
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Hijrah
12-20-2006, 11:37 AM
it's all good, if the rest of the questions can be addressed, if they can at all, it would be good
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Woodrow
12-20-2006, 06:12 PM
I will take a stab at another part.

For the crusades, is it true that it was due to Muslims persecuting christians on their way to pilgrimages?
I would like to start this with my own personal views and then try to back it up with links if I can find any.

The Crusades were many more then just the 9 Crusades against Muslims. You could say that the first crusade was the Roman conquest of England and the forcing of the Druids into Christianity. that was done by the Sword. The last notable Crusade was the conquest of the Americas and the forcing of the Native Americans into Christianity. that was far from peacefull, a very common practice was to capture Native American's who did not convert. Baptise them against their will and then execute them before they had a chance to "sin".

Christianity had a long violent history of spreading religion by the sword. Before the the Crusades against Muslims there were the Crusades from England into Germany forcing the various Teutonic tribes to accept Christianity. Then there were the assaults into the Eastern European nations conquering in the name of conversion.

My ancestors, the Lipkas of Lithuania, fought the crusaders for nearly 400 years. Many of the Lipkas and other Tatars are still fighting that crusade.

Now looking at the "9" Crusades against the Muslims which are generaly what is talked about when speaking of the Crusades. Who were they, They were English and Teutonic(German) knights. They were thousands of miles away from Jerusalem. Most of them would have never had a chance to visit Jerusalem or even have a desire to. There were Many Christians living in the Mid-East at that time. None of them had any major problems with Muslims. Many even lived peacefully in Jerusalem. The crusades into the "Holy Land" was not directed only against Muslims. Byzantine and Coptic Christians also came under attack so did the Jews. The crusades were not for the purpose of "saving" the "Holy Land" they were attempts to spread Christianity by the Sword and to reap the spoils of war. The Knights mostly went because of promises of great wealth from the spoils of war.

The Muslims were not attacking Christian Pilgrams, they were fighting in self defence to protect their land, people and religion.

A brief History of Lipkas:
The Lipka Tatars (also known as Belarusian Tatars, Lithuanian Tatars, Lipkowie or Muślimi) are a group of Tatars living on the lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth since the 14th century. They followed Sunni branch of Islam and their origins can be traced back to the descendant states of the Mongol Empire of Ghengis Khan - the White Horde, the Golden Horde, the Crimean Khanate and Kazan Khanate. In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth they initially served as a noble military caste but later they became urban-dwellers known for their crafts, horses and gardening skills. Throughout centuries they resisted assimilation and kept their traditional lifestyle. There are still small groups of Lipka Tatars living in today's Belarus, Lithuania and Poland.
1380: Khan Tokhtamysh, the hereditary ruler of the White Horde crossed west over the Urals and merged the White Horde with the Golden Horde whose first khan was Batu, the eldest son of Jochi. In 1382 the White and Golden Hordes sacked and burned Moscow. Tokhtamysh, allied with the great central Asian Tatar conqueror, Tamerlane reasserted Mongol power in Russia.
1397: After a series of disastrous military campaigns against his former protector, the great Tatar warlord Tamerlane, Tokhtamysh and the remnants of his clan were granted asylum and given estates and noble status in Grand Duchy of Lithuania by Vytautas the Great. The settlement of the Lipka Tatars in Lithuania in 1397 is recorded in the Chronicles of Jan Dlugosz.
1591: The rule of the fervent Catholic Sigismund III (1587-1632) and the Counter-Reformation movement brought a number of restrictions to the liberties granted to non-Catholics in Poland, the Lipkas amongst others. This led to a diplomatic intervention by Sultan Murad III with the Polish King in 1591 on the question of freedom of religious observance for the Lipkas. This was undertaken at the request of Polish Muslims who had accompanied the Polish King's envoy to Istanbul.
1672: This was the year of the Lipka Rebellion. As a reaction to restrictions on their religious freedoms and the erosion of their ancient rights and priviliges, the Lipka Tatar regiments stationed in the Podolia region of south-east Poland abandoned the Commonwealth at the start of the Polish-Turkish wars that were to last to end of the 17th Century with the Peace of Karlowicki in 1699. The Lipka Rebellion forms the background to the novel Pan Wolodyjowski, the final volume of the historical Trylogia of Henryk Sienkiewicz, the Nobel Prize winning author (1905) who was himself descended from Christianised Lipka Tatars. The 1969 film of Pan Wolodyjowski, directed by Jerzy Hoffman and starring Daniel Olbrychski as Azja Tuhaj-bejowicz, still remains the biggest box-office success in the history of Polish cinema.
Source: http://www.tscholars.com/encyclopedia/Lipka_Tatars

A brief History of Lithuania:

Baltic peoples: c.1500 BC


During the 2nd millennium BC various Indo-European tribes, speaking what are classed as the Baltic languages, settle along the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. To the north of them are people speaking Finno-Ugric languages, who occupy the modern regions of Estonia and Finland.

The southernmost of the Baltic peoples are the Prussians, who are conquered by the Teutonic Knights and subsequently become absorbed into German culture. But the people in the region between the original Prussia and Estonia retain their Baltic identity. They develop into the modern communities of Lithuania and Latvia.


Pagan Lithuania: 13th - 14th century AD


In the early 13th century the Lithuanian tribes, still pagan, are threatened by two groups of crusading Germans. The Order of the Knights of the Sword are forcibly converting the Latvians to the north, while the Teutonic Knights do the same to the Prussians in the south. The tribal chieftains of Lithuania successfully resist invasion but weigh up the possible advantages of adopting the religion of either of their warlike neighbours - the Catholic Germans or the Orthodox Russians.
Source: http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/...historyid=ac98


A brief History of Early Christian Crusades into England, Germany Eastern Europe:

Two bishops, German of Auxerre, and Lupus of Troyes, were sent accordingly by a council to which the petition of the Britons had been made. These two could speak a language which was near enough to the British to be understood by the Britons, it was something like the Welsh, or the Irish, or like the Gaelic, which is spoken in the Highlands of Scotland (for all these languages are much alike). Their preaching, had a great effect on the people, and their holy lives preached still better than their sermons; they disputed with the Pelagian teachers at Verulam, the town where St. Alban was martyred, and which now takes its name from him, and they succeeded for the time in putting down the heresy.

It is said that while German and Lupus were in this country, the Picts and Saxons joined in invading it; and that the Britons, finding their army unfit to fight the enemy, sent to beg the assistance of the two Gaulish bishops. So German and Lupus went to the British army, and joined it just before Easter. A great number of the soldiers were baptized at Easter, and German put himself at their heads. The enemy came on, expecting an easy victory, but the bishops thrice shouted "Hallelujah!" and all the army took up the shout, which was echoed from the mountains again and again, so that the pagans were struck with terror, and expected the mountains to fall on them. They threw down their arms, and ran away, leaving a great quantity of spoil behind them, and many of them rushed into a river, where they were drowned. The place where this victory is said to have been gained is still pointed out in Flintshire, and is known by a Welsh name, which means, "German's Field." Pelagianism began to revive in Britain some years later, but St. German came over a second time, and once more put it down.

But soon after this, the Saxons came into Britain. It is supposed that Hengist and Horsa landed in Kent in the year 449; and other chiefs followed, with their fierce heathen warriors. There was a struggle between these and the Britons, which lasted a hundred years, until at length the invaders got the better, and the land was once more overspread by heathenism, except where the Britons kept up their Christianity in the mountainous districts of the West,-Cumberland, Wales, and Cornwall. You shall hear by-and-by how the Gospel was introduced among the Saxons.
Source (From a Christian Site):http://bible.christiansunite.com/sch/sch01-24.shtml

A short history of the Crusades against Muslims:

This article is about the medieval crusades. For other uses, see Crusade (disambiguation) and Crusade (definition).
The Siege of Antioch, from a medieval miniature painting, during the First Crusade.Crusades
First – People's – German – 1101 – Second – Third – Fourth – Albigensian – Children's – Fifth – Sixth – Seventh – Shepherds' – Eighth – Ninth – Aragonese – Alexandrian – Nicopolis – Northern – Hussite – Varna
The Crusades were a series of military campaigns of a religious character waged by Christians from 1095-1291, usually sanctioned by the Pope[1] in the name of Christendom,[2] with the goal of recapturing Jerusalem and the sacred "Holy Land" from Muslim rule and originally launched in response to a call from the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Empire for help against the expansion of the Muslim Seljuq dynasty into Anatolia.[3][4]
The term is also used to describe contemporaneous and subsequent campaigns conducted through the 16th Century in territories outside of the Levant[5], usually against pagans, those considered by the Catholic Church to be heretics, and peoples under the ban of excommunication,[3] for a mixture of religious, economic, and political reasons.[6] The traditional numbering scheme for the Crusades includes the nine major expeditions to the Holy Land during the 11th to 13th centuries. Other unnumbered "crusades" continued into the 16th century, lasting until the political and religious climate of Europe was significantly changed during the Renaissance and Reformation.

The Children's Crusade was not a military campaign, but a failed attempt to reach the Holy Land in order to peacefully convert Muslims there to Christianity.

The Crusades had far-reaching political, economic, and social impacts, some of which have lasted into contemporary times. Due to internal conflicts among Christian kingdoms and political powers, some of the crusade expeditions, e. g., the fourth crusade, were diverted from their original aim and resulted in the sack of Christian cities, including the the Byzantine capital, Constantinople.[7]

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades
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Woodrow
12-20-2006, 06:13 PM
Deleted by Woodrow
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Woodrow
12-20-2006, 06:37 PM
OOOps I double posted. My apologies.
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Hijrah
12-20-2006, 07:13 PM
Source (From a Christian Site):http://bible.christiansunite.com/sch/sch01-24.shtml

A short history of the Crusades against Muslims:

This article is about the medieval crusades. For other uses, see Crusade (disambiguation) and Crusade (definition).
The Siege of Antioch, from a medieval miniature painting, during the First Crusade.Crusades
First – People's – German – 1101 – Second – Third – Fourth – Albigensian – Children's – Fifth – Sixth – Seventh – Shepherds' – Eighth – Ninth – Aragonese – Alexandrian – Nicopolis – Northern – Hussite – Varna
The Crusades were a series of military campaigns of a religious character waged by Christians from 1095-1291, usually sanctioned by the Pope[1] in the name of Christendom,[2] with the goal of recapturing Jerusalem and the sacred "Holy Land" from Muslim rule and originally launched in response to a call from the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Empire for help against the expansion of the Muslim Seljuq dynasty into Anatolia.[3][4]
The term is also used to describe contemporaneous and subsequent campaigns conducted through the 16th Century in territories outside of the Levant[5], usually against pagans, those considered by the Catholic Church to be heretics, and peoples under the ban of excommunication,[3] for a mixture of religious, economic, and political reasons.[6] The traditional numbering scheme for the Crusades includes the nine major expeditions to the Holy Land during the 11th to 13th centuries. Other unnumbered "crusades" continued into the 16th century, lasting until the political and religious climate of Europe was significantly changed during the Renaissance and Reformation.

The Children's Crusade was not a military campaign, but a failed attempt to reach the Holy Land in order to peacefully convert Muslims there to Christianity.

The Crusades had far-reaching political, economic, and social impacts, some of which have lasted into contemporary times. Due to internal conflicts among Christian kingdoms and political powers, some of the crusade expeditions, e. g., the fourth crusade, were diverted from their original aim and resulted in the sack of Christian cities, including the the Byzantine capital, Constantinople.[7]

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades
Yes it is said that it is those sekjuks who made the attack
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Woodrow
12-20-2006, 08:01 PM
I just tied this in with the crusades:

about the ottomans but is it actually true that they massacred the inhabitants when they conquered istanbul in 1453
I know that the Christian Crusaders Ranscked and destroyed much of Constantinople. I wonder if that is what gave rise to the Ottoman Empire and that the massacure being refered to was actually carried out by Christians?


The Ottoman state began as one of many small Turkish states that emerged in Asia Minor during the breakdown of the empire of the Seljuk Turks. The Ottoman Turks began to absorb the other states, and during the reign (1451–81) of Muhammad II they ended all other local Turkish dynasties. The early phase of Ottoman expansion took place under Osman I, Orkhan, Murad I, and Beyazid I at the expense of the Byzantine Empire, Bulgaria, and Serbia. Bursa fell in 1326 and Adrianople (the modern Edirne) in 1361; each in turn became the capital of the empire. The great Ottoman victories of Kosovo (1389) and Nikopol (1396) placed large parts of the Balkan Peninsula under Ottoman rule and awakened Europe to the Ottoman danger. The Ottoman siege of Constantinople was lifted at the appearance of Timur, who defeated and captured Beyazid in 1402. The Ottomans, however, soon rallied.
Source: http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0860176.html


The Ottoman Empire (Ottoman Turkish:دولت عليه عثمانيه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye) was a Turkish empire that existed from 1299 to 1922. At the height of its power in the 16th and 17th centuries, it spanned three continents, controlling much of Southeastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, stretching from the Strait of Gibraltar (and in 1553 the Atlantic coast of North Africa beyond Gibraltar) in the west to the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf in the east, from the edge of Austria and Slovakia and the hinterland beyond Ukraine in the north to Sudan and Yemen in the south.

The empire was at the center of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. At its height (see: extend of Ottoman territories), the Ottoman Empire was among the most powerful states of the world. The "golden age" of Ottoman Empire marked by Suleiman the Magnificent. The Empires achievements in urban life was reflected in establishments of Ḳoca Mi‘mār Sinān Āġā, in the navy by Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha. The Ottoman Empire was the only Islamic power to seriously challenge the rising power of Western Europe between the 15th and 19th centuries. With Istanbul (or Constantinople) as its capital, the Empire was in some respects an Islamic successor of earlier Mediterranean empires - the Roman and Byzantine empires.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Empire

It appears that the Ottomans were in control of Constaninople at the time of the Crusades. Yet, Constantinople was still The Byzantine capital. That does not sound like the Ottoman's had massacured the residents.


Neither does the history of Istanbul support that:

A brief synopsis of Istanbul History:

What is now called Asian Istanbul was probably inhabited by people as early as 3000 BC. Eventually, in the 7th century, Greek colonists led by King Byzas established the colony of Byzantium, the Greek name for a city on the Bosphorus. Byzas chose the spot after consulting an oracle of Delphi who told him to settle across from the "land of the blind ones." Indeed, Byzas concluded, earlier settlers must have been deprived of their sight to have overlooked this superb location at the mouth of the Bosphorus strait. This proved an auspicious decision by Byzas, as history has shown Istanbul's location important far beyond what these early Greek settlers might possibly have conceived. Byzas gave his name to the city: Byzantium.

In the early 100's BC, it became part of the Roman Empire and in 306 AD, Emperor Constantine the Great made Byzantium capital of the entire Roman Empire. From that point on, the city was known as Constantinople.

The mid 400's AD was a time of enormous upheaval in the empire. Barbarians conquered the western Roman Empire while the Eastern, also called the Byzantine Empire, kept Constantinople as its capital. In 532 during the reign of Justinian I, antigovernment riots destroyed the city. It was rebuilt, and outstanding structures such as Hagia Sophia stand as monuments to the heights Byzantine culture reached.

The attribute that made the city so desirable, its incomparable location for trade and transport between three continents, was also its nemesis. For the next several hundred years Persians, Arabs, nomadic peoples, and members of the Fourth Crusade (who for a time governed the city) attacked Constantinople.

Finally, weakened by almost constant battle, the Ottoman Turks lead by Sultan Mehmet II conquered Constantinople in 1453. Renamed Istanbul, it became the third and last capital of the Ottoman Empire. It was the nerve center for military campaigns that were to enlarge the Ottoman Empire dramatically. By the mid 1500's, Istanbul, with a population of almost half a million, was a major cultural, political, and commercial center. Ottoman rule continued until it was defeated in WWI and Istanbul was occupied by the allies.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Empire

Here is some more about the battle in 1453:

Although Mehmet II allowed the rape, pillage and looting of the city, as was the custom of all armies during that age, he changed his mind after seeing the great structures of the city being destroyed and stopped the activities after 24 hours; unfortunately at that point a large part of the populace was either raped, despoiled, or enslaved. Of the estimated 50,000 people residing in the city at the time of its capture, approximately half were still free when Mehmet issued his order to cease the pillage of the city.

The reason that so many of the civilian population escaped enslavement was primarily due to the topography of the city at the time. Far from being in its heyday, Constantinople was severely depopulated for years following the depredations from the bubonic plague and especially from the disaster of the Fourth Crusade inflicted on it by the Christian army two centuries before. Therefore, the city in 1453 was a series of walled villages separated by vast fields encircled in whole by the fourth century Theodosian walls. When the Ottoman troops first broke through the defenses, many of the leading citizens of these little townlets submitted their surrender to Mehmet's generals[citation needed], thereby falling within the proscriptions of Islamic traditions of voluntary submission.
Source: http://www.allaboutturkey.com/istanbul.htm

Not the massaure depicted in the book.
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Woodrow
12-20-2006, 08:29 PM
I might as well try to rply about the Slaughter of Hindus:


That appears to have happened. But, it seems that was the result of Mughal Culture and not as a result of Islam even if it was done in the name of Islam.


Babur
The first ruler of the Islamic Mughal Empire, Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur expressed anti-Hindu views in the Bāburnāma:

Hindustan is a place of little charm. There is no beauty in its people, no graceful social intercourse, no poetic talent or understanding, no etiquette, nobility or manliness. The arts and crafts have no harmony or symmetry. There are no good horses, meat, grapes, melons or other fruit. There is no ice, cold water, good food or bread in the markets. There are no baths and no madrasas. There are no candles, torches or candlesticks.[8]

The comments made by the Emperor Babur, echo in the slighest terms the disparaging and often hateful opinion that some of the Mughals had towards Hindustan and in particular Hindus.


[edit] Aurangzeb
The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb was known to be a fanatical anti-Hindu and destroyed many Hindu temples and other places of worship, as well as the genocide of hundreds of thousands of Hindus.Aurangzeb adopted various measures to promote Islam in its wholesome moral standards. In many instances he even undertook demolition of Hindu temples in his effort to subdue influence o f the Hindu religion. He issued regulations and imposed religious taxes to prevent the progress of his rival religion. The imposition of Jizya on the Hindus in 1679 which was an anti Hindu policy resulted in the rise of the Rajput in a revolt in 1769. This struggle continued till 1681 when Aurangzeb made peace with the Rajputs.The other sect affected by the Anti-hindu policy of Aurangzeb were the Satnamis. Their revolt was crushed by Aurangzeb. Next was the revolt of the Jats of Mathura which was an opposition to the policy and oppression under Aurangzeb. Though they were suppressed in the early period they carried on the struggle till the death of Aurangzeb[9].
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Hindu
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Hijrah
12-20-2006, 09:15 PM
I made another thread about this and this is an answer I got...
Originally Posted by kadafi
The right-wing Hindu propaganda that the Indian Muslim rulers massacred Hindus in thousands and millions is a baseless lie. Sure, there were some rulers that went against the teachings of Islaam but Alfred Lyall referred to them as 'spiritually dead':

The military adventurers, who founded dynasties in Northern India and carved out kingdoms in the Dekhan, care little for things spiritual; most of them had indeed no time for proselytism, being continually engaged in conquest or in civil war. They were usually rough Tartars or Moghals; themselves ill-grounded in the faith of Mahomet, and untouched by the true Semitic enthusiasm which inspired the first Arab standard bearers of Islam. The empire they set up was pure military, and it was kept in that state by the half success of their conquests and the comparative failure of their spiritual invasion. They were strong enough to prevent anything like religious amalgamation among the Hindus, and to check the gathering of tribes into nations; but so far were they from converting India, that among the Mahommedans themselves their own faith never acquired an entire and exclusive monopoly of the high offices of administration.
Asiatic Studies

The Indian historian, Radhika Singha, said regarding this manupulation of history:

The right-wing are prepared to go to any lengths to control and manipulate the writing of history.
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Woodrow
12-20-2006, 09:22 PM
It seems we are both in agreement it was some rulers, notably Moghals (Mughals) that did not have a good foundation in Isalm and acted in accordance to culture.
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Umar001
12-20-2006, 09:29 PM
"There are no grapes? Gee that must be a bad place."

I don't get it sometimes
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