HOW ISLAM ERASED CHRISTIANITY FROM HISTORY

While Christianity continues to be physically erased from the Middle East, lesser known is that its historical role and presence is also being expunged from memory.

Last month a video emerged showing Islamic State members tossing hundreds of Christian textbooks, many of them emblazoned with crosses, into a large bonfire.   As one report put it, ISIS was “burning Christian textbooks in an attempt to erase all traces of” Christianity from the ancient region of Mosul, where Christianity once thrived for centuries before the rise of Islam.

As usual, ISIS is ultimately an extreme example of Islam’s normative approach.  This was confirmed during a recent conference in Amman, Jordan hosted by the Jerusalem Center for Political Studies. While presenting, Dr. Hena al-Kaldani, a Christian, said that “there is a complete cancelation of Arab Christian history in the pre-Islamic era,” “many historical mistakes,” and “unjustifiable historic leaps in our Jordanian curriculum.”  “Tenth grade textbooks omit any mention of any Christian or church history in the region.”  Wherever Christianity is mentioned, omissions and mischaracterizations proliferate, including the portrayal of Christianity as a Western (that is, “foreign”) source of colonization, said al-Kaldani.

Of course, Christian minorities throughout the Middle East—not just in Jordan—have long maintained that the history taught in public classrooms habitually suppresses the region’s Christian heritage while magnifying (including by lying about) Islam.

“It sounds absurd, but Muslims more or less know nothing about Christians, even though they make up a large part of the population and are in fact the original Egyptians,” said Kamal Mougheeth, a retired teacher in Egypt: “Egypt was Christian for six or seven centuries [before the Muslim invasion around 640].  The sad thing is that for many years the history books skipped from Cleopatra to the Muslim conquest of Egypt.  The Christian era was gone.  Disappeared.  An enormous black whole.”[i]

This agrees perfectly with what I recall my parents, Christians from Egypt, telling me of their classroom experiences from more than half a century ago: there was virtually no mention of Hellenism, Christianity, or the Coptic Church—one thousand years of Egypt’s pre-Islamic history. History began with the pharaohs before jumping to the seventh century when Arabian Muslims “opened” Egypt to Islam. (Wherever Muslims conquer non-Muslim territories, Islamic hagiography euphemistically refers to it as an “opening,” fath, never a “conquest.”)

Sharara Yousif Zara, an influential politician involved in the Iraqi Ministry of Education agrees: “It’s the same situation in Iraq.  There’s almost nothing about us [Christians] in our history books, and what there is, is totally wrong.  There’s nothing about us being here before Islam.  The only Christians mentioned are from the West.  Many Iraqis believe we moved here.  From the West.  That we are guests in this country.”[ii]

Zara might be surprised to learn that similar ignorance and historical revisionism predominates in the West.  Although Christians are in fact the most indigenous inhabitants of most of the Arab world, I am often asked, by educated people, why Christians “choose” to go and live in the Middle East among Muslims, if the latter treat them badly.

At any rate, the Mideast’s pseudo historical approach to Christianity has for generations successfully indoctrinated Muslim students to suspect and hate Christianity, which is regularly seen as a non-organic parasitic remnant left by Western colonialists (though as mentioned, Christianity precedes Islam in the region by some six centuries).

This also explains one of Islam’s bitterest ironies: a great many of today’s Middle East Christians are being persecuted by Muslims — including of the ISIS variety — whose own ancestors were persecuted Christians who converted to Islam to end their suffering. In other words, Muslim descendants of persecuted Christians are today slaughtering their Christian cousins.  Christians are seen as “foreign traitors” in part because many Muslims do not know of their own Christian ancestry.

Due to such entrenched revisionism, Muslim “scholars” are also able to disseminate highly dubious and ahistorical theses, as seen in Dr. Fadel Soliman’s 2011 book, Copts: Muslims Before Muhammad.  It claims that, at the time of the Muslim conquest of Egypt, the vast majority of Egyptians were not, as Muslim and Western history has long taught, Christians, but rather prototypical Muslims, or muwahidin, who were being oppressed by European Christians: hence, the Islamic invasion of Egypt was really about “liberating” fellow Muslims.

Needless to say, no historian has ever suggested that Muslims invaded Egypt to liberate “proto-Muslims.” Rather, the Muslim chroniclers who wrote our primary sources on Islam, candidly and refreshingly present the “openings” as they were—conquests, replete with massacres, enslavement, and displacement of Christians and the destruction of thousands of churches.

In the end, of course, the Muslim world’s historical approach to Christianity should be familiar.  After all, doesn’t the West engage in the same chicanery?    In both instances, Christianity is demonized and its history distorted by its usurping enemies: in the West, by a host of “isms”—including leftism, moral relativism, and multiculturalism—and in the Middle East, by Islam.

Notes:

[i] Quote from The Last Supper: The Plight of Christians in Arab Lands by Klaus Wivel.

[ii] Ibid.

Originally published by PJ Media.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Back Next Week

I will be back up and running next week, I just bought a new home and am neck deep in a remodel.. But Ill be back soon!

The Islamic State carries out deadly chemical attack on Syria army

BY AFP/// The Islamic State group mounted a deadly gas attack against Syrian troops at a besieged eastern airbase, state news agency SANA said, the latest report of the jihadists’s use of chemical weapons.

SANA did not say precisely how many soldiers had been killed in the attack on the government-controlled airbase outside the divided eastern city of Deir el-Zour.

“Daesh (IS) terrorists attacked Deir el-Zour military airport with rockets carrying mustard gas, causing some people to suffocate,” it reported late Monday.

The reports are the latest in a string of suspected mustard gas attacks by the jihadists in Syria and neighboring Iraq.

On March 9, a suspected IS gas attack on the Iraqi town of Taza, south of Kirkuk, killed three children and wounded some 1,500 people, with injuries ranging from burns to rashes and respiratory problems.

A picture taken on February 27, 2016 in Akcakale in Sanliurfa province shows smoke rising from the neightbourhood of Syrian city Tel Abyad during clashes between Islamic State Group and People's Protection Units (YPG). (AFP / STR)

A picture taken on February 27, 2016 in Akcakale in Sanliurfa province shows smoke rising from the neightbourhood of Syrian city Tel Abyad during clashes between Islamic State Group and People’s Protection Units (YPG). (AFP / STR)

While the chemical agents allegedly used by IS so far have been among their least effective weapons, the psychological impact on civilians is considerable.

A total of 25,000 people fled their homes in and around Taza last month, fearing another attack.

IS has been battling to capture Deir el-Zour airbase since 2014. It provides the only supply route other than air drops to the government-held sector of the city, where more than 200,000 civilians are living under IS siege.

On Monday, an IS bombardment of two government-held districts of the city killed seven civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Two suicide bombers also blew themselves up in the village of Jafra near the airbase, the Britain-based monitoring group said.

Deir el-Zour province is vital for Islamic State because it lies between its de facto Syrian and Iraqi capitals Raqqa and Mosul.

In recent weeks, IS has faced intense pressure in Syria at the hands of both the Russian-backed army and US-backed Kurdish-led rebels.

An offensive by the army pushed the jihadists out of the ancient city of Palmyra late last month, opening up the possibility of a strike across the desert to relieve the siege of Deir el-Zour.

The Supreme Council of Cyberspace

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,314 other followers

%d bloggers like this: