I’ve been so busy lately that I neglected to mention not just one, but two excellent essays from Fjordman posted at other sites.
The first is an extensive survey of the cultural heritage and strategic importance of the eastern half of the Roman Empire. Here are some excerpts from “The Legacy of Byzantium”:
It is impossible to understand the history of Eurasia for the past 1600 years without devoting considerable space to the Byzantine Empire. It had great influence on Western, Russian and Middle Eastern culture, especially on what is called Islamic civilization, which simply would not have existed without the Greco-Roman heritage of the Byzantines.
Despite this, the legacy of Byzantium is too often ignored in the West. The reason why so many Westerners buy into the idea that Muslims “preserved the Greek heritage” is that they know so little about the Byzantine Empire, where Greek texts were actually preserved and passed on.
Westerners usually say that the Roman Empire “fell” in the fifth century AD. The Western Roman Empire, which included the least urbanized regions, did collapse following the partition after the death of the emperor Theodosius the Great in 395. However, the Eastern Roman Empire endured until it was extinguished by Turkish Muslims a thousand years later.
The inhabitants of the Byzantine Empire called themselves “Romans,” not Byzantines. Since the Byzantine Empire was a direct continuation of the Roman Empire, it is a matter of interpretation when Roman history ends and Byzantine history begins. Personally, I prefer to speak of the Eastern Roman Empire after the Roman Empire was divided in two in 395 and the Byzantine Empire primarily of the Greek-dominated entity that remained after the Arab conquests in the seventh century.
Read the rest at Dhimmi Watch.
The second essay, at The Brussels Journal, concerns a thinly-veiled threat issued by the Grand Mufti of Syria against the Netherlands, and an all but total blackout of news about it in the European media:
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The EU is now practicing this media censorship. According to Dutch blogger Klein Verzet, the Grand Mufti of Syria threatened Holland: “Should it come to riots, bloodshed and violence after broadcasting the Quran movie by PVV-leader Geert Wilders, then Wilders will be responsible. This was said by the Grand Mufti of Syria, Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, Tuesday in the European Parliament, where he gave a speech at the invitation of the fraction presidents. If Wilders tears up or burn a Quran in his film ‘this will simply mean he is inciting wars and bloodshed. And he will be responsible’, according to the Grand Mufti. Al Hassoun thinks it is ‘the responsibility of the Dutch people to stop Wilders’.”
If you read the official texts by the EU media, this threat has been totally removed.
In 2006, the above mentioned German Christian Democrat Hans-Gert Pöttering stated that European school textbooks should be reviewed for intolerant depictions of Islam to ensure they don’t propagate prejudice. He suggested that the EU could co-operate with the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference to create a textbook review committee. Islamic countries are thus supposed to decide what is taught about Islam throughout the European Union. One would assume that “prejudice” against Islam will include any mention of almost 1400 years of continuous Jihad warfare on several continents, including Europe. This confirms my view that the only way to save Europe now, or even parts of it, is to totally dismantle the entire European Union.
Read the rest of the post at The Brussels Journal.