Tag Archives: Muslim

Correcting four myths about the history of the Crusades

Crusader
Crusader

Here is an interesting article from Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

Intro:

The verdict seems unanimous. From presidential speeches to role-playing games, the crusades are depicted as a deplorably violent episode in which thuggish Westerners trundled off, unprovoked, to murder and pillage peace-loving, sophisticated Muslims, laying down patterns of outrageous oppression that would be repeated throughout subsequent history. In many corners of the Western world today, this view is too commonplace and apparently obvious even to be challenged.

But unanimity is not a guarantee of accuracy. What everyone “knows” about the crusades may not, in fact, be true. From the many popular notions about the crusades, let us pick four and see if they bear close examination.

The four myths:

  • Myth #1: The crusades represented an unprovoked attack by Western Christians on the Muslim world.
  • Myth #2: Western Christians went on crusade because their greed led them to plunder Muslims in order to get rich.
  • Myth #3: Crusaders were a cynical lot who did not really believe their own religious propaganda; rather, they had ulterior, materialistic motives.
  • Myth #4: The crusades taught Muslims to hate and attack Christians.

Here’s the most obvious thing you should know. The Crusades were defensive actions:

In a.d. 632, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, North Africa, Spain, France, Italy, and the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica were all Christian territories. Inside the boundaries of the Roman Empire, which was still fully functional in the eastern Mediterranean, orthodox Christianity was the official, and overwhelmingly majority, religion. Outside those boundaries were other large Christian communities—not necessarily orthodox and Catholic, but still Christian. Most of the Christian population of Persia, for example, was Nestorian. Certainly there were many Christian communities in Arabia.

By a.d. 732, a century later, Christians had lost Egypt, Palestine, Syria, North Africa, Spain, most of Asia Minor, and southern France. Italy and her associated islands were under threat, and the islands would come under Muslim rule in the next century. The Christian communities of Arabia were entirely destroyed in or shortly after 633, when Jews and Christians alike were expelled from the peninsula.6 Those in Persia were under severe pressure. Two-thirds of the formerly Roman Christian world was now ruled by Muslims.

What had happened? Most people actually know the answer, if pressed—though for some reason they do not usually connect the answer with the crusades. The answer is the rise of Islam. Every one of the listed regions was taken, within the space of a hundred years, from Christian control by violence, in the course of military campaigns deliberately designed to expand Muslim territory at the expense of Islam’s neighbors. Nor did this conclude Islam’s program of conquest. The attacks continued, punctuated from time to time by Christian attempts to push back. Charlemagne blocked the Muslim advance in far western Europe in about a.d. 800, but Islamic forces simply shifted their focus and began to island-hop across from North Africa toward Italy and the French coast, attacking the Italian mainland by 837. A confused struggle for control of southern and central Italy continued for the rest of the ninth century and into the tenth. In the hundred years between 850 and 950, Benedictine monks were driven out of ancient monasteries, the Papal States were overrun, and Muslim pirate bases were established along the coast of northern Italy and southern France, from which attacks on the deep inland were launched. Desperate to protect victimized Christians, popes became involved in the tenth and early eleventh centuries in directing the defense of the territory around them.

If you asked me what are the two best books on the Crusades, I would answer God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades by Baylor professor Rodney Stark and The Concise History of the Crusades by Professor Thomas F. Madden. If you get this question a lot from atheists, then I recommend you pick these up. Anything by Rodney Stark is useful for Christians, in fact.

How to falsify a religion using scientific or historical evidence

Will the universe expand forever, or will it collapse and bounce?
Will the universe expand forever, or will it collapse and bounce?

(Image source)

What I often see among atheists is this tendency to set up expectations of how God would have acted and then complain that he doesn’t met those expectations. I don’t think that this is a good way to argue against a religion, because it’s subjective. God isn’t obligated to comport with atheist expectations. A much better way of evaluating religions is to test the claims each makes against evidence.

So in this post, I wanted to show how a reasonable person can evaluate and reject different worldviews using evidence.

Falsifying a religion using science

Consider this argument:

  1. Hindu cosmology teaches that the universe cycles between creation and destruction, through infinite time.
  2. The closest cosmological model conforming to Hindu Scriptures is the eternally “oscillating” model of the universe.
  3. The “oscillating” model requires that the universe exist eternally into the past.
  4. But the evidence today shows the the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang.
  5. The “oscillating” model requires that the expansion of the universe reverse into a collapse, (= crunch).
  6. In 1998, the discovery of the year was that the universe would expand forever. There will be no crunch.
  7. Therefore, the oscillating model is disconfirmed by observations.
  8. The oscillating model also faces theoretical problems with the “bounce” mechanism.

Notice how the oscillating model is falsified by mathematics and experimental evidence. Remarkable, when you remember how the public schools would play Carl Sagan videos which promoted this no-Creator model of the universe.

The absolute origin of the universe out of nothing is also incompatible with atheism, Buddhism, Mormonism, etc. because they also require an eternally existing universe.

Atheism in particular is incompatible with the universe “coming into being”, because that would be a supernatural cause – a cause that created the natural world. According to the Secular Humanist Manifesto, atheism is committed to an eternally existing universe, (See the first item: “Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.”). If something non-material brought all existing matter into being, that would be a supernatural cause, and atheists deny that anything supernatural exists. The standard Big Bang theory requires that all the matter in the universe come into being out of nothing.

Falsifying a religion using history

Consider this argument:

  1. To be a Muslim, you must believe that the Koran is without error.
  2. The Koran claims that Jesus did not die on a cross. (Qur’an, 4: 157-158)
  3. The crucifixion of Jesus is undisputed among non-Muslim historians, including atheist historians.
  4. Therefore, it is not rational for me to become a Muslim.

I’m going to support the premise that Jesus was crucified by citing historians from all backgrounds.

Consider some quotes from the (mostly) non-Christian scholars below:

“Jesus’ death as a consequence of crucifixion is indisputable.” Gert Lüdemann

“That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be.”  J.D. Crossan

“The passion of Jesus is part of history.” Geza Vermes

Jesus’ death by crucifixion is “historically certain”. Pinchas Lapide

“The single most solid fact about Jesus’ life is his death: he was executed by the Roman prefect Pilate, on or around Passover, in the manner Rome reserved particularly for political insurrectionists, namely, crucifixion.” Paula Fredriksen

“The support for the mode of his death, its agents, and perhaps its co-agents, is overwhelming: Jesus faced a trial before his death, was condemned, and was executed by crucifixion.” L.T. Johnson

“One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Ponitus Pilate.” Bart Ehrman

That’s 7 famous historians: 3 atheists, 3 Jews and 1 moderate Catholic. The atheists, Ludemann, Crossan and Ehrman, have all debated against the resurrection of Jesus with William Lane Craig. Johnson is the moderate Catholic, the rest are Jewish historians. The Koran was written in the 7th century. That is why no professional historian accepts the Koran as more authoritative than the many earlier Christian and non-Christian sources for the crucifixion story. Many of the sources for the crucifixion are dated to the 1st century. It’s not faith. It’s history.

I have seen debates with Muslim scholars, and I have never once heard them cite a non-Muslim historian to the effect that Jesus was not crucified. To my knowledge, there is no (non-Muslim) historian who denies the crucifixion of Jesus in his published work.

Can Christianity be falsified by science or history?

Yes. If you prove that the universe is eternal than would falsify the Bible’s claim that God created the universe out of nothing. That would be a scientific disproof. If you could find the body of Jesus still inside a tomb, that would falsify the Bible’s claim about a resurrection. That would be a historical disproof. The nice thing about Christianity is that we make lots of testable claims. When someone claims to be a Christian, it’s a good thing if they can show how they arrived at that conclusion. Being able to square God’s existence with science, and Jesus’ resurrection with history are two crucial steps to showing the reasonableness of Christianity.

Is the acceleration of the universe’s expansion compatible with Hinduism?

Christianity and the progress of science
Christianity and the progress of science

First, a news story – and then we’ll see how the accelerating universe relates to the existence of God.

Excerpt:

Three astrophysicists who discovered that the universe’s expansion is accelerating rather than decelerating, as had been expected, win the Nobel Prize in physics.

Adam Riess was sure he’d spotted a blatant error in his results. It was 1997, and the young post-doc’s measurements of distant, exploding stars implied that the universe was expanding at a faster and faster rate, instead of slowing down, as he had expected.

It wasn’t an error at all. Instead, what was at fault were some basic assumptions about the workings of the universe.

On Tuesday, the Johns Hopkins University astrophysicist received the Nobel Prize in physics for the revolutionary discovery and its implications, along with team leader Brian Schmidt of Australian National University and astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter of UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who had reached the same conclusion independently.

At the time of their work, astrophysicists believed that the rate of expansion of the universe — set in motion by the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago — would be slowing down as matter was pulled together by gravity. The goal at the time was to figure out how rapid the deceleration was.

What the two teams found instead was that the expansion of the universe was accelerating — an observation that could best be explained by the existence of a mysterious “dark energy” that pushes matter farther and farther apart.

Many scientists had thought that, just as the universe started with the Big Bang, it would end with a Big Crunch — with gravity pulling all the matter in the universe inward.

Does anyone remember that week that I wrote those posts about “Why I am not a… <insert some religion here>”? I explained why I was not all kinds of different religions and denominations, including Roman Catholicism, Calvinism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, etc. Everyone was offended and we fought about it. Ah, I remember it well.

Now let’s apply science to the Hindu religion and see if they go together, especially this new discovery about the expansion of the universe.

Why I am not a Hindu

  1. Hindu cosmology teaches that the universe cycles between creation and destruction, through infinite time.
  2. The closest cosmological model conforming to Hindu Scriptures is the eternally “oscillating” model of the universe.
  3. The “oscillating” model requires that the universe exist eternally into the past.
  4. But the evidence today shows the the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang.
  5. The “oscillating” model requires that the expansion of the universe reverse into a collapse, (= crunch).
  6. In 1998, the discovery of the year was that the universe would expand forever. There will be no crunch.
  7. Therefore, the oscillating model is disconfirmed by observations.
  8. The oscillating model also faces theoretical problems with the “bounce” mechanism.

So that’s one reason why I am not a Hindu. And now we have more scientific confirmation that there is no cycle of universes coming into being and going out of being.

The absolute origin of the universe out of nothing is also incompatible with Buddhism and Mormonism and maybe other religions. They also require an eternally existing universe.

And modern cosmology disagrees with atheism, too

I think it’s important for all of you to be familiar with the scientific evidence for the Big Bang. It will help you with your cosmological argument, and it will help you to refute many, many other religions that require eternal universes, including atheism.

I wrote about how the Big Bang cosmology falsifies atheism before.

Excerpt:

According to the Secular Humanist Manifesto, atheism is committed to an eternally existing universe, (See the first item: “Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.”). If something non-material brought all existing matter into being, that would be a supernatural cause, and atheists deny that anything supernatural exists. The standard Big Bang theory requires that all the matter in the universe come into being out of nothing. The Big Bang has been confirmed by experimental evidence such as redshift measurements, light element abundances and the cosmic microwave background radiation. This falsifies eternal models of the universe, which are required by atheist Scriptures.

The experimental evidence that confirms the Big Bang creation out of nothing falsifies many worldviews. Those who care about evidence will have to choose some other religion that is compatible with what we know from science today.

Middle Eastern men who ran Oxford child sex-trafficking ring found guilty

Muslim populations in Europe
Muslim populations in Europe

Note: this story is NOT about the Telford sex-trafficking ring that I reported on recently. This is about the Oxford sex-trafficking ring that I reported on in 2015.

Although this article from the far-left BBC refuses to find the common denominator in the seven men who were convicted of sex-trafficking children, but you might be able to discern it for yourself.

Excerpt:

Seven men have been found guilty of grooming and sexually abusing teenage girls “on a massive scale” in Oxford.

The gang was convicted of more than 20 offences including rape and indecent assault between 1998 and 2005.

Prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC said they carried out the “routine, cynical and predatory sexual exploitation” of vulnerable girls who were groomed with alcohol and drugs.

The five victims were aged between 13 and 15 when the offences started.

Opening the case at Oxford Crown Court, Mr Saxby said the gang preyed on girls who had a background of problems at home.

He said they offered their victims “company, attention, acceptance into the group” as well as “food, parties, alcohol, and sometimes drugs”.

Mr Saxby said this was all part of “the grooming process” the gang used in order to carry out “sexual exploitation on a massive scale”.

He said the girls would be made to have sex at parties, in cars or parks, with other men around, and sometimes after being subjected to threats and violence.

One girl was taken to a B&B in Iffley Road and told to have sex with older men, who one of the defendants described as “uncles”, he said.

Mr Saxby added: “She says she has lost count of the number of ‘uncles’ she had sex with… After sex she would sit in the shower and scrub herself.”

And here are the names and ages of the men:

  • Assad Hussain, 37, of Iffley Road, Oxford, guilty of five counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault, not guilty of one count of indecent assault.

  • Kameer Iqbal, 39, of Dashwood Road, Oxford, guilty of three counts of rape.

  • Khalid Hussain, 38, of Ashhurst Way, Oxford, guilty of rape and indecent assault, not guilty of one count of rape.

  • Kamran Khan, 36, of Northfield Road, Bolton, guilty of indecent assault and false imprisonment, not guilty of rape.

  • Moinul Islam, 41, of Wykeham Crescent, Oxford, guilty of rape, two counts of indecent assault and supplying cannabis, not guilty of false imprisonment.

  • Raheem Ahmed, 40 of Starwort Path, Oxford, guilty of two counts of indecent assault and false imprisonment, not guilty of rape.

  • Alladitta Yousaf, 48, of Bodley Road, Oxford, guilty of indecent assault.

In my previous article about the Telford gang, I reported on how the secular, leftist, politically correct UK police refused to take the complaints of the girls and their mothers seriously, for fear of offending the Middle Eastern men who were being accused. The police did nothing to protect the children, because the Labour Party had carefully instructed them in politically correct leftist dogma. If they had done anything to prosecute the predators, they would have lost their jobs for insensitivity and intolerance.

This is not the first time that we have had sex-trafficking gangs run by men of Middle-Eastern origin.

Rotterham

How about the Rotterham sex-trafficking gang?

Here are the facts from Powerline Blog:

Full text:

You are probably familiar with the Rotherham scandal. Rotherham is a city in England where over a period of years, more than 1,400 girls, many of them pre-teens, were raped and trafficked by a loose consortium of men. The men were all Muslim immigrants or sons of immigrants, the girls were all, or nearly all, white. When the scandal finally came to light in 2014, city officials said that they had been reluctant to do anything about the problem for fear of being accused of racism.

Several criminal trials have resulted from the scandal. The third such trial has just been completed. Six defendants were convicted and sentenced to 10 to 20 years for rape and other crimes. The Sun identified them:

Brothers Basharat Dad, 32, and Nasar Dad, 36, of both of Rotherham, and Tayab Dad, 34, of Sheffield, were jailed on Tuesday for sex offences along with Matloob Hussain, 41, of Rotherham, Mohammed Sadiq, 40, of Rotherham, and Amjad Ali, of Worksop, Nottinghamshire.

This is the most curious aspect of the news report:

There were emotional and chaotic scenes at Sheffield Crown Court after two of the defendants shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they were led from the dock.

But wait, there are more examples.

Rochdale

Another case reported in the UK Telegraph:

Taxi driver Shabir Ahmed, 59, was already serving a 19 year sentence from May for conspiracy, two rapes, aiding and abetting rape, sexual assault and sex trafficking. His domineering temper earned him the nickname “Daddy” by the white teenage victims.

The ringleader, who called the judge a ‘racist b——‘, was one of nine men jailed at Liverpool Crown Court for a total of 77 years for passing round the youngsters and plying them with drugs and drink.

[…]His victim, who cannot be named, revealed Ahmed once made her kneel on the floor in a pose called the ‘chicken’, with her arms threaded through her legs and touching her ears, before striking her on the back with a cricket bat.

The girl, now an adult, claims she was repeatedly raped over many years. He left her never wanting to have sex again or get married.

The girl said when she was first raped she was so young she needed to stand on a chair to reach a sink.

[…]Ahmed told the court he was a standard-bearer for “targeted and weakened British Muslims”, and claimed the police were anti-Muslim

He said of the Rochdale grooming trial: “We were all innocent. My only crime was to be Muslim. Not of the majority race.”

In May, Ahmed and his eight co-defendants were jailed for their role in a child-sex ring.

In other cases, the police ignored the complaints of the victims.

This happens often because the UK deliberately chose a “compassionate” open-borders immigration policy. We should not imitate their example. Merit-based immigration is best.

I find it very interesting that so many Christian leaders like Russell Moore take progressive positions on refugees and illegal immigrants. Are they not aware of what is going on in countries that embraced open borders? Or do they just not care about the fatherless little girls who suffer from their “generosity”?

Telford sex-trafficking ring involving up to thousand children was run by “Asian” men

Muslim populations in Europe
Muslim populations in Europe

Every time I see one of these sex-trafficking of children stories in the UK media, it reminds me of the Labor Party’s decade-long strategy of importing unskilled immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries.

Here is the latest from the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

Up to 1,000 children could have been abused in Britain’s biggest ever child abuse scandal, an investigation has revealed.

Hundreds of children, some as young as 11, are estimated to have been drugged, beaten and raped over a 40-year period in the town of Telford.

[…]The investigation claims that allegations dating back to the 1980s were mishandled by authorities in Telford, who repeatedly failed to punish a network of abusers.

Victims claimed that similar abuse, which has been linked to three murders and two other deaths, has continued in the area.

The newspaper’s probe alleges that social workers were aware of the abuse in the 1990s, but that it took police a decade to  launch Operation Chalice, an inquiry into child prostitution in the Telford area in which seven men were jailed.

It is also claimed that abused and trafficked children were considered “prostitutes” by council staff, that authorities did not keep details of abusers from Asian communities for fear of being accused of “racism” and that police failed to investigate one recent case five times until an MP intervened.

Complaints of abuse were ignored:

“Night after night, I was forced to have sex with multiple men in disgusting takeaways and filthy houses. I must have been getting the morning after pill from a local clinic at least twice a week but no one asked any questions.

“I was told that if I said a word to anyone they’d come for my little sisters and tell my mum I was a prostitute.”

Another victim, aged 14 at the time, alleges that she had the baby of her 18-year-old abuser. Now 47, she said that she told the council and school of her abuse at the time but does not believe action was taken.

[…]Two other investigations were launched alongside Operation Chalice after two victims named dozens more abusers, yet victims have claimed that they were put off helping inquiries.

One said that she left the investigation because she was not “emotionally supported” by the police. The other claimed officers deterred her from pursuing her request for evidence after they learnt she had contacted the paper.

Why didn’t anybody ask any questions? Because in the feminized, pluralistic UK, people don’t want to hurt the feelings of evildoers. Every crime is just an accident, and we wouldn’t want to confront evil with force. That would be so… masculine.

This Telford case isn’t the first UK sex-trafficking ring.

Oxfordshire

I blogged before about an article by the ultra-leftist BBC, so they are very politically correct.

They write:

As many as 373 children may have been targeted for sex by gangs of men in Oxfordshire in the last 16 years, a serious case review found.

The investigation came after a sadistic sex gang of seven men were jailed in 2013 for abusing six girls in Oxford, between 2004 and 2012.

Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire County Council made “many errors” in that case and could have acted sooner.

A victim of the gang said the issue had been “swept under the carpet”.

Of the 373 cases, the council said about 50 victims were boys.

[…]The report also called for research into why a significant proportion of people convicted in these kind of cases are of “Pakistani and/or Muslim heritage”.

In the Oxford case, known as Operation Bullfinch, two of the men were of east African origin and five of Pakistani origin.

Rotterham

How about the Rotterham sex-trafficking gang?

Here are the facts from Powerline Blog:

Full text:

You are probably familiar with the Rotherham scandal. Rotherham is a city in England where over a period of years, more than 1,400 girls, many of them pre-teens, were raped and trafficked by a loose consortium of men. The men were all Muslim immigrants or sons of immigrants, the girls were all, or nearly all, white. When the scandal finally came to light in 2014, city officials said that they had been reluctant to do anything about the problem for fear of being accused of racism.

Several criminal trials have resulted from the scandal. The third such trial has just been completed. Six defendants were convicted and sentenced to 10 to 20 years for rape and other crimes. The Sun identified them:

Brothers Basharat Dad, 32, and Nasar Dad, 36, of both of Rotherham, and Tayab Dad, 34, of Sheffield, were jailed on Tuesday for sex offences along with Matloob Hussain, 41, of Rotherham, Mohammed Sadiq, 40, of Rotherham, and Amjad Ali, of Worksop, Nottinghamshire.

This is the most curious aspect of the news report:

There were emotional and chaotic scenes at Sheffield Crown Court after two of the defendants shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they were led from the dock.

But wait, there are more examples.

Rochdale

Another case reported in the UK Telegraph:

Taxi driver Shabir Ahmed, 59, was already serving a 19 year sentence from May for conspiracy, two rapes, aiding and abetting rape, sexual assault and sex trafficking. His domineering temper earned him the nickname “Daddy” by the white teenage victims.

The ringleader, who called the judge a ‘racist b——‘, was one of nine men jailed at Liverpool Crown Court for a total of 77 years for passing round the youngsters and plying them with drugs and drink.

[…]His victim, who cannot be named, revealed Ahmed once made her kneel on the floor in a pose called the ‘chicken’, with her arms threaded through her legs and touching her ears, before striking her on the back with a cricket bat.

The girl, now an adult, claims she was repeatedly raped over many years. He left her never wanting to have sex again or get married.

The girl said when she was first raped she was so young she needed to stand on a chair to reach a sink.

[…]Ahmed told the court he was a standard-bearer for “targeted and weakened British Muslims”, and claimed the police were anti-Muslim

He said of the Rochdale grooming trial: “We were all innocent. My only crime was to be Muslim. Not of the majority race.”

In May, Ahmed and his eight co-defendants were jailed for their role in a child-sex ring.

In other cases, the police ignored the complaints of the victims.

This happens often because the UK deliberately chose a “compassionate” open-borders immigration policy. We should not imitate their example. Merit-based immigration is best.