In my teenage years I learnt that Mixing My Drinks was a very bad idea.
In later life I added Mixing Belief Systems to my list of very bad ideas.
Therefore, it’s no surprise I consider it in very poor taste to concoct a cocktail composed of:
3 parts Christian Belief System
2 parts Western Historical Belief System
Unfortunately, my distaste for queasy cocktails is not shared by Stefan Molyneux [a YouTube commentator with 644,148 subscribers] and Duke Pesta [a tenured university professor] who enthusiastically mix together these ingredients in The Real History of The Crusades.
The self-satisfied certainty of the first 6 minutes and 50 seconds enables the bar tenders to prepare their audience for the decanting of their cocktail which appears designed to leave the consumer [both] shaken and stirred.
In the middle of the seventh century, like you said, six hundred plus years after Christ you have Muhammad who looks around the world surrounding and he sees primarily Jewish and Christian peoples.
And so what Muhammad does is he takes a lot from the Old Testament, takes a lot from the New Testament, takes a little bit from the Persian mythologies and creates a religion that centres him as the Prophet.
And within his lifetime, before he was even dead, the warmongering, the colonial ambitions of Islam had really come to dominate.
People who want to talk about the correct Crusades and we’re talking about the tenth and eleventh, twelfth centuries.
We’re talking here as early as the eighth century, as early as 732 AD, within a hundred years of the founding of Islam you have the famous Battle of Tours where Islamic armies, the Umayyad Caliphate – people don’t know this – the Umayyad Caliphate was the fifth largest empire in the history of the World…
After that first sickly sip I decided to consign the remainder of the presentation to the oblivion of the stop button.
The problems and issues associated with the Christian narrative and timeline are legion.
Whilst the greatest omissions from the Western Historical Belief System are the two major natural catastrophes that shaped the World and human society during the last 1,500 years:
the Arabian Horizon and the Heinsohn Horizon.
Thus, Duke Pesta is completely missing the point [and the Arabian Horizon] when he states Muhammad “looks around the world surrounding and he sees primarily Jewish and Christian peoples” because Muhammad would have primarily observed devastated communities, broken counties, failed empires and forsaken religious belief systems.
In other words:
The Western Historical Narrative is a Gradualist belief system that was constructed to support the Christian Belief System which is an amalgam of many religious traditions that can be traced back into the mists of time.
Similarly, it’s misleading to emphasise the “warmongering” and “colonial ambitions of Islam” because it’s evident the rapid expansion of the Islamic Caliphate was facilitated by the Arabian Horizon i.e. Islam expanded to fill the power vacuum.
The early Muslim conquests also referred to as the Arab conquests and early Islamic conquests began with the Islamic Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century.
He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion.
The Muslim conquests brought about the collapse of the Sassanid Empire and a great territorial loss for the Byzantine Empire.
The reasons for the Muslim success are hard to reconstruct in hindsight, primarily because only fragmentary sources from the period have survived.
Explanations of success of the early conquests
The rapidity of the early conquests has received various explanations.
Contemporary Christian writers conceived them as God’s punishment visited on their fellow Christians for their sins.
There are indications that the conquests started as initially disorganized pillaging raids launched partly by non-Muslim Arab tribes in the aftermath of the Ridda wars, and were soon extended into a war of conquest by the Rashidun caliphs, although other scholars argue that the conquests were a planned military venture already underway during Muhammad’s lifetime.
The Umayyad Caliphate, also spelled Omayyad, was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad.
At its greatest extent, the Umayyad Caliphate covered 11,100,000 km2 (4,300,000 sq mi) and 62 million people (29% of the world’s population), making it one of the largest empires in history in both area and proportion of the world’s population.
The Umayyad Caliphate was secular by nature.
Strangely enough, the very same Arabian Horizon facilitated the expansion of the Roman Empire which [increasingly] appears to be a re-branding of the Rum Empire [aka Byzantine Empire] by the Western Historical Belief System.
Naming the Byzantine Empire was one of the larger hurdles they had to clear because it’s difficult to explain away why something as significant as the Byzantine Empire was left unlabelled [and undocumented] for over a thousand years.
This is problem the Wikipedia wizards very clumsily try to obfuscate and finesse.
Rûm, also transliterated as Roum or Rhum…
The name derives from the Greek…. refers to the Byzantine Empire, which… had not yet acquired the designation “Byzantine,” an academic term applied only after its dissolution.
The Arabs, therefore, naturally called them “the Rûm“, their territory “the land of the Rûm” and the Mediterranean “the Sea of the Rûm.”
However, what really stuck in my throat was the cherry on a stick [aka The Battle of Tours in 732 AD] that was dropped into this contentious cocktail.
The Battle of Tours (10 October 732) – also called the Battle of Poitiers and, by Arab sources, the Battle of the Palace of the Martyrs – was fought between Frankish and Burgundian forces under Charles Martel against an army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by ‘Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, Governor-General of al-Andalus.
It was fought in an area between the cities of Poitiers and Tours, in north-central France, near the village of Moussais-la-Bataille, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) northeast of Poitiers.
The location of the battle was close to the border between the Frankish realm and then-independent Aquitaine.
The Franks were victorious.
‘Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi was killed, and Charles subsequently extended his authority in the south.
Details of the battle, including its exact location and the number of combatants, cannot be determined from accounts that have survived.
Whenever I encounter erudite and articulate commentators talking about battles that are said to have occurred 1,285 years ago my immediate reaction is to check the credibility of their sources.
This is especially true when details of the “battle” [including its “exact location” and whether it was really a rarely mentioned “minor skirmish”] “cannot be determined”.
Eastern historians, like their Western counterparts, have not always agreed on the importance of the battle.
According to Bernard Lewis, “The Arab historians, if they mention this engagement [the Battle of Tours] at all, present it as a minor skirmish,” and Gustave von Grunebaum writes: “This setback may have been important from the European point of view, but for Muslims at the time, who saw no master plan imperilled thereby, it had no further significance.”
Contemporary Arab and Muslim historians and chroniclers were much more interested in the second Umayyad siege of Constantinople in 718, which ended in a disastrous defeat.
Wikipedia provides two references to “contemporary accounts” of the Battle of Tours.
The Mozarabic Chronicle of 754 “describes the battle in greater detail than any other Latin or Arabic source”.
Charles Martel’s family composed, for the fourth book of the Continuations of Fredegar’s Chronicle, a stylised summary of the battle: …
It is thought that Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Book V, Chapter XXIV) includes a reference to the Battle of Poitiers: “…a dreadful plague of Saracens ravaged France with miserable slaughter, but they not long after in that country received the punishment due to their wickedness”.
Neither source provides room for comfort or complacency.
The Chronicle of 754 was written by an anonymous author and published a mere 883 years after the Battle of Tours and “has few contemporary sources against which to check its veracity”.
The Chronicle of 754 (also called the Mozarabic Chronicle or Continuatio Hispana) is a Latin-language history in 95 sections, which was composed in 754 in a part of Spain under Arab rule.
Its compiler was an anonymous Mozarab (Christian) chronicler, living under Arab rule in some part of Iberia.
The Chronicle of 754 covers the years 610 to 754, during which it has few contemporary sources against which to check its veracity;…
The Chronicle was first published in its entirety in Pamplona, 1615;…
The Chronicle of Fredegar is yet another dodgy document by an unknown author that first appeared in print 836 years after the Battle of Tours.
The Chronicle of Fredegar is the conventional title used for a 7th-century Frankish chronicle that was probably written in Burgundy.
The author is unknown and the attribution to Fredegar dates only from the 16th century.
The original chronicle is lost, but it exists in an uncial copy made in 715 by a Burgundian monk named Lucerius.
The first printed version, the editio princeps, was published in Basel by Flacius Illyricus in 1568.
Whilst the referenced Continuations of Fredegar’s Chronicle appear to be a “reworking” [aka “extra chapters”] that mysteriously materialised in the 19th century.
In 1883 Bruno Krusch, in his edition for the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, proposed that the Chronicle was the creation of three authors, a theory later accepted by Theodor Mommsen, Wilhelm Levison, and Wallace-Hadrill.
One group of manuscripts (Krusch’s Class 4) contain a reworking of the Chronicle of Fredegar followed by additional sections that describe events in Francia up to 768.
These additional sections are referred to as the Continuations.
Krusch in his critical edition, appends these extra chapters to the text of the Codex Claromontanus creating the false impression that the two parts originate from the same manuscript.
Personally, I have no faith in the Christian and Western Historical belief systems.
However, I do believe I need a new Irony Meter after seeing The Real History of The Crusades juxtaposed with Stefan Molyneux’s Strong Propaganda Makes Good Slaves.