Islam and the West
My "Islam and the West" book notes.
As a reader with agnostic beliefs, I found 'Islam and the West' to be a compelling exploration of the relationship between Islam and the West throughout history. Author İbrahim Kalın provides a thorough analysis of the topic, presenting well-researched facts and insights. The book delves into the ways in which Islam has been discriminated against, particularly by American and Western societies, in order to justify wars and conflicts within Islamic nations. The author argues that while it is possible for Christians, Muslims, and Jews to coexist peacefully, powerful forces such as the U.S. and the West prevent this from happening through the spread of propaganda and discriminatory policies. Despite instances of successful leadership in Islamic nations throughout history, the West continues to blame Islam for its perceived failures. Throughout the book, the author explores the foundations of these religions and important religious and political wars, ultimately calling for all nations and religions to embrace the possibility of living together in peace.
A community that sees itself in the center of the universe in the ontological sense will probably not hesitate to see others as 'barbarian, pariah'.
What kind of sharing model will humanity agree on in a world where non-Western societies live with the feeling of being pushed out of history, are tense, and as a result seek a way out in excessive, radical, and marginal ideas?
In these days when cultural prejudices, categorical rejections, and acceptances narrow our imagination and living space, we have to learn to open up to others by remaining ourselves.
As contemporary media studies show, image replaces reality. He who controls the image begins to control reality.
The meaning of a just, participatory, and egalitarian world order is not that everyone thinks and lives in the same way, but that different views show the determination to coexist.
People only name things they need to use; when such a word is not needed, the need for it also disappears. - Cahiz
The belief that the truth has been expressed in different societies and languages throughout history has deeply affected the view of Muslim philosophers on Greek, Indian, and other thought traditions.
Islam sees St. Jesus as the messenger of God, not his son.
St. Mary is one of the important figures of holy history for Muslims, but she was never called the 'mother of God'.
Islam opposed the idea that divine revelation should be the religion (Jew) of a particular nation (Israel).
Thus emerged two main arguments to explain the rapid spread of Islam among Europeans: violence and sexuality.
In Andalusia (Arabic), families of Jews and Christians preferred Muslim madrasas and research centers for their children to receive a good education. XVI century.
Europeans strictly separated Islam as a religion from Islam as a culture and civilization; While he strongly opposed the first, he admired and was impressed by the second.
Societies have been able to have a universal civilization experience to the extent that they can produce new syntheses by assimilating their previous accumulations of thought critically and producing new syntheses.
The current state of affairs between Islam and the West can be attributed in large part to the pursuit of distinct international fiat cultures by both parties, which has led to a state of chaos.
While people are the common denominator that all individuals participate in, civilizations offer different identity and belonging frameworks.
Cahiz, who criticizes the Christians for their religious beliefs, praises the successes of the Byzantines in the fields of painting, beautiful writing, and music.
The Ottoman Empire would see European and Western civilizations as political rivals rather than superior civilizations until the middle of the 19th century.
Making a speech in Le Puy, France in 1095 and calling for an expedition, II. Urban invites the whole of Europe to save the holy lands from the hands of 'religious perverts', namely Muslims.
Eight of the Crusades, which began roughly in 1095 and ended in 1270, are significant.
The Crusaders captured Jerusalem in the first campaign, which was the most successful of all the campaigns between 1095-1099.
The second expedition was made between the years 1147-1149. This expedition, in which the largest army participated, did not yield any results for the Crusaders.
The purpose of the third expedition between 1188-1192 was to defeat Saladin, who conquered Jerusalem on October 2, 1187, and to bring Jerusalem back under Christian rule.
The fourth expedition takes place between 1201-1204. The Crusaders are plundering Istanbul during this expedition.
The fifth expedition between 1217 and 1221 is made against Egypt. The Crusaders are defeated and forced to sign a treaty with the Muslims.
The sixth expedition, which took place in 1228-1229, was the German Emperor II. It results in Frederik's brief domination of Jerusalem. However, this does not last long and Jerusalem falls under Muslim rule again.
The seventh and eighth Crusades took place in 1248-1254 and 1270 respectively. Both times the Crusaders suffer major defeats. Europeans are tired now. Thus, the Crusades go down in history as a symbol.
During this period, the Eastern Christians, who were culturally Arabized, were killed by the European Crusaders because of their costumes, beards, and the language they spoke, and such incidents were repeated many times.
The Franks, who lived in the Eastern Arab lands for more than two hundred years, adapted to the region in the process and adopted the Arab-Islamic culture to a certain extent.
‘The misfortune of Muslims is that they constantly complain about the injustice of their rulers in countries ruled by their coreligionists. However, here they are only satisfied with the behavior of the Franks, whose justice they always trust.’ - İbn Cübeyr.
The main periods of Andalusian Islamic history can be expressed as follows:
The years 711-715 are the period of the Conquests.
The years 715-756 are referred to as the 'governors period'. During this period, Arab Muslims began to settle in Southern Europe in a scattered manner.
The Umayyad State of Andalusia, founded in 756, dominated Southern Spain until 1031.
More than twenty statelets were established in the period of mülükü't-tawaif (small states), which coincided with the years 1031-1090.
One of the important losses of the period was the fall of Granada in 1086.
The Almoravids, who defeated their rivals and established a strong central government, dominated Andalusia between 1090-1147.
They will be followed by the Mawahhids, who ruled between 1146-1248.
The last Muslim state of Andalusia, the Sultanate of Granada, ruled for a long time between 1231-1492.
After 1492, when Muslims and Jews were forcibly expelled from Southern Europe, the Muslims who remained in Spain were generally called Morisco.
Müdehar (Mudejar) is the name given to the Muslims living under the rule of Christian kingdoms in Southern Europe since the IX and X. centuries.
The word Mozarab refers to Europeans who were under the influence of Arab-Islamic culture. Mozarap is a word that has passed into Spanish from the Arabic word müsta'rib, that is, arabianized. How close its meaning is to the reverse meaning of the word 'Westernized' (mustağreb) that we use today.
Andalusian Muslims have faced with three choices in 1492: Hijra, forced Christianity, and death.
Accordingly, Moriscos can apparently accept the Christian faith; they could bow before 'idols', that is, Christian representations. They could perform their prayers in secret, and in case of necessity, they could only perform their ablutions by looking towards the qibla. They can eat pork, drink wine, and receive interest, provided that their income is distributed to the poor, as long as they heartily confess that it is haram.
Likewise, if they are forced to die, they may reject their religion openly, i.e., verbally; but they must immediately reject this confession in their heart.
After the conquest of Istanbul in 1458, Pope II. Pius adds a new dimension to the 'conference' of John of Segovia and Nicholas of Cusa and writes a long letter to Mehmed the Conqueror. The letter is political rather than religious. The Pope invites Fatih to become a Christian to become the 'Emperor of the East and the West'. According to II. Pius, an Ottoman sultan who became a Christian would see no resistance in Europe and would win the favor of the Christian people. For world domination, Fatih's 'washing in a piece of baptismal water' will be enough.
Easterners believe that God is the creator of the universe, but they cannot understand His coming into the world and incarnation. But Christians do not understand this either.
The fact that Martin Luther sees the rise of Turks (and Islam) as a punishment and atonement for the sins committed by the Catholic church points to a situation related to the perception of Catholicism rather than the perception of Islam.
Mongol barbarism is the manifestation of justice for Europe. (cleansing against Turks)
One of the common opinions about late Islam and Ottoman history is the XVII century of the Islamic world. The reason is that he could not follow the great transformation in the West and could not observe the military power. Accordingly, Islamic societies, which gradually became introverted and lost their civilizational dynamism, missed the train of modernity and caused the emergence of a distance that is not possible to close even today, knowingly or unknowingly.
European colonialism is the deep meaning that defines the words modern and Western.
"Halbuki birbirimize arz-ı azamet u haşmet ettigimiz ve havâyic-i zaruriyye dedigimiz melâbis ve eşyanin ekserisi esasen bizim memleketi-mizin mahsul-i tabiisi olduğu halde, Frengistan'da ilim ve sanat vasitasiyla nesc ve imal olunarak gözlerimize münakkas atlas ve diba misilli bir sûret-i makbule ile görünmektedir. Bunlar niçin bizim ülkemizde olamıyor? Biz hâlâ ne kadar mesela Frengistan'dan gelen şekerin şerbetiyle lezzet-yab olmak ve dügün ve bayramlarımız-da giyinip kuşandığımiz elbise ve tezyinatin kâffesinde Frengistan emtiasına mecbur ve muhtaç kalmak arına katlanacağız? Bizim memleketimiz yani Türkistan'ı-mizda çuha imaline yarar tiftik ve yapağı mi yoktur?" - Hayrullah Efendi (XVIII century)
According to Bernard Lewis, in order for Muslim societies to live in peace with the West, and indeed with all world societies, they must modernize, and for this, they must be secularized.
'The Muslim concept of jihad forms the basis of a militant ideology.’ according to Lewis.
The perspective that reduces Islam to an expansionist religion and militarist ideology has become so widespread, especially after the events of September 11, that it is no longer possible to dismiss it as a few ideological delusions.
‘Huntington says that most Muslim countries do not have a democratic regime because there is no democratic and participatory culture, and he thinks that Islam, which constitutes the identity of Muslim societies, does not have the flexibility to embrace democratic values.’ - Clash of Civilizations
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