Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Dar al-Harb

Muslims: integration or separatism?
By David Pryce-Jones
This mind-set—and the cultural assumptions that stem from it—goes a long way towards explaining the phenomenon of the loss of creative energy, of scholarship and inquiry, which afflicted the whole House of Islam, inducing an unrealistic self-perception that could only generate stagnation. A few rare Muslims journeyed to the West, mostly as seamen and pirates, or sometimes as envoys. One such was a Muslim visitor to Europe in the 1790s, who investigated the reasons why the West seemed to be thriving, and so endangering the House of Islam. Taken to a session of the Westminster Parliament, this visitor, otherwise an inquisitive man, reported that these were people so benighted that they did not possess a divine law, but were therefore obliged to make their own laws. The upshot of innumerable but unequal encounters such as this was that the House of War conquered and occupied most of the House of Islam.
Read it all.


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