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Thread: The Iranian Identity Crisis: Islam v. Iranian Identity

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    The Iranian Identity Crisis: Islam v. Iranian Identity

    The Iranian Identity Crisis: Islam v. Iranian Identity

    Paolo Bassi

    March 2006

    Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution the West has presented, with depressing consistency, a distorted image of Iran portraying it as a seething mass of Islamic fanaticism. Those unaware of Iran 's rich history could be forgiven for believing that Iran knows nothing but Islam. The reality is far more complex and hopeful. Publicly most Iranians accept their Islamic identity, however, most are also aware of their pre-Islamic Iranian identity. The tension between these competing identities has existed since the Arab-Islamic takeover of Iran in the seventh century AD.

    In 632 A.D., the founder of Islam, Mohammad, died but left his new Islamic state in Arabia with a clear message to conquer, convert and subdue all other faiths. The Muslim Arabs, armed with their new Islamic faith, and hungry for land and wealth, unleashed a devastating war of conquest and within 30 years they had conquered a huge empire stretching from North Africa to N.W. India. The Arab conquerors imposed Islam so successfully that the pre-Islamic history of the conquered peoples was virtually erased from historic consciousness. The Arabs did not seek mere military conquest but also sought to conquer the culture and identity of the defeated nations. Islam was to have no rivals. The political nature of Islam demanded that a conquered people, such as the Iranians, not only convert to Islam but also to regard their past history as a time of darkness before the light of Islam came. In attacking Iranian identity, one of the most infamous acts of the Arab invaders was to burn Iranian libraries full of centuries of collected knowledge. The Islamic logic to justify this vandalism was that if this Iranian knowledge agreed with the Koran, then it was superfluous and if it contradicted the Koran, then such books should be destroyed. An unbeatable argument!


    Islam adamantly required conquered people to scorn their own past and love their Islamic Arab conquerors by striving to imitate them. More importantly, the Koran is written in arabic and Islam's sacred places, Mecca and Medina, are in Arabia. It was clear that the conquered and newly converted had to accept the primacy of the arabic language, arabic values and above all Arabia itself. After all, Mohammad was an Arab and since Islam regards him as the best example of a human, Arab values cannot be rejected, without implicitly rejecting Islam and Mohammad. Islam as an imperial culture brought deeper and more profound psychological changes to the cultures it conquered than European colonialism ever could. Islam struck at human identity itself. Along with Islam's cultural demands, its political ambition was to include all Muslims in an Islamic world without borders, in which the only permissible political allegiance was to the world-wide Muslim community, Allah and Mohammad. There was no place in such a world for a conquered people's pre-Islamic history or national identity.


    After the arrival of Islam, Iran faced the most critical test in its history. Would its ancient, tolerant Zoroastrian culture survive or would Islam and Arab culture replace the unique Iranian identity. Alternatively, could Iran somehow transform Islam into a palatable Iranian form? These questions have characterized Iran since the Islamic takeover. It is true, Islam has become the dominant cultural force, yet Iranian identity, rooted in its Zoroastrian past, has never quite conceded defeat. The tension remains to this day. For example "no ruz" or the Iranian new year (based on a Zoroastrian practice) is condemned by the Islamic clerics as a pagan practice, yet is widely celebrated. In addition, the achievements of the ancient Achaemenian period (whose empire was conquered by Alexander the Great in the 4th Century B.C.) and its classical civilization, have never left the Iranian collective psyche. The ruins of Persepolis are a constant reminder that there was great Iranian past a thousand years before Islam was even born. Not even the mullahs can deny evidence that is carved in rock.

    During the Abbassid period, Ferdowsi (b.935), perhaps Iran 's greatest amongst many great poets, wrote the epic "Shahnameh" (story of kings) and reclaimed the Iranian past and language from arabic influence. Ferdowsi's poetry openly proclaims the superiority of Iran's culture and laments the Arab invasion. He accepts Islam itself as a fact of life without directly criticizing its teachings. However, Ferdowsi has nothing but contempt for the Arabs themselves and cannot forgive them. At times Ferdowsi's poetry even condemns the imposition of Islam itself. It is revealing that Ferdowsi's tomb is still revered by Iranians despite the ruling Islamic theocracy.


    Islam's relegation of the pre-Islamic past of the conquered non-Arab peoples, to an era of "darkness" was one of the major themes of the Indian author, V.S. Naipaul's Nobel Prize winning books, "Among the Believers' and "Beyond Belief". Naipaul proposes that conquered peoples, such as the Iranians and Indonesians, had been separated by Islam from their complete and true historical past, and removed again by European colonialism and this disconnect has resulted in an inner anxiety and crisis of identity. Take for example Islamist movements in Indonesia and Phillippines, in which young Asian Muslims imitate Arabic appearance and call for Israel's destruction, yet they have no ethnic, cultural or historic connection with Palestinians. Both Islamic and subsequent western colonialism, according to Naipaul, have robbed the "conquered peoples" from their true selves, such that there is an inner loss of identity and a yearning to belong to some cause.

    There have been times when Iran has dared to remember its past. In 1926, Reza Khan was crowned the first Pahlavi King of Iran and as part of his reforms he made it clear that he regarded Islam as a foreign imposed faith that should not determine Iran 's identity. As part of his attack on Islam, Reza Khan connected his new Iran with the ancient Zoroastrian past. The Farsi language was purged of arabic words, architecture began to take inspiration from ancient Achaemenian styles and schoolbooks were re-written to enhance an Iranian identity. Cities were renamed with Iranian names, parents were encouraged to give Iranian, and not arabic, names to their children. In 1935 Persia itself was replaced with Iran, as it was known in the days of Cyrus the Great. These reforms were of course reversed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

    It conclusion, it seems that Iranian history has swung back and forth between its Arab imposed Islamic identity and its older Zoroastrian culture. The latter simply refuses to die. Just as an individual struggles with conflicting loyalties and identities until they are reconciled, so do entire nations and cultures. As long as Iran 's ancient identity is denied and denigrated, Iranian public life will be dishonest and contradictory.

    According to Islam, all history before Islam was an era of "darkness" and should be discarded. This is a frightening Orwellian belief, that the world witnessed first hand with the Taliban's destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues. If the Iranian past is to regain its rightful place, it must be prepared to attack this identity-destroying aspect of Islam and re-claim its own past.
    http://www.marzeporgohar.org/index.p...cat=&artid=869
    Wah! Wah!

  2. #2
    joey2
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    I didnt posted his article to bash certain religion, but this article really reflects the iran peoples tumbles.
    In india many comes to study, they are quite un-talibanic.and normal iranian teenagers as i have heard are not so extremist as well.
    Can this be the cause?

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    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    In attacking Iranian identity, one of the most infamous acts of the Arab invaders was to burn Iranian libraries full of centuries of collected knowledge. The Islamic logic to justify this vandalism was that if this Iranian knowledge agreed with the Koran, then it was superfluous and if it contradicted the Koran, then such books should be destroyed. An unbeatable argument!
    Signatured stupidity!


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    Senior Contributor Swift Sword's Avatar
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    IIRC, Iran under its ancient identity was still a "threat to the West" and engaged in wars with its neighboors.

    We should be careful what we wish for: a certain amount of internationalism via pan Shi'ism might have more of a moderating influence regionally than an ultra nationalist political culture with aspirations of a Greater Persia.

    While Mr. Bassi's article is important in that it defines a problem in a useful way, his general thrust might amount to simply switching one vexing problem for another; kind of like what the Arabs say about pushing sand around: it goes here, it goes there, it goes over yonder there BUT it never really goes away.

    The real pressing issue at hand is how to aid and abbet a divorce between Iranian identity and aspirations at WMD proliferation reagardless of other internal, social/political psychiatric considerations and constraints.

    Regards,

    William
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    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift Sword View Post
    IIRC, Iran under its ancient identity was still a "threat to the West" and engaged in wars with its neighboors.
    no, I think you're totally wrong here... It was infact the "West" which was a threat to the East in those days... It was the West which went around carrying out religious wars, and it was the West which constantly invaded the East. Even Islam is a Western religion, not an Eastern one...
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    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    Iran is a great country.

    However, it is under silliest of leaders.

    Religion cannot rule politics.

    Religion is Pure.

    Politics is for sewer rats!


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

    HAKUNA MATATA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    no, I think you're totally wrong here... It was infact the "West" which was a threat to the East in those days... It was the West which went around carrying out religious wars, and it was the West which constantly invaded the East. Even Islam is a Western religion, not an Eastern one...
    I think Swift Sword is astutely pointing out that the pre-Islamic Persian empires of the Achaemenids, the Parthians, and the Sassanids were a threat to Western culture. That they were is undeniable. The Achaemenids attempted to destroy the cradle of Western civilization when Darius and Xerxes invaded Greece. The Sassanids and Parthians were inveterate opponents of Rome, which was the heir to western civilization after absorbing Greece.

    Islam could only be considered a Western religion in the geographical sense. Or, on more tenuous grounds you could claim that it shares some features with Christianity, the main Western religion, since they are both Abrahamic faiths.

    However, either or both of those assertions do not counter the fact that Islam today, and certainly for most of its past, has been vigorously involved in dismantling Christian Europe and doing away with most of the bastions of Western culture such as Byzantium. It is true that the Arabs translated some Greek texts and were advanced for a while. Nonetheless, Islam today is an archaic, aggressive, and intolerant ideology that shares little or nothing in common with Western culture since the Renaissance or Enlightenment. Ideas about democracy, separation of church and state, religious tolerance, and a secular worldview are conspicuously absent in the Muslim world.

    So, Tronic, far from being Western, Islam may be the greatest opposite to Western civilization.

    Also your claim that the West was always launching religious wars is ambiguous. Do you refer to the Crusades? Well, the Muslims penetrated much farther into Christian lands and held parts of Europe longer than the Crusaders ever held Muslim lands. Ever since 632, the march of Islam has been directed westward with only a few delays. I think you underestimate the religious motivations of the first Caliphate or the Ottoman Empire, which were the main powers responsible for erosion of Christian power.
    Last edited by Bulgaroctonus; 07 Jan 07, at 19:55.

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    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulgaroctonus View Post
    I think Swift Sword is astutely pointing out that the pre-Islamic Persian empires of the Achaemenids, the Parthians, and the Sassanids were a threat to Western culture. That they were is undeniable. The Achaemenids attempted to destroy the cradle of Western civilization when Darius and Xerxes invaded Greece. The Sassanids and Parthians were inveterate opponents of Rome, which was the heir to western civilization after absorbing Greece.
    Western Culture??? What about all those Greek and Roman invasions of the East??? And later on the Islamic invasions, also a Western entity, which wasn't only a threat but which actually DID destroy Eastern culture...

    However, either or both of those assertions do not counter the fact that Islam today, and certainly for most of its past, has been vigorously involved in dismantling Christian Europe and doing away with most of the bastions of Western culture such as Byzantium.
    Well, if it is so, then it is only one Wetern entity, trying to wipe out other Western cultures. Islam is the same Western entity which has been vigorously involved in dismantling the East in the modern world AND back in history.... The only real threat the West faced from a true Eastern entity were the Mongols....

    It is true that the Arabs translated some Greek texts and were advanced for a while. Nonetheless, Islam today is an archaic, aggressive, and intolerant ideology that shares little or nothing in common with Western culture since the Renaissance or Enlightenment. Ideas about democracy, separation of church and state, religious tolerance, and a secular worldview are conspicuously absent in the Muslim world.

    So, Tronic, far from being Western, Islam may be the greatest opposite to Western civilization.
    Far from being Western??? Thats incorrect, since Islam IS one of the Western entities. Only difference is that Islam is one Wetern entity which failed to evolve with time whereelse the other Western entities like Christianity did. However, both Islam and Christianity do share the same "spread around the world" ideology. Only difference is that in the past, both Christianity and Islam used to convert by the sword, and now only Christianity out of the two has evolved out of its violent path. That does not make Islam an Eastern entity. The Eastern religions are Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Jainism, etc, and Islam is certainly not a part of them. We have seen millions killed in the name of Islam and we have seen millions killed in the name of Christianity, only difference is that the latter has evolved. How many Eastern religions did/do you see that went arouund giving people a choice to either convert or die... Even the Mongols (primarily Buddhists), did not force their own religion on the ones they conquered. That is why, the Mongol Empire always consisted of so many religions. So Islam infact has more in common with Christianity then it does with any Eastern religions...

    Also your claim that the West was always launching religious wars is ambiguous. Do you refer to the Crusades? Well, the Muslims penetrated much farther into Christian lands and held parts of Europe longer than the Crusaders ever held Muslim lands. Ever since 632, the march of Islam has been directed westward with only a few delays. I think you underestimate the religious motivations of the first Caliphate or the Ottoman Empire, which were the main powers responsible for erosion of Christian power.
    So? Again, all I see is one Western entity killing another... Tell me when you find Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Taos, (in other words REAL Eastern religions) coming after Western civilization....
    Last edited by Tronic; 07 Jan 07, at 20:36.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post

    Far from being Western??? Thats incorrect, since Islam IS one of the Western entities. Only difference is that Islam is one Wetern entity which failed to evolve with time whereelse the other Western entities like Christianity did. However, both Islam and Christianity do share the same "spread around the world" ideology. Only difference is that in the past, both Christianity and Islam used to convert by the sword, and now only Christianity out of the two has evolved out of its violent path. That does not make Islam an Eastern entity. The Eastern religions are Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Jainism, etc, and Islam is certainly not a part of them. We have seen millions killed in the name of Islam and we have seen millions killed in the name of Christianity, only difference is that the latter has evolved. How many Eastern religions did/do you see that went arouund giving people a choice to either convert or die... Even the Mongols (primarily Buddhists), did not force their own religion on the ones they conquered. That is why, the Mongol Empire always consisted of so many religions. So Islam infact has more in common with Christianity then it does with any Eastern religions...
    Very well said!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    Western Culture???
    What are you asking?
    What about all those Greek and Roman invasions of the East???
    What about them? The fact that the Romans and Greeks invaded the Middle East does not change the fact that Persians attacked Greece and Rome. This returns to my original point that the pre-Islamic Persians were enemies of Western culture embodied in Greece and Rome.

    And later on the Islamic invasions, also a Western entity, which wasn't only a threat but which actually DID destroy Eastern culture...
    I think you misunderstand the usage of the term 'Western'. It seems that you think anything to the west of the Hindu Kush or some region thereabout counts as 'Western.' Under that argument, if something isn't from India or the Far East, it must be Western. This is not how the term Western is usually applied today.

    In the 20th century, 'The West' referred to "the non-Communist countries of Western Europe and the Americas." [1] While this is admittedly far after the time period we have been discussing, it does reveal that the West usually means Western Europe (Catholic & Protestant Europe) and the Americas. Implicit in the argument is that the concept of the West is inseperable from a Christian religious tradition. This does not mean that everyone in the West is religious. It does mean that Christianity played an important part in the development of those lands.

    I urge you to investigate the ideas of Samuel P. Huntington who introduced the ideas of 'Clash of Cultures' in a Foreign Policy article and a book entitled, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order [2]. Huntington believes that the future will be shaped by conflicts between different cultures. Whether or not that is the case is irrelevant. What is telling is that he divided the world into seven or eight cultural regions and Islam and the Western world were two very different regions. In fact, he had this to say about the borders of the Muslim region of Earth:

    "In Eurasia the great historic fault lines between civilizations are once more aflame. This is particularly true along the boundaries of the crescent-shaped Islamic bloc of nations from the bulge of Africa to central Asia. Violence also occurs between Muslims, on the one hand, and Orthodox Serbs in the Balkans, Jews in Israel, Hindus in India, Buddhists in Burma and Catholics in the Philippines. Islam has bloody borders." (Clash of Civilizations, original 1993 Foreign Affairs article)"
    An easy introduction into Huntington's ideas can be gotten from the Wikipedia page on 'Clash of Civilizations'. I urge you to look at the different cultures that he has outlined. While the ideas of one man are not enough to demarcate all of history, his ideas are instructive.

    If you can't see the difference between paintings of the Italian renaissance and Islamic calligraphy, or the difference between Chatres Cathedral and Imam Ali Shrine, or the difference between Voltaire and Rumi, I don't think this conversation will go far. The Muslim world is not culturally Western. It never has been and it never will be.

    If you insist that The Middle East and Western Europe are one cultural bloc, then I will be dissapointed in you.

    One more thing, no Western or Islamic power has ever destroyed Eastern culture as you put it. In fact, the Christian West had little impact on the Far East until the last two centuries. Islam's contact with India was important, and it had a few passing blows and Chinese imperial territory (Talas River 751 AD), but Indian and Chinese culture has survived.

    Well, if it is so, then it is only one Wetern entity, trying to wipe out other Western cultures. Islam is the same Western entity which has been vigorously involved in dismantling the East in the modern world AND back in history.... The only real threat the West faced from a true Eastern entity were the Mongols....
    This statement is a gross and inaccurate simplification of world history. You seem to think its all of the Mediterranean Basin & The Middle East versus China and India. That is not true at all.

    I'll adress your comment about the Mongol's below.

    Far from being Western??? Thats incorrect, since Islam IS one of the Western entities. Only difference is that Islam is one Wetern entity which failed to evolve with time whereelse the other Western entities like Christianity did. However, both Islam and Christianity do share the same "spread around the world" ideology. Only difference is that in the past, both Christianity and Islam used to convert by the sword, and now only Christianity out of the two has evolved out of its violent path. That does not make Islam an Eastern entity. The Eastern religions are Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Jainism, etc, and Islam is certainly not a part of them. We have seen millions killed in the name of Islam and we have seen millions killed in the name of Christianity, only difference is that the latter has evolved. How many Eastern religions did/do you see that went arouund giving people a choice to either convert or die... Even the Mongols (primarily Buddhists), did not force their own religion on the ones they conquered. That is why, the Mongol Empire always consisted of so many religions. So Islam infact has more in common with Christianity then it does with any Eastern religions...
    Your criticism of the violence of Christianity or Islam is irrelevant and strays from our point. We are not discussing the merits of one religion versus the Far Eastern or Indian religions.

    Furthermore, any discussion of the Far East or India is irrelevant. I wrote my post to support and clarify what Swift Sword said about pre-Islamic Persia being just as much of a threat against the West and Islamic Persia was:

    Quote Originally Posted by Swift Sword
    IIRC, Iran under its ancient identity was still a "threat to the West" and engaged in wars with its neighboors [sic].
    I have demonstrated that this is true because the ancient Persian empires assaulted the precursors of Western culture - Greece and Rome. Swift Sword and myself (If I may speak for him here) are not concerned with the Far East, which was largely irrelevant to the conflict between ancient Persia and Greece and Rome. Relative to the European civilizations of Greece and Rome, Persia, Zoroastrian or Islamic, is culturally and geographically part of the East.

    Relative to the largely Christian realms of Western Europe and the Americas, as well any many former European colonies, the Middle East is culturally distinct.


    So? Again, all I see is one Western entity killing another... Tell me when you find Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Taos, (in other words REAL Eastern religions) coming after Western civilization....
    Again, irrelevant. I'm talking about the clash of Middle Eastern civilization with Western civilization. I have defined those terms concisely above and I am not dealing with the Far East or India. Furthermore, I am uninterested in comparing the tenets of Islam or Christianity with the teachings of Buddha, Mahavira, Lao Tzu, or Krishna.

    Let's stay on topic.
    ------------------------
    Notes:
    1. The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, Unabridged. New York: Random House, 1987. ISBN 0-394-56500-2

    2. Huntington, Samuel P. Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.
    Last edited by Bulgaroctonus; 07 Jan 07, at 23:50.

  11. #11
    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulgaroctonus View Post
    What about them? The fact that the Romans and Greeks invaded the Middle East does not change the fact that Persians attacked Greece and Rome. This returns to my original point that the pre-Islamic Persians were enemies of Western culture embodied in Greece and Rome.
    ok. so by the same token, the invading Greeks and Romans were enemies of the Eastern culture then?

    I think you misunderstand the usage of the term 'Western'. It seems that you think anything to the west of the Hindu Kush or some region thereabout counts as 'Western.' Under that argument, it something isn't from India or the Far East, it must be Western. This is not how the term Western is usually applied today.

    In the 20th century, 'The West' referred to "the non-Communist countries of Western Europe and the Americas." [1] While this is admittedly far after the time period we have been discussing, it does reveal that the West usually means Western Europe (Catholic & Protestant Europe) and the Americas. Implicit in the argument is that the concept of the West is inseperable from a Christian religious tradition. This does not mean that everyone in the West is religious. It does mean that Christianity played an important part in the development of those lands.

    I urge you to investigate the ideas of Samuel P. Huntington who introduced the ideas of 'Clash of Cultures' in a Foreign Policy article and a book entitled, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order [2]. Huntington believes that the future will be shaped by conflicts between different cultures. Whether or not that is the case is irrelevant. What is telling is that he divided the world into seven or eight cultural regions and Islam and the Western world were two very different regions. In fact, he had this to say about the borders of the Muslim region of Earth:
    Ok, then, I was taking into context West and East; in geographical terms... keep hearing how Islam is a threat to the "West", and it got annoying since Islam technically is also a Western religion, and one which has raped the East far worse then what it has done to the Western West...


    An easy introduction into Huntington's ideas can be gotten from the Wikipedia page on 'Clash of Civilizations'. I urge you to look at the different cultures that he has outlined. While the ideas of one man are not enough to demarcate all of history, his ideas are instructive.

    If you can't see the difference between paintings of the Italian renaissance and Islamic calligraphy, or the difference between Chatres Cathedral and Imam Ali Shrine, or the difference between Voltaire and Rumi, I don't think this conversation will go far. The Muslim world is not culturally Western. It never has been and it never will be.

    If you insist that The Middle East and Western Europe are one cultural bloc, then I will be dissapointed in you.
    ok, i'm happy as long as you don't cramp them on this side since Islam does infact have more in common with the West then the East even if you don't consider it a Western entity...

    One more thing, no Western or Islamic power has ever destroyed Eastern culture as you put it.
    Islam totally annihlated the Persian culture and the Buddhist culture of Northern India and also of Afghanistan...

    and Christianity I have never said destroyed Eastern culture, however, it did annihlate a lot of South American culture (like of the Mayans and Aztecs, etc) to get them to convert to Christianity...

    Your criticism of the violence of Christianity or Islam is irrelevant and strays from our point. We are not discussing the merits of one religion versus the Far Eastern or Indian religions.
    I used religion since it is religion from where culture resides...


    Again, irrelevant. I'm talking about the clash of Middle Eastern civilization with Western civilization.
    ok.

    Furthermore, I am uninterested in comparing the tenets of Islam or Christianity with the teachings of Buddha, Mahavira, Lao Tzu, or Krishna.
    And yet, the main source of the conflicts is religion itself.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    ok. so by the same token, the invading Greeks and Romans were enemies of the Eastern culture then?
    Yes.


    Ok, then, I was taking into context West and East; in geographical terms... keep hearing how Islam is a threat to the "West", and it got annoying since Islam technically is also a Western religion, and one which has raped the East far worse then what it has done to the Western West...
    That may be. Again, the focus is West vs. Islam.

    Islam totally annihlated the Persian culture and the Buddhist culture of Northern India and also of Afghanistan...
    This is not my area or expetise or really related to the original argument. None theless, I was under the impression that Hinduism had already absorbed most of India's Buddhists by the time of the Muslim invasions. Also, it appears some Persian culture has survived.
    and Christianity I have never said destroyed Eastern culture, however, it did annihlate a lot of South American culture (like of the Mayans and Aztecs, etc) to get them to convert to Christianity...
    True, but non-topical.

    I used religion since it is religion from where culture resides...
    Sometimes.

    It seems we've reached agreement on most of our points. The whole idea of clash of civilizations is interesting, to say nothing of Persian history.

    A pleasant evening to you sir. We'll see where this thread goes.

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    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulgaroctonus View Post
    This is not my area or expetise or really related to the original argument. None theless, I was under the impression that Hinduism had already absorbed most of India's Buddhists by the time of the Muslim invasions.
    Actually sir, Buddhism had actually absorbed a lot of Hinduism, since Hinduism is an older religion in the lands, and Buddhism was suppose to be like an enlightened philosophy; something similar to the Enlightenment age in the West except different. Most of what Pakistan and Northern Areas of India today were actually huge Buddhist kingdoms.

    A pleasant evening to you sir. We'll see where this thread goes.
    Same to you sir. ( its early morning here actually... )
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    This article is mistaken in assuming that Iran's pre-Islamic culture was homogenous and wholly Zoroastrian. But yes Iranians have always been self-conscious of their identity, Islamic and pre-Islamic, being distinct and separate from Arabs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    Islam totally annihlated the Persian culture
    Your knowledge about Near and Middle Eastern history is screwed up judging from your debate with Bulgaroctonus and this comment of yours above proves beyond any doubt that you know absolutely nothing about Iran, Iranians or the Persian culture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift Sword View Post
    IIRC, Iran under its ancient identity was still a "threat to the West" and engaged in wars with its neighboors.
    Yeah right. There was no "West" as we know it today back in the Ancient World. The Greeks considered their European neighbours as barbaric and uncivilized as any other non-Hellenic peoples.

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