This is the age of confessions. And of apologetics. For what? For the outrages committed by beastly men upon innocent people. But why rake up the past? Why not let it lie interred? Not because we want to blame the present generation for what their ancestors had done, but to prevent them from repeating the mistakes of their ancestors. It is failure to have a clear understanding of the history of Islam, which stirred up the present, revanchist spirit among Muslims. For this I hold the historians responsible.
The Vatican has confessed many of its crimes and expressed its regrets. So has America for the crime it had committed against the black race. So have the Germans for the excesses of the Nazis.
But not a word has come from the historians of the Islamic world about the atrocities of the Muslims in the past. In fact, the Muslims historians have instigated the Muslims to take to jehad. If only the educated Muslims knew of what their ancestors had done to other people, there would have been no fundamental upsurge and no terrorism either. The historians of the sub-continent are either silent or they are abetting the fundamentalists.
According to Serge Trifkovic, an eminent historians, Muslim atrocities had become taboo in Western academia (before 9/11). He says: ?Thirteen hundred years of religious discrimination, causing suffering and death of countless millions have been covered by the myth of ?Islamic tolerance? or by silence.?
Muslim historians are indeed busy, but busy to whitewash the history of Islam and prettify it. We are told that Islam has done no wrong, that its deeds are all laudable. It is this refusal to admit its wrongs which has encouraged the Muslim fundamentalists to demand the restoration of the Caliphate. Bin Laden was categoric on this. He believes that the Muslim empires were a blessing of Allah for mankind. Obviously, he has never read the history of Islam. Let me give a few examples of the atrocities of the Ottoman empire.
Islam is known for its legal approach. And yet the Prophet of Islam never laid down the law of succession for the kings and caliphs. As a result few successions have taken place without blood-letting and atrocities. We have in India the case of Aurangzeb who imprisoned his father for years. And yet he is declared as a pious Muslim.
Who were these Ottomans? They were Central Asian nomads called Seljuk Turks. They invaded Persia and Baghdad in the 11th century and reduced the Abbasid dynasty into a vassal state. In 1070 they drove the Fatimids of Egypt out of Syria and Palestine. And they routed a huge army of the Byzantine empire. Thus, by the end of the 11th century, they had an empire? the Ottoman. Not much is known of this Muslim empire.
Eugene Delacroix, the historian, writes the the Turks wiped out the entire population of a Greek island called Cluis. When Sultan Murad died in 1595, his son Mohammed had his ten brothers murdered to prevent them from usurping his throne. Seven of Murad's concubines were sewn into sacks and thrown into river. As for his nephews, he hung them up in cages from the parapets of his fort for all life.
On the death of Murad IV, the throne was seized by Ibrahim, who had not stepped out of his cage from the age of five. He turned out to be a monster. After a night of debauchery with his harem, he threw all the 300 of them into the Sea of Bospherus. He was finally strangled to death.
When Spain expelled the Jews, the Turks invited them to settle down in Sarajeevo, but only to massacre them. The burning of Smyrna and the massacre and dispersal of the population (about 300,000 Christians) will remain one of the greatest crimes of all times. It marked the end of the Greek civilisation in Asia Minor. Europe simply watched the tragedy.
The last century of Turkish rule (18th century) saw the universal devastation of Christian communities in Europe at the hands of the Turks. But such was the internal conflict within the Christian states that Britain supported the Turks against Austria and Russia. But Gladstone, the British statesman, warned the Turks: ?As far as it is in our power to determine, never again shall the hand of violence be raised by you, never again shall the floodgates of lust be opened by you.?
The massacre of the Armenians in Bayazid will remain the most gory episode in Turkish history. About 200,000 Armenians were done to death by Turks. The Armenians have not forgiven or forgotten (When Hitler was warned of the consequences of his Jewish policy, he retorted: ?Who remembers the extermination of the Armenians by the Turks.? It is largely true.)
Trifkovic says: ?Islam has been a religion of intolerance a jehad without end.? William Muir, one of the greatest historians, agrees.
After Mohd II conquered Constantinople in 1413, the entire non-Muslim population of the region fled to other parts of Europe.
The Arabs and Turks were never friends, although they are Muslims. The Arabs considered the four centuries of Turkish rule as a total disaster. One can understand: the Turks banned the printing press through the Ottoman empire! Why? Because they did not want to spread Arabic!