Religions Spread Through Conquest
When studying history, both in a professional and academic
sense, we try to make connections between civilizations and time
periods. Historians have attempted to discover universal conezts of
human nature, a bond that forms from continent to continent, human
being to human being. Is there a conezt quality that all peoples
posses, and is reflected in all civilizations? Indeed, it is
extremely difficult to make generalizations about centuries of modern
history. To say that something is true of all of history is virtually
impossible, as a counter-example exists for just about anything that
can be said of any group of civilizations. To say that all religions
are spread by violence is equally unfair and untrue - because
contrasted religions has been spread in exceedingly diverse regions of
the world, by vastly different cultures. Islam, as a prime example,
has been characterized inequitably by historians and the media as a
religion of violence.
To put it bluntly, as this article does, "Islam
was mainly spread through Arab territorial conquests (Sudo, 4)."
However, upon examination, it is not fair to make the generalization
that Islam is a religion of violence, and one notices when looking at
world religion on a whole, one finds that Islam was no more violent
than any other religion. In fact, not only is Islam not a
fundamentally violent philosophy, but we can also see that many other
religions normally considered "non-violent," such as Christianity or
Hinduism, have been spread through bloody conquest. Thus, in
searching for a universal conezt of history, we ought not fall into
the "fallacy of abstractions," as Sydney J. Harris keenly puts it, and
assume that because of isolated incidents and conflicts of territorial
ambitions, that all religions have violent tendencies.
Islam has, throughout the centuries, been somewhat a...