| Homo Kaplanensis: “Europe Was Defined By Islam. And Islam Is Redefining It Now.”
| Friday, April 22, 2016
|Robert Kaplan, a contributing editor to The Atlantic, has just published a piece on Islam and the future of Europe.
He claims, startlingly, that Europe “was essentially defined by Islam,”
by which he means that before Islam swept across North Africa, Europe
consisted of a single civilization, on both banks of the Mediterranean —
that of the Roman Empire — and that Islam’s arrival severed “the
Mediterranean region into two civilizational halves.”
It is true that
Muslim conquerors swept across North Africa in the seventh and eighth
centuries, but not quite true, pace Kaplan, that they “extinguished
Christianity there.” Millions of Coptic Christians remained a majority
in Egypt until the 14th century (that is, for at least 700
years after the time that Kaplan claims Muslim armies “virtually
extinguished Christianity” in North Africa).
And while it is true that
the Roman Empire was sundered, it was not only by the forces of Islam,
as Kaplan appears to believe: before the Arab armies arrived, others had
been seizing territory from Roman control, including the Visigoths in
Spain and the Vandals, who conquered the Roman province of Africa in 433
and held it till 539
Kaplan quotes with evident approval Jose Ortega y Gasset that “all
European history has been a great migration toward the North.” Is that
true? The Roman Empire fell because of a great migration of the Germanic
tribes from the north and northeast to the South; it was they,
the Barbarians, who beat down the steady Roman legions and seized Rome
in 476 A.D., with the Germanic warrior Odoacer placed on the throne.
even before the Fall of Rome, the Roman Empire had divided into Eastern
and Western Empires, one ruled from Rome, the other from
Constantinople. Surely that split was just as significant, for the
future of European civilization, with the Western empire embracing Latin
Catholicism, and the Eastern empire Orthodox Christianity, as the loss
of North Africa to Islam.
Read it all here......................
|posted by D Swami Gwekanandam @ 10:22 AM