Aftermath of War: A Lesson from History

Category: Life & Society, Middle East Topics: Europe, History, Human Rights, Istanbul, Turkey Views: 2880
2880

Suppose Islam lost a great war. What would the consequences be? Some believe it will cause terrorism to erupt, disrupt the globe's largest reserves of oil - the life-blood of the modern age - and plunge the Arab world into an age of fanaticism and darkness. But as we verge on a controversial war with Iraq, there is a fascinating - and surprising - lesson to be learned from another great battle in history.

On May 28, 1453, two of the greatest armies in the world ended an epic 52-day battle on the border of Europe and Asia. On one side the 100,000-man army of Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire and the forces of Islam were attempting to capture one of the world's greatest cities - Constantinople (now Istanbul). On the other side, behind the supposedly impenetrable walls of the city, were the defensive forces of the west - the 10,000 man force led by Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI.

Dragases. The battle for Constantinople is considered one of the greatest and most important confrontations in history.

Constantinople was one of the most vital possessions of the Christian world. The city was the capital of the East Roman - or Byzantine - Empire ever since the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great selected it as his new capital in 324 AD. Constantinople was the gateway between Europe and Asia, Christianity and Islam.

The city rested by the Bosporus, a watery straight which was the most important artery of international trade. Trade ships from Venice, Genoa, England, France, and much of Europe traveled past Constantinople to the eastern Black Sea ports which connected the European continent to the major trade centers of India and China. The wealth that traveled on this route built the economic power of the Western world - a 15th century version of today's globalization of trade.

As the battle for Constantinople began, the Ottomans unleashed man's newest weapon, artillery, to breach the city's massive walls. Shortly after the shocking breakthrough, the Ottomans accomplished what had been deemed impossible for over a millennium - the fall of Constantinople. There was horror and disbelief as the forces of Islam routed the Western army. Panic swept across Europe. The vital trade routes to the East were now under enemy control, and an alien army with strange beliefs threatened to march through Europe.

Was this the end of the Western world? Quite the opposite. What seemed at the moment a knockout punch to Europe ended up causing great change. It literally forced the discovery of a new world.

Constantinople had been Europe's center for intellectual studies for centuries. Its leaders promoted and encouraged classical studies and art. Many who lived inside the city's walls devoted their lives to studying and preserving history's classical past. When the Ottomans conquered the city, many of these intellectuals fled to Italy. This flight from war was directly responsible for the acceleration of one of the most important periods in Europe's history, the Renaissance.

Classic ideas, locked inside the walls of Constantinople for centuries, broke free and spread out across Europe. Isolated city-states began to gradually dissolve. For the first time in history, nation states - like Spain and Portugal - emerged. The Renaissance brought Europe into an age of light after an age of darkness.

It also changed the shape of the world.

Since Constantinople's fall blocked overland trade routes to the spice markets of South and East Asia, the emerging nation states needed new routes to the riches of the East. The Great Age of Exploration began. Brave men such as Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, and Magellan circumnavigated the globe to find new routes across vast, unknown oceans. In the process they discovered the world - and many of its secrets, treasures and mysteries.

Now we face another important battle. Hopefully it can be avoided. But in the long run the result of a victory for the US and its allies may not cause havoc and a new dark age in the Arab world as many fear. As with the battle for Constantinople, it may in fact cause the opposite.

If liberated from their intellectual and physical imprisonment, the Iraqi people may well take full advantage of their new-found freedom. Iraq has the potential to become the center of a Renaissance for the Middle East. With a new regime focused on human rights and freedom, and with the financial security of 100 billion barrels of oil beneath their desert, a new Iraq can lead the Islamic world into an age of cultural and intellectual renewal. From repression can emerge an age of ingenuity and invention worthy of a country that was once the cradle of civilization.

Repression creates anger. Anger with little hope of change creates radicalism. Radicalism can destroy civilizations. The liberation of Iraq could break this dangerous cycle. Like the movement of Constantinople's intellectuals coming into Italy in 1453, a liberated Iraq's influence on the people throughout the region could be tremendous.

As with Europe in the 15th century Renaissance, Iraq's people could begin to focus on the freedom, dignity and worth of the individual, man or woman. These ideals would spread through the Arab world.

The fall of Constantinople triggered some of the greatest changes in human history. Though both sides suffered great human loses, defeat at the hands of the Ottomans ushered in Europe's great age of reason and the exploration of the world. The same might well occur in the Middle East as a post-Saddam Iraq leads the exploration of a brave new world of human freedom.

Source: Arab News


Nick Robertson is a 17-year-old junior at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon, U.S.


  Category: Life & Society, Middle East
  Topics: Europe, History, Human Rights, Istanbul, Turkey
Views: 2880

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Older Comments:
AMIN FROM USA said:
Abdurahman...
what is the matter with you..
who is going to save Iraq? the Delapidated secularist Muslim hating regeme of Saddam?
You really need to look at the facts.
Saddam is no more muslim than any other atheist in the world
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MAZINKAISER FROM USA said:
Ofcourse you'll focus your attention else where as you've been exposed for for the schill you are.
You call phony acussations of being "Anti-American" and "hate" building a "bridge between cultures" ? So much for logic on your part.
Your inability to transcend your pettiness and fuzzy logic is the problem here.
Oh and thanks Ryo.....good to know we have atleast one REAL American patriot here.
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ABDIRAHMAAN FROM SOM said:
Constantinople or Istanbul is a islamic city at the moment. That is what i personally interested but one more thing everyone should think about it that islam victory not finish yet;
Golf war is going to be the end of the Western world!
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ARJAY FROM USA said:
Mazin aka Undercover
I see that my offer to have a civil discussion of our differences has fallen on deaf ears. It is clear that you are not capable or, chose not to have, a logical airing of differences without venting your spleen and demeaning the person with, in your mind, the opposing view. Your concept of "discussion" is about as useful as Bush's concept of diplomacy.
I came to this site to exchange thoughts and ideas with people of other cultures - a bridge, if you will in this time of tension and misunderstanding. That is certainly not occuring with you. I shall focus my attention elsewhere.
What an irony that two people from the same country cannot even have a civil discussion. It's a pity but I suspect you could care less. Bye.
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RYO FROM USA said:
OUCH, Mazinkaiser ! Man you are a force to be reckoned with....! Keep up the good work, fellow patriot for peace.
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MAZINKAISER FROM USA said:
You're 48 Arjay ? good lord how utterly depressing. Here I though I was dealing with some cheeky 16 year punk who just got his drivers license. You certainly sound like a teenager given the cheap tactics you've employed of labelling dissent as "anti-American hatred." I dont find anything remotely "independent" in your thought or behavior.
All the "name-calling" aside, let me make something very clear to you...I dont have to prove my patriotism to any intellectually-challenged fascist hack or go thru some right wing frauds litmus test. That being said, your contempt for those who disagree is quite apparent. So the author of the article is "probably some young man blah blah blah" b/c of an opinion counter to your own. You want this guy to go some other country like Pakistan, Yemen, or whatever country whose name you learnt this week ?
You claim to have read the constitution several times...but you have no appreciation for it. This is all too common in people who know no history or believe in social justice, not to mention trying in vain to refute reality. And yes, venom should directed against those who are the REAL anti-Americans. Since these issues are beyond the scope of your understanding you should honestly invest in a game system....who says you cant teach an old dog new tricks ? It may serve as a good outlet for your childish hatred.....
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ARJAY FROM USA said:
Xhosa
You are reading too much into this article. It was written by a young man, probably for a history lesson, where he draws a hypothetical conclusion from something he has read. It is only speculation, nothing more...
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ARJAY FROM USA said:
Undercover
I see you moved! A couple of points. I do not have a Playstation, Xbox or whatever. Never will. I am not a jingoist. If you actually read ALL of what I wrote you would see that. I have read the Constitution several times, thanks for the suggestion. Perhaps the use of "hate" was a bit harsh but considering the venom in your rhetoric, it seemed appropriate. And my question about remaining in the US was just a question. No more. No less. On the basis of your response, I would assume that there is something about the US you like. Would you care to share that? I am not a fascist. I despise the Klan, White Supremicists (or any other kind for that matter) as well as the Rush Limbaugh clones on the radio. Right wing preachers like Falwell make me sick. But, just like you, they get to have their say. I am not a Junior. I am 48 and a card carrying registered Independent.
I think that this could be a useful discussion if you could get past the name calling. A measure of civility would be refreshing. Are you up to it?
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XHOSA FROM SOUTH AFRICA said:
I think the writer is being sarcastic.What he is implying is that the U.S is gong to avenge the defeat of the Christian Army by the Ottomans.on the contrary the World is going to pay dearly for the American high handedness on the Iraq war
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UNDERCOVER B. FROM GOOD OL' USA said:
Arjay, now you've confirmed that you're a liar as well as being evasive. What makes you think I hate America ? because I disagree with foriegn policy that makes me a hater ? This is cheap smear on your part, I guess not being able to refute reality you had no other choice to resprt to such childish tactics.
As for moving to another country, why should I ? because you're uncomfortable with my freedom of speech ? This is your advice for those who dont agree and offer a view based on facts instead of spoon fed media propoganda. What a lowly hypocrite you are.
I was born here and I have every right to speak my mind...which to you is "hate" since it doesnt conform to your immature and uninformed worldview. The good folks in the antiwar movement have been treated similarly by fascists pretending to be patriots. Its apparent Arjay that its you who is hate-filled and should move to a different country, preferable Israel or some other fascist state where your type are not laughed at. If not, go read the Constitution junior, you might learn something.
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BELQIS said:
In your article you pointed out the good result that came after the war between the Crusaders and the Muslim army, but you did not mentioned Why or what caused it. You also did not mention the reason for the war.
The history tell us the reason for the war was the crusader keep attacking the Muslims. So Saultan Muhammad, decided to put an end to their aggression and when he conquered the Constantinople, he ordered to fix the entire wall and anything that was destroyed during of the war. Saultan Muhammad's intention was to bring peace and justice to both Muslim and non Muslims.
However as we all seen the result of war in Afghanistan, it is hard to believe that US will accomplish what Saultan Muhammad did. Over a year still Afghanistan suffer from the destroyed hospitals, destroyed schools, home, roads and etc. Till today people in Afghanistan are dying due to not having shelter in the winter, food, clean water, or access to hospitals. Yes US might fix things that they need for example they build new bases, they will build roads and airport for their own purpose, but they will never buil the house the poor person whom they destoryed.
So to say that US will bring Democracy to the people of Iraq and help them is just a bunch of lies. I will believe when I see it happening.

Thank You,
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ARJAY FROM USA said:
Undercover
If you are so disenchanted with your life in the US - I just noticed your country on your post - why are you still here? You clearly hate the US so the fact you are still here is hypocritical, isn't it? You are so filled with hate for the US, why don't you move to Yemen or Pakistan or Somalia or wherever you would feel more comfortable. It makes no sense to stay in a country you hate does it?
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ARJAY FROM USA said:
Undercover,
Is it jingoism to state facts? I never said that the US invented medicine. I never said that the US has only done good things. I never said that the US was the source of all good in the world. I did say that the US has contributed great benefits to the world. Your failing is that you hate so much that you cannot acknowledge the truth. I admited that the US has also made mistakes. Can you be so objective about your country? Apparently not. It is a pity that there are inflexible, hate-filled people like yourself. We have them here in the US as well. It is people like you and them who cannot see the humanity in others who are the cause of so much hardship in the world.
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JBL FROM USA said:
how could a war of 10,000 against 100,000 called a great battle.

it was just another slaughter of western innocents by ..Islam.

get real!.

17 years old....it shows!..


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ARJAY FROM USA said:
Kelelawar
How about a discussion instead of you dispensing one line responses that don't say anything?
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BROTHER PETER FROM USA said:
Nick Robertson is a 17-year-old junior at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon, U.S.
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TOM O'BRIEN FROM USA-MESA ARIZONA said:
Good job nick. When I read that you were a 17 year old high school student at the end I was a little surprised.
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KELELAWAR FROM MALAYSIA said:
'... they are arrogant as well'
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U. BROTHER FROM USA said:
Arjay's litte spin is so typical of irrational jingoists trying to hide disturbing facts about their nation. One would think that medicine did not exist before America came into being, what utter nonsense.
You might want to read up a bit on the history of the UN before challenging others with nothing but 8th grade myths. Start with a "People's History of the United States." If not, resign back to your playstation.
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HODAN SULTAN ( 18 YEARS OLD) FROM CANADA said:

This is a very interesting piece. However I ask to differ. "The liberation of Iraq could break this dangerous cycle", is very unlikely, it is true that Saddam the Iraqi leader lacks humanity but they who liberate have no respect for Iraqi peoples humanity when bombing the Iraqi people from the sky using 90,000 tons of bombs equal to that of 7 and half Hiroshima bombs(dessert operation). You have mentioned the "finacial security of 100 Billions barrels of oil" but Tony Blair recently stated that "the oil will go to UN and the Iraqi people, that the U.S and United Kingdom will not access the money without the UN approval" lets be a bit realistic the U.S punches the UN left and right and will use the oil for their own interests. How is it that "repression creates anger" but yet forcing democracy is simply repression with a new face, besides forcing democracy is not democray. Most people see it as "we hate because we do not understand, and what we do not understand we fear, and we always try to over power our fears", just as the West overpowers the third world countries and their ideologies. Those who you believe will liberate, only orphan the children and widow the wifes. The Iraqi people have a choose of Saddam Hussein or George Bush in other words the devil or the deep blue sea. This "liberation" destroys internal repression but only creates external repression. In other words it is like chemotherapy, it destroys the disease but kills you in the process. Liberation should be left in the hands of the Iraqi people.
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YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
Peace be upon you, Nick Robertson. Say, how would you rate us (Muslims) on our politeness and tolerance of different ideas? Please understand that, generally speaking, we (Muslims) tend to place greater emphasis on being consistently polite rather than immediately candid.

I have to admit that, for someone most of us seem to assume is not a Muslim, you certainly do seem to be polite. Thank you for sharing your point of view with us.

All praise to God, Lord of the Worlds. (Quran 1:2)
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MAT FROM MALAYSIA said:
you maybe right Arjay, though my previous post got screwed up by webmasters.for the 16 years old kid, here a quick science lesson from me:if you throw a tennis ball on the uneven/broken surface of a wall, the ball will bounce back to you.probably hitting your "soft spot" (groin) is high.I called it "tennis ball effect".

this theory can be applied to today armypower country like america/israel. study shows the mightier usually throw it first, and the ball hit the soft spot (civilian) is predictable, maybe its time to throw flowers instead?
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ARJAY FROM USA said:
16 year old
Do you mean the UN that is so clearly following US orders now?

Kelelawar
If you truely believe that Isreal and the US are only "brutal" and must be "eradicated" then you are misguided and ignorant. Despite the mistakes the US has made, the world is a better place for the US's generosity and the medicine and technology it has developed. Your own country has benefited greatly from advances in computer technology and has become a major player in the world economy to the benefit of your people. As long as you can only see one side than you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Just as the Israelis cannot subdue the Palestinians and the Palestinians cannot subdue the Israelis, Saddam and Bin Laden cannot subdue the US or the US Bin Laden. It is time that people acknowledged each others right to exist and work together in harmony towards that goal.

The US is a huge place, full of many different people - people of different faiths and beliefs. You cannot say that all of the US is brutal and should be exterminated any more than the US can say that about Islam.
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L. SALEH FROM U.S.A. said:
I would first like to say that, while I welcome other opinions to the war on Iraq, Roberson's view that anything good can come out of the war is optimistic at best, and most definately unrealistic and ignorant.

The past Gulf War has been linked to increased cancer cases in children, especially in the Nejaf region in the southeast, probably from depleted uranium shells. Serious diseases have doubled in the last 10 years in children because of the Gulf War. More than 1/3 of Iraqi children are malnurished, 8 million children depend on state rations, and 1/4 of babies are born underweight, all because of the residue left over from the last war. There is already not enough medicine to go around, and many still suffer from extreme psychological trauma. Iraq has begun to rebuild its economy, but with another war, it will be again flattened and destroyed.

As for the 100 billion barrels of oil Iraq has buried in the desert, as soon as the U.S. takes over and "liberates Iraq" most will be stolen by the U.S. and sold at rediculous prices. The new Iraq, based on "human rights and freedom", will be occupied by U.S. soldiers for many years to come, much like the Israeli soldiers (or should I say terrorists) who put sanctions on the Palestinian people and control their lives. I can't think of anything more repressive than that. The Iraqi people aren't afraid of Saddam; they're afraid of America and Bush. If they wanted to be "liberated" by the U.S., don't you think they would welcome the war? Now, I'm not saying that I support Saddam or his regime, but it's not Saddam who will suffer; no, he'll get by scot free. It'll be the millions of Iraqi people who will be inevitably slaughtered, all because of the U.S.'s puppy, Israel and the Bush Administration's hate of Islam.

As for "brave" men like Christopher Columbus, hasn't Robertson done any reading on the real story of the war king? (Who, by the way, did not discover America, but did create a lot of chaos!)
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KELELAWAR FROM MALAYSIA said:
'in order to eradicate the brutality of israel and US, Saddam, Osama etc are the best characters to accomplish the mission'
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LORENZO FROM USA said:
Very eloquently and intelligently written. I enjoyed reading it. More important, we ought to learn from that historically powerful maneuver by Mehmet and his forces. Tolerance, honor, knowledge, scholarship, science, military and political might, cultural richness, and economic fortitude represented the Ottoman regime.

This is one of many facets of the glorious Islamic history that illuminates the world with its monumental achievements.

Great to know that some are actually studying to evaluate for themselves.

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REZA FROM USA said:
Many thanks to the author for endeavoring to give up a brief history lesson, but message is offensive at the same time that it attempts to be informative. First, it fails to mention that it was only through the crusades and contact with Islam that the west emerged from their dark ages. He has glossed over the fact that Arabic was the language of scholarship throughout Italy in the two centuries preceding the fall of Constantinople. His essay tends to view knowledge, history, and the perculiarities of modern nations as products of first, classical (i.e. Greek) and then western thought with a disregard for the external influences. Furthermore to suggest that pirates, rapists, and murderers such as da Gama, Columbus and Magellan were "brave" men is oxymoronic. These voyages were no more than raids and spurred on by greed and not bravery. And to make matters worse, he cites Portugal and Spain and the founders of the modern nation states. If that is so then our modern states are as corrupt and brutal as they were. These states were vehement in their persecution of Islam and expelled millions of non-Christians from Andulasia. And they were to cowardly to send their armies across a small strait to fight men armed as they were. But they chose to cross a huge ocean to massacre natives armed with obsidian spears and burn their books by the thousands. Istaghfillah, the bishop Ximenes ordered the entire library of Cordova (10,000 books) to be burnt because he thought all of the books to be Qur'ans.
Whatever the author intended and whatever knowledge he intended to impart, his analysis misses the mark and his naivete is exposed. This essay glosses over the single drive of the west, to encircle and suffocate Islam. All the while dragging millions down in their evil-doing.
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16 YEAR OLD FROM USA said:
Mat- and exactly who did the UN take its orders from?
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CRYSTAL KHAN FROM USA said:
Very interesting article indeed....however I would beg to differ on wether an invasion of Iraq by western forces would have the same effect of global enlightenment as did the fall of constantinople did in the 1400's. For a number of reasons;first the moral superiority of the muslims in the 1400's as opposed to the moral degradation of the Bush administration in the 21st century. Action is based on intent and the outcome of such action is usually the result of that intent. I hardly think it possible that the propagation of art and science is the primary goal of the Bush administration. More like corporate globalization...a far cry from the Smithsonian. Also, the muslim rulers had spiritual and political marriage as opposed to the no-boundries secular culture of the Bush administration. Global enlightenment?? I think not. Cultural and Political anarchy??? Indeed.
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GUEVARA-MARTI FROM FRANCE said:
Cher Msr. Robertson, I'ts a romantic notion that U think that Arabs don't have civilization already and that the West is such a Guiding Light!! The Western axis of evil(Israel, United Kingdom, and the United States) offer mostly Corporate Greed, Militarization, and exploitation all using Scoience and technology to further their cause and if u think that it was a goood thing for the Western Powers to conquer the world ask their victims the Native Americans, The Africans, and the rest of the 3rd Workd (Which is really the 1st World ) how they feel about having thei trees, their gold ,females, and brainpower stolen!!
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ESTHER FROM USA said:
It suprises me that some people on this board think attacking the Byzatine people was the best thing to do. It helped cause the Crusades. As for the people of Iraq, I wish them luck.
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HANAFI ABDUL-MALIK FROM USA said:
There is one big defferance between Islamic rule and un-islamic. One goveren for the sake of Allah the other goveren for the sake of the devil.
I live in america and I know what it gave the to the native people and we all should know how it freed the africans that was enslaved. All under the red white and blue. The consituion the bill of rights and the lord and savior Jesus Christ.
To compair the u.s.a. and the rule of ALLAH is like honey and vinager.
The reason turkey is in the condision its in now is because they traded the honey for vinager.
As amatter fact the whole muslim world suffers from the same trade.
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AMIN FROM USA said:
Not bad.
You all are way to influenced by te Conservative Christian fatalism that seems to have crept into your Muslim mindsets.
Since when is it Haram to voice a political opinion in Islam that is different from the main stream?
The Islamic world IS in a dark age. The reason it is a dark age is because most are ignorant of the fact that it is a dark age and are happy with the status quo much like the Christians were in their own. We are too doped up with oportunistic media to realize it.

You all look at one side of the coin. Most everyone here is doing nothing but complain. If all you want to do is debate than look at the other side of the issue rather than the irrational blindness you are most suffering.

Of course war is bad and innocents will die. I would rather be dead than opressed by the Kufr Saddam, I would fight to my last drop of blood. I would sacrifice my life my home and my family to rid the world of his disgusting existance, and replace his with a leader chosen by the brothers. He hit us, killed so many of us. It was only a matter of tie before he helped any of us. Any one here who was old enough and didn't declare to fight Jihad against Saddam when he attacked Iran is worse than the American onslaught.

Where were all of you when Saddam slaughtered millions of Muslims for his own personal gain in Iran? Who lifted a finger to help Iran and to get rid of this enemy of Islam Saddam?

If you support Saddam, or say he doesn't deserve to be ousted, than you are his accomplice. If you care about the Iraqi people only than good, more power to you from Allah,

But many here just say no not because the love and care for the Iraqi people, but rather simply because of their irrational hate for all things American and Israeli, when the real slaughterers of modern Muslim claim Islam themselves.
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MAT FROM USA said:
16 year old. The sactions were put in place by the United Nations, not America. Saddam Hussiem has as much blame for the problems the sanctions caused the Iraqi people as the UN. His continued resistance to following the UN resolutions caused his own people hardships. He didn't care. If his people were truely important to him, he would have resigned years ago.

Mat. Finally a response from someone out there! Of course Israel is responsible for some of the problems in the Mid-east and so is the US. But so are Palestinians who target civilians. There was a peace process underway that could have gone a long way to settling the Palestinian/Israel problem. Hamas and Hezbolla saw to it that the peace process was stopped. As long as the TWO sides continue to kill each other and extract revenge peace will never come.
Both Muslims and the West must work to gether to seek a solution to these problems. As long as Muslims blame the west (the USA) for everything, nothing will be solved.
You cry for the poor Afganis who perished in the battles. So do I. What about the Americans who died? Do you think that they deserved it? They were mothers and fathers and sons and daughters as well. Was Bin Laden justified in killing them?
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MIKE HALE FROM USA said:
A very interesting article. "Cause and Effect"
The truer point is that the Middle East has been fighting since the beginning of time and will probably continue to do until the end.
The answers I find in the letters that the US is Imperialist, colonizers, morally depraved, unelected leaders, and mass murderers is crazy.
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SARFARAZ ASHAIKH FROM INDIA said:
like muslim won the war of 1453 to capture constatinople,i think it will be reverse.
the america will spoil the muslim power
the only solution is unity among us
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MAT FROM MALAYSIA said:
i'm tired of this ".., just look at yourself" kind of rhetoric Arjay tried to bring up.its shutted many channels of argument and accountability.first of all israel is just henious, no question about that.so its like, instead of blaming osama, should american revisit their foriegn policies? got it?

everybody hate saddam, an oppresive maniac.how he got WMD? don't asked me.iraqi tried, but failed miserablely, maybe its time for american to assassinate him.with creme de la creme in spies and hitmans, i think they can get in and out of baghdad with breeze.or maybe we should call james bond to get back in action.

but the idea of "shock and awe" just overwhelmed me, hit right on my nerve and i felt like crying, its remind me of those poor afghan peasants who killed in crossfire.its also remind me of how vulnerable US army are.

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16 YEAR OLD FROM USA said:
As ajunior myself, I'd like to thank you for such a historically accurate dipiction of how the Ottomans captured Istanbul.
However,i would like to bring to your attention that this war is not meant to free the Iraqis. No America seems to have lost its morals to actually walk around doing good with no gain. Its reason behind the war for greed of oil. And this is a known fact all around the world as well as right here in America.
Also, the American gov't occupying Iraq cannot teach morals, freedom, and individuality while it occupies Iraq by force killing children by the thousands, some still suffering from depleted Uranium used in the Gulf War. If Iraq needs to learn freedom and human rights, Islam can teach the epitome of human rights for both sexes to Iraq, the Middle East, and the rest of the world.
Thank you for your article again, but please don't ever think that by harming everyone in Iraq now and for years to come is ever going to help. Iraq never called out to America, "Yeah we want YOU to help us by killing us, our children, and placing sactions on our country." No matter what, this is not going to help in anyway on the long run. Iraq can always go back and follow true Islam, just as anyone would and learn the true meaning of justice and humanity, thats one thing America should also learn.
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ARJAY FROM USA said:
First, lighten up! This was written by a kid, 17 years old, who had an different observation about a historical event. I don't believe that he was trying to justify war against Iraq. You ought to be encouraged that he is thinking about you at all instead of in the street calling for your heads!
As long as Muslims blame all these problems on oil and Israel instead of thinking about how they have fostered a feeling of fear and hatred in the West, then war is what will happen. It wasn't Isreal that attacked the US. It wasn't Isreal that attacked the USS Cole or executed missonary workers in Yemen. Wake up. You talk about the true Islamic people rising up to fight the "Crusaders". You should have been fighting Saddam years ago. What has Bin Laden brought you? He brings you the satisfaction of killing Westerners. Is that truely what you desire? Does Bin Laden feed the hungry? Does he educate the poor.Like it or not, Bin Laden has brought this war upon you. Even if Bush is not jusified in this, and I do not think that he is, Bin Laden gave Bush the perfect opportunity. When will the Muslim community police itself? At least here in the US we can protest without the fear of being killed along with our families. I promise you Bush will not get reelected. Try that in your own countries.

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SHARIF HASSAN FROM USA said:
I just wanted to thank Mr Qamruzzaman Khan for such a well-thought-out comment. We need more people - Muslims or not - like you.
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SOFIA FROM USA said:
Mr. Nick Robertson ignores one fundamental, vital difference and it is this: During the war for Constantinople, the Muslims had the smart weapons in an age when warfare against other nations was the norm. Now in the war against Iraq and the Muslim world, it is a secular, capitalistic, power-hungry democratic-pandering west that has the smart bombs--minus moral values, religious restraints and civilized behavior. Ah! The consequences of an immoral, unethical war against Iraq and the Arab world couldn't possibly lead to a better civilization or a juster world! On the contrary!
Mr. Robertson, I've just taken your Oh-so-rational thought process one step further. Wallow in it now!
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ADELAIDA LANZO FROM USA said:
Is Mr Robertson willing to apply the same logic to Osama and USA? Is he ready to say that 9/11 was a good thing? That this slaughter of innocent people are really good for USA? With a perverse logic like this, he should write historical-fiction, like science-fiction or.
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SHARIF HASSAN FROM USA said:
Bravo Nick Robertson! With such a fine-tuned logic of cause and effect, I wonder why he hasn't come up with a theory of how God created the cosmos. Or with the fertile imagination he used to write the article, why isn't he writing fiction, insted of doing journalism. The only thing he wrote that's true is that "Repression breeds anger". But then saying nothing about the Israeli repression of the Palestinians, he showed his true color.
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MAT FROM MALAYSIA said:
how can iraq become a center of islamic civilization if they were "shock and awe" to the stoneage, ..!?
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MUSLIM WOMAN FROM GUYANA said:
Allah Knows Best! But to compare the Army of Muslims with the Army of America is ignorant and childisd reasoning.The Muslim leaders at that time brought peace and Justice to the Byzanti people while America is on a quest for world dominance while the consequences is just mere 'Collateral Damages'.America is NOT for Justice and peace but more FOR Brutal Rule and Opperssion.You want examples check out who funds the dictators of our World including Saddam Hussian and all the tyrannical leader of the Arab world. What we NEED is our Peace of mind to submit to the will of GOD. DO u know what that is?
ITS I S L A M!!
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BASHARATH KHAN FROM CANADA said:
This is a joke ... this article compares to unlike things ... let me use a simple analogy; u can't compare water and oil ... if for example water can put out a fire ... oil on the other hand will ignite it ... this is the same thing ... what happened in the 1500's was good ... it played the role of water; it put out the fire ... ,but what is about to happen to Iraq ... will play the role of oil; it will surely ignite a fire ... !!!
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ESTHER8 FROM USA said:
Maybe Europe benifited from the Romans and Muslims invading their land. I understand the aurgument. However it was wrong for them to invade Europe. We should make sure we are not taken over by Osama bin Laden and others.
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REZA FROM USA said:
This article is a prime example to manipulate history and create illegitimate intellectual bias for war. Off course, no historian worth his salt will consider fall of Constantinople as the only reason, or even a prime reason for start of Renaissance. Gross miss-representation of history, to a degree it shows complete lack of knowledge of history. Intellectual elite of Europe, and from Constantinople were quite familiar with the effects of their work on Europe and where published in Italy and other more 'liberal' European countries. Saying that there was a sudden surge to transfer of intellect is carrying it too far. A dishonest effort to justify for war.
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ABU said:
i cant belive the duluded thinking of this writer, this is a kufar thinking and took u out the fold of islam. u have to take shahada over again 4 these sick gross anti-islam remarks. u are brainwashed and using reverse phycology to justify the murder of millions of people killed to pasify the belivers. u are a sell out and paid by zionist govt to sway the people in they thinking ,also to accept the killing of innocent childrens 4 freedom and speech, and not 4 quran and sunna. u are a kaffer
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AMIN TAHER MOHAMMAD FROM UNITED STATES OF A said:
Nick,
You may be right in more ways than one. But the irony in here is that you are wrong in many more ways too. Liberation is a very bad choice if it is at a cost of so many lives, so many of those who have the same desire to breathe as we here have. The Constantinopoleans were killed in thousands and so were the Muslims. If Renaissance was a result of so many lives, as you wrongly came to this ill conclusion, then the world would have been a far better place without it. If you build a beautiful monument on somebody's dead body, then such a thing did better not be in this world of Allah, where the life of a human being ( and also other creations of Allah ) is of more importance than anything else. If the Middle-East is being promised a Renaissance of sorts after so many Iraqi Brothers ans Sisters are deprived their very Divine Right to live, then the Middle_East would better be as such until something peaceful dawns some holy day to change them, if at all they need a change. And speaking on a change, let me use the same logic for killing, as this young writer has put forth in this article, on the American population as a whole. The first and foremost change that must happen in this country is something that God Himself wants. This population is, although superficially free, very much in the ugly chains of everything that God has forbidden in The Holy Bible. The Trinity is now given a new meaning with the three new pillars being Sex, Money and The Former Trinity. The Religion of God is given lip service on all matters in which this population fears to go back to. They are no more in God's definition of Human Beings.And this Most-of_Them have to be liberated from their self_dug pit of human disgrace and dishonor. And this thing is something to be accomplished before you build anything over it. And I know that nobody would accept this fruitful change until they are forced to. And if they reject, they must be taken to War and forced to change for Good. May God Help
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AMIN FROM CANADA said:
Are you kidding!!! Do you really think the slaughter of innocent Iraqis will liberate Iraq and be beneficial in some way. I know Sadaam has done bad things in the past and the only way to ease the suffering of innocent people further to see a change is by lifting sanctions. You can't compare American slaughter to the battle you are talking about. I don't understand why Islamicity is PROMOTING WAR in which innocent Muslim people are going to die. I don't think this is appropriate article and should not be on this web site.

Just Say NO to war on Iraq.
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HUDA FROM USA said:
The new Iraq will be 1/2 of the size of what IRAQ is today. It will be sliced with territorial ignorance so that the super powers can suck more blood & oil by manipulating smaller states like the way it is done using Kuwait & Qatar today.

You Arabs will be under the western devide and conqur rule again.

You will see more cry baby states like Kwait, Qatar & UAE. And of course there will be UN resolution to suck your resources for ever.

And Iraq will be 12th large oil producing country not 2nd.

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MOHAMMED YASEEN FROM U.K. said:
What a load of nonsense! This article tries to justify that killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis is going to be good for them. If you want real change in the middle east then elect somebody in America and the rest of the west who will stop supporting dictators around the world for their own material benefit. Crusaders never change. The barbarism of the medievel crudaders and modern ones only sees potential benefit in war.
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MEBROCKY FROM USA said:
Simo, you are right, there are many Americans who believe what the government says; but there are millions who have no delusions about our politicians. We have a long tradition of questioning our leaders. Sometimes I think for sure that the question is all about oil, other times I am not sure. The Iraqi's have suffered enough under Saddam, and a war would only increase their suffering - at least short term. Ultimately if Saddam is gone, things could be better(this is of course very optimistic). The whole "Israel wants to rule the Middle East", is not practical, right or even feasible. The world would never allow it, and most American Jewish Organizations are in favor of a proper settlement with the Palestinians. They are not stupid, any more than you or I; they can't even protect what they have, let alone a bigger land. You are right to say that Americans are not in favor of Islamic fundamentalism. Let's be honest, neither are any of the Arab states. 20 years ago in Syria the town of Hama and its people were erased, because the Assad government believed it was a base for fundamentalists. In Iran, a poll was taken asking the younger people if they wanted to improve ties with America, over 60% of the people said yes. I don't think they did any more polls after that. The point being that if you want to progress as a people and a country, you have to have good relations with the rest of the world, including Europe and America. It does'nt mean you have to give up your morals or religion. Millions of people here are decent people of faith who give millions of dollars and thousands of hours to help other people. Our government supporting dictatorial regimes is well known, especially during the Soviet era when any ally was a good ally. It is not anything most people here are proud of. Right now we would have almost no allies in the Middle East if we didn't support bad leaders. Other than nuking Israel, you have any ideas how to change this?
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JOHN NORMAN FROM UK said:
It would be nice to think that it might open the muslim world to modernity and tolerance. I personally think it is going to be along time coming. In order for it to happen, muslims would have to look at themselves, cease being narcissitic and self-pitying. And then they would have to apologise for their imperialism and colonialism. They would have to look at the Quran and stop using it as a justification for trying to impose Islam on the whole world. Then, only then, will they be able to talk to their Christian, Jewish, animist, atheist neghbours and consider the possibility if building a world of peace and acceptance of the other.
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MEBROCKY FROM USA said:
Solomon - I don't think you are wrong or naive. I am a Christian who is studying Islam at the moment. I do beleive that a good outcome is possible, but only if Christians, Jews and Muslims stand together to make sure the people of Iraq are indeed freed, and the people of Palestine are given a proper homeland as well. The great benefit of living in the US is that even if our politicians lie, we find out one way or another, and we can influence them to do the right thing with our votes, demonstrations, and contributions to organizations who support a just world. It isn't easy, but it is possible in a democracy. It may take awhile, but we can get there. Of course there are people who only see oil, or who want Israel to push out the Palestinians, but they are NOT the majority. Islamic civilization was once a great beacon of light for the world during the Dark Ages, and even more so after the fall of Constantinople. Can you imagine what a great contribution could be made if young people all over the Middle East could go to school without being worried if they will get home? Terrific article - even more so when I saw that it was written by such a young man. War is NEVER the best way, it costs far too much in lives and resources. Unfortunately, sometimes it is the only way.
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SIMO LHSAINI FROM CANADA said:
Salam dear brothers and sisters,

Your way of thinking gives me a glimpse of hope although I dont believe that the makers of America's foreign policy think along the same lines as yours. They unfortunately dont and I know well from facts that your governments double standard policies in the middle East and the Gulf region has many goals: On the one hand it wants to insure the security of Israel, making it the sole superpower in the region and enlarge its size on the expense of its Arab neighbors territory. Thus, making the dream of the great Israel come true. The great Israel spans from Egypt, the land of Moses to Iraq, the land of Ibraham. This may be done the same way America expanded its territories on the expense of Northern Mexico. On the other hand, your governments intends to maintain its support of Israel in its historical project that is the indianisation of the Palestinians. To also kill the dream of a stateless nation of building a nation state in their homeland. Not to forget the US economic interests in the Middle East and the Gulf region. To add water to mud, the Ottomans failed to invade Western Europe thru the siege of Vienna and were defeated in Eastern Morocco at the hand of the Moroccan King Mulay Ismael. This shattered their dream of finding a western route to invade western Europe through the Iberian Peninsula. In other words, the Ottomans failed in their attempts to control the world's economy by controling the new routes namely the Atlantic Ocean's that led to the discovery of America. I am hopeful that you will grow to learn that your government is a stumbling block to democracy in the Muslim World simply because allowing democratic rules in most muslim country if not all... will lead to the rise of islamic fundamentalist governments. Your government's number 1 ennemy. Therefore the white house still supports different dictatorial regimes in all muslim countries to remain subserviant to it and to weaken the forces of Islam.

Simo
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SOLOMON WEISKOP said:
In the ongoing debate over the impending war in Iraq, it seems to me that far too little attention is being paid to the potential good that may result for the Arab/Islamic Middle East. Should the Iraqi people embrace the opportunity for freedom and democracy that such a war may provide, I think that Iraq can become a beacon of freedom, moderation, and positive change throughout the Middle East. Other people will see the developing freedom and prosperity of the Iraqis and will want the same for themselves. Why can't this be the spark behind a rebirth of Islamic civilization? Why can't this lead, in the Islamic world, to a final rejection of the utter disaster brought upon it by dictatorships, terrorism, and religious fanaticism? Why can't this, instead become a turning point towards democracy moderation and prosperity?
It seems to me that the ones who most stand to lose from Saddam's overthrow are his fellow Middle East despots. The ones who most stand to gain are the ordinary people. Am I wrong? Am I naive? I am a Jew, not a Muslim. So I would welcome reaction from Muslims to my comments.
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DEREK ADAMS FROM WILSONVILLE, OR said:
Thats a good article that was written but a few things. The people that are going over there to fight arent going in with the intenton of freeing people to enlighten themselves and the riches beneath their feet will not be theirs to dispose of. They will be just as oppressed as their last government trying to rebuild after thousands of bombs within a period of two days wreak havoc on an infrastructure already detroyed to the point where 1.5 million people, including the 500 thousand children that have already starved to death. That isnt what I call enlightenment. Now will these people be free afterwards. Look at Afghanistan. The US went in and spent billions rebuilding after destroying what wasnt already destroyed, now theyfound out there wasnt as much oil in the Caspain as they thought now they need another route.....all 112 billion barrels underneath Iraqi soil and with our American hands controlingthe spigot to the rest of the world we dictate oil prices therefore the global economy in which it runs, and also maintaining the dominance of the Dollar over the euro as the main currency in the world. Plus you also have to keep in mind that neoconservative Zionists and apocolyptical right wing Christians in power playing in to Israeli hands, swaying the largest voting lobby (the jewish one) for the next term. Also dont forget to mention that our president, vice and many others were all oil execs before they started running our country without us. So no, i dont think anyone will be enlightened. they wil be shocked and awed...think 9-11 three thousand times over in two days. But no matter how much blood spilled or how much worse it gets its all in one due course and this is already said it would occur. The united states has pledged their targets after Iraq, all of them arab states of dictatorship when the united states paid to keep them their in the first place. There will be blood on the doorstep of every arab...its all prophecised....the love of thislife
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MOJO FROM UK said:
The motive for war is not human rights and freedom. Its for oil.
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HAMID FROM SINGAPORE said:
Whilst your arguement may hold some optimism,contrary, the ottomans were not after oil which now has become the central focus of contention.Unable to deliver OBL,the focus shifted squarely on Sadam to divert the attention of the general populace of the failure.Let the change be fair and justified decided by the masses not by some distant cowboy.

Cheers!
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QAMRUZZAMAN KHAN FROM CANADA said:
The fight for Constantinople was not a fight between Islam and Christianity. It was a fight between two empires for power and rivalry. Neither the Turks represented Islam nor the byzantines represents Christianity. Jesus never preached Christianity but Islam.The present Christianity of Trinity was born in Nicea in 325 AD by the Roman Emperor Constantine who also founded the City of Constantinople. Jesus was one of the four Messengers of Islam who recieved books from Almighty God(David, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad). His most impostant commandment was that our Lord the God is ONE i.e., La Ilaha Il-Allah.In many aayah of Quraan, God has told mankind that same Islam was ordained upon all the Messengers of God and it was completed through Muhammad. Today, there is little difference between most of the so called Muslims or Christians as neither follow the message of God but seek after their earthly desires.The attack of Iraq by US and Britain,planned and organised by the Jews of US and Israil, is only for greed and arrogance of the powerful nations over the oppressed. Surely, this will bring change in the Middle East as a naw generation of real Muslims will rise against the aggressors who will have honour, dignity and faith in Allah instead of taking US and Israil as their protector, and that is the plan of Allah Who is the Greatest of all planners.
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