I am actually not sure why Antreas initiated this correspondence. The destruction of the statues in Afghanistan is surely a sad episode in the history of culture, but I do not think that it has any relevance to the history of mathematics. However, since some factual claims were made, I felt the need to react to them. Omar Rumi made it very clear, if such assurance was needed, that the acts of some Muslims do not necessarily reflect on, or follow from, the nature of Islam. But his historical facts are not always accurate.
On Fri, 2 Mar 2001, Omar Rumi wrote: .... >  Statues and other sacred items of the various religions are not > anathema to Islam. Islam is very tolerant of other religions, > and has always allowed Jews and Christians to preactice their > faith without interference. This is still true after the period > of the Crusades and the unfortunate territorial disputes of > the Middle East. > ....
There were many cases in which Jews living under Muslim rule were persecuted. It is true that these persecutions never reached the terrible dimensions of the Holocaust, but that does not mean that they did not happen. The erroneous claim that Jews were always living happily under Muslim rule is so often made, and, I think, widely believed, that, as I said, I felt it necessary to correct it. Moreover, even when Jews (and Christians, etc...) were allowed to live peacefully, and even prosper, they were always considered second class citizens, having more obligations and fewer rights than Muslims. I believe that this attitude towards the "non-believers" is part of the teachings of Islam, but I may be wrong about that.
Happy Id-al-Hadha, Omar Rumi
> Thanks for your posting, Antreas. > > Omar Rumi >