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Topic: The Fall of the Alexandrian Library
Replies: 10   Last Post: Mar 5, 2001 2:30 PM

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pat ballew

Posts: 334
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: The Fall of the Alexandrian Library
Posted: Mar 2, 2001 11:26 PM
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Omar,
Well said. The religious and nationalistic pride that is the glue that
holds people together is also the first tool of the leaders who seek to
incite the people to achieve their own personal goals.. and good people do
bad things under such an influence.

Pat Ballew,
Misawa, Jp

"Statistics means never having to say you're certain."


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-----Original Message-----
From: Omar Rumi [mailto://sesame@mcn.org]
Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2001 12:54 PM
To: MATH-HISTORY-LIST@ENTERPRISE.MAA.ORG
Subject: Re: The Fall of the Alexandrian Library


Re: Book burning etc. by muslims ...

[1] There is a typo ... the paragraph should read.

"I am not aware of any book burnings by Muslims, who are directed
by faith to venerate knowledge and truth from whatever source it
may come. While the Qur'an is carefully preserved in its original
form, other books are NOT considered to be a threat."

[2] The destruction of statues and other depictions is an unfortunate
misinterpretation of Islam by the Taliban. The Islamic prohibition
against physical representations of Allah are simply a means of
making concrete the obvious conclusion that Allah cannot be imagined
in the human mind. Any attempt to do so will fail in credibility,
because the mind which constructs the image will rebel against its
synthesity.

[3] Islam is a religion of compassion and brotherhood. The unspeakable
acts of cruelty, such as the dismemberment of limbs, practiced by
people who identify themselves as Muslims, is a sad commentary on
the beautiful and emotionally satisfying way of life described by
Muhammad.

[4] The acts of the Taliban are widely condemned by Muslims, just as
the acts of misguided men are condemned in other cultures. War
is a way of life in Afganistan today, and war always brings out
the worst in us. We should be cautious in faulting the religious
and philosophical tenets of the culture for inhumane and unreasonable
acts of men who are at war.

[5] 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.

[6] For modern countries where Islam is the predominant faith,
there is a general failure to demonstrate a satisfactory
balance of power. The human rights record is abominable.
Whether this is a fundamental flaw in Islam is a good subject
for debate. Religions attempt to provide a guide for good human
conduct. Is there today a truly democratic method of government
that is satisfactory, or is this an ideal that still eludes mankind?
Perhaps the Swiss have something. In this nuclear age the question
takes on special interest. If the deteriorating environment will
support prolonged debate.


Thanks for your posting, Antreas.

Omar Rumi





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