As if the Sea should part: اْسِ    
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picture18 Sep 2006 @ 04:30, by Tom Bombadil

"Almost all the Alternative History computer simulations suggest that the Battle of Tours (AD 732) was one of the crucial disasters of mankind. Had Charles Martel been defeated, Islam might have resolved the internal differences that were tearing it apart and gone on to conquer Europe. Thus centuries of Christian barbarism would have been avoided, the Industrial Revolution would have started almost a thousand years earlier, and by now we would have reached the nearer stars instead of merely the further planets."
---Arthur C. Clarke, “The Fountains of Paradise”

The Fountains of Paradise won the 1979 Nebula Award and the 1980 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Although a Humanistic-Agnostic, Arthur C. Clarke showed some degree of reverence for Islam. The following excerpt is from an interview with Free Inquiry magazine (Volume 19, Number 2):

FI: Do you see any value at all in the various religions?

Clarke: Though I sometimes call myself a crypto-Buddhist, Buddhism is not a religion. Of those around at the moment, Islam is the only one that has any appeal to me. But, of course, Islam has been tainted by other influences. The Muslims are behaving like Christians, I'm afraid.

FI: What appeals to you in Islam?

Clarke: Historically, Islam had a great deal of tolerance for other views and offered the world its priceless wisdom in the form of astronomy and algebra. And, as you know, Islam helped rescue Western civilization from the Dark Ages by preserving classical texts and transmitting them to the West. We, on the other hand, burned the library at Alexandria. If Islam hadn't fallen into internecine warfare and had gone on to conquer the rest of Europe, we'd have avoided a thousand years of Christian barbarism.

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1 comment

19 Sep 2006 @ 22:04 by i2i : cute


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