A few days ago, I was plundering the archives of Gates of Vienna and came across this:
The impact of Islam was devastating for all of Christendom, both East and West. It was the event that terminated Classical civilization. The destruction of Classical culture in Europe was due to largely, though not completely, to the economic blockade of the Mediterranean by Muslim piracy. Yet the termination of that culture in regions such as Egypt and Syria (formally great centers of Classical and Hellenistic civilization) which came under the control of Islam, was produced by the new faith’s utter contempt for the cultures and histories of the peoples it came to dominate. Right from the start, the Caliphal government in Egypt established a commission whose purpose was to seek out pharaohnic age tombs, for plundering. So complete was the destruction that, perhaps little more than a century after the Islamic Conquest, no one in Egypt had any idea who built the Great Pyramid – this in spite of the fact that very substantial histories of this monument and the pharaoh who erected it were contained in the works of many Classical authors, most notably Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus. Immediately prior to the Muslim invasion the libraries and academies of Egypt, Syria, and Babylonia, were packed with the works of these authors. Their disappearance and the disappearance of the knowledge they contained can only mean, as Christian polemicists argued for centuries, that the Muslims had deliberately destroyed a great quantity of Classical literature.
In the West of Europe and in the East, in North Africa and the Middle East, Classical civilization came to an end in the mid-seventh century; and the reason for its demise can be summed up in one word: Islam.
This had me thinking that now, we aren’t dependent on Egyptian papyrus for affordable paper, so Islam might find it somewhat harder to wipe out knowledge this time around. Aside from the ready availability of paper all around us, there’s also the Internet, crammed with the great works of past and present, bursting at the seams with information. And they can’t just set fire to it. No, they can’t destroy it unless they do one of those things like the villain in Goldeneye wanted to do, or like Snake Plissken did at the end of Escape From L.A.
Our Flemish correspondent VH has translated a series of reports from the Dutch media about the frightening possibility that Iran will use nuclear weapons to create a catastrophic electromagnetic pulse (EMP) over the coast of Europe as well as over the United States.
I’m starting to think survivalists might not be so crazy after all.