September 2, 2014

The Last Empire

The Arab Empire Arabs are not indigenous to most of the land they control.

Nothing angers an Islamist like an infidel occupying Muslim land. The political Left has a taboo along the same lines; no memory is reviled like those of the old empires…..

In some ways, the anti-imperialists are right — historically, empires have been a hit-or-miss proposition. The British Empire built roads and schools, the Roman Empire built roads and baths and murdered a great many people, the Mongol Empire murdered a great many people and built a pyramid using 90,000 of their heads.  But whether or not empires deserve the hatred that has been heaped on them since World War II, they’re mostly a thing of the past. The Mongols rule only Mongolia, the Romans have melted into a nation of well-dressed womanizers, and the sun sets on Britain every day. With the Soviet Union gone for 20 years now, there’s really just one great empire left: the Arab Empire.

When people think of indigenous peoples of the Middle East, they think of Arabs — but in the grand scheme, the Arabs are new to most of the territory they control. Striking out from the Arabian Peninsula around 600 a.d. with their new Muslim message, they conquered, converted, and murdered their way into ethnic dominance from Iraq to Morocco. Today’s Egyptians are not descendants of the Egyptians who built the pyramids — though the bitterly oppressed Copts might be. Moab and the Moabites have disappeared, the Lebanese of antiquity were Phoenician, the Philistines were not Palestinian. In fact, only one nation west of Persia weathered the storm of Arab expansion and reestablished self-governance: the Judeans.
Posted by Jill Fallon at September 2, 2014 2:18 PM | Permalink