Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Thursday, June 03, 2010

I Vote for Vienna

At the Greenroom, there's a discussion about the implications of a mosque planned to open near the World Trade Center site and named after the Muslim victory at Cordoba:

A mosque at Ground Zero is something intelligent people can dispute honestly and in good faith. But honesty is essential, and it would be dishonest to dismiss the implications of proposing to name it Cordoba House. Let’s propose naming it instead Tours House, after the Battle of Tours and the defeat of the Umayyad Muslim forces there in 732; or Lepanto House, after the naval battle in the Eastern Mediterranean in 1571, in which the Western forces broke the maritime power of the Ottoman Empire; or Vienna House, after the battle of 1683 in which the Western armies broke the siege of Vienna by the Ottoman invaders.

I vote against the name Tours House, for the name Vienna House, and will stay neutral about Lepanto House. All three decisions are for the same reason: In a fight between civilization and barbarism, I side with civilization.

In 732, Western Civilization didn't exist yet. Europe was mainly the junk left over from the collapse of the Roman Empire. What Christian civilization there was was represented by the East Roman Empire, which was mainly noted for alienating its subjects in Syria and Egypt. (The Muslim armies conquered so readily because local peasantry had no reason to resist.)

Leftists convinced that neo-conservatives are a bunch of Islam-hating chauvinists will ignore the above paragraph.

By 1510, Western civilization was a going concern. It was not yet clear if it was any better than Islam. By 1683, it was a definite improvement on Islam (which was starting to decay). By 1683, parts of Western Civilization were starting to go beyond the rule of armed bullies (earlier comments here). Islam is mostly still stuck there.


Blogger Aaron said...

I'm pretty partial to Tours myself. True, Western Civilization as such didn't exist, but the battle of Tours was the turning point in the remnants of the Western Empire, as well as the first defeat, even if in just a small engagement, suffered by the Saracens in Europe.

Also, you got to love a Majordomo earning the moniker 'the Hammer.'

2:22 PM  

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