It takes a nation to protect the nation
The destruction of libraries by Islamic armies is particularly offensive to secularists, who value all knowledge, and value the spirit of free enquiry which allows mankind to progress in the arts, sciences and philosophy. For more on this subject, see Books on Fire: The Destruction of Libraries throughout History by Lucien X. Polastron
The following event is being checked:
642 AD Burning of the Great Library of Alexandria. Several historians told varying accounts of a Muslim army led by Amr ibn al 'Aas sacking the city in 642 after the Byzantine army was defeated at the Battle of Heliopolis, and that the commander asked the caliph Umar what to do with the library. He gave the famous answer: "They will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous." The Arabs subsequently burned the books to heat bathwater for the soldiers. It was also said that the Library's collection was still substantial enough at this late date to provide six months' worth of fuel for the baths.
651AD According to an account in Al-Tabari, the Arab Commander Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas wrote to Caliph `Umar ibn al-Khatta-b about what should be done with the books of the Royal Library at the Persian capital of Ctesiphon in the province of Khvârvarân (today known as Iraq). Umar wrote back: "If the books contradict the Qur'an, they are blasphemous. On the other hand, if they are in agreement, they are not needed." All the books were thrown into the Euphrates.
1140AD Following the sack of the Italian city of Otranto in July, 70 ships of the Muslim fleet attacked Vieste. On September 12 the Monastero di San Nicholas di Casole, which housed one of the richest libraries of Europe, was destroyed.
1193AD The Nalanda University complex in India, including its nine-storey library, was sacked by Turkic Muslim invaders under Bakhtiyar Khilji; this event is seen as a milestone in the decline of Buddhism in India. It is said that Khilji asked if there was a copy of the Koran at Nalanda before he put the library to the torch. Full details here:
12thC Saladin breaks up the Fatimid caliphate's collection of heretical Isma'ili texts in Cairo following his restoration of Sunnism to Egypt.
1480 On July 28 an Ottoman fleet of between 70 and 200 ships arrived near the Neapolitan/Aragonese city of Otranto, in what is now the region Apulia, Italy. Possibly these troops came from siege of Rhodes. On July 29 the garrison and the citizens retreated to the citadel, the Castle of Otranto. The citadel had no cannons. On 11 August the citadel walls were breached by cannons. The garrison was killed.
A razzia was held to round up the male citizens. Archbishop Stefano Agricoli and others were killed in the cathedral. Bishop Stephen Pendinelli and the garrison commander, count Francesco Largo, were sawn in two alive. On August 12 800 citizens who refused to convert to Islam were taken to the Hill of the Minerva, today called Hill of the Martyrdoms, and beheaded. The cathedral was used as a stable. Some citizens were transported to Albania as slaves.
In August 70 ships of the fleet attacked Vieste. On September 12 the Monastero di San Nicholas di Casole, which accommodated one of the richer libraries of Europe, was destroyed. In October 1480 Lecce, Taranto and Brindisi were attacked.
Reply by Shiva on July 22, 2010
Comment by Albert on March 14, 2011 at 22:36
Let us try to get to the bottom of this. We think that Isya Joseph did a thorough investigation of Bar Hebraeus and his role in the narrations about the Alexandria Library destruction by Amr Ibn Al-As on the command of Omar. His research was published in 1911 in The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literature (Volume 27). Here is a link to his research.
The reader is advised to read pages 335-8. According to Isya Joseph, Bar Hebraeus says that Yahya, a Coptic philosopher, petitioned Amr Ibn Al-As to restore the royal library (Alexandria Library). Amr referred the matter to Omar. Omar ordered him to destroy the library on grounds that if what is in the library agrees with the contents of the Qur’an, then it is redundant. And, if the contents of the library do not agree with the Qur’an, then such contents are heretic.
In either case, the destruction of the library was necessary as Omar viewed it. Those of us who studied the personality of Khalif Omar “Al-Farooq” are not surprised at all by the story above. It fits Omar’s personality to expect such a reaction from him.
In any case, let us go back to Isya Joseph’s research. According to him, Bar Hebraeus’ writings date back to 1663. He is considered an authoritative source. However, modern scholars, Bernard Lewis being one of them, discredited his writings as a Christian effort to scandalize Islam and Muslims.
The assumption behind this is that no Muslim mentioned about Omar’s destruction of the Alexandria Library before Hebraeus. This latter assumption is actually mistaken. There are at least two independent sources that validate Hebraeus’s story. First, Abd-Al-Latif of Baghdad visited Egypt in the latter part of the sixth century AH (Islamic Calendar). He mentions that a library, which was in Alexandria, was burned by Umru ibn al-As in compliance to Omar’s orders. Second, Jamal Ad-din Al-Kufti, who was born in Kuft in upper Egypt in 565 AH, and died in 646, informs us that the library was burned by Umru Ibn Al-As (p. 335 in above link).
As big a name as Bernard Lewis is, he got it wrong this time. There is strong evidence to the contrary. It seems more likely than not that, in fact Omar – the second Khalif of Islam – bears the final responsibility of the destruction of Alexandria library, when Muslims invaded and took over Egypt.
Comment by Kinana on March 14, 2011 at 23:56
greats minds read the same blogs! i was thinking of publishing the article in full but then got distracted by a TV prog.
the link for the full article is here
Did Omar order the burning of Alexandria Library?
Firman Illahi and Ibn Kammuna
In this article, we investigate the claim that Omar, the second Muslim Khalif who ruled the Islamic state after Abu Bakr, did in fact order the destruction/burning of the Alexandria library when the Muslims invaded and took over Egypt.
There are researchers of history who try to clear Omar’s name from this incident. There are others who claim that Omar did indeed perpetrate this atrocity. Who is correct? Can we arrive at an answer? This is the goal of this paper.
Caliph Omar burns the library at Alexandria
The above video pins the blame on Julius Caesar in 48BC - 660 years before Amr Ibn al Aas was there! It's hard to make sense of it all.
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Never mind the closure of libraries in Britain. They contain very little that is truthful and critical of islam. For example, when I bought my copy of Segal's book Islam's Black Slaves (2002) last year, I bought it 2nd hand in hardback from Amazon. Imagine my astonishment when I discovered it was a book that had been "removed from circulation" from a London library. Meanwhile, multiple hardback copies of The Reliance of the Traveller are to be found in Tower Hamlets libraries: http://www.londonlibraries.gov.uk/ideastore-towerhamlets/02_Catalog...
Clearly the dhimmi library staff are eagerly purchasing 1300 pp medieval books of sharia law, whilst removing much shorter and more informative books that would shed a whole new light on the public's understanding of islam.
An interesting pattern can be found in university libraries. During the "revolution" in Egypt earlier this year I decided to visit a world-renowned university library, and look at the books on the Muslim Brotherhood. I found about 8 books in the cataglogue. Imagine my astonishment that not only were none of the books checked-out, but must of them had barely been outside the library in the past decade.
The situation in our libraries and universities is woeful. Let us be thankful for Amazon, and the explosion in the last decade of authoritative books against islam. Buy these books. I've been informed that the sales of such books are exceedingly small. We all owe it to the future to make sure we have a personal library of at least 20 of these books. Here's 10 important (non-muslim) books, off the top of my head. Most people I've met in the counter-jihad movement have not read these books.
Bawer, While Europe Slept
Fregosi, Jihad in the West
Khan, Islamic Jihad
Segal, Islam's Black Slaves
Meir-Levi, History Upside Down - the Roots of Palestinian Fascism and the Myth of Israeli Agression
Spencer (ed),The Myth of Islamic Tolerance - How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims
Bostom (ed), The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims
Azumah, The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa
Milton, White Gold
The books edited by Spencer and Bostom are an incredible collection of documents. I doubt if any of these books are to be found in most public libraries. Many are not even to be found in university libraries (you can see that for yourself by searching the University of London Senate House library catalogue:http://catalogue.ulrls.lon.ac.uk/search~S1/ ) It's depressing to think that people like Fregosi went to the trouble of writing such books, yet they are not stocked in libraries, despite them being incredibly thorough and published at great personal risk (Fregosi and his publisher went ahead with publication, despite death threats from The Religion of Peace).
Perhaps it is an idea for 4F to have a list of recommended books, linked from the front page. It easily gives visitors an awareness that there are intellectuals who are publicly committed to resisting the jihad, even if the media give their works next to no coverage.