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« on: June 15, 2008, 01:23:51 AM »

In coming to Orthodoxy, I've noticed something rather interesting: a very negative attitude towards Islam, as though Islam were the religion of the Devil.  When Catholic, I didn't notice this attitude as much. 

Is Islam as bad as many Orthodox make it out to be?  Or, are Orthodox over-reacting to Islam as a real threat? 

Thanks for your views.   
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2008, 01:28:49 AM »

In coming to Orthodoxy, I've noticed something rather interesting: a very negative attitude towards Islam, as though Islam were the religion of the Devil.  When Catholic, I didn't notice this attitude as much. 

Is Islam as bad as many Orthodox make it out to be?  Or, are Orthodox over-reacting to Islam as a real threat? 

No idea. It could have something to do with the history of the Turks and Constantinople.
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2008, 01:53:41 AM »

There are people on this site whose relatives were killed or otherwise mistreated by Muslims.  It can be a sensitive subject.  This article talks about persecutions just over the last century or so. 

http://www.serfes.org/orthodox/memoryof.htm
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2008, 03:01:12 AM »

Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians were all victims of genocides perpetrated by the Turkish Empire.
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2008, 03:13:34 AM »

Orthodoxy also seethes when Orthodox churches get desecrated by Muslims in Kosovo, and when innocent people are murdered by suicide bombers... Sad
Do any Orthodox countries make Muslims pay a special tax just because they're not Orthodox?
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2008, 03:15:49 AM »

Orthodoxy also seethes when Orthodox churches get desecrated by Muslims in Kosovo, and when innocent people are murdered by suicide bombers... Sad
Do any Orthodox countries make Muslims pay a special tax just because they're not Orthodox?

I assume your asking this (I could be wrong though) because Muslim countries under Sharia law do? This is only because the Koran commissions that people of the book are allowed to practice their religion but they  pay a different tax. Orthodox countries do not do this.
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2008, 08:16:49 AM »

Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians were all victims of genocides perpetrated by the Turkish Empire.
Very, very true...and this is not ancient history (as the Serbs and Orthodox Albanians can attest today).
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2008, 04:07:34 PM »

Better The Sultan's Turban Than The Tiara  Miter Of Rome Anyday...SmileyCentral.com" border="0For five hundred years ottoman turk's ruled the balkans if they truly wanted to wipe out  orthodox christianity they could of if they wanted too...
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2008, 04:38:01 PM »

Better The Sultan's Turban Than The Tiara  Miter Of Rome Anyday...SmileyCentral.com" border="0For five hundred years ottoman turk's ruled the balkans if they truly wanted to wipe out  orthodox christianity they could of if they wanted too...
Largely true for the first 400 years under the Sultan, but the last 90 years under the "modern" Turkish republic has seen Christians in Anatolia (any Christians) virtually wiped out.
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2008, 06:37:25 PM »

In coming to Orthodoxy, I've noticed something rather interesting: a very negative attitude towards Islam, as though Islam were the religion of the Devil.  When Catholic, I didn't notice this attitude as much. 

Is Islam as bad as many Orthodox make it out to be?  Or, are Orthodox over-reacting to Islam as a real threat? 

Rip, just wake from your sleep? How long before September 10, 2001 have you been snoozing?
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2008, 09:52:41 PM »

Rip, just wake from your sleep? How long before September 10, 2001 have you been snoozing?

I basically was asking why anti-Islam is much more prominent (in my experience) at Orthodox churches than at Catholic churches.  I have ideas, but I'm wondering what others think.

Concerning the September 11 attacks, it seems that many people believe this the work of the fundamentalist terroristic strand of  Islam, and not mainstream Islam.  But then there are other people who believe that Islam is a religion of violence no matter how much one tries to argue otherwise, and that Islam itself is behind the September 11 attacks. 

In short, I'm hearing at least two sides about Islam: 1) Islam is a religion of peace, and there is only a small (misguided) party that promotes violence against the West.  2) Islam is by nature a religion of violence and world conquest. 
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2008, 10:10:54 PM »

Concerning the September 11 attacks, it seems that many people believe this the work of the fundamentalist terroristic strand of  Islam, and not mainstream Islam.  But then there are other people who believe that Islam is a religion of violence no matter how much one tries to argue otherwise, and that Islam itself is behind the September 11 attacks.

The answer is geopolitical and beyond the scope of the Religious Topics forum.  Suffice to say that Interfaith Dialogues between Orthodox and Muslims exist, albeit on an Orthodox Church level.  Many Orthodox Churches remain stuck in their ethnic past and perpetuate all Muslims as blood thirsty infidels.  In reality, the last Century of the Ottoman Empire was so decadent (even according to Muslim standards) that the first thing Ataturk did when becoming leader of Modern Turkey was to abolish the caliphate (hence, abolishing the Ottoman Empire).
 
In short, I'm hearing at least two sides about Islam: 1) Islam is a religion of peace, and there is only a small (misguided) party that promotes violence against the West.  2) Islam is by nature a religion of violence and world conquest. 

Islam is unfortunately an old heresy repackaged into something different from Judaism and Christianity which allowed for its rapid growth from the 7th Century.  The Byzantines kept this attack at bay thanks to Greek fire while Charles Martel stopped the Muslims in 732 AD, leaving them confined to Spain where they lived with Christians and Jews in peace, for the most part.  The Catholic Inquisition wasn't nice to Muslim nor Jew alike.

As long as "Secret Schools" are taught in the Greek Orthodox Church Greek Schools, only intermarriage will erase the negativity held by some Orthodox towards Islam.
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2008, 11:20:07 PM »

I basically was asking why anti-Islam is much more prominent (in my experience) at Orthodox churches than at Catholic churches.

I don't think this is completely true.  Head to Europe and you will find anti-Islamic feelings in Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant Churches.  I think it is just that people from Orthodox nations tend to be ethnic groups that have come to North America more recently, so they have a more European outlook.  Head to a very ethnic Catholic parish and you will more than likely find the same thing/attitude, I know I have at certain Italian and Polish dominant parishes.
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2008, 11:56:16 PM »

I basically was asking why anti-Islam is much more prominent (in my experience) at Orthodox churches than at Catholic churches.  I have ideas, but I'm wondering what others think.

I must say that I have had quite a different experience, (though I have little experience of Catholic parishes). I have actually been surprised by the lack of anti-Islam feelings I have found in the Orthodox parishes I have attended; where it would be almost understandable considering the history of sometimes violent interaction. I have found much more anti-Islam feeling amongst my fundamentalist relatives, who, btw have never had any interaction with Muslims - violent or otherwise. Of course, I class them as Christian zionists, so I would expect nothing else that they would side with Israel and therefore see Islam as always the evil-doer. I  have found anti-Islam feelings amongst converts to Orthodoxy who have come from that kind of evangelical background. I've never seen it encouraged, though.
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« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2008, 12:08:54 AM »

Largely true for the first 400 years under the Sultan, but the last 90 years under the "modern" Turkish republic has seen Christians in Anatolia (any Christians) virtually wiped out.

The reason for this is due to the disastrous war Greece declared on Turkey in 1920, in its last effort to "reclaim" Constantinople. By then, as anyone who knows something of the history of the First World War would know, Turkey at the time had a well-trained, well-armed army and navy, and, the Greeks came off very badly for all sorts of reasons, which I need not bore everyone with. One of the conditions of the armistice of 1922 was the "exchange of populations" (these days, it would be called "ethnic cleansing": This meant anyone of Turkish origin living in Greece had to be sent back to Turkey, and anyone of Greek origin living in Turkey had to be sent back to Greece.

This forced "repatriation" did not take into account how long a person or family had lived in the respective country. Many on both sides had lived there for generations. For every Turk who was sent east, at least three Greeks were sent west. The social, political and cultural ramifications of this were still evident in Greece until at least the 1970s. One of the most famous (or infamous!) of these Greek refugees from Asia Minor was Aristotle Onassis. The great irony of this upheaval was that, even during Ottoman times, Greeks still were able to live their lives in Asia Minor, as they had done since ancient, pre-Christian times. The great tragedy of this Greco-Turkish war, which Greece initiated, was the uprooting of the Greek presence of so many centuries from Asia Minor.
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« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2008, 12:09:00 AM »

Largely true for the first 400 years under the Sultan, but the last 90 years under the "modern" Turkish republic has seen Christians in Anatolia (any Christians) virtually wiped out.

Brother if im wrong please correct me...didn't they throw a lot of greek orthodox faithful out of the country as well.. and were sent to greece or other places and greece did like wise , with it's turkish population..im also sure they killed many ,may their Memory Be Eternal....SmileyCentral.com" border="0 O O i didn't see the above post that answers it...
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« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2008, 09:59:28 AM »

The reason for this is due to the disastrous war Greece declared on Turkey in 1920, in its last effort to "reclaim" Constantinople. By then, as anyone who knows something of the history of the First World War would know, Turkey at the time had a well-trained, well-armed army and navy, and, the Greeks came off very badly for all sorts of reasons, which I need not bore everyone with....
Why not bore us? Greece was doing just fine in the second Balkan War until the "Great Powers", as usual, turned against the effort and insured failure.
Of what are you a professor?
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« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2008, 11:16:05 AM »

Excerpts from a commentary on an excellent article examining Islam in Europe:

"Europe is no longer Europe. It is a province of Islam, as Spain and Portugal were at the time of the Moors... People are afraid, and in waving the flag of pacifism -- synonymous with anti-Americanism -- they feel protected."

"The Arabic word "dhimmi" is translated "protected." And this is what Oriana Fallaci holds: European Christians, in their pro-Islamism, seek protection. Indeed, they live as if they already feel themselves to be "dhimmi."

Complete commentary here: http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles2/MagisterEurope.shtml

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« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2008, 11:27:47 AM »

The reason for this is due to the disastrous war Greece declared on Turkey in 1920, in its last effort to "reclaim" Constantinople. By then, as anyone who knows something of the history of the First World War would know, Turkey at the time had a well-trained, well-armed army and navy, and, the Greeks came off very badly for all sorts of reasons, which I need not bore everyone with. One of the conditions of the armistice of 1922 was the "exchange of populations" (these days, it would be called "ethnic cleansing": This meant anyone of Turkish origin living in Greece had to be sent back to Turkey, and anyone of Greek origin living in Turkey had to be sent back to Greece.

This forced "repatriation" did not take into account how long a person or family had lived in the respective country. Many on both sides had lived there for generations. For every Turk who was sent east, at least three Greeks were sent west. The social, political and cultural ramifications of this were still evident in Greece until at least the 1970s. One of the most famous (or infamous!) of these Greek refugees from Asia Minor was Aristotle Onassis. The great irony of this upheaval was that, even during Ottoman times, Greeks still were able to live their lives in Asia Minor, as they had done since ancient, pre-Christian times. The great tragedy of this Greco-Turkish war, which Greece initiated, was the uprooting of the Greek presence of so many centuries from Asia Minor.

Sounds like what happened with the Mulsims in India and the Hindus in Pakistan. 
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« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2008, 02:37:09 PM »

I don't see it. 

Look at the Antiochian church, which has essentially been surrounded since the birth of Islam.  When you compare the political stance taken by Orthodox Arabs vs. their Catholic/Maronite brothers, they are much more pro-Islamic. 

Similarly, Greece has been an outspoken supporter of the Palestinian cause, and let's not forget that the vast majority of them are Muslim.
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« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2008, 09:15:31 PM »

Why shouldn't Orthodoxy be against Islam? It's a corruption of Christianity and encourages not only un-Christ like values and actions, but it also leads people astray from God.

However, there is a vast difference between Muslims and Islam. Islam is not to be loved by anyone Christian in my opinion. However, we are to love ALL Muslims.

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« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2008, 09:54:48 PM »

I agree why hate muslim's some of my friend's are muslim from pakistan,, Macedonia .serbia ,bosnia,also some from croatia i don't hate them ....The thing i really don't like is the pope and the vatican the catholic people are great,,.i perfer muslim's to the pope or the vatican  anyday...SmileyCentral.com" border="0SmileyCentral.com" border="0SmileyCentral.com" border="0SmileyCentral.com" border="0SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2008, 10:20:16 PM »

The thing i really don't like is the pope and the vatican

Yeah, we know.
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« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2008, 11:23:06 PM »

The thing i really don't like is the pope and the vatican the catholic people are great,,.i perfer muslim's to the pope or the vatican  anyday...
How is your disdain for the Vatican, which we all know all too well, even relevant to how we understand our relationship with Islam and Muslims?
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« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2008, 11:52:39 PM »

I basically was asking why anti-Islam is much more prominent (in my experience) at Orthodox churches than at Catholic churches.  I have ideas, but I'm wondering what others think.

Concerning the September 11 attacks, it seems that many people believe this the work of the fundamentalist terroristic strand of  Islam, and not mainstream Islam.  But then there are other people who believe that Islam is a religion of violence no matter how much one tries to argue otherwise, and that Islam itself is behind the September 11 attacks. 

In short, I'm hearing at least two sides about Islam: 1) Islam is a religion of peace, and there is only a small (misguided) party that promotes violence against the West.  2) Islam is by nature a religion of violence and world conquest. 

I'll give you a hint: which Churches have the most experience with Islam?
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« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2008, 12:23:44 AM »

A serbian muslim Friend told me ,he liked the way we respected our clergy by kissing there hand i mentioned we look at them in a different light as successor to the apostles thats why we kiss there right hand in respect ..im not sure if he understood what i ment  ...i asked him don't you respect your hodjaz[ imams] he said no, not the way we respect our clergy..but he would like to see more respect for them though...SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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« Reply #26 on: June 18, 2008, 01:11:04 AM »

There is a book entitled, "New Martyrs of the Turkish Yoke," which is the Lives of the Saints who were matyred by the Ottoman Turks-Muslims-during the years they ruled parts of Eastern Europe, and probably before. Most of these Lives were written close ot the itmes of these martyrdoms, and gove quite a few details of the way the Turks martyred these Orthodox Christians who refused to abandon their Orthodox Faith and embrace the false religin of Islam. These Muslims killed many, many, many Orthodox Christians, and they used extremely gruesome and brutal methods to do so. This may have a lot to do with the "negtivity" held by Orthodox Christians towards Muslims. Also, many Orthodox Greeks were killed by the Muslim Turks in the Greek-Turkish War of the early 1920's-many people still alive in Greece had relatives killed. And, I believe, there have been Muslim terrorist attacks in Greece throughout the past several years. All this, added to the current climate of Muslim terrorism against Christians in general, I believe, wold explain the "negativism," as you call it.

Also, the oft heard cliche that "Islam is the Religion of Peace" is not exactly what I would call the truth...Islam was the religion of the sword par excellence at the time of its origins...North Africa wasn't converted to Islam by peaceable young men in bowties knocking on people's doors selling the "Islamic News!"
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« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2008, 04:16:44 AM »

Good points, A Sombra.
And those are not love notes being tossed periodically into the "Phanar compound" (compound?) by the Muslims, they're grenades.
Don't forget along with Kosovo, there is Cyprus to see modern, continuing expressions of Muslim 'peace'.
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« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2008, 08:51:57 PM »

I have heard stories from Greek friends of how the Ottomans would take the male Greek children and babies to be raised by the state as Janissaries who would return later to fight their own kin as young men. They would also take the most beautiful daughters to be placed in the Turkish harems. In order to stop the Ottomans from taking their children the Greek parents would maim them (cut off one of the hands of their toddler sons or disfigure their daughter's faces). I can see how this kind of trauma would be felt through the generations.

So whenever I hear folks out here talk about how Islam is the religion of peace I feel nauseated. I don't hate muslims but I do hate their religion.
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« Reply #29 on: June 18, 2008, 09:23:42 PM »

Yes, the devshirme (spelling?) tax--a tax payable in human male children.  What amazes me is how Turkish apologists try to justify it by saying the little boys who were ripped from their families were better off, because they had more opportunities than if they had stayed in their religious minority homes. Benign slavery.  Great.

Another way to prevent your young daughters from being taken and placed or sold into harems was to marry them off very young.  The Turks only wanted virgins and would take girls as young as ten or eleven to put in their harems and rape.  The result was that girls had to be married off very young, so that when the Turks came into the villages they wouldn't take them.

My mom remembers being told about this by her grandmother.  Her grandmother told her that when people would hear that the Turks were coming, the girls who were not married would cut their faces.  Her grandmother got out of there well before the Genocide and was able to take some possessions with her, including her wedding dress.  When I was twelve, I tried on my great grandmother's wedding dress and it was small for me.  I was a very small girl for that age. 

The scars from past abuse run very deep.  The Genocide and other atrocities of the 20th century were unspeakably horrible, but the centuries preceding that were not a piece of cake either.  The Armenians experienced  not only the Ottoman Empire, but also Stalin during the Soviet era.  Stalin was not kind to the Armenians.  Many were killed and I still find people from that time who don't want to talk about it.  Yet if you ask any Armenian what was worse, Stalin or the Turks, the answer will invariable be the Turks.

For those who think Islamic violence against Middle Eastern or Eastern European Christians is a thing of the past, click on the "Islam" tag below and read.  Try telling a Copt or a Serb that Islam is not that bad.
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« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2008, 11:11:10 PM »

Yes, the devshirme (spelling?) tax--a tax payable in human male children.  What amazes me is how Turkish apologists try to justify it by saying the little boys who were ripped from their families were better off, because they had more opportunities than if they had stayed in their religious minority homes. Benign slavery.  Great.

Another way to prevent your young daughters from being taken and placed or sold into harems was to marry them off very young.  The Turks only wanted virgins and would take girls as young as ten or eleven to put in their harems and rape.  The result was that girls had to be married off very young, so that when the Turks came into the villages they wouldn't take them.

My mom remembers being told about this by her grandmother.  Her grandmother told her that when people would hear that the Turks were coming, the girls who were not married would cut their faces.  Her grandmother got out of there well before the Genocide and was able to take some possessions with her, including her wedding dress.  When I was twelve, I tried on my great grandmother's wedding dress and it was small for me.  I was a very small girl for that age. 

The scars from past abuse run very deep.  The Genocide and other atrocities of the 20th century were unspeakably horrible, but the centuries preceding that were not a piece of cake either.  The Armenians experienced  not only the Ottoman Empire, but also Stalin during the Soviet era.  Stalin was not kind to the Armenians.  Many were killed and I still find people from that time who don't want to talk about it.  Yet if you ask any Armenian what was worse, Stalin or the Turks, the answer will invariable be the Turks.
Thank you Salpy for sharing this information. It is good for all of us to know how our ancestors suffered at the hands of the Turks. I think most folks really do not understand how deep these scars are and why in some cases, some of these ethnic groups still remain suspicious of outsiders. I never knew the Armenians had to marry their daughters off so young in order to protect them from being taken.
The Muslims don't even treat their own women well let alone the women of other faiths. I have read stories about Muslim Afghan women and children that made me cry. Given the chance, I think most Muslim women would be glad to shake off the yoke of their religion. My Persian girlfriend from college told me that she felt very detached from her religion. It had no personal meaning in her life. She was married twice to Muslim men and each marriage she was not treated like a human being. I encouraged her to marry a Christian after her experiences but she could not.

Quote
For those who think Islamic violence against Middle Eastern or Eastern European Christians is a thing of the past, click on the "Islam" tag below and read.  Try telling a Copt or a Serb that Islam is not that bad.
My Coptic friends have shared their stories with me. A person would have to be ignorant not to know that the persecution of Christians in the middle east continues.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2008, 11:18:33 PM by Tamara » Logged
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« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2008, 09:05:11 AM »

As long as "Secret Schools" are taught in the Greek Orthodox Church Greek Schools, only intermarriage will erase the negativity held by some Orthodox towards Islam.

Pardon me for coming in here. "Secret Schools"?  What are those, please?
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« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2008, 08:01:37 PM »

Pardon me for coming in here. "Secret Schools"?  What are those, please?

Certainly, a "Secret School" (typically a Church) is where a Greek Orthodox Priest taught the Greek language and culture to students under the cover of darkness such that the Ottoman Turks weren't aware that the Greek language and culture were being preserved.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has a Greek Language/Culture Curriculum due to the legacy of the "Secret Schools" during the Greek War of Independence.  My comments were based on the 90% rate of Interfaith Marriage and the decline in Greek school attendance.
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« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2008, 08:42:13 PM »

Thank you very much for the explanation.

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« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2008, 10:26:14 AM »

^What horrible stories.  Maybe it just touches me deeply because my own daughter is seven months old.  Thank you for sharing, Salpy.  Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #35 on: June 21, 2008, 05:47:19 AM »

Some of muslim ruler's  sultan,,pasha's in the balkan's were good and some were bad ..it depend's ..like in Jerusalem when the latin catholic crusader's threw the orthodox patriarch and clergy ,out of the church of the Holy Resurrection and setup there latin patriarch it was the muslim  leader that reinstated the orthodox patriarch in his rightful place.....so like anything there were good and bad.. but mostly bad from the latin christian side though against orthodoxy....SmileyCentral.com" border="0hence the saying Better the Sultan's turban than the tiara of rome,, and which i have several under shirt's i purchased and ware proudly with this saying from serbian orthodox church's picnic ground's........SmileyCentral.com" border="0SmileyCentral.com" border="0Lord and Saviour Jesus Have Mercy on us sinner's..SmileyCentral.com" border="0
« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 06:22:28 AM by stashko » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: June 21, 2008, 09:55:28 AM »

Some of muslim ruler's  sultan,,pasha's in the balkan's were good and some were bad ..it depend's ..like in Jerusalem when the latin catholic crusader's threw the orthodox patriarch and clergy ,out of the church of the Holy Resurrection and setup there latin patriarch it was the muslim  leader that reinstated the orthodox patriarch in his rightful place.....so like anything there were good and bad.. but mostly bad from the latin christian side though against orthodoxy....SmileyCentral.com" border="0hence the saying Better the Sultan's turban than the tiara of rome,, and which i have several under shirt's i purchased and ware proudly with this saying from serbian orthodox church's picnic ground's........SmileyCentral.com" border="0SmileyCentral.com" border="0Lord and Saviour Jesus Have Mercy on us sinner's..SmileyCentral.com" border="0

Some things just bear repeating:

How is your disdain for the Vatican, which we all know all too well, even relevant to how we understand our relationship with Islam and Muslims?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 09:57:26 AM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

Religion is a disease, and Orthodoxy is its cure.
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