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 Post subject: Islam is Destroyed
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:41 am 
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During the war between Muhammed's converts and the city of Mecca, the Muslims performed exceptionally well. However, a costly battle nearly ended them. During the Battle of Uhud, one of the flanks of Muhammad's forces broke discipline to pursue fleeing Meccans and loot their camp, leaving the formation badly exposed.

Meccan general Khalid bin Walhid took advantage of this by attacking the weakness with cavalry. In the process, Muhammed was wounded and left the battlefield for medical treatment, causing rumors of his death to quickly spread amongst his men.

The Muslim lines broke; However, the Meccans did not chase the enemy. Instead, they marched back to their city and claimed to have achieved final victory. On to the alt history...

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During the battle, a stray arrow hits Muhammed in the chest and badly wounds him. A subcommander quickly takes him to their healers, but it's no use. Within the hour, Muhammad breathes his last. When his death is confirmed, the remnant of his army dissolves. Islam becomes a mere footnote in Arabian history.

At the time, paganism and Zoroastrianism were the dominant religions of the Middle East, and in our timeline remained so until Islam's rapid expansion. The Byzantines had controled Turkey, the Levant, and Egypt for centuries; with Orthodox Christianity the state religion.

So how might history have changed if Islam failed? What sort of cultural and religious differences might we have seen? Does the Middle East of today remain pagan/Zoroastrian, or would Christianity, Hinduism, or Buddhism have likely achieved dominance? Any other interesting possibilities?


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 Post subject: Re: Islam is Destroyed
PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:35 pm 
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No effect - You can't kill an idea. Loss of the battle doesn't mean the end of Islam.

The Arabian pennisula and North Africa have always held different values than the other cultures they border and didn't adopt many of those ways lof life. Something in Islam spoke to the people of those regions.


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 Post subject: Re: Islam is Destroyed
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:50 am 
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The question here is how much of what we have come to call "islam" is a independent set of idea's, and how much is a set of historically shaped cultural constructions. Ultimately religion in the pre-modern era tends to be a mechanism of support for the people in power. New religions often serve revolutionary terms, and the rise and shrinking of some religions can be seen as shifts in terms of technology, demographics, etc. The emergence of the Reformation is probably the classic example of this, but I think it runs through most of history.

In the case of a world without an 'Islam'(that is without a strictly monotheistic faith come out of the arabian penisula) I think you'd eventually see some Variant of Zoroastrianism taking it's place. That is, there would be another religion that would have some cultural similarities to Islam and historical similarities, but would have Zorarastrian underpinnings rather than Abrahamic underpinnings. How similar it would end up being to our Islam is hard to say.


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 Post subject: Re: Islam is Destroyed
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:27 pm 
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There would have been nothing to unite the people who would have otherwise overthrown Constantinople for starters... so perhaps the Eastern Roman Empire would have lasted all the way up to the Reformation.
Had Islam never gotten off the ground I'm sure the Middle East and North Africa would have converted to Christianity. Paganism has zero appeal and would have fared even worse in the face Christian evangelism than it did in the face of Islam.

Of course what the world would have looked like with no Caliphate is wonderful daydream. No crusades, and women in Jordan wouldn't be stoned to death for looking at a man the wrong way.


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 Post subject: Re: Islam is Destroyed
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:50 pm 
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Islam was spread through fire and blood. Without military success, Islam would be relegated to the position of a minor, local cult...like Zoroastrianism today for example.

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 Post subject: Re: Islam is Destroyed
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:53 am 
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Canadian Viking wrote:
No effect - You can't kill an idea. Loss of the battle doesn't mean the end of Islam.

The Arabian pennisula and North Africa have always held different values than the other cultures they border and didn't adopt many of those ways lof life. Something in Islam spoke to the people of those regions.


As far as I know North Africa and Arabian have always held exactly the same ideas as the countries they border. Carthage/Rome - two shades of the same color, Sumeria/Greece - two shades of the same color, Muhammed/David, Zoroastriansim/Hinduism etc. What spoke to people in Islam was the exact same thing that spoke to people in christianity... beacause it is the exact same thing!

The Caliphate was the child politics more then idea is Islam. There was a power vacum and politics were tribal, someone was bound to unify the tribes at some point. The geopolitical ramifications would likely not have changed with the death of Muhammed, just the unifying idea and leader of that unification. The reasons for conversion to Islam frequently had more to do with the sword or taxes so any other philosophical idea could have done the what Islam did - the key was ending the tribal alligences.
The fact that Muhammed won meant that Islam became dominant and certainly changed the values of the region for better or worse. Though I have my doubts that it would end up much different considering how little consistancy there tends to be between the philosophy of Quran and real life Islam, same thing applies to Bible and christianity btw.

The Road Rascal wrote:
At the time, paganism and Zoroastrianism were the dominant religions of the Middle East, and in our timeline remained so until Islam's rapid expansion. The Byzantines had controled Turkey, the Levant, and Egypt for centuries; with Orthodox Christianity the state religion.

A couple of thing to note here. There was plenty of Judeism, Christianty and everything else you can think of in Arabia at this time. The Byzantines may have controlled that region for centuries, but they were locked in endless wars with the Sassanids of Persia which had weaked them both to the point of collapse + plague :hurl: Both empires were ripe for overtaking as soon as someone, anyone could build up enough strength.

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 Post subject: Re: Islam is Destroyed
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:27 pm 
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Kolokol888 wrote:
A couple of thing to note here. There was plenty of Judeism, Christianty and everything else you can think of in Arabia at this time. The Byzantines may have controlled that region for centuries, but they were locked in endless wars with the Sassanids of Persia which had weaked them both to the point of collapse + plague :hurl: Both empires were ripe for overtaking as soon as someone, anyone could build up enough strength.
Indeed, as with any religion, the areas became religious more based upon the ruling class than upon the preference of the people. Individual evangelism also played its part but the governments made the ultimate choices in order to gain further control.

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 Post subject: Re: Islam is Destroyed
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:00 am 
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seroquel wrote:
There would have been nothing to unite the people who would have otherwise overthrown Constantinople for starters... so perhaps the Eastern Roman Empire would have lasted all the way up to the Reformation.
Had Islam never gotten off the ground I'm sure the Middle East and North Africa would have converted to Christianity. Paganism has zero appeal and would have fared even worse in the face Christian evangelism than it did in the face of Islam.

Of course what the world would have looked like with no Caliphate is wonderful daydream. No crusades, and women in Jordan wouldn't be stoned to death for looking at a man the wrong way.


Pretty good run down.
It's hard telling what the Eastern Roman Empire would have turned into if it wasn't fighting several hundred years of Islamic aggression in the east. That product may not have been good, we don't know, but it's unlikely it would have turned into women being stoned in Jordan.

The question is more an Eastern one rather than Western. Would the Sassanid Empire have persisted, what would India look like if it hadn't been set back hundreds of years by Islamic Armies. This isn't to say that India wasn't vulnerable and someone else might have done the same.

It's an interesting question, but hard for Westerners to theorize about.

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 Post subject: Re: Islam is Destroyed
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:26 am 
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seroquel wrote:
Had Islam never gotten off the ground I'm sure the Middle East and North Africa would have converted to Christianity. .


It already was Christian when Islam took off. ;) Plenty of "heretics" (from an East Roman Imperial view), though.

It's also very interesting what Persia/Iran would have developed into if Zoroastrianism had persisted. If it would be the subject of Crusades, instead. And if it, unlike the many Muslim sultanates, emirates and caliphates of our own timeline, could have even managed a defence.

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 Post subject: Re: Islam is Destroyed
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:40 am 
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BjornP wrote:


It's also very interesting what Persia/Iran would have developed into if Zoroastrianism had persisted. If it would be the subject of Crusades, instead. And if it, unlike the many Muslim sultanates, emirates and caliphates of our own timeline, could have even managed a defence.

Very unlikely, Zoroastrians don't do missionary work or even accept converts for that matter. It's the oldest of all the religions but remains a tiny one because you literally has to be born into it. For Zoroastianism to become a major force this missionary aspect would have to change, which could have happened under certain circumstances but would it still be the same religion then?

Though it is kinda interesting to speculate about, Islam and Christianity is are quite aggressive religions valuing piety and strength. Zoroastrianism on the other hand emphasises education and professional accomplishment to the same extreme as the stereotypical jew. A Persian empire of doctors, lawyers and scientists... :unsure: .

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 Post subject: Re: Islam is Destroyed
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:33 am 
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Kolokol888 wrote:
Very unlikely, Zoroastrians don't do missionary work or even accept converts for that matter. It's the oldest of all the religions but remains a tiny one because you literally has to be born into it. For Zoroastianism to become a major force this missionary aspect would have to change, which could have happened under certain circumstances but would it still be the same religion then?

Though it is kinda interesting to speculate about, Islam and Christianity is are quite aggressive religions valuing piety and strength. Zoroastrianism on the other hand emphasises education and professional accomplishment to the same extreme as the stereotypical jew. A Persian empire of doctors, lawyers and scientists... :unsure: .


I didn't say it Persia would mimick the Islamic realms in expansionist ambitions. I said they might be targets for Crusades, just like the Vendic, and Lithuanian tribes in the Northern Crusades. Neither the Vends/Wends (dunno how it's supposed to be written in English) nor the Lithuanians practised proselytizing. They were still targets of crusades, though. If Persian armies took Jerusalem, you'd likely see a Christian crusade, I think. There's precedent for that in the 7th century, after all - as in Persians taking Jerusalem in the 7th cent, not a 7th cent. crusade. ;)

Regarding conversions though, it is the Indian parsis that do not practise proselytizing and who keep the religion amongst themselves. The Iranian parsi do practise proselytizing, and as far as I can read, the pre-Islamic Parsis practised proselytizing as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Islam is Destroyed
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:00 pm 
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The good news is no 9-11! However, there probably wouldnt be a WTC or any aircraft to hit it with... We'd probably be much further behind in technology without Islamic scholars preserving a lot of human knowledge (particularly math) during the dark ages.

Eastern Orthodox Christianity would be the most influential denomination, unless some of the lesser known gnostic sects were able to get a foothold in the ME, in which case "our" concept of christianity may have turned out differently.

Some religious wars furter in the East would be inevitable where the Christianized Middle East met the Eastern religions.

The Mongol invasions would still go down, but would probably have played out differently... for better or worse I dont know.


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 Post subject: Re: Islam is Destroyed
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:07 pm 
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I think the center of western civilization would have rested between Constantinople and Antioch. Today, what London and Paris represent to the West as it exists in Europe would be eclipsed by Istanbul and Antioch. Perhaps Alexandria as well. Hard to say about that one.

Islam essentially erased some of the greatest cities and cultures in Western civilization in a matter of a century. It's really difficult to imagine what the world would be like if we had not lost three of the four great cities of antiquity.

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 Post subject: Re: Islam is Destroyed
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:15 pm 
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The world doesn't get the 300 year Arabic Golden Age for starters.

Does Spain and Portugal still explore the world now the way to the East isn't blocked by Islam, and that the steroid hit the Reconquest gave them never happens?

Does Venice rise as large? If not does no Venice = no Renaissance?

I'll have to think more about this but I'm not seeing Europe getting the kick starts it needed to dominate the world as it did.

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 Post subject: Re: Islam is Destroyed
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:04 pm 
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The west would not have been synonymous with Europe. The only reason that was the case until Americans took it away from the Euros was because the west lost the most valuable kingdoms and provinces to Islam. Rome was already in poor shape at that time. Istanbul, Antioch, and Alexandria where the main power centers for our civilization. When they fell, we lost a great deal. Much of what people consider dismal and ignorant about the middle ages happened because of the Muslim conquest of about half our territories. It also is centric to Western Europe (especially northern kingdoms like France and England). But if you look at the remainder of the Roman empire run from Istanbul, including the cities of Alexandria and Antioch, you won't see those dark ages.

What Islam has inasmuch as a golden age in those days was the result of their occupying western lands. They didn't actually invent these things. They didn't discover this knowledge. They simply captured and looted the greatest cities in the world. By the time they were done, they already burned through their golden age, and those cities were left as dumps (with Antioch basically eliminated).

One question I think might be interesting to ponder is how the Mongol invasions would play out had there been no Islam. The Mongols devastated the Muslims. But imagine had there been no Islam, and western civilization were allowed to continue its ascent in the east without interruption until the 13th century. Imagine how wealthy Istanbul and Antioch would have been. The Mongols were the ones who finally exterminated Antioch, but would not a much wealthier and more advanced Istanbul, Antioch, and Alexandria brought the Mongols in greater numbers towards the West much earlier?

By looting and depraving those lands, they might have weakened incentives for larger excursions into the West in those earlier years.

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