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August 24, 2007


By: E.B. Alston

A History Lesson

Topsail-Island

USS North Carolina

Topsail Island, NC - Read the first paragraph twice. Italics added. The dotted lines indicate where I left out the gory details

VI The Moslem Conquest

“The Moslem conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within. The Hindus had allowed their strength to be wasted in internal division and war; they had adopted religions like Buddhism and Jainism, which unnerved them for the tasks of life; they had failed to organize their forces for the protection of their frontiers and their capitals, their wealth and their freedom, from the hordes of Scythians, Huns, Afghans, and Turks hovering about India’s boundaries and waiting for national weakness to let them in. For four hundred years (600-1000 A.D.) India invited conquest; and at last it came.

The first Moslem attack was a passing raid upon Multan, in the western Junjab (664 A.D.). Similar raids occurred at the convenience of the raiders during the next three centuries, with the result that the Moslems established themselves in the Indus valley about the same time their Arab co-religionists in the west were fighting the battle of Tours(732 A.D.) for the mastery of Europe. But the real Moslem conquest of India did not come till the turn of the first millennium after Christ.

In the year 997, a Turkish chieftain by the name of Mahmud became the sultan of a little state of Ghazni in Eastern Afganistan. Mamud knew that his throne was young and poor, and saw that India, across the border, was old and rich; the conclusion was obvious. Pretending a holy zeal for destroying Hindu idolatry, he swept across the frontier with a force inspired by a pious aspiration for booty. He met the unprepared Hindus at Bhimnagar, slaughtered them, pillaged their cities, destroyed their temples, and carried away the accumulated treasures of centuries.
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Each winter Mahmud descended into India, filled his treasure chest with spoils, and amused his men with full freedom to pillage and kill. Each spring he returned to his capital richer than before.
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Six years later he sacked another opulent city in northern India, Somnath, killed all its fifty thousand inhabitants, and dragged its wealth to Ghazini. In the end he became, perhaps, the richest king that history has ever known. Sometimes he spared the population of the ravaged cities, and took them home to be sold as slaves; but so great was the number of such captives that after some years no one could be found to offer more than a few shillings for a slave.”

The Story of Civilization-Our Oriental Heritage by Will Durant
Simon and Schuster-New York 1954
Pages 459-460

“Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it.” Herodotus

None of our political leaders know this, or, if they do, they haven’t taken its lesson to heart.

The clock is ticking. Will we, can we, rise to the challenge. We don’t have four hundred years.

Gene Alston

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