The Jews were so seriously disadvantaged that they could no longer hold on to their traditions. The study works through the legal foundations that allowed for the imperial follies. It shows the Jewish stealth strategies for their survival and highlights a Jewish kingdom that had been established in Yemen in the southern Arab Peninsula. The reformations of Emperor Tiberius, which re-established a new religious tolerance, were too late to reverse the course of history. Much of the world thought that the end had happened.
Out of the rubble in Rome rose Pope Gregory the Great, whose mad influence would hold the Italian society in its grip for centuries to come.
The Jews seem to have regrouped, and they went after Byzantine Christian merchants who believed in Jesus’s divinity. Because they had been pushed around by the Roman Empire, the Levite Korahites reappear as the masterminds of yet another faith: Islam. Volume II shows how the biblical connections came about and how the various tribes emerged, and it identifies the tribes that were going to be at the side of the Levites. In doing so, the Year of the Elephant, 570 AD, is carefully placed into historical context. Through the biblical accounts, the connection between the fleeing Jews from the Byzantine Empire and the Saracen and Ishmaelite heritage is shown. There were two conflicting royal houses and a third group, the Levite Korahites who aspired for supremacy over the territories of the Arab Peninsula. Volume II defines the background of the Sunnis, the Shi’ites, and the Quraysh (formerly the Levite Korahites), examines who helped them, and outlines their religious foundations. It shows their policies and traditions and explains their shared but surprising mission statement, which predated the advent of Mohammad: the redemption of Israel and the establishment of a Levite Korahite leadership that is based on Arian-Christian ideals. The historicity of Muhammad is examined, as well as the pre-existing faith systems in the area.
The Kaaba in Mecca had been built as a temporary replacement for the Holy Temple in Jerusalem during the fifth century. The Jewish mission to recapture Israel predated the advent of Mohammad by centuries. Consequently, the first unsuccessful Arab attacks against the Byzantine Empire started off on the opposite side of the Jordan River, near Jerusalem.
Volume II examines how the texts fit into the big picture of the conflicts with the Byzantine and Persian Empires rather than with local events. It is shown that Muhammad was lifted to be a prophet by the Levite Korahites as a potential redeemer of Israel who ended up failing in his mission. The early conflicts are examined for their strategic purpose, which is not what Islamic scholars pretend. It appears as if such scholars buried their history under their traditions and legends to cover up a civilization that was markedly different from anything the West has ever seen short of the Greek democracy. It is the promise of this civilization that holds the key as to why it was possible for almost all of the Eastern Roman Empire, the Persian Empire, North Africa, and Spain to fall into Muslim hands without much bloodshed. The so-called assault had been carefully planned and portions of the troops had been purposefully deployed into areas of spiritual friendship. However, success can also come too fast, and the stakes could not have been higher. Consequently, the new empire repeatedly fell into civil war. It was the weakness of its neighbors that ensured its survival, rather than its inner strength. However, Volume II also shows that Islam was deployed through the new empire much later than is generally assumed.
The Koran is examined in a fashion similar to what has been done with the Torah and the Gospel. The doctrines that influence social and economic thinking are evaluated, and possible frameworks for terrorism are examined. The timing of the emergence of the Koran is narrowed down to less than a decade, and early reports about “Moslems" are examined. Two core messages evolve in the Koran: religious freedom (as long as the religion in question was pure monotheism and not the Divine Trinity) and a mission to wipe out from the Byzantine Empire the belief in Jesus being God, at all expense of swords and lives. But Volume II also reveals the main mission that they carry in their hearts up until today. One of the main issues of the Koran is that its fragments are scattered and hard to read. However, it wasn’t meant to be read; it was meant to be memorized in Arabic by singing. The origin of the Koran from various Christian sects and Jewish thought is explained. Volume II shows who composed the early versions of the Koran, along with when and why. Finally, it explains the original meaning of jihad—the holy war. It is laid out that the Koran can’t be understood without three additional books, which are examined. The links between these texts are made visible such that it becomes clear that this knowledge had to be a cultural prerequisite at the time. The study examines the Koran for similarities between the scriptures of the Jews and the Christians and elaborates on the differences. It explains the relationship of women to the text and also the practice of mutilation rather than imprisonment for marital offenses. The Koran was an agreement between three parties for religious, governmental, and spiritual leadership. It promised freedom of religion and promoted human rights.
The Coming of the Antichrist
Changing leadership and constant infighting between the three founding sects led to continued civil wars. Volume II elaborates on the important and misguided role of Huseyn for the Shi’ites and demonstrates that an intermediate theocracy fell in place. Islam was led by the Levite Korahites, who may have erected the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem but afterward lost the Kaaba in Mecca to destruction. The economic foundation of the new empire is examined and also the problems that the dwindling Byzantine Empire faced with its self-imposed Christian doctrines.
The emerging Muslims are followed with the goal of establishing when the Koran was transformed into Islam, why, and by whom. Volume II shows how the occupation in Spain worked out for the native inhabitants, the Goths, the Christians, and the Jews to bring forth a long era of prosperity. On the other hand, it is demonstrated how the Byzantine Empire farther retreated while the papacy was turned into a kingdom. An unusually high level of education among the leaders of the caliphate is shown. In fact, it is suggested that they turned into philosopher kings, shaped by the Greek philosophers’ ideas. It was the spark of a modern civilization that was only put out too soon. They were the leaders of the free world, and the Byzantine Empire started to emulate their successes—only with the twist that they could not break free from Christianity.
The relationships between the caliphate and the Christian areas in the West and the Byzantine Empire continued to degrade. In the latter’s eyes, the caliphate was the coming of the antichrist. The Ishmaelites and their Koran were branded heretical by a Christian writer who held a top position in the court of the caliphate in Damascus. However, it is shown that the social and economic ideas of the caliphate rubbed off on the Christians within. They were going to carry a new message of Christianity into the West. The unresolved question of succession in the caliphate may have constituted a vulnerability that eventually led to the fracturing of the Muslim domains. However, for now, a succession of caliphs provided ever more freedom, toward full democracy.
Volume II traces the timing of when people chose to become Muslims rather than followers of one of the dominant Judaic religions in the caliphate. However, history had to wait for Islam to emancipate itself as a religion. Volume II shows how the foundation of the Persian Caliphate came about; the Levite Korahite masterminds behind the scene are pointed out, and it is explained how they got into that position. The Levite Korahites introduced the concept of Inquisition in order to force-convert its subjects. Volume II shows how the intellectual framework of the Sunnis changes with the rise of the Persians to the leadership of the caliphate. They deployed the original Jewish strategy of social rejection. An exception is Spain, and the differences are pointed out. The economy was flourishing under the Persians until sectarian conflicts with the Shi’ites brought them down. Meanwhile, the Franks and Charlemagne were the drivers behind further Christianization in Europe. The research shows how the caliphate introduced its own downfall by relying on Turkish mercenaries, who eventually took control.
With the influence of the Sunni Caliphate, the world of thought had already changed before the millennium to more openness, and the papacy was turned into a war machine. The research shows that the economy in Europe was shaped along dictatorial Communist lines of thought in a corrupt theocracy. It is demonstrated how a succession of popes were driven into ever deeper intellectual turmoil. The connection between the Spanish Muslims and the new ways of thinking is shown. It is also highlighted that the Kaaba may not have been in use until this point in time, when a parallel Fatimid Caliphate rose in opposition to the disintegrating caliphate in Baghdad. The rise of the Turks is traced as well.
Various superstitious outbreaks of violence around the turn of the millennium are examined, and it is demonstrated how the intellectual groundwork had been laid by eighth-century authors, creating an inevitable disaster in waiting. It is shown why Baghdad was broke and why Spain was now also in decline. The papacy in Rome was as good as finished and acted as a puppet of the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. However, the doomsday disasters were much greater in extent throughout the caliphate, while Christianity in Europe was not so much affected. Meanwhile, it is shown that a paradigm shift had also taken place in the Byzantine Empire. Its economic focus shifted, and learning was viewed as an end in itself rather than as an investment toward profit. Similarly, the chapter sheds light on how learning suddenly became important for the papacy as well and how the Spanish cultural foundation made it to Italy and into the first universities. The start of the Christian pilgrimages to Jerusalem is put into context, laying the groundwork for later crusades that rode on the pretense of the destruction of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The all-telling immediate reaction of the Christians is compared to the longer-term impact, and it is demonstrated that the strategy behind the crusades was that the papacy in Rome was eyeing the sack of the remains of an impoverished Byzantine Empire. However, the papacy was increasingly faced with dissent, and the crusades provided for an unprecedented spike in greed. It is shown that the crusades seem to have been viewed as a road to riches and that the causes for the recovery are to be found in strategic so-called mistakes by the Catholic Church, such as providing for education and promising wealth for participation in the crusades.
It is shown that fundamental Islam had only now reached Spain. Before, it was a moderate version of Sunni Islam, based on religious freedom and respect for human rights and heavily influenced by the Hebrew Bible, as well as the Gospel of Matthew according to the Hebrews. But as radical Islam moved into Spain, the Sunnis moved into Italy, providing an unprecedented brain boost in the Italian Peninsula.
After the world didn’t come to an end for the various faiths, an economic awakening took place. Benjamin of Tudela is used as a cross-reference for the economic situation at the time and also for the status of the Jews throughout Europe and the Middle East. It is demonstrated that the Jews still pulled the strings in Baghdad, even though the caliphate had been lost to the Turks. Volume II shows that North Africa and Spain were now digressing into a fundamentalist Muslim faith. Meanwhile, the papacy was reforming the church and professionalizing its hierarchy. The clergy was now required to be mature and educated. Likewise, the doors to universal education were opened. It is laid out how the Jews were able to leverage off the Christian prohibition of usury but ended up in attracting widespread hatred against them. Volume II assesses the impact of the British and German dissent against the papacy; how the Sunnis in Italy started to influence economic and artistic life; and how and why business was taking off.
Volume II shows that the awakening was not a straight path but was riddled with roadblocks and backlashes, one of which was to be the Inquisition. Along with the economic expansion came a widespread secularization of Europe in France, Germany, and England, as well as in Italy itself. Volume II identifies the intellectual forerunners and brings forth their arguments as to why the church should be reformed or rejected altogether. It shows the effect of a new, critical thinking on the arts and the economy and how the disasters of the Black Death could not deflect the new direction of the society—despite having cut the population in half. It is demonstrated how the Catholic Church latched onto the rolling train and was in full reformation long before the advent of the printing press, before Columbus’s voyage to America, before Copernicus was to challenge the notion that the earth was the center of the universe, and before Martin Luther established Protestantism. Only Spain seems to have held on to old-style Catholicism by launching the Spanish Inquisition. The intellectual framework of the Reformation is then looked at, which turns out to be a call to return to the old Catholic roots and resist their changes. It also shows how the darkest chapter of the Jewish Holocaust found its seed here, with Martin Luther. In the evolution of Islam, it is shown that the Ottoman Turks were the first to assimilate the title of Caliph of Islam unto one single leader.
Finally, Volume II offers a fresh look at the fundamentals of the Western and Islamic civilization. It picks up on some of the current streams of extremist thought and asks some tough questions about our tradition of religious freedom. By no means would I dare to question religious freedom or any other freedoms. However, unlike everything else, religious freedom seems to lack a framework as to what is tolerable and what is not. Recommendations on how such a framework could look in order to protect humanity from religious fanatics are brought forth. Religious organizations—or any organizations, for that matter—should not be granted privileges if they violate simple rules. The trouble is that all three religions violate every rule of those recommendations. The belittling of women in religious texts is but one example. It is quite paradoxical that the compensation of bankers is dealt with in governments today while the compensation of the clergy and spiritual leaders, accepting funding from the public, seems off-limits to regulations. One of the most disturbing experimental findings is that most believers never studied their own scriptures without guidance but rely instead on superstitions and on the clergy. Nobody seems to go through the pain of reading the scriptures of the other religions.
It is the ignorant who are most prone to be exploited by fundamentalism, and modern societies fail to address the defect.