[quote]Professor X wrote:
Apparently, the biggest incentive for a jihad fighter is loss of virginity.
Well, no we know what to do the next time a war comes around (which should be any day now). If we need new recruits, we are going to need way more Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.[/quote]
Gibbon has a different take. He blames Mohommad and the character of the Arab for the principle decline of the Eastern Roman Empire. Having never been conquered by Trajan, Pompey, Cyrus and barely tamed by the Turks the Arabs of the peninsula are amongst the most warlike people in the world.
“In this primitive and abject state, which ill deserves the name of society, the human brute, without arts or laws, almost without sense or language, is poorly distinguished from the rest of the animal creation…their friendship was venal, their faith inconstant, their enmity capricious: it was an easier task to excite than to disarm these roving barbarians”
Their perpetual independence is superstitiously attributed to their biblical lineage to the line of Ismael. Mohommad preached purgatory lasting from 900 to 7000 years. This hell is reserved for believers all of whom will eventually reach paradise. Accordingly there are seven other hells for disbelievers and idolators who will never reach paradise. These are the themes of the Koran. Paradise is described in sultry terms speaking of virgins(both male and female) as reward for adherence to God.
From the sayings of Mohommad(who was illiterate):
'I offer you, and I alone can offer, the most precious of gifts, the treasures of this world and of the world to come. God has commanded me to call you to his service. Who among you will support my burden? Who among you will be my companion and my vizier?
No answer was returned, till the silence of astonishment, and doubt, and contempt, was at length broken by the impatient courage of Ali, a youth in the fourteenth year of his age.
“O prophet, I am the man: whosoever rises against thee, I will dash out his teeth, tear out his eyes, break his legs, rip up his belly. O prophet, I will be thy vizier over them.”
From the death of Mohommad to this day a schism exists whereby the Shia believe Ali to be the true successor of Mohommad but the Sunni reject this interpretation.
At the time of Mohommad the Arabs worshipped the sun, moon and planets. Mohommad united several powerful tribes and took the city of Mecca. The pilgrimage to Mecca and the black rock(Kaaba) was in existence long before Islam and the pilgrimage predates Islam by thousands of years.