Chesterton's New Jerusalem: Islam where "the ruins remain ruins"

Here Chesterton compares the Christian devotion to preserving non-Christian heritage with his perception of the Islamic practice. The Omar mentioned is the Caliph under whose command Jerusalem was sieged and conquered in 638:

The wild men that rode behind Omar the Arab would
have thought nothing of tearing every page of Plato in pieces.
For it is the nature of all this outer nomadic anarchy that it is
capable sooner or later of tearing anything and everything in pieces;
it has no instinct of preservation or of the permanent needs of men.
Where it has passed the ruins remain ruins and are not renewed;
where it has been resisted and rolled back, the links of our long
history are never lost. As I went forward the vision of our
own civilisation, in the form in which it finally found unity,
grew clearer and clearer; nor did I ever know it more certainly
than when I had left it behind.

G. K. Chesterton
The New Jerusalem, 1920
Ch. 1


FrGregACCA said…
Anyone remember the Taliban blowing up those mega-Buddha statues in Afghanistan?
Abu Daoud said…
That came to my mind as well.
Anonymous said…
why cannot we say....we all are human being...that's all...

From :Editor -
Abu Daoud said…
Because to say that we are all human, and thus equal goes against the clear teachings of Islam.
anonymous2 said…
I wouldn't exctly say that "we are all equal" goes against the teachings of islam. I think islam recognises the fact that we were all created equal, all will be held accountable for our deeds, and all have a chance for forgiveness. The man who may seem the most pious on earth may just be in the deepest p[art of Hell if his intention is not correct.

Everyone is equal and hence has a chance to ask for forgiveness. If a muslim is to give charity, it doesn't really matter if you feed a christian or a hindu or a muslim, as long as you have correct intention and feed poor.
Abu Daoud said…
Dear anonymous2: I agree that in a theoretical sense we are all equal, but the Qur'an knows nothing of that way of thinking.

It is quite clear in speaking of the Muslim nation (Umma): You are the best of all people. And of certain Jews (and Christians?): They are the worst of all Creation.

You are also mistaken in your thought that the Muslim may contribute to charities for non-Muslims and have it counted as a fulfillment of his zakaat (alms). Many jurists would disagree with you on that point.

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