By 606 the Patriarch of Rome, now called “The Holy Father” was collecting and acquiring land, power and titles within the Roman Church hierarchy and its growing feudal society. The structure of the Western Catholic Church now mimicked the pattern of the fading Roman Empire. The Pope became the equivalent of Caesar; Cardinals (now through the College of Cardinals) were the Senators, Bishops, the consuls and proconsuls, Priests and Diocesans governors or provincials. The deacons became the tax collectors and later the sellers of indulgences, the equivalent of the dreaded Publicans, the funding principals of the old Empire. You should note that this structure was adopted in time by most denominations and has been used by all modern religions. They are now, every one of them, multibillion dollar business enterprises.
From the first quarter of the 7th century onward, the warlord Mohamed (570 – 632) his son and the Caliphs (his close adherents and supporters), some who turned against him and others who succeeded him, began what for all practical purposes ought to be known as the Empire of Islam. He would pen the Koran, name himself its only prophet and begin conquering his neighbors. The religion spread quickly but not as fast as the fear of their swords. With Mohamed at the front they began to sweep through the Mideast and Persia. In the next hundred years they would take Jerusalem, the entire Sinai and Northern Africa. Constantinople would have only a few vestiges of the Eastern Christian Church by early 900, with the corrupted and crippled church’s legacy limping back toward the Greek isles.
By 650 the Word of God had been all but abandoned by the Roman Catholic and Greek Churches. And Islam was now on the rise as the state enemy to the Roman built form of Christianity even though the economic and political structure was so similar. Constantinople or Byzantium (as it was then called) would finally fall to the Caliphs and eventually be renamed Istanbul by Mehmet by 1453, with the Byzantine Empire having been all but overtaken from the inside out between 650 and 1204. Islam would continue to grow and in another 600 years come to encompass the Ottoman Empire (itself lasting 623 years, from 1299 to 1922). All the while, Islam continued to develop its penchant for identifying and seizing other religions “holy” sites, and claiming them as principal Moslem holy sites. The seizing of Jerusalem and building a mosque on the remains of temple mound on what later would be claimed as the site where Mohamed ascended to heaven is the best example. Istanbul is where Mehmet built the Topkapi palace and seized Santa Sophia, then the largest church building, turning it into Islam’s largest mosque. And today the town of Bethlehem is “considered” the second most Islamic Holy Site in Israel. None of these cities are mentioned in the Koran.
With Islam the politics are clear. They take it and you and claim it all as their own, and have drawn weapons while calling out for peace. They are no different than the rest of the empire builders. At the first, Islam only invaded “Christian” countries, carrying off slaves and enforcing taxation to fund its fledgling empire. But soon they were running out of non-Islamic lands to control, so they turned on their own. The most beautiful and best bred of Eastern European women were carried off for the Caliph’s Harem. Empires are expensive things; but lust is insatiable. By the eighth century, the Moors had seized the entire Iberian Peninsula and were moving into the rest of Europe and would soon march toward the gates of Vienna. The full assimilation of Europe was stopped by Charles Martel and the Franks who defeated the armies of Islam at Poitiers and Tours in 732. The rest of the empire continued to flourish and the religion of Islam spread rapidly in the favor of the poor and dispossessed.
By 800 Charlemagne and his court, had bowed to the Pope, and stepped in to control the Western feudal state. Islam continued to dismantle the Eastern Empire from within. Then the two rising new empires (the Holy Roman Empire and the Empire of Islam) hurtled toward the wars known as the Crusades beginning in the 11th Century. By the waning days of the tenth century the split between east and west would be all but complete, with the world dividing between its own polluted forms of Christianity under one feudal system and the other, the corrupt feudal nations of Islam. Only military strength and the schisms within Islam have prevented the conquering of more real estate and nations.
If the tender reader suffers from some delusion that Islam is the religion of peace, or that they collectively have no penchant for land and power; or if you believe the Crusades were undertaken simply to search for lost chalices and other relics: then you desperately need to stop watching Hollywood movies and read up on world history (or comb some of the postings here under the Some Things Said category). Islam was an empire – they started out that way and though somewhat thwarted they continue in that direction to this very day. Just as with the corrupt Christians states, it is always about money and power.
There are several movements afoot to establish the empire in its full form right now. The Mideast and Far East are chock full of stirrings and ripples – that is what the Taliban are all about. The founder and first President of the Turkish Republic (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk), is honored in Turkey every day with a moment of silence, even as the Islamic followers of sharia law openly seek to overthrow the republic. This is not to say Islam is collectively any better or worse than the heretic Christian empires and their resultant apostasies. However, the Western Christian empire builders have been heavily censured since the Protestant Revolution, but Islam remains largely untouched and unmolested. Both of these major world “religions” are collectively covered with filth from the bottom to the top of their respective heads. For instance, all commerce and production in Iran is controlled by a handful of Mullahs – they are the seat of power, control and they have all of the money and control the means of commerce. It has little to do with religion. And while a god is served, like everywhere else when these patterns appear, it is not The Lord God Almighty.
I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
As we have said before, so say I now again, if anyone preaches any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed.
For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren that the gospel which was preached of me is not from man. For I neither received it from man, neither was I taught it, but it was revealed by Jesus Christ.
(Galatians 1: 6 – 12)