Friday, January 11, 2013

Nostalgia for (someone else's) empire

The Weird Phenomenon of Ottoman Empire Nostalgia:

One of the many charming aspects of yet another "tolerant" Muslim imperialist-colonialist power were the complementary Turkish institutions of the devshirme ( boy-harvest) and the janissaries ( the New Corps).

Having conquered the Christian Balkans, for 500 years the Ottomans demanded a regular levy of their dhimmis'* children. Sort of a prefigurement of Hunger Games. These boys were marched off to Istanbul, forcibly converted to Islam and raised as a specialized slave force of corpsmen** to serve the Sultan, the janissaries.

As the good Muslim founder of this corps put it:
 "The conquered are slaves of the conquerors, to whom their goods, their women, and their children belong as lawful possession.."
Hardly anyone knows or hears about this aspect of that "innovative and multicultural society".

Consider, though, if a Christian regime in Europe had carried out a similar program on Jews: taking their children and forcibly baptizing them and raising them as, say, a special group of monks in Rome to serve as the Pope's special guardians...

How do you spell "never hear the end of it"?

*dhimmi's were the "protected" peoples, Christian and Jewish, of Muslim empires. Not unlike the "protected" businesses in Mafia territories or Negroes under Jim Crow laws in the American South. Tolerated and second-class.

**Pronounced kor-men, not corpse-men. Hell, everyone in the 57 states of America knows that.

'via Blog this'

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