Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Short memories   posted by Razib @ 3/28/2007 11:45:00 AM

Several people have pointed me to the articles which quote a nationalist Japanese minister as stating, to the effect, that Arabs won't trust blonde & blue-eyed Westerners, but have no historical aversion to East Asians. I found this kind of funny because of course the Sack of Baghdad was at the hands of the Mongols. Though the current post-colonial vogue is to attribute Arab failures to European exploitation, many scholars have long made the argument that the Mongol invasions dealt the Arabs a blow from which they never recovered (the Turks were ascendant from then on).1 It highlights the importance of history as propaganda and ideology to consider that the Crusades were relatively minor affairs compared to the later invasion of the Mongols, and yet the former loom far larger in the contemporary Arab mind.

1 - The Arab world had been in decline already during this period with the rise of Turkic warlords, but the Mongols snuffed out a late renaissance of the Caliphate in Baghdad.