Hi, Nichijew. I owe you a response; no, I didn't forget about you! My daughter had a sleepover last night - there was much wackiness.
If 80,000,000 or even 40,000,000 Hindus were killed by the Muslims, how many non-violent Buddhists were killed? Let us not let our cynicism and dislike of the Soka Gakkai cloud our critical thinking. You didn't search very hard. I got these two articles in less than 5 minutes. At least 20,00.000 Buddhists were killed from between the 11th to the 14th century by the Muslims and perhaps an equal amount by the Hindu Rajputs [warriors]. - Nichijew
Okay, first of all, your first source is an incoherent mess. The author, an Indian activist, describes erotic art as "obscene art", making himself sound like a prissy dilettante. He cites this art form as "evidence" of the cultural inferiority of the Hindus.
The Rajputs were great builders of temples, for the benefit of Brahmins. Though many are destroyed by Muslims, some are still surviving to show the skill, money and labour spent on creation of them. Unfortunately the later Rajput creations of art are the preservations of sexual obscenity.
"... The art critics divide the evolution of temple architecture in the Rajput period into two parts, The first part covered the period from 600 to 900 A.D. During the first period, there was a regular progress in the abundance of ornamentation in temple architecture. The originality of the ancient times was lost and the artisans relied on volume to give an expression of grandeur. Their tastes degenerated and we come across obscene figures. That was probably due to the influence of Tantrism on Hinduism. It has rightly been said that there is no beauty of original art in the architectural monuments of the age." [Mahajan, p. 559] [www.ambedkar.org
Dude's got an ax to grind; that article is a polemic, not a documentary. As an opponent of the caste system, he paints Hinduism in an entirely negative light as an expression of his disdain and contempt for that belief system.
But I can't help noticing that the timeframe you quote is one that is well known - for the Black Death that killed between 1/3 and 2/3 of the population of Europe!
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350, and killing between 75 million and 200 million people.
The Black Death is thought to have started in China or central Asia
, before spreading west. The plague then travelled along the Silk Road and reached the Crimea by 1346. From there, it was probably carried by Oriental rat fleas living on the black rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships. Spreading throughout the Mediterranean and Europe, the Black Death is estimated to have killed 30–60 percent of Europe's population. All in all, the plague reduced the world population from an estimated 450 million to a number between 350 and 375 million in the 14th century.
The aftermath of the plague created a series of religious, social and economic upheavals which had profound effects on the course of European history. It took 150 years for Europe's population to recover. The plague reoccurred occasionally in Europe until the 19th century. [en.wikipedia.org
So we've got this drastic disease-driven reduction in population that supposedly came from the area where you are saying it had to have been Muslim atrocities that accounted for a significant drop in Indian population!
What was Medieval India’s real role in the advance of the Black Death into Europe?
Many twentieth-century scholars of the Black Death claim that it invaded China and India before it arrived in the Middle East and Europe. Zeigler, in his analysis of the origins of the Black Death, claims that the Black Death was ravaging India by the end of 1346. Gottfried says that sometime in the late thirteenth century or early fourteenth century, Yersina Pestis, the bacillus that causes the plague, spread from the Gobi desert, its permanent locus, “east into China, south into India, and west across Central Asia to the Middle East and the Mediterranean Basin”. Aberth suggests that the disease originated in the land of the Mongols and invaded China and India before it spread to Europe. Sticker, a twentieth-century historian of epidemiology, asserts that there was a plague in India in 1332 and again in 1344, and he argues that the plague originated in India.
Support for the claim that the Black Death visited India before it spread to Europe comes from the chronicles of medieval merchants of Venice and Genoa, medieval historians from the Middle East, and other chroniclers of Europe. Gabriele de’ Mussi, a thirteenth-century chronicler from Piacenza, wrote an account of the Black Death in which he mentioned that almost everyone in the East, including the population of India, was affected by the pestilence. An anonymous Flemish cleric wrote that in Greater India it rained frogs, serpents, lizards, scorpions and many venomous beasts and, on the third day, the whole province was infected. We should be aware that when a medieval merchant from Venice or Genoa refers to Greater India, he is referring to the region bounded by Central Asia in the north and Indonesia in the south.
Modern epidemiological studies have established that the plague was endemic in the Central Asian Steppes, spreading from Central Asia to the West in the fourteenth century. One of the epidemiological theories attributes the spread of the Black Death to Eur ope from Central Asia to the expansion of the Mongol Empir e that linked China, India, the Middle East and Europe (Gottfried 33). Another theory suggests that the Black Death traveled along the trade routes. Both trade routes that connected the East with the West in the fourteenth century include India: the caravan route from China to Central Asia to Europe and the sea route along south Asia from ports in the Indian Ocean to the Persian Gulf. All these data provide justification for the claim that the Black Death visited India before it reached Europe.
Conspicuous by absence in this argument are historical records from India that substantiate the claim that there was a plague in India in the fourteenth centur y. This raises a question as to whether there are any historical records for that period originating from India. Until the eleventh century, sources for the history of India come from archaeological records, literary works, monographs, and inscriptions on monuments. The art of writing history began in India with the arrival of the Turkish invaders in the eleventh century. From 1332 to 1347, most of North India was ruled by Muhammed bin Tughlaq, and the history of this period is deduced from the chronicles of the Muslim historians, the travel logs of travelers from different parts of the world to India, and the writings of contemporary literary men. Ziyauddin Barani, Muhammed bin Tughlaq’s companion (nadim), compiled Tarikh-i-Firoz Shahi in 1357, chronicling the history of India from 1266 to 1357. He is a principal authority for the medieval period. Ibn-Battuta, a Moorish traveler to India, wrote a detailed account of the events from 1334 to 1347 in his Rihla, the Book of Travels. He traveled extensively throughout India, from Delhi in the north to Madurai in the south (Fig. 2). While Sultan Muhammed ruled the greater part of North India from 1325 to 1351, Harihara and Bukka established a Hindu kingdom in South India in 1336, and this dynasty ruled South India until 1485. There is abundant information available about this empire from inscriptions, writings of the Muslim historians, literary compositions, and travel logs of the Portuguese, Italian, and Chinese visitors. With so much
information available from India, there should be a correspondence between the chronicles of the Italian merchants and the Indian historical records. Indians interpreted epidemics as a sign of the gods’ displeasure: smallpox is associated with the wrath of Goddess Sitala in the north and Goddess Mariamma in the south, and cholera is associated with Goddess Candi. Records of rituals in the fourteenth century for a god or goddess
associated with plague may also indicate the presence of an epidemic.
Hecker mentions that the population of India was decimated in the fourteenth century], and although Hecker does not explicitly attribute it to the Black Death, Zeigler considers this a result of the plague, and Gottfried
expresses a similar belief. On the other hand, Medieval Indian History provides a different explanation for this decimation. On his arrival at Delhi in 1334, Ibn-Battuta finds Delhi “empty and unpopulated save for a few inhabitants” (Dunn 196), but he does not mention an epidemic.
Notice that this "empty and unpopulated villages and cities" is a typical description of the Plague's aftermath across Europe.
Historians Haig and Majumdar attribute this depopulation to Sultan Muhammed’s decision to move the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad. The contemporary historian Barani writes that when the Sultan forced everyone to move with their families, people were heartbroken, and many of them died on the w ay to Daulatabad. When they reached Daulatabad, it became “a graveyard of Muslims” (Barani 239).
Oh, dear! THAT doesn't fit with your narrative, now does it?? It should be "a graveyard of Hindus" or "a graveyard of Buddhists"!
Another explanation for this loss of life, which is also well documented by both Barani and Ibn-Battuta, was the severe seven-year famine that hit India in 1335.
There's another explanation for a drop in population - read on:
From Ibn-Battuta’s Rihla we know that towns and whole districts were wiped out
(qtd. in Haig 152). Ibn-Battuta observed that Indians were reduced to eating animal skins, rotten meat, and even human flesh
(Dunn 204). Barani also mentions that in the fatal famine, “thousands of people perished of want”
(Barani 238). Neither Barani nor Ibn-Battuta mentions a plague even though they describe the ravages of the famine in detail.
Barani and Ibn-Battuta report two epidemics, one in 1335 and another in 1344, and Sticker claims that those two epidemics were plagues. Barani describes the epidemic in 1335 in Warangal: “The Sultan arrived at Warangal where waba
(pestilence) was prevalent. Several nobles and many other persons died of it. The Sultan was also attacked” (Barani 243). Ibn-Battuta also mentions that an epidemic broke out that wiped out half of the Sultan’s troops
in Sargadwari near Warangal (Dunn 205). The half that survived went back to Delhi with Sultan Muhammed, and they did not infect other people in Delhi. The second one, the epidemic in Madurai, was witnessed by Ibn-Battuta. When he arrives at Madurai in 1344, he finds the people of Madurai dying of an epidemic: “There he found the population in the throes of an epidemic so lethal that whoever caught infection died on the morrow, or the day after, and if not the third day, then on the fourth”
(Dunn 245). [mla.stanford.edu
Aha. Mystery solved. During the time frame in question, there was a deadly famine that took out a significant portion of the population, and there was deadly infectious disease (possibly cholera, if not actually plague) that also took out significant portions of the population. Population crash explained without needing to invoke teh eeeevil Mooslems!
Now on to your second source, which I'm afraid is far less supportive of your claims than you apparently realize:
Considerable controversy exists both in scholarly and public opinion about the conversions to Islam typically represented by the following schools of thought:
- That the bulk of Muslims are descendants of migrants from the Iranian plateau or Arabs.
- Conversion was a result of the actions of Sufi saints and involved a genuine change of heart.
- Conversion came from Buddhists and the en masse conversions of lower castes for social liberation and as a rejection of oppressive existent Hindu caste structures.
- Was a combination, initially made under duress followed by a genuine change of heart.
- As a socio-cultural process of diffusion and integration over an extended period of time into the sphere of the dominant Muslim civilisation and global polity at large.
- That Muslims sought conversion through jihad or political violence.
- A related view is that conversions occurred for non-religious reasons of pragmatism and patronage such as social mobility among the Muslim ruling elite or for relief from taxes.
An estimate of the number of people killed, based on the Muslim chronicles and demographic calculations, was done by K.S. Lal in his book Growth of Muslim Population in Medieval India, who claimed that between 1000 CE and 1500 CE, the population of Hindus decreased by 80 million. His work has come under criticism by historians such as Simon Digby (School of Oriental and African Studies) and Irfan Habib for its agenda and lack of accurate data in pre-census times. Western Historians such as Will Durant contend that Islam spread through violence. Sir Jadunath Sarkar contends that that several Muslim invaders were waging a systematic jihad against Hindus in India to the effect that "Every device short of massacre in cold blood was resorted to in order to convert heathen subjects."
Notice that "massacre in cold blood" was *NOT* used.
In particular the records kept by al-Utbi, Mahmud al-Ghazni's secretary, in the Tarikh-i-Yamini document several episodes of bloody military campaigns.[[b]citation needed[/b]]
^ Means "take with a grain of salt until someone provides a reliable source.
Hindus who converted to Islam however were not completely immune to persecution due to the Caste system among South Asian Muslims in India established by Ziauddin al-Barani in the Fatawa-i Jahandari, where they were regarded as an "Ajlaf" caste and subjected to discrimination by the "Ashraf" castes.Critics of the "Religion of the sword theory" point to the presence of the strong Muslim communities found in Southern India, modern day Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and western Burma, Indonesia and the Philippines coupled with the distinctive lack of equivalent Muslim communities around the heartland of historical Muslim empires in South Asia as refutation to the "conversion by the sword theory".
The legacy of Muslim conquest of South Asia is a hotly debated issue even today. Not all Muslim invaders were simply raiders. Later rulers fought on to win kingdoms and stayed to create new ruling dynasties. The practices of these new rulers and their subsequent heirs (some of whom were borne of Hindu wives of Muslim rulers) varied considerably. While some were uniformly hated, others developed a popular following. According to the memoirs of Ibn Battuta who traveled through Delhi in the 14th century, one of the previous sultans had been especially brutal and was deeply hated by Delhi's population. His memoirs also indicate that Muslims from the Arab world, Persia and Turkey were often favored with important posts at the royal courts suggesting that locals may have played a somewhat subordinate role in the Delhi administration. The term "Turk" was commonly used to refer to their higher social status. However S.A.A. Rizvi points to Muhammad bin Tughlaq as not only encouraging locals but promoting artisan groups such as cooks, barbers and gardeners to high administrative posts. In his reign, it is likely that conversions to Islam took place as a means of seeking greater social mobility and improved social standing.
Two key pieces of information about early Islam:
1) Islam spread farther in 100 years than Christianity managed to in 1,000 years.
2) Islam spawned the Islamic Golden Age, aka the Islamic Renaissance, that protected, fostered, and encouraged research and discovery into virtually every known area of human endeavor. The advances of the Islamic Renaissance continue to inform virtually every sphere of the arts, music, business, architecture, chemistry, medicine, literature, philosophy - the list is almost endless: [en.wikipedia.org
With regard to point #1, there is simply no way that Islam could have spread that far "by the point of a sword" - the Muslims would have been spread far too thin. The only reasonable explanation is that the Muslims were *welcomed* in these areas, and given the subsequent devotion to learning and value of scholarship that was at the heart of Islam at that point ("The ink of the scholar is more valuable than the blood of the martyr" - Qur'an) compared with Christianity's consistent destruction of anything and everything non-Christian, this is plausible. The Muslims appeared as "white knights" to save the people and their culture from the devastation of Christianity.
Lest you think I'm being a big fat meanie about Christianity, notice that *everything* regressed in the areas under Christian control. The arts basically disappeared and had to be re-discovered from scratch - this is the best Christian artists could do by the 9th Century CE: [www.winifred.cichon.com
] Now, we'd consider that admirable - for a 3rd grader. The great masters and schools all *disappeared* - this was the gift of Christianity to the world, the extinguishing of light and learning: the Dark Ages. For a pictorial timeline, see [historyhuntersinternational.org
But in the MUSLIM-controlled territories, art and culture were flourishing! This is something that few people seem willing to acknowledge due to anti-Islamic bigotry, and we do not need to pander to that here. It shouldn't be OUR problem. And let's not lower ourselves and the level of our discourse to the point of claiming that the ONLY reason anyone would convert to Islam is because Muslims threatened to kill him if he didn't. Islam is enormously appealing to people - that is why it is so commonplace in our world. Likewise, Amida Buddhism (aka Shin, aka Nembutsu, aka Jodo Shinshu) is likewise enormously appealing. It would be far more profitable and fruitful to investigate what it is about human nature that finds satisfaction and fulfillment in these belief systems than simply insisting that the government should wipe them out because "I don't like them."
So, Nichijew, it appears that you wish us to "imagine" that Buddhists were massacred:
If 80,000,000 or even 40,000,000 Hindus were killed by the Muslims, how many non-violent Buddhists were killed?
I don't know, and you haven't told us!
Let us not let our cynicism and dislike of the Soka Gakkai cloud our critical thinking. You didn't search very hard. I got these two articles in less than 5 minutes. At least 20,00.000 Buddhists were killed from between the 11th to the 14th century by the Muslims and perhaps an equal amount by the Hindu Rajputs [warriors]. - Nichijew
First of all, what sort of number is "20,00.000"??
Neither source you supplied supported your claims of the numbers of Buddhists supposedly slaughtered. Now HERE is a source for you:
The document(1) here translated is the preface to a `poetical inscription' on a stuupa erected in memory of the Indian priest Dhyaanabhadra, also called `Suunyaadi'sya, at the Korean temple Kuei-yen Ssuu (Juniper Rock temple). It was composed in the summer of 1378(2) by a certain Li Se who, previous to the fall of the Mongols in 1368, had been Secretary to the Mongol Administration of Manehuria and Korea.
The work is interesting for several reasons. To begin with, it shows that Buddhism survived in India Proper at the beginning of the 14th century to an extent far greater than has hitherto been suspected.
Note: This would have been *AFTER* they'd all been supposedly wiped out in the massacres you claim.
To find Buddhism at such a date in Bengal is indeed no surprise. But in Dhyaanabhadra's narrative we find it also at Kaa~ncipura (Madras Presidency), in the Chola Kingdom (Coromandel coast) and at Jaalandhara (Punjab).
Our narrative is interesting in the second place because of the light it throws on the kind of Buddhism that survived
. One knows, for example, that in Ceylon in early days the Mahaayaana existed side by side with the Hiinayaana. But it is unexpected to find that at this late date a pilgrim should still be sent to Ceylon to study Mahaayaana. Again, it has been generally supposed that such Buddhism as survived in Central and Eastern India was, at any time subsequent to the 9th century, exclusively Tantric. But Dhyaanabhadra is definitely anti-Tantric. He may indeed, with his prevailing interest in the Praj~naapaaramitaa and Avata^nsaka Suutras, be described as a rather old-fashioned Mahaayaanist.
The third point of interest is that his Buddhism is coloured with certain characteristies which show great affinity with the Zen (Dhyaana) Buddhism of China and Japan
. The method of sudden Awakening by means of violence, brusquerie, riddles, shouts, beatings, startling and 'gratuitous' acts of all kinds appears repeatedly in these pages, long before the Master's arrival in China. And just as in China it is against Tantrism that the hostility of the Zen priests is principally directed, so we find Dhyaanabhadra ridiculing the supposed magical power of Tantric invocations.
It is of course possible that Dhyaanabhadra's recollections were coloured by his long residence in China, and allowance must be made for the fact that it was a Chinese who committed these recollections to writing. Even so, I think the document suggests the existence in 14th century India, of a type of Buddhism very different from what we should have expected. It also raises the question whether many aspects of Zen which have been regarded as originating in China may not, after all, like other developments of Buddhism, have been importations from India.Our ignorance of the fortunes of Buddhism in India at this period is due to the fact that our information is derived chiefly from Moslem sources which do not trouble to distinguish Buddhism from Hinduism, or from Hindu sources which are unwilling to admit the existence of rival creed.
From Taaranaatha indeed we get a rather dim picture of the survival of Buddhism in Bengal and Orissa down to an even later period. But he gives no definite information about the fate of Buddhism in other parts of India Proper at this period; moreover the historical elements in his narrative are hard to disentangle from the legendary. [ccbs.ntu.edu.tw
So, rather than Buddhism being forcibly *eliminated*, Buddhism simply changed over time, and even so, not nearly as drastically as some would have us believe!
Do not underestimate the appeal of Islam. It could not have spread as far and as fast as it did if it relied solely on violence and coercion. It could not have spawned the Islamic Renaissance (which was the catalyst that kicked off the later Renaissance in the Christian West) if it had been intolerant and hostile to differing views. Modern Islam appears to be a very different beast than early Islam, and this drastic and dramatic change appears to have begun with the Ottoman Empire. But that's a topic for a different forum.
Intolerance is the worst aspect of most religions. Intolerance is destructive to society. If you, Nichijew, are going to maintain that *some* ideas and religions should be outlawed by fiat, please explain to us what criteria should be used in deciding which ones will be snuffed out and who will be responsible for making these decisions. I'm asking again: WHO DECIDES??