Islamophobia and Anti-Catholicism—Two Sides of the Same Coin





Peter Walker is a PhD candidate at Columbia University.

The ironically-named Dove World Outreach Center has just fifty members and undoubtedly belongs to the lunatic fringe of American society.  Its proposed Koran burning, however, was a manifestation—an extreme manifestation—of a much wider Islamophobia.  Fear of Islam has been prominent recently in the storm in a teacup over the Cordoba Mosque and in the contested memory of the September 11 terrorist attacks.  The 9/11 anniversary prompted many in Europe and America to voice, to varying degrees of extremity, their fear that Islam represents a threat to Western values, to Western society and to the Western way of life.  

Those who speak of a “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West might not realize it, but they are echoing fears that Europeans and Americans harbored towards Roman Catholicism for hundreds of years.  Of course, religious prejudice is nothing new, but the similarities between the Islamophobia of today and the anti-Catholicism of the past are striking.  Early modern Protestants would have recognized many of the specific arguments today advanced against Islam and would have responded to much of the language, imagery and symbolism of contemporary fears of an alien, aggressive, domineering, intolerant and illiberal “Other.”  Contemporary Islamophobia needs to be seen not as something that took root in America only after 9/11, but as part of a tension between Western nation-states and religious minorities that stretches back to the sixteenth century.

England provides a salient example.  Even after the religious violence of the Reformation subsided and Protestant monarchs came to tolerate the existence of Catholic heretics, English Protestants continued to view Catholics as potential traitors.  Catholics were not granted legal equality until 1829, and even then they continued to be subject to popular hostility.  This hostility outlived the more strictly religious conflict of the Reformation because France and Spain, England’s principal enemies for nearly three hundred years, were Catholic powers.  Protestants feared that Catholics would act as a fifth column that would undermine the country from within, bringing French-style absolutism to England.

Early modern Protestants justified their hostility to Catholics by arguing that Catholics themselves were intolerant.  They declared their willingness to tolerate the Catholic religion, but warned that Catholics would not be content with religious freedom.  They insisted that Catholics were politically-motivated “Papists” who wanted to further the power of the pope.  Catholics, if given the opportunity, would not treat Protestants with the same tolerance that they themselves had received.  Paradoxically, hostility to Catholicism was justified in the name of religious liberty.

Protestant writers argued that Catholic doctrine was intrinsically intolerant.  In particular, they asserted that Catholics believed that “no faith is to be kept with heretics.”  Protestant writers insisted that Catholics saw all Protestants as heretics.  Catholics, supposedly, did not consider it a sin to break an oath with a Protestant (if all this sounds familiar, it should).  Even assassinating a Protestant ruler was considered morally acceptable if the pope said so.  Catholics could not simultaneously be good Catholics and good subjects. 

Modern Islamophobia operates in exactly the same way.  Just as early modern anti-Catholicism insisted that it was hostile not towards the Catholic faith itself, but towards political “Papists,” modern Islamophobia is supposedly directed only against political “Islamists.”  But Pat Robertson believes that "Islam is... not a religion.  It's a political system.  It's a violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world and world domination."  Bill Warner, the director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam, agrees that “Islam is a political ideology.”  Just as Catholics supposedly believed that “no faith is to be kept with heretics,” Warner explains that Islamic “doctrine demands that Muslims dominate the kafir in all politics and culture… Kafirs are the lowest and worst form of life.  Kafirs can be robbed, murdered, tortured, enslaved, crucified and more."

Modern Islamophobes, like the Protestants of old, square their hostility to Islam with their professed attachment to tolerance and religious freedom by insisting that Islam is itself intolerant.  The far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, addressing the recent rally against the building of the Cordoba Mosque, explained that “the tolerance that is crucial to our freedom...  must defend itself against the powers of darkness, the force of hatred and the blight of ignorance.  It cannot tolerate the intolerant and survive.”  Geert concluded, “In the name of freedom:  No mosque here!” 

Islamophobes warn that the principles of Islam are incompatible with the rights and duties of citizenship.  Raymond Ibrahim, an associate director of Daniel Pipes’s conservative Middle East Forum, has recently written an article on “The Specter of Muslim Disloyalty in America,” in which he has warned of “the mandate for Muslims to be loyal to fellow Muslims and Islam—a loyalty that all too often translates into disloyalty to all things non-Muslim, including the American people and their government.”  Citing the Fort Hood shootings as an example, Ibrahim warns that, when push comes to shove, American Muslims’ loyalty to Islam will always trump their loyalty to America. 

Seen in a short-term perspective, Islamophobia is a product of the last ten years, a reaction to 9/11 and fuelled by an imprecise “War on Terror.”  Broadly speaking, though, Islamophobia has deep roots in Western history.  This long-term view should lead us to be skeptical when Islamophobia is justified as a legitimate response to intolerant “Islamism.”  Tolerance and religious liberty can, however paradoxically, serve as rallying cries for the religiously intolerant.  A religious tolerance that is conditional upon cultural assimilation is not a genuine tolerance.

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omar ibrahim baker - 9/27/2010

James
Appreciate your kind words


james joseph butler - 9/26/2010

Omar I enjoyed reading your first post. It was educational. I liked your words regarding the phobias that both sides bring to the table. Winston is a prime example. Stirling Hayden's colonel from Dr. Strangelove comes to mind. Thanks.


Winston Smith - 9/22/2010

omar ibrahim baker wrote: By the way is that a HISTORY long grudge that you entertain against Islam or does it date from a specific more recent era??

I hate Islam, but I do not hate Muslims. The main reason for my hate of Islam are daily Muslim mob attacks against kafirs. Kafirs living in Muslims countries have no human rights - they are treated like animals. In 1975 one third of Christians living in East Timor were killed by (Muslim) Indonesian army. Later millions of Hindus living in Bangla Desh were killed by Muslims. Lebanon had Christian majority after WWII, but now only about 20% of Lebanese population is Christian. The rest was killed or fled. There are many more examples of cruel treatment of kafirs by modern Muslims, so kafirs have a good reason to fear Muslims. In my opinion, the cruel treatment of kafirs in Muslim countries is the key to understanding Islam.

omar ibrahim baker wrote: And am I to understand that Western recent aggression is only a response to Islam’s all HISTORYlong aggressions
as you perceive it?

There is no Western aggression against Islam, but there is global jihad. I am afraid that global jihad will trigger another world war. The history of wars indicates that a small, but technologically advanced country always wins a war against a much bigger, but technologically backward country. For example, a billion Muslims cannot defeat tiny Israel. A world war between Muslims and Westerners would destroy Islam. The only way to prevent the war is to reform Islam so that all the hatred that fuels the global jihad is abolished. If I were you, I would join Muslim reformers.
Muslim reformers: http://www.socialcohesion.co.uk/files/1231525439_1.pdf
Global jihad: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/
Popular European song calling, in poetic terms, for deportation of violent immigrants: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKDe-09EpNM

I am a pessimist - I believe that Islam will not be reformed, Iran will nuke America, and another world war will claim half a billion dead corpses - mostly Muslims.


omar ibrahim baker - 9/22/2010

Mr Smith
I do not know how far back in history you plan to go.
I was referring to modern times mainly the colonialist and imperialist eras, which are still with us in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan etc, to which the Crusades were only a precursor.

If you deem it proper and right to indulge yourself with/ in a HISTORY LONG revenge, revengiste, campaign against Islam that is, of course, your prerogative.
Though, I think, it would be irrelevant for modern times and slightly inane.
For one thing it would be practically impossible to quantify for it will have to include, inter alia, the conquest and re conquest of Iberia, the Fall of Constantinople, the Ottoman forays into eastern Europe and the Balkans etc etc which are only the most recent, so to speak.

By the way is that a HISTORY long grudge that you entertain against Islam or does it date from a specific more recent era??
And am I to understand that Western recent aggression is only a response to Islam’s all HISTORYlong aggressions
as you perceive it?

Have a good day!


Winston Smith - 9/22/2010

The first call for a crusade occurred in 846 CE, when an Arab expedition to Sicily sailed up the Tiber and sacked St Peter's in Rome... The Crusades were a late, limited, and unsuccessful imitation of the jihad – an attempt to recover by holy war what was lost by holy war. It failed, and it was not followed up. source: http://tinyurl.com/nahwof

All the Crusades met the very criteria of the just wars... They came about in reaction to attacks against Christians or the Church. The First Crusade was called in 1095 to defend against the recent Turkish conquest of Christian Asia Minor as well as the earlier Arab conquest of what until then had been the Christian Holy Land. The second Crusade developed as a response to the Muslim conquest of Edessa in 1144. The third resulted from the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem and a number of other Christian lands in 1187. In each case, Christians went to war to defend Christians, to combat the attackers, and to rectify egregious wrongs. source: The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam by Cambridge historian Jonathan Riley-Smith, http://townhall.com/columnists/AllenHunt/2009/12/14/have_yourself_a_very_jihad_christmas

"The Crusades were in every way a defensive war. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression - an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands." - historian Thomas Madden

Fourteen centuries of jihad against European Civilization: http://europenews.dk/en/node/26007

Muslim impact on European Civilization: http://tinyurl.com/ydgegz7

How Muslim Piracy Changed the World: http://www.islam-watch.org/iw-new/index.php?option=com_content&;view=article&id=251

The Truth about Islamic Crusades and Imperialism: www.americanthinker.com/2005/11/the_truth_about_islamic_crusad.html

Robert Spencer's book: Onward Muslim Soldiers! The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades


Winston Smith - 9/22/2010

Few people know true history of slavery. White people did not enslave black people. Muslim Arabs and blacks enslaved blacks. Most of the black slaves (about 17 million) were sold to Muslim Arabs. Very few of them survived extremely cruel treatment by their Arab masters. The rest (about 12 million) were sold to American countries, mostly Brazil. About half a million were sold to white people living in North America. White people abolished slavery first in the West, then in Africa and Muslim countries, and yet they are blamed for slavery. Many Muslims believe today that slavery is desirable because it helps convert black people to Islam.
________________________

"Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam." - Sheik Saleh Al-Fawzan (member of the Senior Council of Clerics, Saudi Arabia's highest religious body)

There is evidence that slavery still continues beneath the surface in some majority-Muslim countries as well—notably Saudi Arabia, which only abolished slavery in 1962, Yemen and Oman, both of which ended legal slavery in 1970, and Niger, which didnt abolish slavery until 2004. In Niger, the ban is widely ignored, and as many as one million people remain in bondage. Slaves are bred, often raped, and generally treated like animals Slavery is still practiced openly today in two Muslim countries, Sudan and Mauritania. In line with historical practice, Muslim slavers in the Sudan primarily enslave non-Muslims, and chiefly Christians. source: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/?p=962

Many African slaves were castrated by removing both testicles and penis. Castrated slaves brought more on the slave block. Castrated blacks were the traditional keepers of Mohammed's mosque in Medina.
source: http://frontpagemagazine.com/Printable.aspx?ArtId=28953

Islamic slavery (9 min. video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkEdswvldHA

Islamic slave trade: http://www.youtube.com/user/Universefreedom#g/c/DB1F572CEF87969B

Slave trading in Sudan (20 min. video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_PB0lg2TSc

On the slave trail in Sudan (23 min. video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8Il633PIa4

Genocide, slavery and Islamic jihad in Sudan (11 min. video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASqMdb415hA

Arabs are racists because they are Muslims: http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=30875BC8-5FB3-4A07-B9B6-644FA28D99EE

Arab racism is familiar to African guest workers in countries like Libya and Egypt, enduring routine verbal and physical attack. Sudanese Arabs suffer from their own racial identity dilemma, viewed as black by their Egyptian neighbours to the north (Sudan is a corruption of the Egyptian word for black). I have heard the Arab Sudanese use the word for slave (abid) to the faces of their fellow citizens who self-identify as non-Arab. source: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/ed-husain-where-is-the-muslim-anger-over-darfur-1769962.html


Winston Smith - 9/22/2010

source: http://www.politicalislam.com/tears/pages/tears-of-jihad//

These figures are a rough estimate of the death of non-Muslims by the political act of jihad (excluding Black Death).
____________________________

Africa

Thomas Sowell [Thomas Sowell, Race and Culture, BasicBooks, 1994, p. 188] estimates that 11 million slaves were shipped across the Atlantic and 14 million were sent to the Islamic nations of North Africa and the Middle East. For every slave captured many others died. Estimates of this collateral damage vary. The renowned missionary David Livingstone estimated that for every slave who reached a plantation, five others were killed in the initial raid or died of illness and privation on the forced march.[Woman’s Presbyterian Board of Missions, David Livingstone, p. 62, 1888] Those who were left behind were the very young, the weak, the sick and the old. These soon died since the main providers had been killed or enslaved. So, for 25 million slaves delivered to the market, we have an estimated death of about 120 million people. Islam ran the wholesale slave trade in Africa.

120 million Africans
____________________________

Christians

The number of Christians martyred by Islam is 9 million [David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200, William Carey Library, 2001, p. 230, table 4-10] . A rough estimate by Raphael Moore in History of Asia Minor is that another 50 million died in wars by jihad. So counting the million African Christians killed in the 20th century we have:

60 million Christians
____________________________

Hindus

Koenard Elst in Negationism in India gives an estimate of 80 million Hindus killed in the total jihad against India. [Koenard Elst, Negationism in India, Voice of India, New Delhi, 2002, pg. 34.] The country of India today is only half the size of ancient India, due to jihad. The mountains near India are called the Hindu Kush, meaning the “funeral pyre of the Hindus.”

80 million Hindus
____________________________

Buddhists

Buddhists do not keep up with the history of war. Keep in mind that in jihad only Christians and Jews were allowed to survive as dhimmis (servants to Islam); everyone else had to convert or die. Jihad killed the Buddhists in Turkey, Afghanistan, along the Silk Route, and in India. The total is roughly 10 million. [David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200, William Carey Library, 2001, p. 230, table 4-1.]

10 million Buddhists
____________________________

Jews

Oddly enough there were not enough Jews killed in jihad to significantly affect the totals of the Great Annihilation. The jihad in Arabia was 100 percent effective, but the numbers were in the thousands, not millions. After that, the Jews submitted and became the dhimmis (servants and second class citizens) of Islam and did not have geographic political power.
____________________________

This gives a rough estimate of 270 million killed by jihad.
____________________________

On the basis of a 14th-century account by the Genoese Gabriele de’Mussi, the Black Death is widely believed to have reached Europe from the Crimea as the result of a [Muslim] biological warfare attack [at the 1346 siege of Caffa]. source: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol8no9/01-0536.htm

The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30% to 60% of Europe's population [about 30 million]. source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death
____________________________

The total number of people exterminated by Muslims is about 300 million. Communists exterminated about 100 million people. German Nazis exterminated about 50 million people.


omar ibrahim baker - 9/22/2010

Is Islam phobia an inevitable reflex in the Judeo/Christian West?
I tend to believe that it IS being the outgrowth of the meeting and , inevitable, collision of two major cultural/religious “doctrines” that predetermines and in many ways preordains totally different outlooks ,both supernatural and mundane, in two major and very vast human communities.

As “religions” the three monotheistic religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism, are NOT in any real conflict in any strict sense of the word as much as it IS the cultures, hence Judeo/Christian, based there on are.

As a matter of historical fact the present condition is one of mutual and reciprocated intense phobias:
Islam phobia in the West and Christianity/Judaism phobia in Islamdom.
And there is nothing new or recent about it. It has occurred whenever the two communities have collided in the past ( The Crusades, colonialism, imperialism etc ) as much as they are colliding now( Palestine, Iraq, Iran?, Afghanistan etc ).
Their collision, both being major
“powers/entities”, is as inevitable as was the collision of Communism and “Liberal/democracy” not only for the fictitious assumption of one being the theoretical alternate to the other but in that each is competing to assert itself against the other in an ultimately and substantially political/economic confrontation.
The confrontation boils down at this stage to the West’s incessant desire to retain and reassert its hegemonic political/economic over all hold over Islamdom while Islam strives to break that overall hold by, primarily, reasserting itself against Judeo/Christian hegemony; the historical vehicle of colonialism and imperialism

In a way that confrontation was, primarily though not exclusively, the outgrowth of the West’s ceaseless aggression against Islamdom, ( in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan etc most recently ) and Islam’s reflexive defensive response to it.
Should the aggressiveness, hence immorality and illegality, of either party of the “confrontation” be gauged by the number of victims it inflicted on the other party an objective , balanced, overview of the whole situation will show a few thousands inflicted by Islamdom versus hundreds of thousands, approaching millions, by the Judeo/Christian West.

What the West has to fear most now is a couple of hundreds of wild unrestrained “terrorists” running amok and pursued by both plus, for some, large Civilian “bread earning “communities residing in the West versus standing official armies running to the hundreds of thousands perpetually engaged in killing and destruction ….for Islamdom to be wary of and expect the worst from.

Another factor, which I deem as minor, that seems to escalate and intensify the conflict is that whereas one, Judeo/Christianity , as a faith/religion seems to be on the wane with ever decreasing support for and practice of its rituals among its upholders the other, Islam as a faith, gives every impression of a vigorous ,dynamic creed with an ever increasing constituency ( parish?) of not new converts as much as mainly re Islamized, revived ?, Moslems.
Re the latter the West has nothing to worry about for Islam is only reasserting itself to Moslems.


Winston Smith - 9/22/2010

Islam is a fossilized culture of illiterate Bedouin brigands. When the Bedouins conquered very advanced countries in the Middle East (Iran, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Egypt) and India, they could not govern them, so they let local experts govern these countries. Islam gradually ruined these countries. Most of the so called Muslim scientists of this period were not Muslims, but they called themselves Muslims to avoid pogroms. Calling them Muslims makes as much sense as calling Albert Einstein a Nazi.
______________________________________________

For all the oil revenues that have flowed into the wealthier Arab countries, the overall state of the Arab world is appalling. It does not produce one single manufactured product of sufficient quality to sell on world markets. Arab productivity is the lowest in the world. Nowhere in the Arab world is there a single world-class university. The once-great tradition of Arab scientific achievement that flowed from Andalusian Spain has degenerated into a few research programs in the fields of chemical and biological warfare. There is not one true democracy in the Arab world. No Arab State genuinely respects human rights. No Arab state hosts a responsible media. No Arab society fully respects the rights of women or minorities, and no Arab government has ever accepted public responsibility for its own shortcomings. Ralph Peters, writing in the New York Post, is not far wrong in describing the Arab Middle East as the world's first entirely parasitic culture because “it imitates poorly, consumes voraciously, spits hatred, exports death, and creates nothing”. Blame has become the opium of the Arabs, and the greatest blame for their failures is that directed at the United States and, of course, Israel. It is their power, not its uses, that enrages the Arabs who are trapped in their own self-made weakness. source: http://www.analyst-network.com/articles/203/ArabianNightmares.doc

Most of the scientists, poets and philosophers in Islam’s golden age (the time of the Abassid Caliphate) were Jews, Christians or Muslims who were suspected of apostasy or blasphemy. Many suffered harassment and even death. Thus if science did flourish during this golden age, it was in spite of Islam and not because of it. source: http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/Ohmyrus/islam_failed_muslims.htm


Bill Heuisler - 9/22/2010

Mr. Butler,
Rudy and Dennis are not very good looking, but you're entitled. Mayor?
We agree on Rudy, but I don't want to see him naked.

As to the death toll, setting aside your use of the word, "civilization" for most of the Muslim world, you have a bet.

Name your stakes and supply me with numbers and places and proof. We will match our sources and decide whether Muslims or non-Muslims killed more of each other. Please do not include the Mongols as part of the Judeo-Christian team.
Bill Heuisler


Peter Kovachev - 9/21/2010

I'm afraid you're not making a lot of sense Jimmy. Especially in your last stream-of-consciousness ejaculation. Our "obstructionist, non-originalist, culture" somehow got us into space, increased standards of living and life expectancy as nothing else ever, and here we are, communicating over a global communication network. Thank goodness we've played the "Great Game," whatever that means, and let's hope the Star and Crescent will soon turn over, fluff-up its pillows and go back to sleep.


james joseph butler - 9/21/2010

Peter one might recall that the catalyst for the anti-govt. war of 1979 in Afghanistan was the Afghan government's decision to educate its females. Naturally America was on the side of those who believed educating females was not in its best interests.

Peter if I peruse any ancient text I find evidence that that was then and this is now. 21st century Muslims or Christians, unless their names are Newt, Terry, or Osama, do not want to ignore the centuries of progress since their gods, prophets, or people, passed.

Peter there has never been a more obstructionist, non-originalist, culture that the West's over the last 400 years. If you play pathologist and examine any century in the last half millenium you'll find that the West has played the Great Game while the Star and Crescent has dozed. After all Peter who rules today?


Peter Kovachev - 9/21/2010

Bravo, Mr Walker! To Mr Smith's argument ...that Islamic societies are uniformly violent, intolerant and backward... you respond with the questionable notion that the university is a medieval Islamic invention and the preposterous statement that under the Soviets, Afghanistan was a "progressive" and "secular" country.

There is a better way
to evaluate Mr Smith's argument: Peruse through the Koran (you can't miss the "references" to Jews, Christians and Animists), examine the human rights conditions of Muslims and non-Muslims in every Islamic country, and look at how Muslims "interact" (today and in the past) with non-Muslims wherever their population reaches above 10%. All resulting from "destabilizing global capital," no doubt.


james joseph butler - 9/21/2010

Bill you're right I did not reveal "exactly" what I believe in. I believe Sarah P is a more than ordinarily attractive 46 something. I'm 53, she's very attractive. Which means zero. I've voted for Denis Kucinich, and Rudy Guiliani for mayor.

Muslims, try reading some 20th century Middle Eastern history Bill. If you actually do that Bill you'll discover that the West; be it Britain France, America, or Israel, is responsible for the deaths of far more Muslims, than the Ottomans, Persians, Iranians, Palestinians, Egyptians et al, whatever stripe Mohammedean killed of our tribe. I will provide details if you desire. Let's begin with Sec. of State Albright's (I know she's a girl but she's still a Sec of State.)1996 statement that 500,000 Iraqi children's deaths were OK if that meant the demise of our one time ally Sadaam Hussein.

Bill, if you agree, I'll be happy to use Google to decide which civilization is responsible for more deaths, Muslim or Judeo-Christian? And while we're at let's include the 21st century.


Bill Heuisler - 9/21/2010

Mr. Butler,
Perhaps English is not your first language, but your use of the words "dangerous" and "conspiracy" don't make much sense.

What exactly do you believe in? You said, "Mr. Heuisler believes that September 2010 is just as dangerous as December 1941." Dangerous is an odd word to describe unprovoked sneak attacks that killed thousands of Americans. The Cole attack killed 17. The Hamburg attack killed 14. The Marine Barracks attack killed hundreds and the Lockerbie attack killed more hundreds.

All these attacks were by Muslims on Americans - some while Americans were fighting for Muslims against Serbs. The operative word here is murder. Murder is dangerous by definition. Conspiracy is your word and cannot be used as a weapon unless you can show how all those Americans were really NOT murdered by Muslims for no reason.

Your overdone contempt for Sarah Palin reeks of an adolescent crush. Please do not inflict your fever dreams on HNN readers.
Bill Heuisler


Obadiah Walker - 9/20/2010

I wanted to commend Peter Walker for his insightful article. Peter Walker shows great promise as both a historian and public intellectual. Winston Smith your response is offensive and shockingly ignorant. I especially take issue with your claim that "intolerance of visible, vibrant diversity is one characteristic of all Islamic societies everywhere." You claim that because of this intolerance Islam is incompatible with higher forms of 'civilization'. You equate Islam with "economic and technological failure" but do you realize that the 'university' developed in the west through the assimilation and translation of Arabic texts in the late middle ages. Mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and a range of other 'sciences' and technological skills were 'imported' into Christian Europe from the Islamic empire. Do you also realize that until about 30 years ago Afghanistan was widely considered to be a 'progressive' and 'secular' country? That it was only by being drawn into the web of global politics that it became 'fundamentalized.' There is nothing innately 'fundamentalist' about Islam - what has caused 'fundemantalization' of Afghanistan and other countries are the destabilizing effects of global Capital - not an inherently violent theological core.


james joseph butler - 9/20/2010

The phenomenon that Peter Walker points to is ageless. The weak minded and uninformed will find Muslims, Jews, Catholics, witches for that matter, to blame for all manner of sins. Mr. Smith knows that 95% of the rapists in Italy are Muslims. Mr. Heuisler believes that September 2010 is just as dangerous as December 1941.

Comfort for the afflicted is what unites all these silly conspiracy theories. The scary part is that a dozen terrorists could put Sarah Palin in the White House and then she can make those biblical prophesies brand new. Wait a second, is that conspiracy? Nope, conspiracy requires duplicity and Ms. Palin is a true believer.


Bill Heuisler - 9/20/2010

Mr Walker,
Defending the aggressor seems foolhardy and unworthy of a scholar. Please turn your accusations of intolerance around. Please examine your arguments.

First, Islam is intolerant from the very writings of Mohammed. Honor killings are intolerant. Sharia Law is intolerant. Burquas are intolerant. Saudi Arabia will not tolerate Christians, and I could go on and on...

Second, you trace the beginning of problems with Islam to 9/11, but you conveniently forget the Achille Lauro where Muslim men threw an American in a wheelchair overboard because he was a Jew. When was that? When were those soldiers bombed in Hamburg Germany? Didn't the first World Trade Tower bombings take place in 1993?

Realize that Islam begs for Western reaction when it attacks innocents and demands concessions. We in the West have been put in the position of having to defend ourselves against aggression in the same way we were forced to act after Pearl Harbor.
Bill Heuisler


Winston Smith - 9/20/2010

What is the guarantee that European Muslims will start conforming to the norms of Europe? And where is the model for such optimism? Where do Muslims in numbers behave like tolerant western Christians/secularists do everywhere, from Argentina to Austria to Australia? For one of the characteristics of any Muslim society is that it never seems to mutate into a post-Muslim society… Christianity is virtually dead as a political force everywhere outside the US, but all societies that were Islamic 500 years ago remain Islamic today. Intolerance of visible, vibrant diversity is one characteristic of all Islamic societies everywhere. Another is intellectual and economic failure. Across the Islamic world, there is not a single university of merit — nor an aircraft manufacturer or pioneering IT company, or even an indigenous and successful car factory… How many Muslim immigrants do China and Japan accept every year? source: http://tinyurl.com/37f9aoq

By 2025, one-third of all European children will be born to Muslims… In Italy, 95% of all rapists are Muslims. Eighty-five percent of all murderers are Muslims… France will have a Muslim majority in less than 25 years! Another telling statistic is that although the Muslims are 12% of France's population, 70 percent of a total of 60,775 prisoners in France are Muslims! All of France's urban suburbs are being roamed by Muslim black African or Arabic gangs… A very high proportion of French Muslims are in the underclass, that segment of the population that relies not so much on education and work as on welfare and predatory activities. In fact, over one thousand Muslim neighborhoods are under monitoring throughout France. Seven hundred of those Muslim neighborhoods are listed as "violent" and nearly 400 hundred are listed as "very violent." Violence ranges from rape (95% of rapists are Muslim), murder (85% of murderers are Muslim), theft and looting of cars (58% committed by Muslims) and street fighting to assault on teachers and civil servants… source: http://www.masada2000.org/islam.html

There are a significant number of Muslim men who are not only ready but eager to riot and kill in response to insults to Islam…To say that Muslims have no choice in the matter, that they must act like animals, is to say that they are animals. If you tease a bear and he kills you, your stupidity is to blame. If you tease a man and he kills you, the murderer is to blame... When Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was asked in an interview about Koran-burning, he brought up former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes' famous comment that the First Amendment "doesn't mean you can shout 'fire' in a crowded theater"... Taken seriously, this comparison suggests rational people have every reason to fear Muslims in much the same way they fear fire. source: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/choosing_to_kill_4y4pb7Rxm5QXkQoUB9THjN