Eurislam – A Model for Australia?

Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.

Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France


Population, the sleeping dog of politics, and its kennel companion immigration, have been off the national debate agenda in Australia. They are now being woken up by projections of a population of 35 million by the middle of the century, a startling increase in immigration numbers and a new surge of illegal asylum seekers. A new book with a searing assessment of the effects of immigration on Europe has arrived just in time to warn Australia what to expect—a cultural revolution.

I arrived in England four months after Enoch Powell had shared with the country his vision of “the River Tiber foaming with much blood” if the new Race Relations Bill became law. Politicians of all stripes were still foaming at the mouth. In the hypocrisy of their efforts to condemn Powell to outer political darkness and shut down debate on the real issue he raised—the forces acting against integration with a view to domination, first over fellow-immigrants and then over the rest of the population—they overlooked his second, more important speech. Addressing the politically neutral Rotary Club of Eastbourne in November 1968, Powell shocked his audience by pointing out that at the then current rates of reproduction, and without any further immigration, Britain’s non-white population would increase threefold from 1.5 million to 4.5 million by 2002. Nobody believed him, but demography is the most accurate of the social sciences. The numbers reached 4.6 million in 2001. Numbers, he said, were the very heart of the matter.

How appropriate then that Christopher Caldwell takes Powell as the starting point of his Reflections on the Revolution in Europe. Forty years ago, the empire loyalist, classical scholar (who had become Professor of Greek at Sydney University at twenty-five), rising parliamentary star and brilliant orator was making Caldwell’s principal point—Western Europe was becoming a multi-ethnic society in a fit of absence of mind. Powell, he says, might have been morally wrong but he was factually correct. Now, for the first time in centuries, Europeans are living in a world that, for the most part, they did not shape. Frustrations are increasing; all European countries are getting more immigrants than their voters want, and that is a good indication that democracy is malfunctioning. But politicians believe these are moral issues, not to be voted on. One cabinet minister told Caldwell: “Our new mission is defending the border of civility and human rights.” Nothing about the conflict of civilisations.

Reflections is the study of a still-accelerating demographic revolution that has changed the face and faces of Europe, the story of a continent still trying, but failing, to cope with consequences nobody foresaw. Caldwell’s book may lack the cadences of Edmund Burke’s treatise, on which he obviously modelled his title, but it may well prove as important for its times—and more influential. It certainly offers a challenge to those politicians who see no risks in immigration, and who glibly proclaim Islam a religion of peace. It offers useful lessons and warnings for Australia, which is following the same paths as Europe in fostering multicultural diversity, coping inadequately with the threat of terrorism, restricting civil liberties in the name of equality, and viewing the importation of young migrants as the panacea for the inter-generational problem of an ageing population.

Caldwell has two big advantages over Enoch Powell. First, as an American he has a clear-eyed trans-Atlantic detachment. Second, he is dealing with here-and-now problems, not predictions that can be dismissed as racist rabble-rousing. Nevertheless, he paints just as bleak a picture of a continent where denial is still frequently the official response, as Europeans struggle to come to terms with the subversion of their culture. Paradoxically, this subversion is the result of enlightened policies of multicultural tolerance.

Caldwell knows Europe, and France in particular, better than many other commentators. A Harvard graduate, he is a journalist who writes for the Financial Times and is a senior editor at the conservative Weekly Standard. This has apparently given critics such as historian Mark Mazower of Columbia University licence to attack the work as a “sinister fantasy that has less to do with reality than with neo-conservative anxieties about the decline of the West”. Yet the thoughtful and surprisingly favourable reviews it received from both the Guardian and the Observer—which are much closer to the problems than Mazower—acknowledge the validity of much of its analysis.  

It was Roy Jenkins, Labour’s reformist Home Secretary in the 1960s, who first propounded the idea that immigrants to Britain no longer had to integrate. Encouraging newcomers to retain their own values was a new way of thinking about Britain, and represented the birth of multiculturalism. The virtues of the multicultural era, Caldwell points out, were elite virtues, often embraced to favour the elites. In Europe, the immigration problem was the race problem, so the only acceptable opinion to hold was that immigration was a success and an “enrichment”. To express misgivings about immigration was to risk being tagged racist.

Caldwell’s book is not politically correct. But it poses an important and universal question: is political correctness merely fear posing as tolerance? Europe, it argues, is a civilisation in decline. It has lost the will to defend its core values against a highly disciplined, morally righteous politico-religious culture that has penetrated its secular heartland. But when Europeans assert their “values”, what are they asserting, Caldwell asks. “A religious heritage? A philosophical heritage? A morality? A lifestyle? Clearly they do not know.” In this uncertainty, immigration is not enhancing European culture, it is supplanting it. Inevitably, the focus is on Islam and its Muslims. For most Europeans, Islam threatens their liberation from religion.

Of Europe’s 375 million people, 40 million are living outside the countries of their birth. Caldwell’s book is not concerned with the extensive intra-European movement of workers, but with something else—the desire of non-Europeans to settle in Europe for good, bringing the problems of multi-ethnic and multi-cultural societies. There are now 20 million Muslims in Europe as a result of postwar waves of immigration that were larger, less manageable and less soluble than any before. There are 5 million Muslims in France, 4 million in Germany and 2 million in Britain. Net migration into Europe is at record levels of around 1.7 million a year, despite restrictions that have been imposed since the 1970s. Illegal entry by aircraft and boat, family reunions and arranged marriages negate them; high birth rates augment the numbers within. There is a huge gap in fertility rates between natives and Muslim immigrants.

These are some politically incorrect points Caldwell makes:

• European countries have fallen into the “fertility trap”. Instead of the 2.1 children per woman necessary to maintain the native population, Austria and Germany consider 1.7 ideal; it is 1.3 in Italy, Spain, Eastern Germany and the Baltic countries.

• By 2050, Britain will have 7 million “non-whites” if all migration is halted; 16 million if migration continues at the present rate of 108,000 a year.

• In France, native French women have 1.7 children each, foreign-born women have 2.8, while Tunisians, Turks and Moroccans average between 3.3 and 3.4—more than in their home countries.

• From the south of France to Denmark, eight major cities have populations that are more than 20 per cent Muslim.

• Many British neighbourhoods are ethnic islands which are not integrated and where the young people are dis-assimilating.

• Native Europeans are getting old. A quarter of them are over sixty.

All European countries, Caldwell says, are coming to the wrenching conclusion that they have somehow, without anyone actively choosing it, turned into bazaars. The official view in Europe, he says, assumes that the rapid population growth among immigrants will stop—an almost religious faith in birth rates falling as people become more prosperous. But birth rates might not converge. Muslim culture is unusually full of messages stressing the practical advantages of procreation. He quotes Hadith 1:599 of the Sunan of Ibn Majah: “Marry, for I will outnumber peoples by you.”

 This may sound like a racist rant to some, but only because the subject is politically taboo. The book is more balanced than that, and Caldwell is only too aware of the paradoxes in the situation. The Green and anti-globalisation movements are evidence of the West’s tendency to advance too far too fast, he says; Islam is an exhilarating re-vivifying opportunity, “an infusion of oxygen into the drab, nit-picking materialistic intellectual life of the West”. He lists decency, loyalty, the family centre, respect for elders, confidence and pride in one’s history, culture, religion and traditions—all Muslim values and ones that once underpinned European civilisation in the Judeo-Christian tradition. It should be hard, he points out, for anyone to withhold a measure of gratitude to Islam for making those questions audible again. As for repugnance at British citizens going abroad as Taliban fighters or suicide bombers, he draws attention mischievously to “a strain of adventure tourism in the service of both noble and sadistic ideologies that runs through European history from the Crusades to the Spanish Civil War”. He quotes Byron in Greece fighting the Ottoman empire:

When a man hath no freedom to fight for at home,

Let him combat for that of his neighbours.

Let him think of the glories of Greece and Rome,

And get knock’d on the head for his labours.

How did Europe find itself in this situation? It started simply enough, with nobody imagining that migrants would stay. Postwar Europe, Caldwell posits, was built on an intolerance of intolerance, due to deep feelings of guilt over Nazism and colonialism. For Britain, it began with the dissolution of its empire, and the shock to find that tens of thousands of non-white British citizens in its colonies would actually want to come to live in England. Successive amendments to the Immigration Acts in 1962, 1968 and 1971 failed to control the flows. (In the late 1960s, I observed that it also proved a struggle to craft a non-discriminatory policy of patriality that preserved some traditional rights for those descendants of Britons living in white Commonwealth countries.)

West Germany’s guest worker (Gastarbeiter) program, initiated to boost postwar reconstruction, turned into a European colossus, recruiting labour from all around the Mediterranean, with Turks the biggest element. Altogether 18.5 million came to work on two-year contracts. Three quarters of them went home but 4.5 million workers stayed because the government yielded to business pressure to renew contracts and allow families to join them. As elsewhere, this resulted in “chain migration”. The attractions of the welfare state are now apparent: between 1970 and 2000, foreign residents in Germany increased from 3 million to 7.5 million but the number employed remained steady at 2 million. France scoured Europe for manpower, eventually benefiting from a flight of refugees from the Algerian revolution. By 2004 there were 4.3 million foreign-born people living in France. But, says Caldwell, the planners had exaggerated the need for long-term industrial labour in Europe. As textile mills, steel plants and coal mines closed, and productivity increased, Europe experienced the same layoffs and unemployment as the US rust belt. That was the first immigration wave.

On the banks of the Moselle River, in the heart of one of Europe’s prettiest wine-growing districts, stand three pillars with large cut-out stars. They commemorate the signing in 1985 of the Schengen Agreement, the political act which for the last twenty years has condemned Europe to an unregulated flow of illegal migrants and asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East. Schengen progressively abolished internal border controls between twenty-six countries—but left immigration controls to individual states. The result, as Caldwell points out, has meant that the immigration policy for the whole of Western Europe was set, at any given time, by whichever member state happened to be the most soft-hearted, lax, corrupt or sanctimonious. So Italy and Spain became the open back doors to Europe. Would-be migrants quickly realised that once they could set foot in those countries, they could move freely in Europe, often heading for the state with the best welfare system.

Living in Italy in the 1990s at the time of the Yugoslav conflict, I saw all those four characteristics encourage wholesale people-smuggling across the Adriatic by speedboat from Albania. Coastal patrols failed to intercept them; nightly news bulletins showed pathetic scenes of would-be migrants who had been dumped on remote beaches, in some cases thrown overboard and left to swim ashore or drown. The attraction of Europe then began to suck in refugees from the warlord-induced famine in Somalia; truckloads of human cargo made the long overland journey to Libya before beginning the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean to the Italian islands of Lampedusa and Pantelleria. That trade continues today.

A series of amnesties for illegal migrants in Spain precipitated new waves of boat people, first from Morocco, then from sub-Saharan Africa. The Senegalese discovered that a risky eight-day voyage in a lothio, the long banana-shaped West African fishing boat, could land them in Spain’s Canary Islands. Like Australia’s Christmas Island, the Canaries are a stepping-stone to the promised land. Flotillas attempt the journey every summer; 30,000 migrants a year enter Europe that way; unknown thousands die when outboard motors break down and they drift out into the Atlantic. The traffic has now extended to countries even further south—The Gambia, even Guinea. The Africans quickly learned, and were coached, to arrive without papers to prove their country of origin. Under Spanish law, the authorities have only forty days to establish nationality, or the arrivals must be admitted as refugees. Caldwell says NGOs and the Red Cross have acted as informal immigration lawyers.

The speed with which the Canaries became recognised as a traversable wormhole between the parallel universes of Africa and Europe indicates the strength of the informal networks of people-smugglers and asylum seekers.

With this example available, it seems scarcely credible that the Australian government should continue to pretend that the abolition of temporary protection visas and its more accommodating policies have not encouraged the Indian Ocean traffic. In 2007, 148 illegal migrants arrived in five boats off Ashmore Reef; this year, more than 1200 had come in the first nine months, over 400 of them in nine vessels within three weeks.

Bernard Lewis, the Princeton historian and leading Islamic scholar, believes Europe will be part of the Arabic West by the end of the century. Maybe not, says Caldwell; but it does have a “nation of Islam” within it, growing inexorably. He devotes a good deal of his book to Europe’s responses, and they make depressing reading. Multicultural tolerance, coupled with self-loathing, has engendered a reverse discrimination. The friction of accommodating Islam—a culture that Christianity has opposed, sometimes violently, for 1400 years—has too often meant the sacrifice of liberties that Europeans once thought of as rights. A small example was the banning of all conspicuous religious symbols in French, Italian and German schools. Yarmulkes and crosses had to go as the price for prohibiting head scarves. Everyone knew this was a phony neutrality to disguise the singling out of Islam. Sweden has a small minority of Somalis and other East Africans who take their children home for female circumcision. A cabinet minister proposed (unsuccessfully) the genital examination of all small girls to combat the practice. The explosive response to the Danish cartoons—a publicity stunt to expose the double standards creeping into artistic freedom—proved that “non-Muslims, wherever they might be, cross Muslim religious taboos at their peril”. The result, Caldwell observes, is a one-sided freedom for artists to lampoon Christianity.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop George Pell of Sydney failed to win an injunction to prevent Piss Christ, a crucifix steeped in urine, being exhibited in the National Gallery of Victoria. British ceramic artist Grayson Perry has no problem showing his works of erotic blasphemy—the Virgin Mary being born out of a penis, for example—but admits he would never mock Islam for fear of having his throat cut. That restraint makes his work Islamic art, says Caldwell. Writers from Salman Rushdie to Ayaan Hirsi Ali fear for their lives; the film-maker Theo van Gogh was assassinated for parts of his film that criticised Koranic passages on women.

There is a de facto blasphemy law available unilaterally to Muslims—the violence of religious fanatics; so, in Europe, freedom of religion has come to mean freedom of Islam. Some authorities in Australia are all too willing to endorse this hypocrisy of self-censorship in the spurious name of equality. When my grandchildren went to live in Greece, their teachers could not understand why they adamantly refused parts in the school Nativity play. They finally discovered the reason: their Sydney kindergarten had taught them that celebrating Christmas was evil because it was offensive to children of other faiths.

In 2006, when the Blair government responded to Muslim sensitivities with its Racial and Religious Hatred Act, the House of Lords forced amendments which require a prosecutor to demonstrate an intention to stir up religious hatred. They included a protection of freedom of religion clause that reads:

“Nothing in this [Act] shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents, or of any other belief system or the beliefs or practices of its adherents, or proselytising or urging adherents of a different religion or belief system to cease practising their religion or belief system.”

Caldwell apparently did not pick up the fact that the Lords were strongly influenced in their determination by the prosecution of two Christian pastors of the Catch the Fire Ministries under Victoria’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act, which has no such protections. This case, which went on for five years until the complaint by the Islamic Council of Victoria was denied on appeal and subsequently resolved by negotiation in 2007, warned Britain that such legislation threatened free speech and was liable to inflame rather than calm religious tensions. Significantly, the agreed settlement of the Victorian case stated that all parties acknowledged the right to robustly debate religion. In a research paper for the Sydney University Law School, Patrick Parkinson summed up religious vilification laws as having:

“a chilling effect on legitimate expressions of religious freedom because of the impact that ‘folklaw’ and risk-averse management have on people’s behaviour. They may also create conflict by establishing a new forum for disputes that courts can never resolve.”

In its anti-discrimination legislation, Queensland has similar provisions to Victoria’s, but other states have refused to follow. As Caldwell observes: “protecting people from criticism of features they cannot control—skin colour, sex, ethnicity—is different from protecting them from criticism of their beliefs”.

Europe’s non-negotiable attitude to sexual liberation is at the front line of cultural and racial friction. Its post-religious morality encompasses dress standards (or lack of them), public comportment, contempt for non-working wives, children’s upbringing in care centres, and homosexuality. The Netherlands prepares candidates for naturalisation with a video illustrating the country’s moral peculiarities which include gays expressing affection in public and bare-breasted women on the beach. French novelist Michel Houellebecq argues that a world in which sexual pleasure is a pre-eminent good is not a world in which people are brought closer together. Labelling brand-new gender and sexual arrangements as “core European principles” to be defended against Islam is false, observes Caldwell, because what secular Europeans call “Islam” is a set of values that Dante and Erasmus would have recognised as theirs.

Australians were brought face to face with this cultural conflict when Sheik Hilali defined scantily dressed girls as cat meat, an unfortunate, perhaps even dangerous analogy. Public outrage at the assumed implication that bodily exposure legitimised sexual attack obscured the determination to defend Australians’ right to offend with revealing clothing. Few stopped to reflect that Sheik Hilali’s attitude to modesty was not so far from the strictures of Christian morality of times past.

As in Australia, diversity is the treasured myth among well-meaning Europeans because, as Caldwell believes, their utopia can be built on it. That is the natural consequence of abandoning assimilation. He says:

“Before the age of mass immigration, assimilation was an imperative, because not assimilating meant ostracism, loneliness and non-participation in the economy. If the need to assimilate was never spelled out legally, this was only because it was too obvious to have to be.”

He is correct, up to a point. Incorporating Australia’s postwar intake of European migrants into a society of 7 million was a massive undertaking, but assimilation was the stated goal and organisations like the New Settlers’ League helped smooth the path. What changed was the politics. Increasingly in Europe, as in Australia, naturalised immigrants were asserting the right, and were encouraged, to “integrate”—basically to live as foreigners, provided they obeyed the law. Caldwell makes the point that to demand that immigrants must obey the law is to demand exactly nothing from them. Europe’s problem is how to graft onto the Islamic religion not just a loyalty to Muslims’ new countries of citizenship but also a respect for constitutional rights known to be anathema in almost every part of the Muslim world. It is Australia’s problem too. Victoria’s glossy brochure for multiculturalism, All of Us, makes almost no demands on migrants and stresses rights ahead of duties. There is no requirement to learn English or understand Australia’s history and democratic system or to subscribe to its important basic freedoms. As a document on racial and cultural integration, it can be regarded only as wishful thinking.

Caldwell’s summary is that for a lot of Western liberals it is an article of faith that the course of Western history will be imitated or submitted to by everyone else: “it can be a pathetic spectacle to watch them waiting around for Islam to modernise”. On the contrary, in Europe, Muslims are being assimilated into globalised Islam through modern technologies. Al-Jazeera’s weekly fatwa show on satellite television is watched all over Europe; the internet is the modern equivalent of rumour, gossip, urban myths and old wives’ tales.

Caldwell is concerned at what he calls the “double language” of Muslim leaders. By this he means preaching a consistent message that will be understood in different ways by two different audiences. He cites the pronouncements of Tariq Ramadan, a political activist, writer and freelance theologian based in Geneva. Caldwell says Ramadan makes the case for Islam in a pluralistic enough way, and like many an anti-globalisation campaigner reviles “the soulless capitalism that puts everything up for sale”. But his leftism is a negative spiritual evaluation. Islam has sagesse, says Ramadan, while the West merely has savoir faire. He admires the power of the West; what he admires about Islam is its wisdom. In a just society, he says, power must serve wisdom. It is impertinent, he believes, to demand reciprocal obligations from Muslims. What Islam will contribute to the West is Islam.

The cornerstone of the European strategy against terrorism (as in Australia) has been reaching out to so-called “moderate” Muslims. On a visit to Malaysia in 2006, John Howard praised that nation as “a great example of a moderate, constructive and competitive country”. (He said, or knew, nothing about the religious discrimination in Malaysia.) But, says Caldwell, no one has defined with any precision what a moderate Muslim is, or whether that term should be understood politically or religiously. Westerners expected loud and unambiguous denunciations of terrorism, especially after September 11 in the USA and July 7 in London, as the only way of telling moderates from radicals, but for the most part, Muslims have failed the test. Nevertheless Western politicians continue to assert that terrorism never overlaps the Muslim religion in any way. Only days after the Twin Towers atrocity, George W. Bush set the tone for such interpretations, proclaiming, “Islam is peace.” Yet in Europe, the defection of naturalised European citizens back to their ancestral identities poses a serious problem for politicians. At the Bellagio Dialogue on the challenges of international migration in 2006, one politician told Caldwell: “The first thing that has to be done, is to keep migration separate from terrorism.”

All European countries pursue roughly the same strategy for accommodating Islam—elevating Muslim pressure groups to pseudo-governmental status, and declaring that doing so will produce an Islam that reflects the values of Europe rather than vice versa.

France established its Council of the Muslim Faith, but it has fallen under the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. Italy tried with its Consulta per l’Islam Italiano, but it failed to achieve representative status because of disputes between representatives of “cultural” Islam—secular Muslims who believe in the clear separation of religion and politics—and radical elements, again linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. A study of Islam in Italy by the Hudson Institute reflects that country’s nervousness about terrorism. It quotes Abu Qatada, known as Osama bin Laden’s “ambassador in Europe” and a jihadist theorist: “Rome is a cross, the West is a cross and Romans are the owners of the cross. Muslims’ target is the West. We will split Rome open.” After the September 11 attack, the Howard government set up a Muslim Advisory Board but abandoned it a year later after complaints it was unrepresentative. Eighteen months ago, the Rudd government promised to appoint a new, more secular body that would tackle what it called “the myths surrounding Islam”.

Inter-faith dialogue has not been any more successful. Pope Benedict has questioned publicly whether Islam can be accommodated in a pluralistic society. He has “tempered” the inter-religious dialogue started by the Franciscans of Assisi. Caldwell’s view is that inter-religious dialogue is based on the Christian delusion that they are the stronger partner because they know their country’s institutions better, and hold commanding positions in the economy. But the gains go to religious people, he says; what Europeans saw as magnanimity was actually a shift in religious power towards Muslims. One example of this was the attempt to reclaim the cathedral of Cordoba in Spain, built as a mosque 800 years ago on top of a Visigoth church.

The final myth that Caldwell is keen to demolish is the idea that immigration is necessary to maintain economic growth and standards of living and to support an ageing population. A new forecast of an Australian population of 35 million by 2050 recognises rising birth rates, but is largely based on a net inflow of people 20 per cent higher than previously. But will this just help migrants earn more than they could in their own countries? Some economists point out that economic growth produced by immigration is good only if it raises the real wealth of the existing population.

With its rapidly ageing population, Europe has touted immigration as the means of raising the “support ratio”—the number of workers per retiree. But, says Caldwell, for immigrants to help put the welfare state (with its generous pensions) back on a sound actuarial footing, they and their descendants must pay more into welfare than they take out. They don’t earn enough to do that; the evidence is that migrants take more out of welfare than they put in. As soon as they are legally and socially admitted to society, they acquire all sorts of rights and expectations. The gains from immigration, Caldwell says, are all paid back in later generations—they are borrowed, not earned. Nevertheless, immigrants are now being cast in a new role as the deus ex machina of European luxury:

“They would emerge from the desiccated and starving hamlets of the Third World and ride to the rescue of the retirement cheques and second homes, the wine tastings and snorkelling vacations of the most pampered workforce in the history of the planet.”

The Australian government is keen to shut off debate on population and immigration. Treasurer Wayne Swan asserts flatly that immigration is good for the economy.

What might safeguard Australia? For a start, we now know more about Islam than Hilaire Belloc, writing The Great Heresies in 1938: “Westerners … have never come in contact with it. They take for granted that it is decaying, and that, anyway, it is just a foreign religion which will not concern them.” Scale is the problem in Europe, but in the last Australian census, Muslims represented less than 2 per cent of the population. Unless a political, social or geological upheaval in Indonesia were to launch a Vietnamese-style boat invasion, Australia’s remoteness is to its advantage. Caldwell concludes that universal secularism and the separation of church and state have proved inadequate as a means of regulating Islam, but Australia still counts itself 65 per cent Christian and there are important differences. Its parliamentary sittings open with prayer; all but three European countries rejected the inclusion of God in the proposed European constitution. In an ironic role reversal, the inquisitors of the EU black-balled devout Italian philosopher-politician Rocco Buttiglione as Minister for Justice in the European Commission for his strongly-held religious views. Australian politicians regularly and openly assert the importance of their faith.

There is more diversity in Islam than many imagine —even non-practising Muslims—but inevitably, the focus will be on the question of integrating an alien culture, and dealing with the dissident fanatics it is known to harbour. Christopher Caldwell suggests that those ready to dismiss such concerns as racist should listen to the message of the French philosopher Ernest Renan in his essay L’Islam et la Science, written in 1883:

“Those liberals who defend Islam do not know Islam. Islam is the seamless union of the spiritual and the temporal, it is the reign of dogma, it is the heaviest chain mankind has ever borne … as soon as Islam had a mass of ardent believers at its disposal, it destroyed everything in its path. Religious terror and hypocrisy were the order of the day. Islam has been liberal when weak, and violent when strong. Let us not give it credit for what it was merely unable to suppress.” 

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