Last week I had a long discussion with a good friend who is also a very well-known journalist. We were discussing the state of the world and I reminded him that fully ten years ago I had told him that, based purely on my work as an historian, that 'It's all about Islam.' At the time he absolutely refused to hear such talk. Now, He reluctantly agreed and acknowledged that events had borne out my observation. He cautioned me, however, that we should never acknowledge such a thing, lest we find ourselves at war with the entire Muslim world. I nodded my agreement, knowing deep inside that there was no way to prevent it from developing in that direction.
As if to confirm my worst fears, the entire Muslim world is up in arms and burning churches over recent remarks by the Pope. And what did he say, exactly? According to CNN: Pope Benedict XVI said Tuesday that Islamic holy war was against God's nature and invited Muslims to join in a peaceful cultural dialogue. In that context he cited the much embattled Byzantine emperor, Manuel II Paleologos, who fought against jihadist expansionism by the Ottoman Turks. Manuel's words were harsh, but not wrong. 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.' "
The trouble is that that's exactly what Muhammed preached and that's exactly what Islam teaches and Muslims believe. But what did the Iranians, in their duplicity, announce: "(The) Pope has linked Islam to violence and challenged jihad (holy war) at a time when he apparently closed his eyes to the crimes being perpetrated against defenseless Muslims by the leaders of power and hypocrisy under flag of Christianity and Jewish religion." (What was it Goebbels said about bald faced lies?)
The Pope called a spade a spade. The result was, he backed down. It won't change anything. Islam, as the late and much-lamented Oriana Fallaci has said, has declared war on us, all of us. When will we at least acknowledge that fact?
Last week, a prominent scholar, Professor Moshe Sharon, declared at the Herzliah conference on Counter-Terrorism that there is: "no possibility of peace between Israel and the Palestinians whatsoever, for ever," since the Arab and Islamic world viewed the establishment of Israel as a "reversal of history," and would never accept Israel .
He described peace agreements with Arab Muslim states as "pieces of paper, parts of tactics, strategies," adding that they have "no meaning."
"The root of the problem between us and the Arab world is Islam. Islam is not only a religion. It is a culture, politics… a state, Islam is everything. It has been like this, and it will be like this for the foreseeable future," Sharon said.
Let's hope Bradley Burston is right.