Monday, September 25, 2006

Former Prime Minister Sticks it to Islam

MADRID, Sept 23: Former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar on Friday defended Pope Benedict XVI’s comments about Islam, saying the pontiff had no need to apologise and asking why Muslims never did, according to newspaper reports published on Saturday.

“Why do we always have to say sorry and they never do?” Mr Aznar told a conference in the United States.

“It is interesting to note that while a lot of people in the world are asking the pope to apologise for his speech, I have never heard a Muslim say sorry for having conquered Spain and occupying it for eight centuries.”

He was referring to the Muslim conquest of much of the Iberian peninsula, which lasted from the eighth to the 15th century.

[...] Addressing Friday’s conference in Washington on ‘global threats’, Mr Aznar said: “We are living in a time of war... It’s them or us. The West did not attack Islam, it was they who attacked us.

“We must face up to an Islam that is ambitious, that is radical and that influences the Muslim world, a fundamentalist Islam that we must confront because we don’t have any choice.

“We are constantly under attack and we must defend ourselves,” he said.

“I support Ferdinand and Isabella,” he proclaimed, in reference to the medieval Catholic monarchs who drove Muslims out of Spain in 1492.

And therein lies the crux of the whole one-sided issue. Islamic rage is nothing more than an attempt to impose Islamic rules on non-Islamic countries by intimidating them into accepting Islam as the default intellectual position. If Islam is beyond discussion and criticism in the Public Square, then it becomes, essentially, the de facto established religion.

We’re supposed to apologize for quoting a Byzantine emperor whose kingdom would, in a few decades, be conquered, raped, and sacked by the Ottoman (Moslem) Turks. Has anyone on the Moslem side apologized for that?

We are supposed to apologize for the Crusades, but will someone please tell me how the Holy Land got to be Moslem in the first place? Did the Byzantines sell it? No, I don’t think so. Was there a popular referendum? No. Did everybody read the Koran, decide Mohammed had the right of it, and convert? Well, no –Jerusalem was conquered by the sword in 638.

By the way, this was only ten years after Mohammed’s slaughter of the vast numbers of Arabian Jews who refused to convert. Does anyone remember that Medina was originally a Jewish settlement?

I don’t think anyone’s demanding a return to the pre - A.D. 610 borders, for heaven’s sake. But let’s have a little less holier-than-thou from the Moslem side. And let’s have the same tolerance for the free expression of Christianity and other religions in Riyadh and Tehran that Moslems demand for themselves in, say, Detroit or London.