Thursday, 13 September 2012

Right on cue the excellent American Ambassador to Libya dies in a fire provoked by a ridiculous anti-Muslim film put together in California with ham actors and an idiotic script on a low budget. But this is just the latest product of the anti-Islamic industry that I mentioned in my last post. The hate-Islam business has several levels. There is an academic wing, with people like Patricia Crone producing endless sceptical studies that cast doubt on every aspect of the religion's own account of itself. Then there is a populist literature like Tom Holland's 'The Shadow of the Sword' that makes the scholars' abstruse works accessible for the ordinary reader. People like the producers of this new film turn this junk into naked insults. And finally thugs like Breivik decide to get into action. Unfortunately, there are Muslim hotheads who respond with violence, and there is a lack of Muslim leaders giving a calm and reasoned answer to the Islam-haters. A vicious circle of attack and counter-attack is set up, giving the impression that there is an inevitable and general clash of civilizations. Most people are ignorant of the centuries during which Christians and Jews, and later Hindus and Sikhs lived peacefully in societies ruled by Muslims. In the West, and particularly in America, the Medieval Christian demonization of Islam is reborn.

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