Members of Ukrainian female protest group Femen demonstrate in London to draw attention to what they call “bloody Islamist regimes” taking part in the Olympics. – I dag er der jo Counter Jihad demonstration i Stockholm – “Islamhatet tågar in – i Stockholm.” Svenske medier har kørt en målrettet modkampagne de sidste 5 dage med venstreradikale EXPO som ekspertvidner. Ret sigende at de har fundet så stort et skyts nødvendigt. Før internet ville de bare have tiet det ihjel. Således også Sveriges Statsradio i dag med denne patetiske reportage, hvor EXPO endnu engang udbreder sig om noget, de egentlig ikke ved ret meget om. Men hvad, de får jo penge og medietid for det, og ingen kræver at hverken de eller SR er bare nogenlunde sandfærdige. Jeg kunne fylde nogle af deres huller ud hvis jeg ville, men det ville bare genere deres trygge slummer og desuden snakker jeg ikke over mig til Stasier.
Notes on a Century: Reflections of a Middle East Historian
Det er ikke mange 95-årige, der udgiver bøger. Jeg har plukket fra tre forskellige anmeldelser af Bernard Lewis’ nye bog:
Bernard Lewis’ new book, Notes on a Century: Reflections of a Middle East Historian, written at the age of 95, is essentially his autobiography. Since he is, above all, a scholar, much of his life has been thinking and writing.
In any case, as Lewis states, this clash is being resumed today because of a reanimated Islam. Lewis was one of the first to point to the pronounced “surge in religious passion” back in the 1970s. “Muslim fundamentalists,” he notes, “are not worried about liberal theology, because there isn’t any, and they are not worried about criticism of the Koran, because that has not been an issue.” What they want is to restore Sharia and to expunge their lands of Western influences. The lead organization in this resurgence is the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928 in reaction to the abolition of the caliphate by Atatürk in 1924. Lewis has been one of the strongest voices warning about the consequences of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ascendancy in the current struggles in the Middle East. Unfortunately, since this book’s publication, they have come even closer to success, a prospect that leaves the current U.S. State Department apparently unconcerned. (Incidentally, President Barack Obama goes unmentioned in this book, which is perhaps another reason to read it.)
The book contains several delicious quotations from world leaders. In the early 1970s, Lewis visited with the then Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kwan Yew, who spoke to Lewis about the problem of the Muslim minority population. He said, “we do everything we can to help them. We give them preferential treatment… now, despite everything we do to help them, they keep sinking to the bottom of the pile. I have two questions for you, why are they like that, and what can we do about it?” Lewis modestly claims that his answer was inadequate, though I wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall to hear it.
I was fascinated by Lewis’s account of slavery in the Muslim world, a subject he argues that is also unmentioned, out of fear of giving offence. He observes that the study of slavery in the Greek and Roman worlds and the Americas amounts to thousands of titles, while in the Muslim world, ‘despite slavery’s importance in virtually every area and period,’ the list might take up a mere couple of pages. The subject is so sensitive that ‘it is difficult, and sometimes professionally hazardous for a young scholar to turn his attention in this direction.’
A Turkish general told Lewis, “The real problem with having the Americans as your allies is you never know when they will turn around and stab themselves in the back.”
Lewis recalls a Jewish guest at one of Pope John Paul II’s dinner parties asking the pontiff what his attitude was to Jews and Judaism. “His reply was truly memorable, ‘As to an elder brother.’ The profundity of this remark grows on you.” The profundity of Lewis’s own thinking has a similar effect.