Monday, September 18, 2006

Reuters' Quotes "Christian" Historians

"In a speech in Germany on Tuesday, the Pope appeared to endorse a Christian view, contested by most Muslims, that the early Muslims spread their religion by violence."

So reads the key section of a Reuters story by Jonathan Wright on the current Islamist upheaval over accurate quotations. My question: Is the view that Islam was spread through violent conquest really "a Christian view." Or is it, perhaps, settled opinion from every reputable historian in the modern world (i.e., not working at a Muslim university)?

I can't imagine anyone referring to the "pagan view" that Europe conquered the Americas through violence, or the "liberal agnostic" view that the Holy Roman Empire used its military might to expand the reach of the Catholic church, or that the religious wars between Catholics and Protestants of 500 years ago were anything other than, well, religious wars. Or is that just "a Protestant view."

Memo to Reuters and the Islamists it is sucking up to: I am not going to abandon facts to the Islamists. I'm not going to be forced by angry Muslims to re-write history. I'm not going to reject modernity, the Enlightenment or the Western notions of free speech and equality just because they offend Islam. I DON'T CARE.

What we need in the modern world are more leaders don't care, either.