J. Peter Mulhern endorses Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus’s observation that “you will find things only evil and inhuman” in Islam, and draws the appropriate lessons:
“Almost nobody pauses to consider that Manuel might have something to teach us. Instead our conversation centers on whether the Pope is to blame for riling Muslims up and what he (and we) can do to mollify them.
“Our preoccupation with such trivial matters says something important about the chattering class – it is incapable of seeing our problem with Islam. Even the shock of September 11 failed to open many eyes, and the shock wore off long ago. Very few people who comment on public affairs for a living have the courage to face a long, bloody world war. Instead they pretend that our problem with Islam is vastly more manageable than it is.
“They pretend that terrorism is the work of a few demented individuals who have Hijacked a Great Religion for their own perverted purposes. That way they don’t have to deal with the grim reality that tens if not hundreds of millions of people want us all dead. Nor do they have to face the horrible truth that this urge to destroy us is as much a part of Islam as facing Mecca to pray….
“We are the heirs of a culture built on Christian foundations and we are not Muslim. Anything we do to placate our enemies will only make them bolder and more dangerous. Winning our war means nothing less than separating the Muslim world from one of the central tenets of its faith. We have to teach a proud culture a bitter lesson. We have to convince it that Islam can only survive in the modern world by adapting to the reality that the infidel calls the shots. Muslims have to accept that our culture is dominant over theirs.”