Bernard Lewis is an apologist for Islam

In Another “Just So” Story”, Andy Bostom takes on Bernard Lewis for some of his views.

Now Diana West joins the fight. In What about the Record, after decrying the fact that the Doner’s have pledged $7.4 Billion to the PA without even asking for a “thank you”, she attempts to explain why. Some of the blame, she attributes to Lewis.

    As it happens, I began the calendar year thinking about this subject — exonerating Islam — while discussing a PBS documentary on antisemitism in the Islamic world. The show’s conclusion: What isn’t Israel’s fault is that of the West.

    What was startling about the message, however, was one of the messenger’s: none other than the eminent historian Bernard Lewis. He declared that antisemitism didn’t even exist in the Middle East until European Christian colonizers brought it. You don’t need to be a scholar of Mr. Lewis’ stature to know that European colonization of the Middle East didn’t begin until some 1,100 years after Islamic anti-semitism got going in the Koran, the canonical commentaries on the Koran and in a long and painful (for Christians also) historical record.

    Because Mr. Lewis is probably the most influential voice on Islam in our time — particularly for the U.S. foreign policy establishment — this pronouncements are more than significant. Right or, in this case, wrong, they become the conventional wisdom, or reinforce it.

    This comes to mind because Mr. Lewis has done it again — holding Europe responsible for unpalatable traditions of Islam. Writing at The American Thinker blog, Andrew Bostom, author of “The Legacy of Jihad” and, forthcoming, “The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism,” quotes a recent speech in which Mr. Lewis said: “The authoritarianism present in the Middle East region is not part of the Arab and Muslim traditions, but it has been imported from Europe.”

    Mr. Bostom goes on to cite copious chapter and verse — including earlier writings by Mr. Lewis himself — demonstrating that “the Arab and Muslim tradition” needed no lessons from Europe on authoritarianism.

    Why is Mr. Lewis making statements contradicted by the historical record? If European Christendom truly is the source of Islamic evil-e.g., antisemitism and authoritarianism-Islam is let off the hook, and blame falls on the West. Whether that is Lewis’ point, it is certainly Lewis’ effect.

    And it is certainly the conventional wisdom. Not very wise, though, when it helps feed the kind of guilt assuaged only by giving billions of dollars to murderers and thieves.

December 21, 2007 | Comments Off on Bernard Lewis is an apologist for Islam

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