It has been said that he is the West’s greatest scholar of Islam. He allowed the history’s two most provocative civilizations to see each other clearly and he has allowed Muslim, Jew, and Christian to have a real dialogue of civilizations. Professor Bernard Lewis has been denied access to many Muslim countries. Much of his work has been done in Turkey. In March, 2007 professor Lewis received the Kristol Award and delivered the 2007 Irving Kristol Lecture at the American Enterprise Institute Annual Dinner in Washington D.C. ( Present were among a great number of prominent Americans Vice President and Mrs. Dick Cheney.

Professor Lewis pointed out that he was not offering any predictions concerning the future of Europe and the Middle East. He was merely identifying some trends and processes. Now, in the words of Professor Lewis, is a true turning point, a major change. 1800 – 1991 the Middle East was dominated by outsiders. In some of the Muslim countries there are ethnic, sectarian, and regional conflicts at present.

The Cosmic Struggle for World Domination

It seems as if there is a return of the great struggle for world domination between Christianity and Islam. This fight has been ongoing during fourteen centuries. The attitude of triumphalism is still a significant force and this force is expressing itself through new militant organizations.

It has been claimed that the Prophet Muhammed wrote letters to various rulers of the world at the beginning of Islam stating that he had brought God’s final message. Your time, he wrote, has passed. Your beliefs are superceded. Accept my mission and my faith or resign or submit – you are finished.

Then followed the first attack on Christendom. It can be divided into three phases.

During Phase One the Arabian Peninsula was captured. Then Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa. Then followed Spain, Portugal and southern Italy. The Muslim warriors were stopped in France. It took a long and bitter struggle to retake some of the lost territory. One of the lands not retaken for good was the Holy Land during the Crusades.

It did not take Islam long to initiate Phase Two. Now it was the Turks and Tartars, who attacked. The Mongols of Rus had been converted to Islam after conquering the land. The Turks had first taken Anatolia and in 1453 captured Constantinople. Large parts of the Balkans were next in line and for a while Ottomans ruled Hungary. Twice they reached as far as Austria. Barbary corsairs raided Europe from North Africa. Christian states counterattacked, this time more quickly and successfully. Now the term “imperialism” was invented. When Asia and Africa invaded Europe it was not imperialism.

In Phase Two the counterattack reached the Muslim heartlands. The Caliphate was abolished and in the words of Osama bin Laden, Islam had reached the ultimate humiliation.

The Third Phase started in 2001 with the 9/11 attack on New York. Now Islam was taking the war into the heart of the infidel enemy camp. This military new phase is continuing.

Political Correctness

Professor Lewis in his lecture pointed out that originally it was not acceptable that Muslims remained in countries taken by the Christians. They would have to leave and come back when Muslims reconquered the land. The legal interpretation has now changed and Muslims can live in Christian countries if they are permitted to practice their faith.

Before the Third Phase started Muslims had in great numbers started to emigrate to Europe. They were attracted by generous welfare and the possibility of employment. They would have freedom of expression and education, two things they often lacked at home. The answer to the immigration in Europe has been multiculturalism and political correctness. These terms do not exist in Islam. Here they are very conscious of their identity.

A frequent problem in Europe is the ongoing revision of history. The Pope has apologized for the “attack” of the crusades. In 2002 the French Prime Minister Raffarin in the National Assembly introduced Saladin, a hero of Saddam Hussein, as a man who defeated the Crusaders and liberated Jerusalem. Liberated Jerusalem?

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