Intolerance in Europe: A Historical Perspective
By Muneed Baig
has been a recent surge in Islamophobia in
the strongest of the Church's labels against Islam was plagiarism.
Anything noble in Islam was considered copied; anything considered bad (by
their account) was Islam's own creation. The Catholic Encyclopedia asserts
audaciously: "What is really good in Mohammedan ethics is either
commonplace or borrowed from some other religions, whereas what is
characteristic is nearly always imperfect or wicked."
types of false and malicious allegations were laid against the
fundamentals of Islam. The personality of the Noble Prophet (Sallaho
Alaihe Wassallam) was
attacked in ways that was not done even by the pagans of Makkah.
Muslim parliament of
who negotiated with Muslim rulers were suspected and accused of treason,
… Working for Muslims was a sin. Christians had to be rescued
from Muslim rule because their faith was in danger, hence the crusades.
Within Christendom, contacts with Muslims and Jews were not allowed.
Christians were forbidden to work in Muslim and Jewish households. Muslims
and Jews could not hold any position of public authority,
they also had to wear a distinct clothing so that they didn't mix. The
adhan was banned as it was an offence to mention the name of Muhammad (Sallaho
Alaihe Wassallam) amongst
the worshippers of Christ. Muslims had to be converted. They were forced
to accept missionaries in their mosques so that conversion could be
literature is filled with diatribes against Islam and Prophet Muhammad(Sallaho
Dante's Divine Comedy is a famous example of this hate. But Dante was not
alone. The Catholic Encyclopedia writes, "Luther looked upon him
[Prophet Muhammad (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)]
as 'a devil and first-born child of Satan'…Spanheim and D'Herbelot
characterize him as a 'wicked impostor,' and a 'dastardly liar', while
Prideaux stamps him as a willful deceiver."
prejudice also affected the vocabulary. "Paynim" is an archaic
English word whose roots start from Latin "paganus" meaning
pagan, but is used to especially refer to Muslims. The word Mohammedanism
was invented to convey the message that Muslims worship a man named
Mohammad instead of Almighty God.
it is not difficult to understand how the Crusades erupted and how an
extreme fervor was excited inside the hearts of ignorant men by the clergy
to "wrest that land [
the decline and fall of the Church and during the period of the
Renaissance, secularism rose and became the dominant force in
the fall of the Church and the start of the period of
"Enlightenment" and Renaissance, fundamental sicknesses remained
in the European body: racism, arrogance, intolerance, oppression, and
immorality. Neither the Christian Church nor the "
colonial period shows the effects of these sicknesses in the mindset of
the Europeans. The slave trade targeted "inferior"
civilizations: Africans and Native Americans. Nearly 30% of the slaves
intolerance showed by Europeans to their new subjects is beyond
comparison. It is a reflection of the arrogance and greed that
characterized the imperial masters.
the past century, the World Wars took place. The
the history of
of them were Muslims from former colonies. They were never accepted as
equals but their different ways were tolerated for the time being in the
hope that they would slowly dissolve in the melting pot under the heat and
pressure of the pop culture.
to the bewilderment of the superior race that did not happen. And now this
façade of tolerance and freedom is already starting to crumble.
the people who still cherish a long history of racism, bigotry, and
ignorance, the presence of hijab in schools is threatening. The increasing
demand for building of mosques and for halal
foods is unsettling. The interest and confidence the young Muslims are
showing in their own religion and culture is unnerving. The idea that
Muslims could have equal rights is unacceptable. The fact that despite all
the propaganda increasing numbers of open minded and sincere Westerners
are finding solutions to their problems in Islam is devastating. So they
have now decided to forcibly assimilate Muslims into their societies.
following quote from a paper presented by John Bowen at the Conference of
the Europeanists, (Chicago
unequivocal and emphatic support of the French president for a bill to ban
hijab in schools and workplaces as well as to prevent women from asking
for women doctors in hospitals (and males asking for male doctors) is an
example of the suppression of basic rights of citizens that are glorified
in the Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, and the Helsinki Accords.
VII of the Helsinki Accords, of which all European countries are
signatories, clearly states:
participating States will respect human rights and fundamental freedoms,
including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief…They
will promote and encourage the effective exercise of civil, political,
economic, social, cultural and other rights and freedoms all of which
derive from the inherent dignity of the human person and are essential for
his free and full development…the participating States will recognize
and respect the freedom of the individual to profess and practice, alone
or in community with others, religion or belief acting in accordance with
the dictates of his own conscience."
not one country in
some Muslims are still confused that
In a letter on
And in a very interesting quote, Remy
Schwartz, general reporter of the Stasi commission and a member of the
State Council, decided that girls cannot be allowed to wear hijab because,
"For a girl to wear a veil is for her individual liberties to be
compromised…By letting veiled girls into school, we are also condoning
inequality between men and women."
Schwartz is deciding that Muslim girls cannot wear the hijab, simply
because if they do, their individual liberties will be compromised. It
does not matter if the girl wants to wear it or not; in fact she does not
have the liberty to decide for herself! This is a very revealing example
of European protection of "individual liberties."
debate and controversy is not just about a piece of cloth on one's head;
rather, according to Remy Schwartz "the veil and what
it signifies is incompatible with the concept of the
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's comments in 2001: "We must
be aware of the superiority of our civilisation, a system that has
guaranteed well-being, respect for human rights and - in contrast with
Islamic countries - respect for religious and political rights." He
added that the Western civilization is superior because "it has at
its core - as its greatest value - freedom, which is not the heritage of
Islamic culture." He went on to conclude that the West would
eventually conquer Islam.
the above with Pope Urban II's speech in 1095, when he called for the
race of Franks,... race beloved and chosen by
God,... set apart from all other nations... by your Catholic faith and the
honor you render to the holy Church; to you our discourse is addressed....
We wish you to know what a serious matter has led us to your country, for
it is the imminent peril threatening you and all the faithful that has
brought us hither…[he mentions some alleged wrongs of the Turks]…On
whom, therefore, rests the labor of avenging these wrongs and of
recovering this territory, if not upon you -- you upon whom, above all
other nations, God has conferred remarkable glory in arms, great courage,
bodily activity, and strength to humble the heads of those who resist you?
Let the deeds of your ancestors encourage you and incite your minds to
manly achievements…Let the holy sepulcher of our Lord and Savior, which
is possessed by the unclean nations, especially arouse you…Enter upon
the road of the Holy Sepulcher, wrest that land from the wicked race, and
subject it to yourselves....."
ideals and reasons for superiority, but the same tone and mindset.
Article taken (with Thanks) from Albalagh.net
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This page was last updated on June 14, 2003 .