Build bridges with Muslims – but be honest

SIR – I suggest that Robert Pellegrinetti think more critically about Islam (Letter, August 12). Yes, we can distinguish between “Islamic” and “Islamist”, but where do radicals and extremists get their ideology from if not from the Koran itself and the example of their warrior-prophet in 7th-century Arabia?

There are over a hundred verses urging Muslims to pursue and kill “infidels”, including pagans, Jews, Christians and those regarded as not true Muslims (e.g., 8:64 “O prophet of Allah, incite the believers to fight” and 8:60 “Strike terror into the hearts of Allah’s enemies”). Even if many Muslims do not engage in military jihad, they would deep down support terrorism in the name of Islam and not condemn it publicly.

By all means let us “build bridges” with Muslims, but let us not forget that for most of their history, Muslim armies applied their supremacist ideology in subjugating non-Muslims through jihad. First, it was the Middle East (which had been mostly Christian), followed by other conquests around the world. As for Europe, there were repeated attempts by the Ottoman Turks to invade it, ending in defeat at the gates of Vienna in 1683.

Hence we can speak about “Islam waging war on Christianity”. Today, instead of armies, individual radicals are practising jihad, while others use political and even democratic means to infiltrate and dominate public life and institutions. So let’s open our eyes and not be naive about the dangers of Islam spreading in the West.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Joseph Seferta

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