The Corner

The long game

In my book (coming soon to a Canadian courthouse near you!), I cite a famous passage of Gibbon’s:

Poitiers was the high-water point of the Muslim tide in western Europe. It was an opportunistic raid by the Moors, but, if they’d won, they’d have found it hard to resist pushing on to Paris, to the Rhine and beyond. “Perhaps,” wrote Edward Gibbon in The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, “the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet.” There would be no Christian Europe. The Anglo-Celts who settled North America would have been Muslim. Poitiers, said Gibbon, was “an encounter which would change the history of the whole world.”

Peter Hitchens in today’s Daily Mail:

The deeply English, deeply Christian city of Oxford, one of the homes of free thought, is now being asked to accept the Islamic call to prayer wafting from mosque loudspeakers over its spires and domes.

If that is not a threat to our “way of life”, then I don’t know what is. Allowing the regular electronic proclamation of Allah’s supremacy in a British city is not tolerance, but a surrender of the sky to a wholly different culture. Just you wait and see what opponents of this scheme are accused of.

It may be a “wholly different culture”, but unlike the spires of those empty Anglican churches it represents the demographic energy of today’s England.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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