Bernard Lewis Quotes

Enjoy the top 32 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Bernard Lewis.

Bernard Lewis Quotes

The golden age of equal rights in Spain was a myth, and belief in it was a result, more than a cause, of Jewish sympathy for Islam. The myth was invented by Jews in nineteenth-century Europe as a reproach to Christians.
— Bernard Lewis —

Secularism in the Christian world was an attempt to resolve the long and destructive struggle of church and state. Separation, adopted in the American and French Revolutions and elsewhere after that, was designed to prevent two things: the use of religion by the state to reinforce and extend its authority; and the use of the state power by the clergy to impose their doctrines and rules on others. This is a problem long seen as purely Christian, not relevant to Muslims or for that matter to Jews, for whom a similar problem has arisen in Israel. Looking at the contemporary Middle East, both Muslim and Jewish, one must ask whether this is still true
or whether Muslims and Jews may perhaps have caught a Christian disease and might therefore consider a Christian remedy.

— Bernard Lewis

As Osama bin Laden puts it: In this final phase of the ongoing struggle, the world of the infidels was divided between two superpowers
the United States and the Soviet Union. Now we have defeated and destroyed the more difficult and the more dangerous of the two. Dealing with the pampered and effeminate Americans will be easy.

— Bernard Lewis

To a Western observer, schooled in the theory and practice of Western freedom, it is precisely the lack of freedom-freedom of the mind from constraint and indoctrination, to question and inquire and speak; freedom of the economy from corrupt and pervasive mismanagement; freedom of women from male oppression; freedom of citizens from tyranny-that underlies so many of the troubles of the Muslim world. But the road to democracy, as the Western experience amply demonstrates, is long and hard, full of pitfalls and obstacles. Page 115

— Bernard Lewis

Different groups in the [Middle East] drew two lessons from [return of the shah in Iran] - one, that Americans were willing to use both force and intrigue to install or restore their puppet rulers in Middle Eastern countries; the other, that they were not reliable patrons when these puppets were seriously attacked by their own people, and would simply abandon them. The one evoked hatred, the other contempt - a dangerous combination.
Clearly, something deeper is involved than these specific grievances, numerous and important as they may be, something deeper which turns every disagreement into a problem and makes every problem insoluble. What we confront now is not just a complaint about one or another American policy but rather a rejection and condemnation, at once angry and contemptuous, of all that America is seen to represent in the modern world. (76)

— Bernard Lewis

At the moment, the general perception ... is that the United States is an unreliable friend and a harmless enemy.

— Bernard Lewis

I think I can say quite clearly and explicitly that the various types of actions which we call terrorism are not only not encouraged, they are explicitly forbidden by Sharia Law .. It is true that waging war is a religious obligation, but precisely because it is a religious obligation , it is regulated by religious law .. even medieval Sharia texts go into astonishing detail into what is permitted and what is not permitted .. The Sharia requires that proper warning be given before beginning hostilities .. it has elaborate regulations regarding the treatment of civilians, the women and the children and the aged .. it discusses how prisoners should be treated .. what weapons should be used .. they discuss and for the most part reject the use of chemical weapons.

— Bernard Lewis

The medieval islamic world offered vastly more freedom than any of its predecessors, its contemporaries and most of its successors

— Bernard Lewis

Wholly given up to villainy and debauchery, and ride the steed of perfidy and presumption, and dive into the sea of error and impiety, and are united under the banner of Satan.

— Bernard Lewis

It is difficult to generalize about Islam. To begin with, the word itself is commonly used with two related but distinct meanings, as the equivalents both of Christianity, and Christendom. In the one sense, it denotes a religion, as system of beliefs and worship; in the other, the civilization that grew up and flourished under the aegis of that religion. The word Islam thus denotes more than fourteen centuries of history, a billion and a third people, and a religious and cultural tradition of enormous diversity.

— Bernard Lewis

The object of jihad is to bring the whole world under Islamic Law.

— Bernard Lewis

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