“A hundred years of Western interference in the Middle East has left the region so cracked with fault lines and artificial frontiers and heavy with injustices that we are in no position to lecture the Islamic world on human rights and values. Forget the Amalekites and the Persians and Martin Luther and the Caliph Abu Bakr. Just look at ourselves in the mirror and we will see the most frightening text of all.”
“Are we therefore in a position to tell our Muslim neighbours to “grasp the nettle”? I rather think not. Because the condition of human rights has been so eroded by our own folly, our illegal invasion of Iraq and the anarchy that we have allowed to take root there, our flagrant refusal to prevent further Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank, our constant, whining demands that prominent Muslims must disown the killers who take their religious texts too literally, that we have long ago lost our moral compass.