Boris Johnson said that Muslim world was “literally centuries behind” the West
Boris Johnson said Islam kept the Muslim world ‘literally centuries behind’ the West, a newly-unearthed essay shows.
The favourite to be Prime Minister made the comments in a 2007 essay in his book about the Roman empire, The Dream of Rome.
According to The Guardian, he wrote: 'There must be something about Islam that indeed helps to explain why there was no rise of the bourgeoisie, no liberal capitalism and therefore no spread of democracy in the Muslim world. Something caused them to be literally centuries behind.'
'It is extraordinary to think that under the Roman/Byzantine empire, the city of Constantinople kept the candle of learning alight for a thousand years, and that under Ottoman rule, the first printing press was not seen in Istanbul until the middle of the nineteenth century.'
Mohammed Amin, until recently chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, told the newspaper Mr Johnson’s analysis risked 'actively promoting hatred of Muslims'.
Mr Amin previously compared Mr Johnson to Adolf Hitler for describing burqa-wearing Muslim women as 'letterboxes'.
A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain added: 'Many of us would be interested to find out whether Mr Johnson still believes that Islam inherently inhibits the path to progress and freedom, and whether he still thinks Turkey should be admitted to the European Union.'
'Especially after the extraordinary and false claims made about Turkish and Muslim immigration during the Brexit campaign.'
Mr Johnson famously backed claims that Turkey was joining the EU during the 2016 referendum campaign, despite talks being stuck in an early stage and Britain having a veto over new membership.
Author's comment: Why does Mohammed Amin think that Boris Johnson's statement risks 'actively promoting hatred' of Muslims?
Note that Amin doesn’t say Johnson’s analysis is false. In a world where there are Muslim countries in which non-Muslims are put to death for blasphemy, and threats are issued to radio stations for featuring female broadcasters, and women are only just now getting the right to drive, and there are honor killings and mutilation of the genitals of little girls, Amin can’t truthfully say that Johnson is wrong.
But too many Muslims think that there is one belief system that cannot be criticised. That needs to change - now.