Fr Stenhouse, an expert on the Middle East and editor of Annals Australasia, debunks the constantly repeated claim that Christians and Muslims lived in peace until the Crusades.
CURRENT wisdom would have it that ‘five
centuries of peaceful co-existence’ between Muslims and Christians were brought
to an end by ‘political events and an imperial-papal power play,’ that was to
lead to a ‘centuries-long series of so-called “holy-wars” that pitted
Christendom against Islam, and left an enduring legacy of misunderstanding and
A school textbook, Humanities Alive 2,
for Year 8 students in the Australian State of Victoria, carries the
anti-Christian/anti-Western argument further:
who destroyed the World Trade Centre are regarded as terrorists… Might it be
fair to say that the Crusaders who attacked the Muslim inhabitants of Jerusalem
were also terrorists. 
Muhammad died in Medina on June 8, 632 AD.
The first of the eight Crusades to free the Holy Places in Palestine from
Muslim control and offer safe passage to the Holy Land for Christian pilgrims,
was called only in 1095. At the risk of sounding pedantic, the period in
question is not ‘five centuries’, but four hundred and sixty-three years; and
those years, we contend, were not characterized by ‘peaceful coexistence’.
One of the strange things about politics today is the attempt by Left-wing activists to demonise ‘nationalism’.
For normal people, loving one’s country is a natural feeling. It gives them a sense of belonging, the comfort of having a clear national identity.
Most Australians are proud of our country’s achievements. For many decades, this was the unifying purpose of Australia Day: celebrating the greatness of our nation and the Western civilisation that arrived here on 26 January 1788.
We know Australia is a wonderful place because so many people from overseas want to come here (often by any means possible).
But in recent years, the Green-Left has tried to turn Australia Day into a day of division. They want to ‘change the date’ or even abandon the celebrations altogether.
The Australia-haters have come from within. They want to make us feel guilty about our love of country and ashamed of our national day. Read on…
The publication of the Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), Burke’s uncompromising denunciation of French Revolutionary theory as antithetical to the British Constitution, dismayed many of Burke’s supporters and admirers, and gave deadly ammunition to his long time enemies – at least what they thought was deadly ammunition. At this time, Burke and his reputation were at a low ebb. Younger members of the House had taken to calling him ‘dinner bell’ because of his long tedious speeches, especially over the Warren Hastings impeachment. Among the avenues of attack were the charges of inconsistency and contradiction of which were the following.
Way back in August 2013, I posted a defence of Tony Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave Policy. I am posting it again because I still think it has merit – for any party to adopt. Indeed, Eva Cox, hardly an admirer of Abbott, commented in a Crikey article that it was ‘actually a very good idea.’
When Tony Abbott, then the leader of the Liberal Party and Opposition Leader, announced his Paid Parental Leave policy, people on all sides of the political spectrum were speechless. The Left, taken completely by surprise, were reduced to incoherent muttering because policy of this sort was their preserve, and Abbott’s was far more generous than the Labor Government’s. To make matters worse, Abbott’s policy was generous to an extent that nobody in Australian politics could have imagined. Politicians of the right and the business sector were affrighted by the enormous cost, but kept their reaction to a murmuring about how the hell such a scheme would be paid for. After all, Tony was their man and looked a good possibility for defeating the profligate Labor Government. There seemed to be hope on the left and the right that the whole thing would fall through and such a fantastical idea would remain just that – a fantasy. Such hopes were to be frustrated.
The March 2018 column of One Nation’s Mark Latham about the settlement of refugees continues to be current.
Refugee policy has become the ultimate form of virtue signaling. Left-wing elites think they can display their compassion and moral superiority by advocating for open borders. They gather at candle-lit vigils, urging our governments to take in an unlimited number of asylum seekers. Under the Rudd and Gillard Governments, this ended in the tragedy of 2,000 drowned at sea – the greatest humanitarian disaster in Australian history.
I remember a shouting match with my Labor colleague Anthony Albanese after the Tampa incident in 2001. He accused me of representing a racist electorate in Western Sydney that wanted to close our borders to people in need. I told him it had nothing to do with race and everything to do with the rule of law: how suburban Labor voters simply wanted an orderly, merit-based migration system, with no queue jumping.
Discussion of Chapter Six, ‘Reputation, Reason and the Enlightenment Project’, Second Part on ‘Thought’ of Jesse Norman’s book EDMUND BURKE: PHILOSOPHER, POLITICIAN AND PROPHET
Chapter Six, ‘Reputation, Reason and the Enlightenment Project’ begins the Second Part on ‘Thought’ of Jesse Norman’s book Edmund Burke: Philosopher, Politician And Prophet. Norman surveys the reaction to Burke’s writings and speeches following Burke’s death in 1797. He cites the views of many well-known historical figures in addition to lesser known names in the fields of academia, politics and literature. His conclusion, with which one should readily agree even on a brief reading of the opinions, is that there was much ‘bipartisan esteem’ of Burke’s thought. ‘Amid the ferment of early nineteenth century social, economic and political change,’ he says, ‘many different writers were able over time to find ideas of enduring value within Burke.’ (KL 2320)
During his long term as Australia’s prime minister (1996-2007), John Howard made a distinction between promises or undertakings that were ‘core’ and those that were ‘non-core’. He made the distinction in response to an accusation that he had gone back on an undertaking. Some undertakings, he said, have to be reversed because of changed circumstances. It seemed an unexceptionable explanation, but the words had hardly passed his lips when a howling of abuse, ridicule and scorn arose from the Left like a cloud of red dust blowing in from the outback. The ABC/Fairfax coalition went to town, confident that such an absurd declaration by a conservative they hated just a touch less than Tony Abbott would give them years of fun. Indeed, their confidence was not misplaced.
The capitulation of the establishment to the politics of transgenderism has been astonishing. I’m struggling to remember any other time when a new and contested ideology has been so uncritically embraced by the powers-that-be.
We have a Tory government pushing a Gender Recognition Act that would allow anyone to change his or her gender without so much as popping a hormone pill. An established Church which yesterday issued guidelines to its schools encouraging them to let kids ‘explore gender identity’. Police forces exchanging helmets for caps because ‘gender-based headgear’ is disrespectful to trans people. And of course a university system — the nurturer of future leaders — in which women’s colleges are throwing themselves open to people who were born male, students are told to use gender-neutral pronouns, and anyone who says ‘Men cannot become women’ can expect to be hounded off campus. Read on…