.- The former president of Spain, José María Aznar, noted that the controversy over the words of Pope Benedict XVI at Ratisbona make clear a double standard in relations between Islam and the West. Speaking at a Washington think tank, Aznar asked why no Muslims have apologized for the 800 year Moorish invasion of his country.
Speaking at a weekend conference at the Hudson Institute, Aznar asked, “What is the reason ... we, the West, always should be apologiz(ing) and they never should ... apologize? It's absurd! They occupied Spain for eight centuries!”
Aznar also said that the Western world is in serious trouble when it comes to relations with the Islamic world, and not just because of radical Islamic terrorists. The former president said that poor leadership in the West has led to a sense that Western values are indefensible. “I can put on the table the names of various Western leaders who don’t believe in the West,” he said.
Aznar said dialogue is impossible unless the West knows itself and called “stupidity” the “Alliance of Civilizations” promoted by the current government of Spain.
“Dialogue, he said is indispensable…but an ‘alliance of civilizations’ is another thing.”
“How (does he) mean (to create) the Alliance of Civilizations,” Aznar asked. Does he mean that “the European Union or the United States should be in alliance, for example, with the (Iranian) ayatollah’s regime?” How is an alliance possible, he asked, “when we defend the rights of men and women and the Muslim world defends the contrary,” he asked.
A radical Islam, he continued, which “is set on a world agenda,” and which has no desire to dialogue cannot be dialogued with.
“The best alliance for us,” he concluded, “is the Atlantic alliance.” And only after strengthening their resolve can the west enter into productive dialogue.
In the opinion of the former president, their centuries under Muslim rule have left Spaniards with a more real sense of the threat of radical Islam, though, he noted, it may be ignored by the current political leadership. “Spain, for a different reason, is the country that feels most closely the Islamist threat,” he said. The decisions of the current Goverment on dealing with Islam are “another question,” Aznar said, drawing laughter.
Aznar explained necessity of recreating western values in contradistinction to radical Islam. Speaking of freedom, equality, and democracy, Aznar called Western values, “the best in the world.”
Only after reinforcing Western values of freedom, can you attack terrorism, Aznar said. “The battle of values is the most important battle at the moment.”
“We also have to combat relativism and defend family values,” and that this “is a very important battle. And I am here to defend these values,” he concluded.