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January 2002

The cultural war on Western civilization

by Keith Windschuttle

The fifth in a series titled “The survival of culture.”

In the last week of September, shortly after the terrorist assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, made an extraordinary statement. During a visit to Germany, he declared Western civilization superior to Islam. He said:

We must be aware of the superiority of our civilization, a system that has guaranteed well-being, respect for human rights, and—in contrast with Islamic countries—respect for religious and political rights.

The minute he had uttered these words, a bevy of European politicians rushed to denounce him. The Belgian Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt, said: “I can hardly believe that the Italian Prime Minister made such statements.” The spokesman for the European Commission, Jean-Christophe Filori, added: “We certainly don’t share the views expressed by Mr ...

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Keith Windschuttle's latest book is The White Australia Policy (Macleay Press). His website is www.sydneyline.com.


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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 20 January 2002, on page 4

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