‘What went wrong?” That was the title of Bernard Lewis’s landmark book on Islam’s thousand years of global dominance followed by the decline of the caliphate between the 17th century, when Muslim armies were halted at the Gates of Vienna, and the early 20th century, when the Ottoman Empire collapsed. This fall from grace left deep scars — grievances expressed most lethally on Sept. 11, 2001, soon after Professor Lewis’s book was completed.
Ten years later, the question we might be asking is “What has gone wrong with us?” The atrocities of 9/11 were said to be a new Pearl Harbor that would once again “awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”
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