While discussing Pope Benedict XVI's recent controversial comments about Islam, MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan declared three times that Islam "is a fighting faith." During the discussion, which took place on the September 18 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country, host Joe Scarborough asked: "[D]espite the fact ... there are Muslim extremists ... do you not think that this pope should ... reach out to moderate Muslim regimes?" Buchanan replied, "How do you think Islam came out of Arabia, captured the Holy Land, all of North Africa, occupied all of Spain and Portugal ... except by the sword?" When Scarborough pleaded that he did not "want to refight the crusades," Buchanan declared Christians fought the Crusades "[t]o take back what we had lost!"
From a segment featuring Scarborough, Buchanan, and Huffington Post blogger Arianna Huffington on the September 18 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country:
SCARBOROUGH: Now, despite the fact, again, that we know that there are Muslim extremists across the world, I will ask again, do you not think that this pope should have done what the last pope did, bite his tongue, try to build a bridge, and try to say that, you know, maybe we can reach out to moderate Muslim regimes?
BUCHANAN: But look, look, he said what he said, Joe. Let me tell you something. How do you think Islam came out of Arabia, captured the Holy Land, all of North Africa, occupied all of Spain and Portugal and drove all the way to --
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I don't want, I don't want to refight the Crusades, Pat --
BUCHANAN: -- in a hundred years, except by the sword, Joe? This is a fighting faith!
HUFFINGTON: Joe, can I ask Pat something?
BUCHANAN: Its history is a fighting faith!
SCARBOROUGH: But hold on a second. I don't want to start a battle about the Crusades right now.
BUCHANAN: It's not the Crusades! How do you think Islam conquers? It is a fighting faith!
SCARBOROUGH: I understand that, but I also understand that Muslims would say that Christians launched the Crusades. There's violence --
BUCHANAN: To take back what we had lost!
SCARBOROUGH: There's violence on both sides.
HUFFINGTON: But you know, this is really a ludicrous conversation, frankly.
BUCHANAN: It is not! It's a historical conversation.
HUFFINGTON: Yes, it is. For now -- to be refighting the Crusades, when so much is at stake at the moment, and to be saying that what we did as Christians in the Crusades was justified because it was in reaction to what had happened is simply to perpetuate the cycle of action and reaction, where there is absolutely no reconciliation possible.
BUCHANAN: All right, I know that --
HUFFINGTON: And basically, the way you are talking makes me believe that you're actually endorsing the statement made by the 14th century emperor [cited by the pope] --
BUCHANAN: No, I'm not, what I'm saying --
SCARBOROUGH: Pat, hold on a second. Let me ask, Pat, are you endorsing the pope's statement?
BUCHANAN: I am not endorsing what the 14th century emperor said because I do believe Islam has created great beauty and a great civilization, quite frankly. But I am saying this. Appeasement and constant apologies are not the way to go! There's no reason why we have to apologize for the Crusades, any more than they have to apologize for --
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know -- hold on a second! Arianna, I'm looking at both of you right now talking, and I'm looking, by the way, just for those who wouldn't believe it in the audience, with two people who actually agreed that [President] George [W.] Bush shouldn't have gone into Iraq, so this is not some battle over what's going on now.