A prophesy by Muhammad that Rome and Europe will be conquered for Islam is being revived and popularized by Muslim clerics, according to a Dec. 6 report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Muslim Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, one of the most influential Sunni clerics, recently wrote that according to Islamic prophesy, Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor. The prophesy was made by Muhammad when he was asked in the Hadith which city will be conquered first, Constantinopée or Romiyya (today’s Rome). He answered that Constantinople (today’s Istanbul) will be taken over by the faith first but that Rome would also be conquered. Al-Qaradhawi qualified his statement to say the “conquest this time will not be by the sword but by preaching and ideology.”
Other clerics have preached similar messages. Saudi Sheikh Muhammad bin Abd Al-Rahman Al’-Arifi, wrote on a web site (http://www.kalemat.org/sections.php?so=va&aid=93) that the Christians of Rome will either pay a poll tax as nonbelievers under Muslim rule or will convert. [The view that Muslims are working toward an Islamic theocracy in Europe and the U.S. has been sounded by past MEMRI reports, as well as by such writers as Daniel Pipes.
But, as in the case of Al-Qaradhawi, most of these theocrats do not advocate violence to achieve their aims. Calls for theocracy and the expansion of Islam into new territories are not the same thing as Muslim extremists waging “jihad” against the West. Christians — from pre-Vatican II Roman Catholics to conservative Calvinists — have used similar rhetoric not too long ago in the 20th century.]