PinkNews.co.uk Exclusive

Historian David Starkey has backed the Pope’s recent controversial comments over Islam, describing it as a ‘religion of conquest.’

The outspoken gay intellectual described Islam as a conquering religion with a “clear doctrine of holy war.”

On a recent visit to his German homeland, Pope Benedict quoted from a 14th Century philosopher that the prophet Muhammad only brought the world violence.

The remarks caused outrage and protests amongst the Muslim community and the pontiff was forced to apologise.

Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk renowned historian, Dr Starkey, said the Pope had a point but should have chosen his words more carefully. He told PinkNews.co.uk: “I think they are broadly right. The only thing that he needed to have done was to admit the perversion of Christianity that was carried out under the Papacy.”

He described Islam as closer to Judaism than Christianity, “Islam spreads in a completely different way from Christianity, which spread through the Roman empire by conversion and an almost willing acceptance of persecution.

“Islam spreads by conquest. Mohammed even conquers Mecca. It has a very clear doctrine of holy war, and it does not make a distinction between church and state and nor does the Old Testament.”

He claimed that the separation of church and state is central to progress, but said the Pope should apologise for Christian wrongdoings such as the Crusades before attacking Islam.

Dr Starkey’s history documentaries Monarchy: The Complete Second Series will be released on a two disc DVD set on 20th November, priced £19.99.

He is also currently presenting Starkey’s Last Word on More4 on weekday nights.

The third series of Monarchy will be broadcast on Channel 4 in November.

The full interview can be read in the November issue of The Pink News which is out tomorrow.