Letter: Muslim empire

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Sir: Muslim expansion into southern Europe (letter, 10 August) took place in a world organised into rival empires; it was a question of occupy or be occupied. Comparing the treatment of Christians and Jews under Muslim control, where they lived as protected "People of the Book", with that of Muslims and Jews in the Christian states, when they were allowed to live there at all, it is clear that expansion was the only safe course open to Muslims.

In contrast, the denial of self-determination to the Palestinians since 1918 has taken place in a world that is supposed to be organised into self-determining nation states.