Originally Posted by Fishman
Who?! I must have read a dozen books on Napoleon, and I've never even seen it suggested.
he was simply a hypocrite who used Islam to his own advantage
He wasn't a hypocrite in that he had no double standards. Sure, he used Islam to his own advantage, but then he used Christianity (especially Catholicism) in the same way, political movements in the same way, the military in the same way, and individuals in the same way. If anything, he was less hypocritical than most of his contemporaries in that at least Islam got equal treatment!
That's the nature of power for you, or at least the nature of the sort of power sought by Napoleon and others like him, before and since. You can't get it without squashing other people, be it social power, political power or even religious authority when mixed with either of those things; that's the lesson of history.