The European intifada
By Alan Caruba
There is a certain schadenfreude in the scenes of the rioting in France, a gleeful, malicious pleasure that comes from knowing that there is always payback for bad behavior, whether in this world or the next.
Ironically, France is where the Islamic march up the Iberian Peninsula to conquer Europe ended in 732 AD. Had not Charles Martel stopped the Moorish general, Abd al-Rahman and his Muslim army between Tours and Poitier, Europe and the whole of Western history would have been very different. Later, in 1492, a Christian army would recapture Grenada and put an end to the last Muslim stronghold in Spain. In 1683, Ottoman armies were defeated outside of Vienna, thus ending the efforts to conquer Europe.
One would think, if life in Muslim North Africa—the Maghreb—was so grand, why would literally millions of immigrants have sought to gain access to Europe? The former European colonies have been independent for more than a half-century. Surely they represent a far more homogeneous environment that the cold climes of Europe, but the reality is that Muslim enclaves have been growing in places like England, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, for decades.
The difference between the Muslims who made new lives in new places and others is that they choose not to integrate into their new societies. They remained Muslims first and last, no matter what nation they called home. Their loyalty was to the "umma", the great body of Islam, not a particular nation. They choose not to be English, French, or Dutch citizens. They define themselves in ways that insured they remained "the other" among those who take pride in their particular nation.
As Tony Blankley, a Washington Times editor and author of a new book, "The West's Last Chance", noted in a November 9 commentary, "This is not about Muslim poverty. It is about radical Islamist self-confidence and contempt for the West. And, it is about Western weakness." And there's one more thing; the riots were organized. The French found a warehouse full of materials for molotov cocktails, ski masks and such. You will not hear any outcry against what is being perpetrated in Europe from Arabs in other places.
Muslim anger goes back to the Crusades, which lasted from 1095 to 1291. To this day, Christians are still regarded as "crusaders", a common term among Middle Eastern Muslims, still smarting over the efforts to regain control of Jerusalem and other holy sites. Christians and Jews who live in the Middle East are still subject to attacks. The riots throughout France and elsewhere in Europe, along with those that occurred in the United Kingdom in July, in the Netherlands, in Madrid, bespeak an ugly future if modern Muslims have their way.
France, however, has been experiencing at least half a decade of a slowly escalating Intifada waged against synagogues, kosher butchers, Jewish schools. Like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, where Jews are attacked, soon all others will be as well.
Europe, as a whole, however, has either failed or refused to read the writing on the wall. Almost universally, it expressed hostility to the nation of Israel and solidarity with Muslim nations. As its own native-born populations decreased, it welcomed Muslims to the continent and the European Commission fostered a project found in the "Report of the High Advisory Group on Dialogue between Peoples and Cultures in the Euro-Mediterranean Area" that created a new "ethnic" group—immigrants. Even if they have lived in Europe for several generations, they retain this identification and gain a special status.
The Muslims of Europe apparently wouldn't have it any other way. Living as they do among the "crusaders", it was, they knew, only a matter of time before they finished the job that Abd al-Rahman and the Ottoman army could not. Too many Muslims do not want to integrate with a larger society. As soon as they gain in numbers, they insist that the host nation change to become Muslim, i.e., to abandon the rules of constitutional government and adopt sharia law.
And you wonder why many voices have been warning of the consequences now seen in the flames all over France, the terrors of England's bus and subway systems, and the streets of the Netherlands where at least one prominent infidel, deemed an enemy of Islam, was shot to death and then had a knife plunged into his heart.
The Jihad has come to Europe. It is the same Europe in which some nations decried the American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as the first step to transform the Middle East sufficiently to join it to the rest of the global community; to impose a measure of freedom unknown in that backwater of history, and to permit its people to connect at last to the rest of the world.
The problems endemic to the Middle East and exported to Europe can be summed up in a single word, Islam. It is not a religion of peace. It is a warrior cult based on life in seventh century Arabia. A billion people around the world subscribe to Islam and it clearly provides spiritual comfort, but it also imposes the requirement to conquer and subordinate all other people of faith to their control.
While Christians have evangelized the word of Christ, Muslims have spread Islam by the sword. These days an element of Muslims is using terror as their instrument of war. This is hardly an encouragement for anyone, anywhere, to convert except as an alternative to death or the slavery that comes with dhimmitude, a second-class citizenship in nations ruled by Muslims.
The tolerance, the appeasement, shown by modern Europe has not worked. It was seen as weakness and it is now being tested with a view to transforming Europe. It will not go away or diminish peacefully. One need only look at the wars waged against Israel for proof of that.
Even President Bush has been forced to change the rhetoric of "a war on terrorism" to a war on "fundamentalist Islam." September 11, 2001 forced America to use its military power to join the battle. It was then joined by Great Britain and a number of nations that had lived under Soviet domination. Now one can only hope that the rest of Europe will, at last, join it as well.
Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center, www.anxietycenter.com. © Alan Caruba, 2005
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