Eurabia - The Euro-Arab Axis, by Bat Ye'or
Associated University Presses, 2005, 384 pp.
On a recent trip to Switzerland, I encountered a gigantic mural in the Zurich Airport which depicted a proto-typical Swiss goat and sheep herder leading his flocks over an Alpine mountain pass, meeting a fully cloaked and turbaned Arab camel herder. Below the mural, a caption read, "You never know who you'll meet in Switzerland". This bucolic image struck me as bizarre, not having been personally conditioned to Western Europe’s deliberate sociopolitical transformation over the past 30 years. I was reminded of these prescient words, written a quarter century ago by the great historian of Medieval European Islam, Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq, who was concerned (even then) that historical and cultural revisionism might precipitate a recurrence of
…the upheaval carried out on our continent (i.e., Europe) by Islamic penetration more than a thousand years ago…with other methods. 1
Ibn Hudayl, a 14th century Granadan author of an important treatise on jihad, explained the original methods which facilitated the violent, chaotic jihad conquest of the Iberian peninsula, and other parts of Europe:
It is permissible to set fire to the lands of the enemy, his stores of grain, his beasts of burden – if it is not possible for the Muslims to take possession of them – as well as to cut down his trees, to raze his cities, in a word, to do everything that might ruin and discourage him, provided that the imam (i.e. the religious “guide” of the community of believers) deems these measures appropriate, suited to hastening the Islamization of that enemy or to weakening him. Indeed, all this contributes to a military triumph over him or to forcing him to capitulate. 2
And Dufourcq characterized the impact of these repeated attacks, indistinguishable in motivation from modern acts of jihad terrorism, like the Madrid bombings on 3/11/04:
It is not difficult to understand that such expeditions sowed terror. The historian al-Maqqari, who wrote in seventeenth-century Tlemcen in Algeria, explains that the panic created by the Arab horsemen and sailors, at the time of the Muslim expansion in the zones that saw those raids and landings, facilitated the later conquest, if that was decided on: ‘Allah,’ he says, ‘thus instilled such fear among the infidels that they did not dare to go and fight the conquerors; they only approached them as suppliants, to beg for peace.’ ” 3
Nearly two centuries of intermittent mythmaking aside, from Washington Irving 4 to Rosa Maria Menocal 5 , the Islamic jihad conquest and rule of the Iberian peninsula was not a pacific process which created a model ecumenical society of Muslims, Christians, and Jews. From the two greatest modern historians of Muslim Spain, Evariste Levi-Provencal 6 and Dufourcq 7, we learn the following, all of which occurred before (and thus in addition to) the well-known 12th century Muslim Almohad persecutions: The Iberian peninsula was conquered in 710-716 C.E. by Arab tribes originating from northern, central and southern Arabia. Massive Berber and Arab immigration, and the colonization of the Iberian peninsula, followed the conquest. Most churches were converted into mosques. Although the conquest had been planned and conducted jointly with a faction of Iberian Christian dissidents, including a bishop, it proceeded as a classical jihad with massive pillages, enslavements, deportations and killings. Toledo, which had first submitted to the Arabs in 711 or 712, revolted in 713. The town was punished by pillage and all the notables had their throats cut. In 730, the Cerdagne (in Septimania, near Barcelona) was ravaged and a bishop burned alive. In the regions under stable Islamic control, subjugated non-Muslim dhimmis -Jews and Christians- like elsewhere in other Islamic lands – were prohibited from building new churches or synagogues, or restoring the old ones. Segregated in special quarters, they had to wear discriminatory clothing. Subjected to heavy taxes, the Christian peasantry formed a servile class exploited by the dominant Arab ruling elites; many abandoned their land and fled to the towns. Harsh reprisals with mutilations and crucifixions would sanction the Mozarab (Christian dhimmis) calls for help from the Christian kings. Moreover, if one dhimmi harmed a Muslim, the whole community would lose its status of protection, leaving it open to pillage, enslavement and arbitrary killing.
By the end of the eighth century, the rulers of North Africa and of Andalusia had introduced rigorous Maliki jurisprudence as the predominant school of Muslim law. Three quarters of a century ago, at a time when political correctness was not dominating historical publication and discourse, Lévi-Provençal, wrote:
The Muslim Andalusian state thus appears from its earliest origins as the defender and champion of a jealous orthodoxy, more and more ossified in a blind respect for a rigid doctrine, suspecting and condemning in advance the least effort of rational speculation.8
Dufourcq provides this illustration of the resulting religious and legal discriminations dhimmis suffered, and the accompanying incentives for them to convert to Islam:
…by converting [to Islam], one would no longer have to be confined to a given district, or be the victim of discriminatory measures or suffer humiliations…Furthermore, the entire Islamic law tended to favor conversions. When an "infidel" became a Moslem, he immediately benefited from a complete amnesty for all of his earlier crimes, even if he had been sentenced to the death penalty, even if it was for having insulted the Prophet or blasphemed against the Word of God: his conversion acquitted him of all his faults, of all his previous sins. A legal opinion given by a mufti from al-Andalus in the ninth century is very instructive: a Christian dhimmi kidnapped and violated a Moslem woman; when he was arrested and condemned to death, he immediately converted to Islam; he was automatically pardoned, while being constrained to marry the woman and to provide for her a dowry in keeping with her status. The mufti who was consulted about the affair, perhaps by a brother of the woman, found that the court decision was perfectly legal, but specified that if that convert did not become a Moslem in good faith and secretly remained a Christian, he should be flogged, slaughtered and crucified….9
Al-Andalus represented the land of jihad par excellence. Every year (sometimes twice a year) raiding expeditions were sent to ravage the Christian Spanish kingdoms to the north, the Basque regions, or France and the Rhone valley, bringing back booty and slaves. Andalusian corsairs attacked and invaded along the Sicilian and Italian coasts, even as far as the Aegean Islands, looting and burning as they went. Many thousands of non-Muslim captives were deported to slavery in Andalusia, where the caliph kept a militia of tens of thousand of Christian slaves, brought from all parts of Christian Europe (the Saqaliba), and a harem filled with captured Christian women. Society was sharply divided along ethnic and religious lines, with the Arab tribes at the top of the hierarchy, followed by the Berbers who were never recognized as equals, despite their Islamization; lower in the scale came the mullawadun converts and, at the very bottom, the dhimmi Christians and Jews.
The Andalusian Maliki jurist Ibn Abdun (d. 1134) offered these telling legal opinions regarding Jews and Christians in Seville around 1100 A.D.:
No…Jew or Christian may be allowed to wear the dress of an aristocrat, nor of a jurist, nor of a wealthy individual; on the contrary they must be detested and avoided. It is forbidden to [greet] them with the [expression], “Peace be upon you’. In effect, ‘Satan has gained possession of them, and caused them to forget God’s warning. They are the confederates of Satan’s party; Satan’s confederates will surely be the losers!” (Qur’an 58:19 [modern Dawood translation]). A distinctive sign must be imposed upon them in order that they may be recognized and this will be for them a form of disgrace.10
Ibn Abdun also forbade the selling of scientific books to dhimmis under the pretext that they translated them and attributed them to their co-religionists and bishops. In fact, plagiarism is difficult to prove since whole Jewish and Christian libraries were looted and destroyed. Another prominent Andalusian jurist, Ibn Hazm of Cordoba (d. 1064), wrote that Allah has established the infidels’ ownership of their property merely to provide booty for Muslims.11
In Granada, the Jewish viziers Samuel Ibn Naghrela, and his son Joseph, who protected the Jewish community, were both assassinated between 1056 to 1066, followed by the annihilation of the Jewish population by the local Muslims. It is estimated that up to five thousand Jews perished in the pogrom by Muslims that accompanied the 1066 assassination. This figure equals or exceeds the number of Jews reportedly killed by the Crusaders during their pillage of the Rhineland, some thirty years later, at the outset of the First Crusade. The Granada pogrom was likely to have been incited, in part, by the bitter anti-Jewish ode of Abu Ishaq a well known Muslim jurist and poet of the times, who wrote:
Bring them down to their place and Return them to the most abject station. They used to roam around us in tatters Covered with contempt, humiliation, and scorn. They used to rummage amongst the dungheaps for a bit of a filthy rag To serve as a shroud for a man to be buried in...Do not consider that killing them is treachery. Nay, it would be treachery to leave them scoffing.” [The translator then summarizes: ‘The Jews have broken their covenant (i.e., overstepped their station, with reference to the Covenant of Umar) and compunction would be out of place.] 12
The Muslim Berber Almohads in Spain and North Africa (1130-1232) wreaked enormous destruction on both the Jewish and Christian populations. This devastation- massacre, captivity, and forced conversion- was described by the Jewish chronicler Abraham Ibn Daud, and the poet Abraham Ibn Ezra. Suspicious of the sincerity of the Jewish converts to Islam, Muslim “inquisitors” (i.e., antedating their Christian Spanish counterparts by three centuries) removed the children from such families, placing them in the care of Muslim educators 13 . Maimonides, the renowned philosopher and physician, experienced the Almohad persecutions, and had to flee Cordoba with his entire family in 1148, temporarily residing in Fez — disguised as a Muslim — before finding asylum in Fatimid Egypt.
Indeed, although Maimonides is frequently referred to as a paragon of Jewish achievement facilitated by the enlightened rule of Andalusia, his own words debunk this utopian view of the Islamic treatment of Jews:
..the Arabs have persecuted us severely, and passed baneful and discriminatory legislation against us...Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they.. 14
A valid summary assessment of interfaith relationships in Muslim Spain, and the contemporary currents responsible for obfuscating that history, can be found in Richard Fletcher's engaging Moorish Spain. Mr. Fletcher offers these sobering, unassailable observations:
The witness of those who lived through the horrors of the Berber conquest, of the Andalusian fitnah in the early eleventh century, of the Almoravid invasion- to mention only a few disruptive episodes- must give it [i.e., the roseate view of Muslim Spain] the lie. The simple and verifiable historical truth is that Moorish Spain was more often a land of turmoil than it was of tranquility...Tolerance? Ask the Jews of Granada who were massacred in 1066, or the Christians who were deported by the Almoravids to Morocco in 1126 (like the Moriscos five centuries later)…In the second half of the twentieth century a new agent of obfuscation makes its appearance: the guilt of the liberal conscience, which sees the evils of colonialism- assumed rather than demonstrated-foreshadowed in the Christian conquest of al-Andalus and the persecution of the Moriscos (but not, oddly, in the Moorish conquest and colonization). Stir the mix well together and issue it free to credulous academics and media persons throughout the western world. Then pour it generously over the truth…in the cultural conditions that prevail in the west today the past has to be marketed, and to be successfully marketed it has to be attractively packaged. Medieval Spain in a state of nature lacks wide appeal. Self-indulgent fantasies of glamour...do wonders for sharpening up its image. But Moorish Spain was not a tolerant and enlightened society even in its most cultivated epoch. 15
Within a decade after Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq’s death in 1982, the historian Bat Ye’or (from a 1991 French interview, published in English translation in 1994) echoed his intuitive concerns about Europe’s re-Islamization, and warned more broadly,
I do not see serious signs of a Europeanization of Islam anywhere, a move that would be expressed in a relativization of religion, a self-critical view of the history of Islamic imperialism...we are light years away from such a development...On the contrary, I think that we are participating in the Islamization of Europe, reflected both in daily occurrences and in our way of thinking...All the racist fanaticism that permeates the Arab countries and Iran has been manifested in Europe in recent years...
Bat Ye'or is the most informed and insightful contemporary scholar 16 of those unique Islamic institutions which regulate the relations between Muslims and non-Muslims: jihad, and its corollary institution, dhimmitude, the repressive and humiliating system of governance imposed upon those non-Muslims (i.e., dhimmis) subjugated by jihad. Although she coined the term dhimmitude, Bat Ye'or's characterization of the salient features of this institution is entirely consistent with the views of seminal scholars from the early and mid 20th century. Sir Jadunath Sarkar 17, for example, the pre-eminent historian of Mughal India, wrote the following in 1920 regarding the impact of centuries of jihad and dhimmitude on the indigenous Hindus of the Indian subcontinent:
Islamic theology, therefore tells the true believer that his highest duty is to make 'exertion (jihad) in the path of God', by waging war against infidel lands (dar-ul-harb) till they become part of the realm of Islam (dar-ul-Islam) and their populations are converted into true believers. After conquest the entire infidel population becomes theoretically reduced to the status of slaves of the conquering army. The men taken with arms are to be slain or sold into slavery and their wives and children reduced to servitude. As for the non-combatants among the vanquished, if they are not massacred outright, - as the canon lawyer Shaf'i declares to be the Qur'anic injunction,- it is only to give them a respite till they are so wisely guided as to accept the true faith.
The conversion of the entire population to Islam and the extinction of every form of dissent is the ideal of the Muslim State. If any infidel is suffered to exist in the community, it is as a necessary evil, and for a transitional period only. Political and social disabilities must be imposed on him, and bribes offered to him from the public funds, to hasten the day of his spiritual enlightenment and the addition of his name to the roll of true believers...
A non-Muslim therefore cannot be a citizen of the State; he is a member of a depressed class; his status is a modified form of slavery. He lives under a contract (zimma, or 'dhimma') with the State: for the life and property grudgingly spared to him by the commander of the faithful he must undergo political and social disabilities, and pay a commutation money. In short, his continued existence in the State after the conquest of his country by the Muslims is conditional upon his person and property made subservient to the cause of Islam.
He must pay a tax for his land (kharaj), from which the early Muslims were exempt; he must pay other exactions for the maintenance of the army, in which he cannot enlist even if he offers to render personal service instead of paying the poll-tax; and he must show by humility of dress and behavior that he belongs to s subject class. No non-Muslim can wear fine dresses, ride on horseback or carry arms; he must behave respectfully and submissively to every member of the dominant sect.
As the learned Qazi Mughis-ud-din declared, in accordance with the teachings of the books on Canon Law: ‘The Hindus are designated in the Law as ‘payers of tribute’ (kharaj-guzar); and when the revenue officer demands silver from them, they should, without question and with all humility and respect, tender gold. If the officer throws dirt into their mouths, they must without reluctance open their mouths wide to receive it 18. By these acts of degradation are shown the extreme obedience of the zimmi [dhimmi], the glorification of the true faith of Islam, and the abasement of false faiths. God himself orders them to be humiliated , (as He says, ‘till they pay jaziya) with the hand and are humbled…The Prophet has commanded us to slay them, plunder them, and make them captive…No other religious authority except the great Imam (Hanifa) whose faith we follow, has sanctioned the imposition of jaziya on Hindus. According to all other theologians, the rule for Hindus is ‘Either death or Islam’.
The zimmi is under certain legal disabilities with regard to testimony in law courts, protection under criminal law, and in marriage…he cannot erect new temples, and has to avoid any offensive publicity in the exercise of his worship…Every device short of massacre in cold blood was resorted to in order to convert heathen subjects. In addition to the poll-tax and public degradation in dress and demeanor imposed on them, the non-Muslims were subjected to various hopes and fears. Rewards in the form of money and public employment were offered to apostates from Hinduism. The leaders of Hindu religion and society were systematically repressed, to deprive the sect of spiritual instruction, and their religious gatherings and processions were forbidden in order to prevent the growth of solidarity and sense of communal strength among them. No new temple was allowed to be built nor any old one to be repaired, so that the total disappearance of Hindu worship was to be merely a question of time. But even this delay, this slow operation of Time, was intolerable to many of the more fiery spirits of Islam, who tried to hasten the abolition of ‘infidelity’ by anticipating the destructive hand of Time and forcibly pulling down temples.
When a class are publicly depressed and harassed by law and executive caprice alike, they merely content themselves with dragging on an animal existence. With every generous instinct of the soul crushed out of them, the intellectual culture merely adding a keen edge to their sense of humiliation, the Hindus could not be expected to produce the utmost of which they were capable; their lot was to be hewers of wood and drawers of water to their masters, to bring grist to the fiscal mill, to develop a low cunning and flattery as the only means of saving what they could of their own labor. Amidst such social conditions, the human hand and the human spirit cannot achieve their best; the human soul cannot soar to its highest pitch. The barrenness of intellect and meanness of spirit of the Hindu upper classes are the greatest condemnation of Muhammadan rule in India. The Muhammadan political tree judged by its fruit was an utter failure.
Nearly four decades later, Antoine Fattal, whose 1958 Le Statut Legal de Musulmans en Pays' d'Islam remains the benchmark analysis of non-Muslims (especially Christians and Jews) living under the Shari'a (i.e., Muslim Law), observed 19:
…Even today, the study of the jihad is part of the curriculum of all the Islamic institutes. In the universities of Al-Azhar, Nagaf, and Zaitoune, students are still taught that the holy war [jihad] is a binding prescriptive decree, pronounced against the Infidels, which will only be revoked with the end of the world... If he [the dhimmi] is tolerated, it is for reasons of a spiritual nature, since there is always the hope that he might be converted; or of a material nature, since he bears almost the whole tax burden. He has his place in society, but he is constantly reminded of his inferiority...In no way is the dhimmi the equal of the Muslim. He is marked out for social inequality and belongs to a despised caste; unequal in regard to individual rights; unequal in the Law Courts as his evidence is not admitted by any Muslim tribunal and for the same crime his punishment is greater than that imposed on Muslims...No social relationship, no fellowship is possible between Muslims and dhimmis...
Bat Ye'or's seminal contribution to the study of jihad and dhimmitude has been her unparalleled ability to accomplish two related tasks: (I) methodically and compulsively pooling a vast, rich array of primary source data; (II) providing a brilliant synthetic analysis of these data to demonstrate convincingly the transformative power of jihad and dhimmitude, operating as designed, within formerly Christian societies of the Near East and Asia Minor. Mary Boyce, Emeritus Professor of Iranian Studies at the University of London, has confirmed the external validity of Bat Ye'or's analytical approach in her description of how jihad and dhimmitude (without the latter being specifically identified as such) transformed Zoroastrian society in an analogous manner. Boyce has written definitive assessments of those Zoroastrian communities which survived the devastating jihad conquests of the mid 7th through early 8th centuries 20. The Zoroastrians experienced an ongoing, inexorable decline over the next millennium due to constant sociopolitical and economic pressures exerted by their Muslim rulers, and neighbors. This gradual, but continuous process was interspersed with periods of accelerated decline resulting from paroxysms of Muslim fanaticism- pogroms, forced conversions, and expropriations- through the latter half of the 19th century. Boyce describes these complementary phenomena based on an historical analysis, and her personal observations living in the (central Iranian) Yezd area during the 1960s:
…in the mid nineteenth century disaster overtook Turkabad, in the shape of what was perhaps the last massed forcible conversion in Iran. It no longer seems possible to learn anything about the background of this event; but it happened, so it is said, one autumn day when dye-madder - then one of the chief local crops - was being lifted. All the able-bodied men were at work in teams in the fields when a body of Moslems swooped on the village and seized them. They were threatened, not only with death for themselves, but also with the horrors that would befall their women and children, who were being terrorized at the same time in their homes; and by the end of the day of violence most of the village had accepted Islam. To recant after a verbal acknowledgement of Allah and his prophet meant death in those days, and so Turkabad was lost to the old religion. Its fire-temple was razed to the ground, and only a rough, empty enclosure remained where once it had stood.
A similar fate must have overtaken many Iranian villages in the past, among those which did not willingly embrace Islam; and the question seems less why it happened to Turkabad than why it did not overwhelm all other Zoroastrian settlements. The evidence, scanty though it is, shows, however, that the harassment of the Zoroastrians of Yazd tended to be erratic and capricious, being at times less harsh, or bridled by strong governors; and in general the advance of Islam across the plain, through relentless, seems to have been more by slow erosion than by furious force. The process was till going on in the 1960s, and one could see, therefore, how it took effect. Either a few Moslems settled on the outskirts of a Zoroastrian village, or one or two Zoroastrian families adopted Islam. Once the dominant faith had made a breach, it pressed in remorselessly, like a rising tide. More Moslems came, and soon a small mosque was built, which attracted yet others. As long as Zoroastrians remained in the majority, their lives were tolerable; but once the Moslems became the more numerous, a petty but pervasive harassment was apt to develop. This was partly verbal, with taunts about fire-worship, and comments on how few Zoroastrians there were in the world, and how many Moslems, who must therefore posses the truth; and also on how many material advantages lay with Islam. The harassment was often also physical; boys fought, and gangs of youth waylaid and bullied individual Zoroastrians. They also diverted themselves by climbing into the local tower of silence and desecrating it, and they might even break into the fire-temple and seek to pollute or extinguish the sacred flame. Those with criminal leanings found too that a religious minority provided tempting opportunities for theft, pilfering from the open fields, and sometimes rape and arson. Those Zoroastrians who resisted all these pressures often preferred therefore in the end to sell out and move to some other place where their co-religionists were still relatively numerous, and they could live at peace; and so another village was lot to the old faith. Several of the leading families in Sharifabad and forebears who were driven away by intense Moslem pressure from Abshahi, once a very devout and orthodox village on the southern outskirts of Yazd; and a shorter migration had been made by the family of the centenarian ‘Hajji’ Khodabakhsh, who had himself been born in the 1850s and was still alert and vigorous in 1964. His family, who were very pious, had left their home in Ahmedabad (just to the north of Turkabad) when he was a small boy, and had come to settle in Sharifabad to escape persecution and the threats to their orthodox way of life. Other Zoroastrians held out there for a few decades longer, but by the end of the century Ahmedabad was wholly Moslem, as Abshahi become in 1961. [Boyce's footnote: The last Zoroastrian family left Abshahi in 1961, after the rape and subsequent suicide of one of their daughters.] It was noticeable that the villages which were left to the Zoroastrians were in the main those with poor supplies of water, where farming conditions were hard. 21
Eurabia: An Overview
Eurabia: the Euro-Arab Axis portrays Western Europe’s recrudescent dhimmitude, chronicled in real time, by our most knowledgeable contemporary scholar of the dhimmi condition, Bat Ye’or. Living as an eyewitness in Geneva - a major European center, with its United Nations, NGOs and other international fora - Bat Ye'or describes in painstaking detail, the ongoing transformation of Europe into "Eurabia," a cultural and political appendage of the Arab/Muslim world. The use of the term “Eurabia”, she notes, was first introduced, triumphally, in the mid-1970s, as the title of a journal edited by the President of the Association for Franco-Arab Solidarity, Lucien Bitterlein, and published collaboratively by the Groupe d’Etudes sur le Moyen-Orient (Geneva), France-Pays Arabes (Paris), and the Middle East International (London). The articles and editorials in this publication called for common Euro-Arab positions, at every level – social, economic, and commercial – and were contingent upon the fundamental political condition of European support for the Arab (and non-Arab) Muslim umma’s jihad against Israel. These concrete proposals were not the musings of isolated theorists – they in fact represented policy decisions conceived in conjunction with, and actualized by, European state leaders, their ministers of foreign affairs, and European Parliamentarians. Such basic truths about the origins and implications of the term “Eurabia” were clearly unknown to Christopher Dickey, an American journalist based in Europe. Dickey recently launched into an ignorant and apoplectic tirade against Oriana Fallaci associating her use of the term “Eurabia” with an imagined racist Inquisition-- against Muslims!. Sadly, we can anticipate similar inappropriate outbursts from equally uninformed elites in the media and academia, directed at Bat Ye’or herself, with the release of her compelling book. [An informed discussion of the moribund Fallaci’s (she is dying from metastatic cancer) poignant “self-interview”, Oriana Fallaci intervista Oriana Fallaci (Milan: Corriere della Sera, August 2004), was provided by Bat Ye’or].
Eurabia, as Bat Ye’or demonstrates, now represents a geo-political reality, envisioned in 1973 through a system of informal alliances between the countries of the Arab League and the nine countries of the European Community (EC), which became the European Union (EU) in 1992. Various alliances and agreements were elaborated at the top political level of each European Community country with the representative of the European Commission, and their Arab counterparts with the Arab League's delegate. This system was synchronized under the rubric of an association called the Euro-Arab Dialogue (EAD), created in July 1974 in Paris. A working body composed of committees and always presided over jointly by a European and an Arab delegate planned the agendas, and organized and monitored the application of decisions.
The comprehensive Euro-Arab collaboration included both domestic and foreign policy issues, ranging from economic matters to immigration. The joint Euro-Arab foreign policy, advanced at international forums and NGO meetings was characterized by anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism, along with simultaneous efforts to delegitimize Israel and promote Arafat’s PLO. The EAD also established close cooperation domestically between the Arab and the European print, television, and radio media, publishing houses, academic and cultural centers, student and youth associations, and the tourism industry. Church interfaith “dialogues” were a major influence on the development of this policy. Eurabia thus represents a strong Euro-Arab network of symbiotic associations which cooperate on political, economic, and cultural issues.
Eurabia involves not only an intricate web of agreements covering a remarkably broad range; it is essentially a political project for the total demographic and cultural symbiosis between Europe and the Arab Muslim world. Israel will eventually dissolve, according to the design of this project. America would be isolated and challenged by an emerging Euro-Arab continent, linked to the entire Muslim world, and invested with tremendous political and economic power in international affairs. The policies of "multilateralism" and of "soft diplomacy" express this deepening symbiosis. The Euro-Arab agreements are merely the tools for the creation of a new extended Mediterranean "continent." Eurabia is also based on a vision of Christian-Muslim reconciliation, built on anti-Zionism, strongly advocated by major Christian religious bodies, and often espousing a new hybrid Islamo-Christian replacement theology.
Respective European and Arab goals for the Eurabian project, are summarized by Bat Ye’or. First, the European ambitions: to play a defining political role in international relations in competition with the United States, and independent of its influence; maintain important spheres of influence in the former European Arab colonies; open huge markets for the European Economic Community’s products in the Arab world, especially in oil-producing countries; secure supplies of petroleum and natural gas to Europe; make the Mediterranean a Euro-Arab inland sea by encouraging massive Arab immigration into Europe, and favoring Muslim immigrants; create Euro-Arab populations by promoting multiculturalism with a strong Islamic presence in Europe; develop a powerful Islamo-Christian symbiosis against Israel, orienting Europe toward Islam, and liberating Christianity from Judaism, which is viewed by some Antisemitic factions as the embodiment of evil. The Arab partners, in turn, demanded from Europe: alignment with their anti-Israeli policy; modernization of their countries; access to Western science and technology; European political independence from the United States, and separation of the trans-Atlantic allies; measures favorable to Arab immigration and dissemination of Arab and Islamic culture in Europe.
Bat Ye’or traces the development, evolution, and major characteristics of these policies and practices over the past thirty years, while examining their consequences for the European continent, and Europe’s relationships to America and Israel.
During a November 27, 1967 press conference, Charles de Gaulle stated openly that French cooperation with the Arab world had become, “the fundamental basis of our foreign policy”. By January 1969, the Second International Conference in Support of the Arab Peoples, held in Cairo, in its resolution 15, decided “…to form special parliamentary groups, where they did not exist, and to use the parliamentary platform support of the Arab people and the Palestinian resistance.” Five years later in Paris, July 1974, the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation was created, under the Euro-Arab Dialogue rubric. [At present it has burgeoned to over six hundred members -- from all major European political parties – each active in their own national parliaments, as well as in the European parliament.] The Parliamentary Association’s explicit policies mimicked the 23 resolutions of the 1969 aforementioned Cairo Conference. This has become a permanent feature of how the Parliamentary Association operates- adopting identical positions, even verbatim language, derived from prior joint Arab League-Western European policy meetings, or even exclusive international Arab and non-Arab Muslim conferences. The Parliamentary Association has endeavored to promote Arab interests and demands within each European party and Parliament, and in the European Council. The Association functions as a powerful extension of Arab lobbying efforts against Israel, pressuring European governments, for example, to adopt economic and academic boycotts directed at the Jewish State. The other principal organs of the Dialogue are the MEDEA Institute, the European Institute of Research on Mediterranean and Euro-Arab Cooperation created in 1995 with the backing of the European Commission, and the MEDA program that manages substantial European funds allocated to Arab countries.
These associations, through their committees and subcommittees, maintain complete coordination between the Western European and Arab parties in the political, economic, and cultural realms. As a result, the European Community stands apart from the United States by consistently backing Arab claims, and Palestinian policies, and stubbornly insisted (right up until his recent death) on Arafat as the unique and exclusive representative of the Palestinians. European emissaries of the Dialogue also work incessantly attempting to bring the American government into line with Arab anti-Israeli positions. Bat Ye’or has highlighted this shared Euro-Arab political agenda:
- recognition of the Palestinians as a distinct people; up to 1973 they had been known as Arab refugees;
- recognition of the PLO and its leader Arafat as unique representative of the Palestinians;
- obligation for Israel to negotiate exclusively with Arafat;
- a global and not a separate peace;
- retreat of Israel to the1949 armistice lines;
- Arab-Islamic sovereignty in Jerusalem;
- European pressure on the United States to align with their Arab policy;
- demonization of Israel, as a threat to world peace;
- moralization of the Palestinian jihad as a just war against the injustice of Israel’s existence;
- placing the Palestinian problem at the epicenter of international politics.
- delegitimization of Israel with all the attendant negative consequences that follow.
Parroting Arab League declarations, the phrase “legitimate inalienable rights of the Palestinian people” is repeated mantra-like in European political pronouncements, but as Bat Ye’or notes,
We would seek in vain the definition of the rights of Kurds, Berbers, Copts or any other pre-Islamic indigenous inhabitants of the Middle East, including Jews--these peoples are never mentioned.
This political agenda has been reinforced by (and now mirrors) the deliberate cultural transformation of Europe. Euro-Arab Dialogue Symposia conducted 20 to 25 years ago, i.e., in Venice (1977) and Hamburg (1983), included recommendations, below, that have been successfully implemented, accompanied by a deliberate, privileged influx of Arab and other Muslim immigrants, in enormous numbers:
- Coordination of the efforts made by the Arab countries to spread the Arabic language and culture in Europe and to find the appropriate form of cooperation among the Arab institutions that operate in this field.
- Creation of joint Euro-Arab Cultural Centers in European capitals which will undertake the diffusion of the Arabic language and culture.
- Encouragement of European institutions either at University level or other levels that are concerned with the teaching of the Arabic language and the diffusion of Arabic and Islamic culture.
- Support of joint projects for cooperation between European and Arab institutions in the field of linguistic research and the teaching of the Arabic language to Europeans.
- Necessity of supplying European institutions and universities with Arab teachers specialized in teaching Arabic to Europeans.
- Necessity, when teaching Arabic, of emphasizing Arab-Islamic culture and contemporary Arab issues.
- Necessity of cooperation between European and Arab specialists in order to present an objective picture of Arab-Islamic civilization and contemporary Arab issues to students and to the educated public in Europe which could attract Europeans to Arabic studies.
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