By Alyssa A. Lappen
AmericanThinker.com | April 5, 2005
[In a wide ranging interview with Islamic scholar Bat Ye’or comes a frank discussion of Eurabia: what it is, and what it means for Americans. — Interview by Alyssa A. Lappen]
In her new book, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, Bat Ye’or takes a sweeping view of history, not the one that most of us consider, just past the ends of our noses. The world’s preeminent historian of two unique Islamic institutions, jihad and dhimmitude—the latter, the humiliated, precarious state of non-Muslim peoples living under Islamic rule—Bat Ye’or has masterfully portrayed the means by which the Euro-Arab Dialogue unfolded over the past 30-plus years. ‘There are three forms of jihad,’ she says today, ‘the military jihad, the economic jihad and the cultural jihad.’ The EAD between the European Community and the Arab League has been a means of spreading [the] economic and cultural jihad from the Middle East to Europe.
In November 1967, Charles De Gaulle announced at a press conference that henceforward, France would assume a pro-Arab policy. His goals were to prevent a return to intra-European wars and to help France resume its leading role in European politics and history. Little could he have imagined the far-reaching results. De Gaulle died in November 1970, but in October 1973, following Egypt and Syria’s war against Israel, Georges Pompidou picked up his policy reigns and led Europe into the Euro-Arab Dialogue—(EAD), a process that took hold and changed the face of Europe for the worse.
On French initiative, the European Community sought to open a Euro-Arab Dialogue, but the Arab League for their part made any dialogue dependent on the establishment of an anti-Israel policy in Europe.
Outraged that Israel had won the war against all odds, with help from the U.S., the oil-producing members of the Arab League unilaterally quadrupled the price of oil and cut production by 5 percent a month. Additionally, they imposed an oil embargo on the nations considered friendly to Israel—the U.S., Denmark and Holland. France and Germany panicked. On November 6, 1973, the nine countries of the European Economic Community met in Brussels and issued a joint resolution that reversed the intent and meaning of United Nations Resolution 242, and declared illegal all territory Israel had gained in its defensive 1967 war. Furthermore, the EEC demanded that henceforward ‘the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people’ be included in any definition of peace.Having met the Arab League’s preliminary demands, the EC recouped the free flow of oil embargoed to Holland and Denmark the month before. Furthermore, the EC was now free to pursue the EAD. The agreement to open discussions, however, came with further conditions. France and all other European Community nations had to agree to adopt pro-Arab and anti-American policies. Thus, the free flow of oil came with significant political riders. This little known dialogue, which subsequently burgeoned into an enormous EU-funded apparatus, thus began to plant the seeds of political, economic and cultural jihad in Europe. Less than 30 years after the end of World War II, it also revived some of the policies of the Nazis. The policies had migrated to the Middle East during World War II and afterwards, with the flight of Nazi fugitives to Egypt, Syria and other Arab nations. Now, Nazi ideology found its way back into European politics through the EAD launch of a unified European anti-Israel policy.”
European leaders hoped through the EAD to create “a global alternative to American power.” The Arab powers hoped to promote Islam and anti-Israel policies worldwide. What followed, in addition to Europe’s mass importation of Middle Eastern ideas and culture was also mass Muslim immigration into Europe. Europe gained new markets—and free-flowing oil—but at the cost of lost political independence, and lost independence for European Community member nations. Recently, reporter Alyssa A. Lappen interviewed Bat Ye’or on the far-ranging implications of these developments.
Q. Was it intentional that the Euro-Arab Dialogue had these results?
A. Of course, on the Arab side, the [intentions and] decisions were very clear from the beginning. The idea was to develop good relations with Europe in order to separate Europe from America, weaken the West, encourage Arab Muslim immigration into Europe, organize a militant Islamic community in Europe, and develop a strong European Islam with political and intellectual influence on European development.
On the European side, opinions varied according to political views. There is no doubt that the French goal to establish Euro-Arab links stood on strong anti-American and Judeophobic grounds. The European parties willing to follow the French lead shared with the Arabs an antisemitic/anti-Zionist policy. During the Second Wold War, and even before, links existed between the Arab world and pro-Arab, European anti-Semites. The whole Arab nationalist movement of the early 20th century was constructed and supported with the rejection of Israel in mind. Ba’ath Party founder and convert to Islam, Michel Aflak, from the 1930s opposed the existence of the state of Israel on religious and political grounds. Opposition persisted even in England, which sought the mandate from the League of Nations for the Jewish National Homeland in Palestine. After WWII, the European rapprochement with Arab countries was just a continuation of the anti-Zionist policies that had started in the beginning of the 20th century.
Q. How could the European countries turn against their policies and reverse the entire result of World War II and all their ideological gains. Wasn’t this a complete reversal?
A. There was no reversal. In Europe, the Holocaust was in preparation before it happened. There was a powerful European transnational anti-Semitic movement checked by those who opposed it, who didn’t seek the disappearance of the Jews and did not expect a genocide. But World War II brought to power with the Nazi occupation, those anti-Semitic leaders who planned and collaborated in the genocide throughout Europe. The genocide of the Jewish people stopped only because the war stopped. But had the war continued, the Holocaust also would have continued. In Europe, there was no desire to stop it. It would have continued were it not for the Allies, who brought the war to an end. But until the last moment, French Vichy government trains throughout France carried Jewish children to the gas chambers. And Maurice Papon, a Vichy government minister during World War II, headed important ministries for the governments which followed after the war. Vichy government civil servants were still powerful after the war. Some intellectuals turned their coats, some were killed, some were condemned.
After the war De Gaulle proclaimed a new start and a reconciliation with Germany. This was part of the process of promoting peace in post-war Europe. But the whole of occupied Europe had been fascist, Nazi and anti-Semitic. So less than 20 years after the war, this anti-Semitic movement tried to re-establish relations with Arabs, who were pro-Nazi during the war and favored the Nazi cause. Therefore, the contacts continued, although in a more clandestine way.
Q. So really, you seem to be saying that the Marshall plan was not completely successful.
A. After the war, it was taboo to speak about the camps. The first books on the Holocaust were published in America. A traumatized European Jewry could not evoke this situation.
Now concerning the economy, the Marshall plan helped to reunite Europe and reconstruct it. But there were strong Communist parties also, which were hostile to America. So many Nazis recycled into the Communist and leftist parties. This was a change, of course. They whitewashed themselves.
Q. Were there Europeans and European policy makers who opposed this Euro-Arab Dialogue and fought it.
A. Yes, there were people who opposed the shift of Europe, and especially in France. But the French government was the engine running this policy. If France had not taken the lead to organize the unity of Europe as a counterweight to America, and to build a Euro-Arab block against America, the Euro-Arab Dialogue would not have happened. This is just a hypothesis. But France took the lead because of strong affinities in the French colonial class with the Maghreb. France had previously controlled all the Maghrebian countries, Syria and Lebanon as well as African Muslim territories. Also, France kept its relations with [indicted WWII criminal] Hajj Amin el Husseini, a fervent collaborator with Hitler. De Gaulle saved Husseini from the Nuremberg tribunal.
Q. I didn’t know that.
A. Husseini was in Germany when the Allies arrived. He was handed over to the Red Cross and he surrendered to the French forces stationed in Germany. In May 1945 he was brought to France with Marshal Pétain. So Husseini was controlled and protected by France. The British were searching for him to judge him at the Nuremberg trial for his alliance with Hitler and his collaboration in the genocide of the Jews. A year later De Gaulle’s French government helped him escape to Egypt. According to Husseini’s memoir, he promised that France could win the sympathy of the whole Arab people if it established and led a European policy opposing Great Britain and Israel.
Talks on this matter started after the Second World War. At the time, De Gaulle was Israel’s best ally. But in the 1950s, many Nazis immigrated to the Arab countries, especially Egypt and Syria, they maintained their relations with French Nazi collaborationists and European neo-Nazis. In the 60s and early 70s, France took an increasingly anti-Israeli position… In 1971 it established a close relationship with Qaddafi’s and engaged in massive arm sales to Arab countries. Economic and political links developed. By 1971, France had brought the European Community to share its pro-Arab views….
Denmark and Holland were reluctant to follow the French anti-Israel line. But at this time there was no united European community foreign policy. The European Community was only based on economic agreements. There was no common political vision.
In fact, it was only after the 1973 Kippur war, that this policy developed thanks to French initiative. By then there were 9 countries in the European community. For the first time they adopted a common foreign policy in relation to the Arab world and based on oil. After the oil boycott imposed by the Arabs, they linked Europe’s oil supply to European support for the PLO, Arafat and an anti-Israeli policy. As a condition for the start of a Dialogue with the Europeans, they requested that the anti-Israeli policy be linked to the economic sector of Euro-Arab exchanges. Hence the Dialogue came to rest on two pillars, anti-American and anti-Israel policies. It is absolutely extraordinary that less than 30 years after the end of World War II, after America had saved Europe from destruction, the common European Community foreign policy was based on an anti-Israel and anti-American strategy. And from this followed the whole development that we see now.
Q. The thing that strikes me the most is how the EAD relates to the history of Jihad. In the Decline of Eastern Christianity, it was clear that the jihad was economic from the beginning. So this EAD did not just evolve in the 1970s. First you buy off the ministers, then you send economic envoys,… then you pollute the political system, then you send the horsemen, and then the whole society collapses.
A. Yes, the jihad is an ideological war, which is based on theology, its aim was to conquer lands and impose the Koranic law. Often the tactic includes the corruption of leaders. Terror is also a means of jihad: terrorized people submit. In past centuries the corrupted leaders often opened the city’s gates to the jihadist armies. Corruption is also used to encourage conversions, particularly among high officials. And you have many conversions now in Europe.
A. Yes. Many people have converted to Islam. Some by conviction, some by opportunism. They leave a civilization and a culture that they hate and join one that they view as a winning one. There are many reasons why people convert. Today Islam recruits in jails but also among intellectuals.
Q. But what about the leadership. Is it merely corruption?
A. There are different reasons. In Europe, the romantic view of Lawrence of Arabia idealizes Islam. And thanks to the cultural components of the Euro-Arab Dialogue — which encompasses many sectors — every book speaks about the grandeur of the Islamic civilization, its superiority to Western civilization [Note: this 12th century map serves as the cover to an official publication of the Dialogue; it shows the Mediterranean literally turned upside down, with the Arab world in a dominant position, situated above the the geographic north of infidel Europe.] There is a whole apologetic cultural trend about Islam, an ideological movement that glorifies it. Young people are influenced. This developed in the 70s and 80s within the Dialogue, raising an enthusiasm for Islam. It has led to several conversions of intellectuals and politicians. The churches were also very pro-Islamic, because they saw a way, in linking with Islam, to reconcile Islam and Christianity against Israel. Much of the church was very anti-Semitic, in spite of the Second Vatican Council in 1962 to 1965. In fact there were those inside the church who opposed the rapprochement with the Jews. It was not an easy thing. Priests who fought strongly for the reconciliation did not succeed as well as they hoped. They just opened a door for reconciliation, but they had to fight to keep the door open against the opponents.
Q. Who are some of these people who have been converting.
A. Many are neo-fascists or neo-nazis or ex-communists. Many also come from the extreme Left. The Italian Mario Scialoja was responsible for the Italian section of the World Islamic League. Its vice-president for the Italian section was also a convert. Converts gets money and prominent positions in European Islam. They direct Islamic centers, publishing houses and newspapers. Some collaborate with the powerful Muslim Brotherhood and are viscerally anti-Christian and anti-Jewish.
Q. How did De Gaulle get this change going.
A. First, all this was not done until after his death. In 1967, de Gaulle declared that the policy of France would be fundamentally an Arab policy. But he died in November 1970. The whole thing started in 1973 under his successors. The French did not like this policy, but it was a slow, gradual movement.
Q. And even now, most Europeans do not know.
A. No, not about the Euro-Arab Dialogue. Some know the Mediterranean partnership. But except for those involved in this policy, they do not know about the Anna Lindh Foundation [to promote ‘understanding between Europe and the countries around the Mediterranean and the Middle East]. Europeans work hard, there is much unemployment and they absorb the culture from the media and television. Disinformation all around supports the pro-Arab policy. Anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism are congenial to Palestinianism, the new culture of Europe.
Q. What is of concern is that one sees the same thing already happening here. The media is pro-Arab, it is impossible to get them to change, even with the facts. The whole ideological aura has already infiltrated the press and the universities.
A. You have to expose the cultural jihad, and discuss its consequences in Europe, and the sub-culture of lies from which it is growing. The lies are crumbling now as the jihadist ideology and war against the Western world become more apparent. In fact, Europe has denied its own roots and the spring from which its spiritual Biblical values emerged. It is a denial of one’s own spirituality and… sources. Now, in Europe, Israel is a demonized word, a confiscated reality. European governments created an anti-Semitic culture in order to integrate the Muslim immigration,…but they have absorbed… also the values of a jihadist society. This is why Europe is intellectually and spiritually confused and disoriented. You cannot ally with jihadist forces that want to destroy you intellectually, spiritually and politically, without being destroyed, and this is what is happening.
Q. Then why do you say the whole thing is crumbling. Clearly they are winning.
A. There is so much hatred now in Europe, so many lies, so much confusion, that people don’t know where they are going. They don’t understand what is happening. They don’t understand why they have to hate America, Israel and why they have to hate themselves. They have no view of the future except the economic extension of the EU. Our leaders commend that every effort should be made to integrate the foreign immigrants. It is not the foreigners that have to adapt in… a country they have chosen to come. Foreigners were given the right to immigrate with their own culture. So they have imported the seeds of the culture of dhimmitude into Europe. This is their culture, this is the type of relationship they had with Jews and Christians and they brought it with them. This was the culture in which they were educated, and this is what creates so much confusion in Europe.
Q. Europe is completely lost and nothing can be done?
A. I don’t see a solution. Europeans are not reproducing. Soon, the 60- and 70-year-olds will die. And there are no Europeans to replace them. Suddenly, millions of Europeans won’t be there any more. And against that loss is a mounting immigrant population, which refuses totally to integrate into a society many hate. In some schools, the new generation rejects the curriculum, under the pretext that it is not an Islamic history or culture, or that it is a Judeo-Christian perspective. In a few years they will be adults and have political power. Laws and institutions will change, already there are pressures in schools and hospitals for sex segregation. Polygamy is unofficially tolerated.
Q. So 15 million Arab Muslims out of 350 million can do this? Change an entire continent? It’s only 15 million.
A. No, it is over 20 million, but in fact you don’t know their number, because it is impossible in some countries to take a census on a religious basis, and anyway there are always new immigrant waves, this is without counting the clandestine ones, those who come without papers.
Q. So it could be 50 million.
A. I don’t know, no one knows. It is not so much the number that counts, it is the will to take the power, and to dominate. At the beginning of each [historical Islamic] conquest, the Muslims were a very small minority. But this colonizing minority became masters over overwhelming Christian majorities.
Q. Let’s talk about the universities because the same thing is beginning to happen in the U.S. We have professors coming from the Middle East, spouting anti-Israeli, anti-American propaganda, funded by the Saudis, and it is getting very difficult to open your mouth in the universities.
A. Palestinianism started in the universities in Europe in the late 1960s. The whole Left was pro-Palestinian because the Soviets supported them and gave them training camps and arms to conduct their terrorist activities. The agreements between the European and Arab leaders… included in the Euro-Arab Dialogue, mention that the Arabic civilization and Middle Eastern subjects should be taught in European universities by Arabs from the Arab countries…. The Arab perspective of history whereby jihad was a peaceful conquest — not really even a conquest — but a just war against unbelief,… was imported into European universities. The idealized Muslim vision of history, and Islam’s conception of tolerance towards infidels entered into the educational system. This partial vision exists also here on campuses.
Q. I think it is, and you starting to see these Islamic centers, with Middle Eastern professors coming.
A. [Philosopher and theologian] Jacques Ellul was totally opposed to what he called ‘the subversion of Western culture,’ but his views caused him to be marginalized by the Protestant church, the university, and the press. Many people shared his opinion, but they were silenced by the network of the Euroâ€”Arab Dialogue supported by the government’s policy and the powerful European Commission. Through the network of the EAD the Muslim policy and culture infiltrated into the highest political and cultural levels in European countries members of the EC. This is why it succeeded so well.
Q. Look, you could see something similar happen here, with the President’s nomination to the U.S. Institute of Peace. Daniel Pipes as you know was nominated to that, but there was a huge war against his nomination, and finally, the President appointed him by executive order during a summer recess. But there are Islamists seeping into that institution and elsewhere into the upper echelons of government. What can Americans do?
A. The history of jihad must be taught according to the Western perspective. And the same for dhimmitude, its development and… consequences. This is extremely important, to prevent a return to the condition of dhimmitude. Unfortunately, an institute to study the history of jihad and dhimmitude worldwide has not been established.
Q. So you think an institute would help.
A. Of course…. In Europe, this history has been totally erased, in order to please the Muslim world. The Islamic view is taught whereby conquests were achieved through peaceful means, with tolerance, which is the contrary to the reality. In Europe, the Muslim groups always accuse the West, and take a tack that makes them victims and victimized. All evil is projected on the West and on Israel, and this vision gives the West a feeling of guilt towards Arabs. In fact, what Arabs have done with the help of European intellectuals engaged in the Euro-Arab Dialogue is to project the Jewish history of victimhood onto the Arabs, in order to neutralize… the West. They have usurped the history of another people to create guilt among Western countries and paralyze them. This process has eliminated the whole history of jihad. We see that Europeans are incapable of understanding their past, or even the current situation. This work was begun by Edward Said who promoted European guilt toward the Arabs and Muslim people. He was totally supported by high level governmental bodies and European universities. Otherwise he would not have achieved such fame, his position being based on historical ignorance and anti-Western racism.
Q. Could you briefly explain the history of jihad and dhimmitude.
A. The history of jihad started in the 7th century with the Islamic religion and the conquests of Arabia by the followers of Mohamed. Arabia was inhabited by a pagan majority, but there were also a great number of Christians and Jewish peasants and artisans who cultivated the oases there. Mohamed started his war against the pagans in Arabia, who opposed his beliefs. He fled to Medina, where Jewish tribes lived. On their refusal to convert to his belief, he attacked them and either expelled them or,…as in the case of the Qurayza tribe, he executed all the men and sold the women and children into slavery. Then Mohamed continued his war to impose Islam on the whole of Arabia. Finally, just before he died, he had converted the whole of Arabia to his religion. Now Mohamed’s tactic was in fact patterned on the normal means of Bedouin war. But the founders of Islamic law established a whole school, a jurisdictional process by which they made this warfare into a sacred obligation to conduct a worldwide war against the realm of unbelief. This ideology inspired from the life of Mohamed, either true or invented, based on Koran, the hadith and the biographies of the Prophet, became the sacred duties of jihad in order to Islamize the world. Now the ideology and laws of jihad represent a system founded on Islamic theological belief.
This is how jihad developed. Since then, the Arab armies were bent on always conquering more territories in order to expand the rule of the Koran over the earth. They conquered all the Christians lands west of Arabia in the Middle East. They invaded… Egypt, Syria, Palestine and the Maghreb. These lands inhabited by Jews and Christians, were Islamized through different procedures. Arab conquests expanded to Iberia (Spain) in Europe, Portugal and up to France and Switzerland and were stopped in Poitiers in the 8th century. In the East, the Muslim armies conquered Persia, Armenia and part of the Byzantine empire, which was later totally dominated by the Turkish tribes converted to Islam. Then, further East, Muslim power expanded in Afghanistan to the Indus. From the 11th century, there was a second wave of Islamization, which concentrated on Europe. Under the Ottomans it advanced to the borders of Poland and Hungary and occupied the whole of Eastern European countries who became part of… the Muslim empire. The Ottomans were stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683.
All these lands were, at the beginning, populated by non-Muslim people. At this time, these lands had armies and kings. The kings were deposed and the armies disbanded, but the population stayed in the cities and the countryside. So once a land has been Islamized, the whole colonization process took place. These processes were based on legal texts written by Arab theologians in the 8th and 9th centuries. The system of dhimmitude is congenial with Muslim colonization. Non-Muslim majorities were either totally eliminated or survived as small minorities, heirs of the big civilizations that they represented before the conquest. The process of dhimmitude, is of course linked to jihad.
Q. Let’s talk about the economic portion of this war.
A. Well, first of all, terrorism destroys civilized life and the prevention of terrorism is very expensive. Now with the weapons of mass destruction it is possible to kill thousands of people at once and control a population by terrorism. It happened in Spain. Zapatero, the President of the Spanish government, like a dhimmi, pulled the Spanish army from Iraq and went to Morocco to proclaim his love for Morocco and Islam. He said he would not deal with terrorism through arms, but by giving aid. Paying money for your security means ransoming. This is the policy of Europe.
Q. It is the policy of the U.S. also. We have given $50 billion to Egypt, and they hate us. And a few hundred billion to all the other Arab countries, probably, so it dwarfs any aid to Israel. Is this a bad thing?
A. It is bad policy to feed those who hate you. The help that is given must be appreciated, because it is paid through the work of other people. Government should not squander the money of the European taxpayers, who are deprived of many services to which they are entitled for their work. The European Union has paid billions to Arafat during the intifada. The more the Palestinian terrorists killed Israelis, the more money they received. To the Arabs, this is encouragement to continue.
Q. It seems that the U.S. government must be made aware that an economic jihad is also a means to wage war.
A. Yes, jihad takes different forms. The military jihad is waged through terrorism. The cultural jihad is done in the universities through the subversion of western values. It developed under the aegis of the Euroâ€”Arab Dialogue. The economic jihad used the oil boycott. Arab countries rely heavily on oil exports. Their economy is very dependent on Western products. It is important to reduce our dependency on the Arab countries’ oil, in order to free ourselves from the economic jihad.
Q. Does corruption of officials that go with the jihad. Do you see any of that in the U.S.?
A. Well, in the U.S. you have a different system, you have a much stronger democracy. The people can control the policy of the government. It is under strong scrutiny. But this is not so in Europe. The policy of Europe is conducted at the top level, and this escaped the people’s scrutiny. They do not understand what is happening. And the whole foreign policy of the Euro-Arab Dialogue was conducted by the European Community, the European Counsel of Ministers, the European Parliament and the European Commission, which are different bodies than each European country government.
Q. Right, but in the U.S. we also have the World Bank, the North American Free Trade Agreement which is going to be expanded to South America, and I presume that will have links to the EU and those things are not followed here, either.
A. We live in a global world, and international organizations develop. Americans should be aware of these developments and be diffident of the United Nations, which is an extremely corrupted organization, which works according to different standards. Here, it must be clearly stated that the Arab Muslim countries, 56 countries, and the Palestinian Authority, which will become a state soon, probably, operate according to Koranic justice, which is not what we consider justice. It is based on the superiority of Islam over non-Muslim countries, it justifies jihad and jihadists’ values. Those whom we call terrorists, are called freedom fighters, because fighting against non-Muslims countries is a ‘just war’. This is why the Palestinians have a ‘just cause’ and conduct a ‘just war.’ The same in Darfur, in Sudan. As long as we have different values, it will be difficult to agree on what is just. For Muslim countries, Sharia rules take precedence over any other rules, especially over man-made rules. They consider Western rules inferior to their God given rules. For this reason, America is right to refuse to participate in the International Court of Justice, which is dominated by Islamic and European nations, both abiding to the Islamic principles of justice.
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