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Turkish delight
European Union's chance to moderate the flame of fanatical Muslim extremists

October 12, 2004

It is a predictable course to believe that civilizations don't just disappear; others who are hungrier, more aggressive and more energetic overtake them. The demographic changes in West are one pointer towards the shape of things to come in the next century. Is it possible that what Islam could not achieve in the battle of Tours-Poitiers it may achieve by demographic changes in Europe?

Had Charles Martel suffered at the hands of 'Abd ar-Rahman at Tours-Poitiers, the fate of King Roderick at the Rio Barbate, Charles being the progenitor of the Carolingian line of Frankish rulers and the grandfather of Charlemagne, one can even say with a degree of certainty that the subsequent history of the West would have proceeded along vastly different currents.

Is it possible that what Islam could not achieve in the battle of Tours-Poitiers in 732 it may achieve by demographic changes in Europe by 2032? It will be 1300 years from Poitiers victory and several doom sayers say that Europe is being haunted by a 1300 years anniversary 'holy' curse of Sultan Abd al-Rahman!

According to Mona Charen, about 5 percent of the European Union is now Muslim, and historian Bernard Lewis told a German newspaper that Europe would be majority Islamic by the end of this century "at the latest." At present, more than 15 percent of the 16-24 age group in France is Muslim. In Brussels, one quarter of those under the age of 25 is Muslim.

Muslims also account for 25 percent of the population of Marseilles, and 20 percent of the population of Malmo, Sweden. Immigration, both legal and illegal, from Islamic countries continues. As Timothy Savage has noted in The Washington Quarterly, the United Nations estimates that Europe's native population will decline by 100 million or more in the next 50 years. The Muslim minority in Europe is quite productive, and will double in size by 2015.

The minimum birth-rate necessary to keep a society going is 2.1 children per woman. Europe's birth rate is 1.5 and falling. The immigrants who are taking the place of Germans, Italians, French and others are largely Muslim. In contrast to the irreligious native Europeans, Muslim immigrants are passionate about their faith and highly fertile. It is estimated that in England, Muslim worshipers at mosques already outnumber congregants of the Church of England every weekend.

The attempt for conquest of Europe by Sultan Abd al-Rahman as early as 732 has been blown well out of strategic and historical proportions. Paranoia arose, with Islamic conquest and jihad becoming "a bogey in the West for centuries," best exemplified by Edward Gibbon's account of Sultan Abd al-Rahman's defeat at the "Battle of Poitiers" by Charles Martel in 732 AD:

"... the Rhine is not more impassable than the Nile or the Euphrates, and the Arabian fleet might have sailed without a naval combat into the mouth of the Thames. Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet. From such calamities was Christendom delivered by the genius and fortune of one man [Martel]."

Gibbon seemed to have been under the belief that al-Rahman's intention was a continuation of the jihad, which was false. The Sultan "had been invited into Christendom by Eudo, Duke of Aquitaine", and had no intention of continuing the jihad or conquering Europe.

Examining the motives for the Muslim drive north of the Pyrenees, one can attach a macro historical significance to the encounter between the Franks and Andalusian Muslims at Tours-Poitiers, especially when one considers the attention paid to the Franks in Arabic literature and the successful expansion of Muslims elsewhere in the medieval period. Lured by the promise of plunder, as well as a desire to defeat more foes of Islam, 'Abd ar-Rahman extended his campaign towards the regnum Francorum.

His invasion was neither simply a raid nor part of a grand scheme to conquer all Christendom; it was a failed attempt to eliminate a strategic threat located north of the Andalusian border. Moreover, the battle did not decide the outcome of the Christian-Muslim struggle in Francia. Rather, it brought a determined new participant into the field of combat, the Frankish army, which launched an offensive against the remaining Muslim bases to the south only a few years after Charles won his victory at Tours-Poitiers and earned himself the title Martel ("Hammer").

The soldiers of the Sultan, intoxicated with red wine were left with no desire for combat after the Sultan was lethally debilitated. Nearly all the squadrons of the "Ishmaelites" had vanished; during the night, they had fled with the greatest silence, and withdrew to the safety of Andulas.

There is clearly some justification for ranking Tours-Poitiers among the most significant events in Frankish history, when one considers the result of the battle in light of the remarkable record of the successful establishment by Muslims of Islamic political and cultural dominance along the entire eastern and southern rim of the former Christian, Roman world. What could not have been militarily achieved in Tours is now a phantom people seem to be worried about.

Today the question is not about the probable subjugation of the West by Islam through a swelling demographic bomb; more eminent is relatively the threat from radical elements that needs to be eliminated from the universal equation of concord and reconciliation. Abolition of this unseen danger is only possible through a pro-active struggle. A self-righteous policy of "appeasement" will not ensure peaceful co-habitation within the ever-increasing European multi-ethnic cosmopolitan community.

The likelihood of calm integration within future European societies will transpire only if the 'fanatical fringe', the harbinger of global commotion, is cordoned. Only then will the future dream of large 'ideologically' accommodative populace within very sizable immigrant communities of Germany, France, Sweden and UK, like those of the Bosnian Muslims, or even Turkey be realized. Bosnians, the remnants of Ottoman intrusions in Central Europe and ex-Ottomans themselves, the present day Turks, are moderates by design.

Ata Turk who abrogated the archaic Ottoman Empire and sold the Turks the dream of a new future; even the Islamised of Turkey, like Erdogan, today are great sponsors of that dream. It was inculcation of 'moderation' as a matter of state 'secular' policy. These immigrants are the children of past colonialists of Europe; they not only need opportunities and some kind of affirmative action to grow out of their Eastern Parisian and Marseilles ghettos, they must also see that their 'fanatical idols' are dealt with strength and not remunerated. Little do the Westerners realize that this is an era in which minds of the future generations of their own restive segments are being nurtured and reared.

The present rightist leadership of Turkey is keen to join Europe on its terms to the extent of adopting and adhering to statutes of law on murder, rape and other crimes and apply the strictures of human rights. But the recommendation to put Turkey on the path of full membership has stoked fears among Europeans wary of bringing a poor Muslim country into the prosperous bloc, which is reflected in the 30-member EU executive commission who set tough conditions to prevent Turkey from backtracking on democratic and human rights reforms.

That has prompted a sharp response from Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan who said that if the European Union declares itself to be a Christian Club, then Turkey should know this clearly, a sentiment that would be seconded by the largely moderate Muslims living in the West. The large immigrant populations of Turks, North Africans and South Asians are at the crossroads of destiny. They carefully study the reactions of their host governments to terrorist blackmail; an accommodative posture like those of Chirac infuses 'radicalism' whereas non-accommodative posture like that of Blair's encourages moderation.

Europeans and West are horror-struck by these trends; something prevents them from even discussing the subject. Civilizations don't just disappear; others who are hungrier, more aggressive and more energetic overtake them. We should not believe that in this modern day and age, the Caucasian race would disappear; the lack of the fertility argument is as hollow as Malthusian predictions.

Over a period of time, with education, environment and a healthy unbiased milieu, these societies will assimilate, so the ghost of "demographic changes" is implausible and does not stand the test of transparent scrutiny; it may be very emotional and sensationalistic, but in actuality, the only thing that can make a difference is the present war on terror and not the European policy of appeasement. The war on terror is an ultimate milestone to achieve; a definite stand established to remove the radical and extremist elements from spreading their brand of "world order" so that the moderate face of Islam emerges.

With Osama bin Laden and his cronies in Iraq and Afghanistan, Europeans have totally failed to understand the threat emanating from these cavemen. Although long term demographic changes may allow further opportunities to medievalists to enforce their brand of world order, the goal in the short term is quite obvious and will stop at nothing but perpetual jihad.

Indeed their interpretation of the Talibinised version of medievalism is a cassus belli in itself. From their hidden underground pulpits OBL demonstrates to the already vicious circumcised 'extremists' the virtues of 'destruction', rage built on impotence and collective failures of their doctrine so far to bring prosperity to the region of Islam.

It is about establishment of set precedent of 'order of governance' based on antiquated and outmoded traditions. The real fruit, which the extremists are aiming to pluck at, are Iran and Pakistan, and Turkey and Saudi Arabia that fall in their radical laps. Once in control of the 'holy land' and the energy resources of 'petrolistan', joined with the nuclear strategic assets of Pakistan with revolutionary zeal of Iran, and the geographical proximity of Turkey to Europe, they will place their foot on the jugular of the global energy sources and wreak havoc on global economies.

No one but the Europeans would suffer the most from this eventual outcome. Historically, in the 1400 years history of Islam, it has never seen unification within its factions. But faced with a "common enemy," these extremists with their various ideological strains have buried their hatchet, so to speak, and have combined forces for the first time in centuries to spread their fangs of terror. The worst part is that in history it has always been the extremists who ruled over silent majority moderates, as later are more vociferous and belligerent in the use of force to curb freedom and dissent.

Tyrannies in lands of Islam are a result of bulldozing of 'silent majorities' the propensity of silent majorities of Islam to yield into 'holy' totalitarianism is astounding. It is for this that not a single true pluralistic democracy exists from Maghreb to extreme geographical end of the Islamic world. Strongman reigns supreme on the psyche of the entire ummah! From King Mohammed VI the sovereign, Commander of the Faithful to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei the unique brand of strongman culture clench the silent majorities in total submission.

The extension of this order to the hinterland of Europe looks likely in a few decades as demographic pattern work their way, but instantaneous cowing of their own societies into compliance will help promulgation of the ultimate objective of 'doctrine of Allah' over the gullible, very realizable in near term. Once the 'nation of Islam' is cowed into submission, the dream of 'conquista' of Andalusia and beyond Pyrenees becomes more realistic.

Humanity today is confronting the challenge of 'intellectual rearing' of the ticking time bomb of demographic changes imminent in Europe. Our determination today will help bring up the nurturing of this huge populace increase in a 'restrained' manner. Any other course will lead to future ethnic wars of cleansing. Imagine a fanatical arc of instability spanning out from Morocco to South Asia, added with a burgeoning Europe that would be majority Islamic by the end of this century, all raised on sights and sounds of victory of radicalism.

Only one authority stands between them achieving their intention to establish an archaic version of the 'realm of Allah' on earth and conversion of the entire Islamic world to their brand of 'radicalism,' that one clout is the resolve of the 'civilized world and a few good men' to preserve the basic rights of mankind at large. It is the only hope of European nations if they understand and realize that moderating the flame of fanatical extremists is the only way for people to commingle on the bank of Seine-Rhine.

'Failure of fanatics' in this war on terror will be the 'success of moderates.' Nothing works better than success. Today, at these crossroads, if peace in the future has to be secured, the restrained and accommodative face of Islam has to be supported. By yielding to suicide bombings and beheading threats, we will make radicalism as the currency of order within future Islamic societies.

Our follies of today will help breed a generation that will be alien to cohabitation. It would be racist to worry about the demographic time bomb if the mindset of that 'collective' is ready to cohabitate and believes in pluralism and tolerance, virtues of mankind at large. This is the only challenge that Europe faces and the key to this quandary lies with their present actions. Sadly, so far, the actions fall short of what will mutate the 'mind' of this huge group towards peaceful coexistence; those immigrants will see that blackmail does pay.

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