Yesterday I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting a very special person. If you did not know the tiny, unpretentious and vivacious grey-haired lady whom I had the privilege of sitting next to you would never guess that she is one of the most formidable personalities of our time. When I drove to The Hague I did not know I was going to meet her, but I knew her name – or rather the pseudonym which she generally uses: Bat Ye’or. It is Hebrew for “daughter of the Nile.” She was born in Cairo but her family was expelled from Egypt and stripped of their Egyptian nationality in 1957 because they were Jewish.
The family settled in Britain as stateless refugees. Bat Ye’or became a historian. She raised a family of three children before she began writing. Her first book, published 35 years ago, was a history of the Jews in Egypt. Later she wrote a history of the Egyptian Copts [Orthodox Christians, the true natives of Egypt]. Later still she began to study the situation of non-Muslims under Muslim rule.
Jews and Christians living under Muslim rule are called dhimmis in Arabic. They are treated slightly better than other non-Muslims (who are persecuted) because Islamic law tolerates a situation whereby dhimmis may practice their religion. However, the condition for this tolerance (a favour that is not always granted) is that the dhimmis be systematically humiliated for their rejection of Islam. Dhimmis have the status as second-class citizens and have to pay special taxes.
My wife and I had dinner with Bat Ye’or and I asked her how it had felt to live as a dhimmi in Egypt, but she said it was only when she came to the West that she had come to realize what dhimmitude really was. “You only realize when you look from the outside in,” she said. It is perhaps because she has had this ‘priviliged’ experience that she was able to perceive from the 1970s onwards how the Europeans are slowly being turned into dhimmis. Her 2005 book “Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis” describes this transformation process.
Bat Ye-or was in The Hague attending an international gathering of Western Jihad experts. The group included Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, Ibn Warraq, David G. Littman, the Dutch and Flemish Arabists Hans Jansen (University of Utrecht) and Urbain Vermeulen (universities of Leuven and Ghent), and others.
Bat Ye’or convincingly argues that the transformation of Europe into Eurabia is the result of a deliberate strategy that was foolishly set in motion by French Gaullists who wanted to create a European-Arab counterweight to the United States. Today the European Union is continuing this policy, which aims to create a united Mediterranean continent based on a symbiosis between the Northern and the Southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. In her Eurabia book she meticulously describes how this strategy has been implemented during the past 35 years and how the promotion of Muslim immigration to Europe constitutes part of this plan.
Ever since she was forced to leave Egypt Bat Ye’or has lived in Europe. She does not intend to leave. She feels old and tired, but she urges young people to continue resisting dhimmi status. “We should not ask the moderate Muslims to save us. We have to change the present situation ourselves. That is our duty to our children and our ancestors.” Her study have made her aware that the destruction of Christian societies by Jihadists has always been brought about by the Christian leaders and churches themselves. “I think that we will not be able to act responsibly so long as we do not understand the dynamics, the spirit, and the functioning of Eurabia, a concept that has been conceived in Europe and by Europeans, and has not been imposed upon us from outside.”
She points out that after the Eastern enlargement of the EU, the Arab countries were worried that less European funds would be available for the Maghreb countries. They made Europe promise that EU funds to the Southern shores of the Mediterranean would not diminish, but also that immigration from Arab countries would not be stopped in favour of immigration from Eastern Europe. This is the real reason why the Polish plumbers are not welcome while people from the Maghreb still continue to flock to Europe.
“Immigration,” Bat Ye’or says, “is part of the whole strategy, which is an ambition to create a new civilizational concept based on multiculturalism, on the dissolution of people’s typical characteristics.” To Bat Ye’or the Danish cartoon affair is “a revolt to assert Western values of freedom of opinion, speech, and religion.”
Not only the European Union is imposing the ideology of multiculturalism, but also the United Nations. David Littman is an expert on the “creeping Islamism at the UN.” Littman, a representative for the Association for World Education (AWE) to the UN in Geneva, was recently testifying before the UN but was censored when he quoted moderate Muslims condemning Jihadist bombings. According to the 56 member states of the Organization of the Islamic Countries (OIC) even the use of “the prefix ‘Islamic’ before ‘terrorism’ is sacrilege.” Through the channels of the UN they try to curtail freedom of thought, opinion and expression with accusations of “blasphemy,” “islamophobia,” “defamation of Islam,” or “sacrilege.”
I had been invited to The Hague by Daniel Pipes. I discovered that the most famous of the conference participants were not registered at the hotel under their real names and a (plain clothes) guard was watching over them. Apparently, a gathering of people for a scholarly exchange of views on the preservation of Western liberties, can no longer take place in the free West without security measures.
Flemming Rose, the Danish journalist who commissioned twelve drawings of Muhammad (hardly offensive by Western standards. See them here, halfway down the page), is currently in the United States. The journalist wanted to test to what extent “multiculturalism” has affected freedom of speech. Little did he know that things were already that bad. The outcome of his test is that his life is now in danger in Europe. Flemming may be forced to remain in hiding for the rest of his days.
Danish historian and journalist Lars Hedegaard, also present in The Hague, shares my fear that Denmark will soon be attacked by the Jihadists. The latter have frequently announced that they intend to “punish” Denmark and will do so if they are not to lose face in the Muslim world. A bombing or an assassination before the end of the year will come as no surprise.
Europeans are fast becoming second class citizens in their own countries. It is tempting to flee a continent that has already to a large extent become Eurabia, and hide in the relative safety of the United States. However, Europeans should stay put and resist the attempts to turn Europe into dhimmi-land. “It is possible that some Muslims are offended by the Danish cartoons,” says Daniel Pipes. “Nevertheless, all the media should have published them. While the Rushdie affair was about freedom of speech, because it was an intra-Muslim affair, the cartoon affair is about the defense of the identity of the West and whether we allow them to impose their values on our society.”