For more than 30 years, Bat Ye’or, a refugee from Egypt, has been writing about dhimmis — Christians and Jews living under oppression in Muslim lands. Now, she has a new book, Europe, Globalization, and the Coming Universal Caliphate, that looks at Muslims living in lands that once were Christian but today call themselves multicultural. She predicts Europe will not remain multicultural for long. She is convinced that Europe, sooner rather than later, will be dominated by Islamic extremists and transformed into “Eurabia” — a term first used in the mid-1970s by a French publication pressing for common European-Arab policies.
Immigrants can enrich a nation. But there is a difference between immigrants and colonists. The former are eager to learn the ways of their adopted home, to integrate and perhaps assimilate — which does not require relinquishing their heritage or forgetting their roots. Colonists, by contrast, bring their culture with them and live under their own laws. Their loyalties lie elsewhere.
Ye’or contends that a concerted effort is being made not only to ensure that Muslim immigrants in Europe remain squarely in the second category, but also that they become the means to transform Europe politically, culturally, and religiously. Leading this effort is the Organization of the Islamic Conference, established in 1969, which, a few months ago, no doubt on the advice of a highly compensated public-relations professional, renamed itself the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
The OIC represents 56 countries plus the Palestinian Authority. It claims also to represent Muslim immigrants — the “Diaspora” — in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. It is pan-Islamic: It seeks to unify and lead the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims. In a manual first published in 2001, “Strategy of Islamic Cultural Action in the West,” the IOC asserts that “Muslim immigrant communities in Europe are part of the Islamic nation.” It goes on to recommend, Ye’or notes, “a series of steps to prevent the integration and assimilation of Muslims into European culture.”
The IOC, she argues, is nothing less than a “would-be, universal caliphate.” It might look different from the caliphates of the Ottomans, Fatimids, and Abbasids. It might resemble, instead, a thoroughly modern trans-national bureaucracy. But, already, the OIC exercises significant power through the United Nations, and through the European Union, which has been eager to accommodate the OIC while simultaneously endowing the U.N. with increasing authority for global governance. Among the other organizations that Ye’or says are doing the OIC’s bidding are the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, and the European Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation (PAEAC).
In the eyes of OIC officials, no problem in the contemporary world is more urgent than “Islamophobia,” which it calls “a crime against humanity” that the U.N. and the EU must officially outlaw. Even discussing why so much terrorism is carried out in the name of Islam is to be forbidden. The OIC insists, too, that international bodies ban “defamation of religion,” by which it means criticism of anything Islamic. Defamation of Judaism, Christianity, Bahai, Hinduism, and even heterodox Muslim sects such as the Ahmadiyya is common within the borders of many OIC countries, a fact the OIC refuses to acknowledge.
Instead, the OIC has specifically “warned” the EU and the “international community” of the “dangers posed by the influence of Zionism, Neo-Conservatism, aggressive Christian evangelicalism, Jewish extremism, Hindu extremism and secular extremism in international affairs and the ‘War on Terrorism.’”
Though funding for terrorist groups flows generously from individuals in oil-rich OIC countries, the organization itself is not a supporter of terrorism. Neither, however, is it an opponent. Violence directed against those it views as enemies of Islam is defined as “resistance” — even when civilians, including women and children, are the intended victims.
While the OIC expresses concern for the rights of Muslim immigrants in the West, the egregious mistreatment of foreign workers in the Gulf countries (and other Muslim countries as well) is not something OIC officials deign to discuss. Nor has the OIC ever condemned the genocide of the black Muslims of Darfur or the genocidal intentions toward Israelis openly expressed by Hamas, Hezbollah, and the rulers of Iran.
European diplomats might at least insist that the OIC accept the principle of reciprocity. If there is to be a “dialogue of civilizations,” shouldn’t both sides get to air their grievances? Shouldn’t Europeans work to end the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities in OIC countries and to grant foreign workers in Muslim countries basic rights and a path to citizenship? If the Saudis want to fund and control tens of thousands of mosques around the world, is it too much to ask that they permit people of other faiths to at least worship on their soil? Evidently it is, and Ye’or offers this explanation: Committed to a multicultural, multiethnic, multireligious, and multilateral ideology that rejects patriotism and even national identity and cultural pride, afflicted by guilt over their imperial and colonial past — and ignorant about more than a thousand years of Islamic imperialism and colonialism — Europeans have become dhimmis in their own lands; inferiors who accept their status and submit. The OIC, by contrast, rejects multiculturalism, openly professing the superiority of the Islamic faith, civilization, and laws.
The caliphate,” Bat Ye’or concludes, is “alive and growing within Europe. . . . It has advanced through the denial of dangers and the obfuscating of history. It has moved forward on gilded carpets in the corridors of dialogue, the network of the Alliances and partnerships, in the corruption of its leaders, intellectuals and NGOs, particularly at the United Nations.”
If you think that’s alarmist, if you think the OIC sincerely seeks cooperation with the West or that Europeans know where lines must be drawn and have the courage to draw them, read her book. Or just wait a few years.
— Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.