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 for over a millennium. 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 she has popularized but did not coin. It was 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 and which, a few months ago, no doubt upon 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 "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, Fatamids 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 that has been eager to accommodate the OIC while simultaneously endowing the U.N. with increasing authority for global governance.
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 E.U. must officially outlaw. The OIC also has specifically "warned" 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."'
Funding for terrorist groups flows generously from individuals in oil-rich OIC countries. 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.
Why don't European diplomats at least insist that the OIC accept the principle of reciprocity? How can a "dialogue of civilizations" not discuss the persecution of minorities in OIC countries (including even heterodox Muslim communities such as the Ahmadiyya) and the egregious mistreatment of foreign workers in the Gulf countries?
Ye'or offers this explanation: Committed to a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-lateral 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 countries: inferiors who accept their status and submit. The OIC, by contrast, rejects multi-culturalism, 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 the Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism.