TCS Daily

Eurabian Nights

By Olivier Guitta - March 22, 2005 12:00 AM

Andrei Makine, a Russian writer living in France since 1987, said it best: "Political correctness is a form of Western totalitarianism." In fact, political correctness is hampering our victory on the War on Terror -- or, as almost no one dares to call it, the War on Radical Islam.

If political correctness was once prevalent in the US, it has become a religion in Europe. No respected European politician would ever be caught criticizing Islamists or even think of discussing the huge immigration problem Europe is facing: today the continent is home to some 20 million Muslims.

But two European exceptions are tackling these issues.

In her new book Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2005), Bat Ye'or admirably explains how since the 1970s -- particularly after the 1973 oil shock, when Arab countries used oil to pressure Europeans to accept their views -- European governments have systematically obeyed the Diktat from Arab countries.

The main areas at stake were foreign policy and immigration. Regarding foreign policy, Europe needed to adopt a very biased anti-Israel and later anti-American position. As such, it is no surprise that as early as 1974, France made overtures to the late PLO Chief Yasser Arafat. Also on immigration and cultural issues, Arab countries, according to Eurabia, demanded that:

        - Europe accept their constant stream of immigrants and naturalize 
        - integration not be implemented because immigrants were to keep their 
            original culture "untouched".

This helps explain why no European country ever implemented a real immigration policy or insisted on genuine integration of immigrants. Is it thus a coincidence that:

        - the man who brutally murdered Theo Van Gogh after the release of his 
        documentary critical of Islam, is a very well "integrated" Dutch of Moroccan 

        - Zacarias Moussaoui, the presumed 20th hijacker in the September 
        11 attacks, is a French citizen?

        - Richard Reid, who tried to blow up an American Airlines Paris to Miami flight 
        with his shoes, is British?

        - the man who attempted to kill the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, 
        is a French Muslim who does not like homosexuals (Delanoe is openly 

There is another Politically Incorrect Hope, thanks to a very unexpected man: ex French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur. He is a soft-spoken center-right politician who has never been known to make wave. So it is all the more surprising to read his new and very brave book La fin de l'illusion jacobine (Fayard, January 2005). In this largely unpublicized work, Balladur argues that the West is the target and is being blamed for all the evil in the world. And nowhere is this more obvious than in the Muslim world, which is envious and wants revenge against it. The situation is all the more dangerous in Europe because of its very large Muslim population and its weakness in the face of the oil blackmail. Balladur notes that the majority of conflicts in the world pit Muslims against other religions. He recalls meeting with a leader of a very large Muslim country who told him that Muslims were being aggressed all over the world and were just defending themselves.

Here's more of what Balladur writes:

        1- Islam is not only a religion but also a way of thinking and a way of 
        2- Even for the most reformist modern Muslim, the Koran remains the biggest 
        obstacle because of its untouched interpretation.
        3- Islam needs a major reform like the other religions have already undergone.
        4- Fundamentalists find the justification for their acts in the Koran: 
        the submission of women, polygamy, the stoning of adulterers, etc.

Also he calls for a "brutal and immediate repression" of French-based extremist imams who foster violence.

Balladur is upset, and rightly so, that the European Union's Declaration of Rights did not include mention of the continent's Christian heritage. French President Jacques Chirac was the one actively lobbying against including this Christian dimension. Once again, in order not to offend other religions, in this case mostly Islam, a historical truth was ignored. Political correctness prevailed and Europe's guilt obsession goes on.

Regarding transatlantic relations, Balladur defends vigorously a more complete alliance between the US and Europe. For him the US is the only true European ally and building a counter-weight to the US is stupid: this is a smart attack on Chirac and his vision of a multi-polar world.

It is refreshing to read these views coming from a leading French politician. Let's hope it becomes a trend.

Olivier Guitta is a freelance writer specializing in the Middle East and Europe.


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