Reformed Reflections

Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis
by Bat Ye'or. Fairleigh Dickinson
University Press. 384 pp.

Why are Europeans so anti-Israel and anti-American? Why has the European Union (EU) proposed a Constitution that willingly renounces and even denies its Judeo-Christian roots? Why do we witness the collapse of Christian civilization in Europe? One key reason is the impact of Islam. The influence of Islam is clearly seen in the still un-ratified European Union's constitution. Its framers even refuse to mention the name of Christianity in its preface. The omission of a clear reference to the Judeo-Christian roots of European civilization in the preamble amounts to a repudiation of its past to suit the Arab-Islamic concept of history.

Bat Ye'or, an Egyptian-born French scholar of Islam, titled her recent book Eurabia - a blend of Europe and Arabia. She has been in the forefront of those trying to awaken the West to the multiple threat posed by Islam. She describes Europe's change from a Judeo-Christian civilization, with important post-Enlightenment secular elements, to a post-Judeo-Christian civilization that is subservient to the ideology of jihad and the Islamic powers that propagate it. She thinks the move toward Eurabia has gone so far that it can't be reversed. Europe will become Islamic. The term "Eurabia" was not invented by the author. It was first used by Europeans in the early twentieth century who, inspired by a mix of fascist sympathies, anti-Semitism, and fear of American power, worked for the establishment of a French-led imperial hegemony in collusion with Islam. Bat Ye'or argues that Eurabia doctrine rests on five main pillars: 1) the creation of an Euro-Arab human, economic, and political mutually beneficial association motivated by European greed and fear; 2) a common goal of economic development as the source of human progress and achievement; 3) the first belief that medieval Muslim Andalusia ( the southernmost region of Spain) provides an exemplary model for the construction of Eurabia in the twenty-first century; 4) the vilification and demise of Israel as the key to Euro-Arab reconciliation; 5) hostility to America and obstruction of its influence in the Middle East.

The Oil Embargo

The importance of oil formed the basis of the alliance between Europe and the Arab world. The European Economic Community (EEC) countries adopted a pro-Arab policy toward Israel. Unable to annihilate Israel militarily, the Arabs used the oil threat as a weapon to coerce the West to support their war against it. Dr. Ibrahim A. Obaid, Saudi Arabia's director-general of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, said at a 1975 meeting of Euro-Arab Cooperation experts in Amsterdam: "Together and as equals, the Europeans and the Arabs can through a 'strategy of interdependence' forge ahead to remove the thorn from their sides – the Israeli problem – and attend to the Herculean task ahead of them." He declared that "the Arab-Israeli conflict and the oil problem are not only related but inseparable. Had it not been for the said conflict the oil weapon would not have been unleashed." The author points out that on the eve of the 1973 oil crisis, Western Europe imported 45 percent of its oil from the Middle East. However, in the following years reliance on Middle East oil diminished considerably as energy sources and production were diversified. Moreover, Arab countries were totally dependent on the sale of their oil and natural gas, the main resource of state revenue for many of them. They needed the West for their industrial development, foodstuffs, and any modernization that was taking place in their countries.

Pro-Arab France

According to Bat Ye'or, Charles de Gaulle is the "godfather" of Eurabia. After World War II, he began the reconstruction of France. He retained many of the officials of the Vichy collaborationist government, including even those who could have been condemned as war criminals for their participation in the deportation of Jews to the death camps. In 1967 he presented France's cooperation with the Arab world as "the fundamental basis of our foreign policy." De Gaulle's obsessive dreams of grandeur and nostalgia for France's lost Arab empire induced successive governments to champion Arab League goals. The French even established semiofficial relations with the PLO and renewed a unilateral embargo on arms sales to Israel. The oil embargo offered France a long-awaited chance to drag the whole of a reluctant EEC into the Arab anti-Zionist political orbit. France maintained good relations with Arab leaders, even the most radical - such as the Saudi, Algerian, Syrian, and Iraqi leaders. France became a protector of Palestinian rights, whitewashing PLO terrorist tactics. The delegitimization of Israel became a central element of the policy of the French socialist-communist governments actively involved in creating a Euro-Arab bloc hostile to the United States and Israel. President Chirac, who has stated that "Europe is as much Islamic as Christian" is de Gaulle's faithful heir to his pro-Arab politics. France's stand at the UN Security Council earned Chirac the gratitude of the Arab and Muslim world just before the Iraqi war . The obstructions the French placed in the way of the removal of Saddam Hussein were not only dictated by France's links to his criminal regime - and the large debts in the form of credits - but also by Iraq's pivotal role as a leader of the Arab anti-American policy.

A most disconcerting development in France is the rise of anti-Semitism. The basic rights of Jewish children to education, and of Jews in general to dignity and security, have been scorned and violated on a daily basis. In France's school playgrounds Jewish children have been insulted as "dirty Jews" and frequently attacked. Like in Arab countries, they had to keep a low profile, while Muslims assumed a domineering attitude.

Superiority of Islam

Of all the major religions of the world, only Islam arose after God's full revelation of Himself to man in His incarnation in the person of Jesus Christ. Yet Muslims believe that Islam precedes Judaism and Christianity and was present at humanity's birth. Islam recognizes the Hebrew and Christian "prophets," but only as Muslim prophets. Since Islam is considered as the only true religion, Muslims are forbidden to accept the influence of infidel countries. Islam teaches that Jews, Christians, and other infidels are, by nature, inferior to Muslims. It requires the acknowledgment of Islamic prestige and superiority. Sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Sudayyis, imam of the al-Haraam mosque in Mecca told his worshippers: "The noblest civilization ever known to mankind is our Islamic civilization. Today, Western civilization is nothing more than the product of its encounter with our Islamic civilization in Andalusia and other places."

In Muslim lands governed by the shari'a, Jews and Christians had to acknowledge the superiority of Islam at all times. Consequently, Muslim opinion takes as unquestionable truth Europe's inferiority to Islam, Europe's evilness, its spiritual bankruptcy, the fanaticism of the Crusades. To appease the Muslims, some European politicians even promote the superiority of Islam over European culture. Some of their proclamations even suggest that without Arab science Europeans today would be a mass of illiterates, "for Europe owes its civilization and culture to Islam." For example, in 1998 British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook spoke of "the debt our culture owes to Islam," he added, "Islam laid the intellectual foundations for large portions of Western civilization."  

The Civilization of Dhimmitude

Bat Ye'or argues that the new European civilization in the making can be called a "civilization of dhimmitude." The term dhimmitude refers to suppression of non-Muslim individuals by an ascendant Islamic power to avoid enslavement or death. The core element of dhimmitude pertains to the premise of Muslim superiority over all other religious groups. It is one of the most misunderstood and superficially treated of subjects, not just by the Muslims themselves, but also by Western scholars. The dhimmi status was applied only in former non-Muslim lands conquered by jihad. We must remember that it is within the religious, political, intellectual, and economic domains of the Christian world that the system of dhimmitude developed and grew. Over time, once-vast non-Muslim populations became subject to slow asphyxiation. The culture of dhimmitude was characterized by surrender and passive submission, imposed by leaders who had been won over to the service of Islam by ambition and financial interest.

The condition of Christians in some modern Muslim states is inspired by the traditional rules of dhimmitude relating to the laws of blasphemy, mixed marriage, and apostasy. Discrimination in employment and in education as well as in penal and civil law also occurs. Jews and Christians are tolerated as dhimmis. They are forbidden by Islamic law to build new churches or synagogues or restore old ones.


 Bat Ye'or insists that Islam is determined to conquer by jihad. She describes Jihad as a Holy War to expand Islamic rule by force of arms. In 1981 The Third Islamic Summit Conference...decided: to declare holy Jihad, as the duty of every Muslim, man or woman, ordained by the Shariah and glorious traditions of Islam." Jihad does not always mean killing those who are conquered, but it does mean the acknowledgment of Islam's supremacy. It is a universal injunction that will endure until the only religion remaining is that of Allah. It is central to Islamic history and civilization. It has not been fundamentally questioned or changed since the founders of Islamic jurisprudence propounded it in the eighty and ninth centuries. Simply put, jihad is anything undertaken to advance the spread of Islam, peaceful or not. It has been a devastating and genocidal war throughout history. Millions of people have been massacred, abducted, enslaved, deported, and dispossessed of their lands and countries. The history of Christendom's constant defeats and retreats in the face of a millennium of jihad conquests and territorial advances in Europe and elsewhere.

Euro-Arab Dialogue

Bat Ye'or describes in great detail the origin and development of the little-known Euro-Arab Dialogue (EAD). She has waded through stacks of articles, memoranda and conference declarations generated by this organization. It was created 30-odd years ago at the instigation of France and the Arab League. The practically unknown EAD has provided structural and theoretical underpinnings for the Euro-Arab axis "Eurabia." It has a permanent secretariat of 350 members with its seat in Paris. It was organized into various committees charged with planning joint industrial, commercial, political, scientific, technical, cultural, and social projects. These have fostered the political, economic and cultural bonds between Europe and the Arab world that Bat Ye'or maintains were designed to create a "global alternative to American power." One of its goals is to impose "the political, cultural, and religious influences of Arab Islamism on European countries, through an immigrant population that remained politically and culturally attached to its countries of origin."

Since 1975 every EAD meeting passed resolutions in support of Arab immigration, labour, and employment in Europe. Arab governments negotiated special arrangements for the preservation of the migrants' separateness, particularisms, and for maintaining them under their own jurisdiction . Bat Ye'or asserts that as the mass of Europeans remain to this day totally ignorant of the EAD agreements. They did not perceive that the growing social insecurity, the erosion of their basic freedoms, and the unrelenting mutation of their societies resulted from the consciously chosen policies of their own leaders.


Bat Ye'or notes that in exchange for freely flowing Arab oil into Europe, there came freely flowing Muslim immigration into Europe, which would come about in exchange for research and development, labour and education, and tourism and cultural ties between Europe and the Arab world. While the EU keeps the doors of immigration open for the Muslim from Arab nations, they close them for the Eastern European countries, even though the latter are now members of the EU. The Muslim immigrants came with no intention of integrating into European society and culture. They have built hundreds of mosques and powerful Islamic centres, which are mainly paid for by Saudi Arabia. They influence strongly both religious and political developments, without hindrance. Arab and Muslim newspapers are distributed in every European capital – as well as in the many cities and universities where Euro-Arab dialogues and encounters are frequent events.

Policies aimed at the integration of Muslim immigrants and their offspring have generally failed. Many Europeans have noticed this profound civilization shift. For example, on 20 December 1999, the Shari'a Court of the United Kingdom issued a fatwa prohibiting any Muslim from participating in Christmas or Christian New Year celebrations taking place in the Millennium Dome.

Anti-Israel and Anti-American
Bat Ye'or provides copious documentation for the argument that there is a not-very-secret conspiracy between Europe and Arab states to oppose U.S. world influence and, most particularly, American support for Israel. She argues that Europe's anti-Americanism is a planned policy, whose masterminds are determined to maintain it as long as America does not comply with the Islamic world order. She claims that the EU has adopted the Arab perspective that locates all evil in Israel, eclipsing all other conflicts and tragedies in the world. Israel is blamed for the lack of progress in the Middle East peace process, and for not contributing to democratization in the Mediterranean region.

The author pays close attention to reappearance of anti-Semitism in Europe. She observes that in connection with Europe's Islamization, another grave development is Europe's Judeophobia. Synagogues are torched, cemeteries desecrated. Euro-Arab cooperation on the university level has extended anti-Jewish racism on European campuses, as well as among the intelligentsia. Bat Ye'or believes that "European antisemitic abuse is a calculated response to America's war against Islamic terrorism, a spiteful attack on Israel, and grovelling service to the Muslim states."

Bat Ye'or argues that as Judaism was the target of Nazi ideology, so Israel's very existence is the central target of Euro-Arab policy. The Muslim states affirm their commitment to apply a political and economic boycott to any state that recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and establish its embassy there. The Third Islamic Summit Conference held in 1981, affirmed "The commitment of Islamic States to liberate Al-Quds (Jerusalem) to become the capital of the independent Palestinian State, and to reject any situation which might infringe on the Arab right to full sovereignty over Al'Quds." This means that prospect for a permanent Middle Peace settlement is next to nil.

The Failure of the Church

Bat Ye'or critiques the Christian Church for her failure to resist the encroachment of Islam. Because they are terrified by Islamism churches seek their security by openly advocating an anti-Israeli policy. They author claims that the Christian service to Islam consists primarily in its worldwide support for the Muslim jihad against Israel. This includes spreading Islamic propaganda through Western religious channels, encouraging and giving practical or moral succour to anti-Israel terrorism by blaming it on Israel, demonizing America, vindicating Islam, and, above all, concealing the Islamization and religious "purification" of Arab societies - including the discriminatory and humiliating restrictions imposed on native Christians. Furthermore, some theologians have even called for a new reading of the Bible, in line with the Qur'an, that would expel Israel from its biblical identity as well as its heritage. And a sad example of the church's failure to understand the threat of Islamism is a statement made on October 14, 2003, by the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, who while lecturing at the London Royal Institute for International Affairs, urged America to recognize that terrorists can "have serious moral goals." 

Persecution of the Church

Bat Ye'or notes that European governments, although continuing to preach the universality of human rights, increasingly approved Palestinian and Lebanese-based international terrorism, while turning a blind eye to discrimination that weighed upon Eastern Christian populations in the Middle East and beyond. She states that Europe's general indifference to the persecution and killings of Christians by Muslim terrorists tacitly acknowledges that non-Muslim life is cheap and can be shed without retribution. Europe's silence on anti-Christian oppression amounts to implicit submission to the shari'a prohibitions of blasphemy. Christians facing persecution and discrimination in Islamic countries are forced by a system that prohibits victims from testifying against their Muslim tormentors to withdraw into an isolation conducive to their own destruction. Palestinian Christians are harassed. In Egypt, discrimination against the Copts is rampant. Girls are abducted. Christians are killed and girls abducted in shops for conversion. Youths travelling in that country have been arrested and jailed for fifteen days, for carrying a Bible.

The author ends on a note of strong support for the Bush administration's policies in the Middle East. She says, "One may hope that America's resolute policy has opened new perspectives and new opportunities for the world to eschew a former order of political connivance with hate and crime." She uses forthright language to get her point across. At times she tends to be emotional about her subject matter. Nonetheless, Eurabia is an important book. It is a source of vital information and will enlighten those who think that European hostility to Israel and anti-Americanism are recent developments dating from George W. Bush's presidency and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Eurabia should be read by all who wish to understand the agenda of the Islamists.

Johan D. Tangelder
 April, 2005