November 5-11, 2001
volume 12, no. 155

How the Crescent Moon intends to eclipse the Cross    part one

    In the year 711 Archbishop Oppas held the important see of Seville in the south of Spain. 1

    1. The historical facts of the first part of this article were taken from the book L'Espagne Chrétienne by René Aigrain, which is part of volume 5 of the well-known Histoire de l'Eglise published under the direction of Augustin Fliche and Victor Martin (Paris: Bloud & Gay, 1947) pp. 261-264.
The political situation of the country was troubled. The corrupt King Witiza, brother of the Archbishop, had managed to alienate the greater part of the people and the nobles. Historians are divided in their opinions, but more recent recounts attribute many crimes to this King, such as the abuse of the wives and daughters of his subjects and, above all, the promulgation of laws that permitted polygamy and having concubines.

    The Muslim danger was growing in Africa. Ceuta, a possession of the Byzantine Empire situated immediately to the south of the Strait of Gibraltar, was governed by the unprincipled Count Julian, who was conspiring with the Arab leaders. The possibility of an Islamic invasion that counted on Julian's support became more and more likely. In view of this lamentable and dangerous situation, the assembly of nobles had deposed Witiza and named Rodrigo as king to direct the destiny of the Iberian Kingdom. A medieval tradition recounts that Witiza was condemned to have his eyes put out. It is not known for certain whether the account is true or false. What is known is that after the rise of King Rodrigo, few references can be found to Witiza. Still, some nobles did not accept the election of Rodrigo and instigated local internal wars.

    The Arab government of North Africa was under the authority of Mousa ben Nassair, who depended upon Caliph Walid of Damascus. In 711, Mousa sent Tarik ben Ziyad, his general, to cross the Strait and invade Spain. Many thousands of Berbers and Arabs crossed the waters in boats furnished by Julian and disembarked on Catholic soil. Reinforcements soon arrived when it was learned that Rodrigo was marching to meet the invaders.

    King Rodrigo divided his army into three flanks: He commanded the principal part, Archbishop Oppas commanded another, and Prince Sisebert, another relative of Witiza, was at the head of the third. The battle took place on the banks of Guadalete River. At the decisive moment when the two armies came together, Oppas abandoned the field with his flank, which gave the victory to the Saracens. There are many who say that Oppas had already negotiated his betrayal with the Arabs some time before. After Oppas left the field, Sisebert also fled, leaving Rodrigo surrounded by the Arabs. The King would fight to the death, but did not manage to avoid defeat. With the Catholic army destroyed, Tarik took city after city: Ecija, Córdova, Toledo, Medina-Sidonia, Carmona, Seville, Mérida, etc. In many of these places, it was still the finger of Archbishop Oppas that pointed out to the Muslim general the heads of the Catholic leaders to be cut off in order to achieve political stability in his conquest.

    In less than two years, almost all of Spain would be taken by the Arabs. At Covadonga, Don Pelayo would begin a heroic reconquest that would only be completed seven hundred years later in 1492 with the expulsion of the Moors from Granada under the Catholic King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Who opened the doors of Spain to the enemy? The Catholic Archbishop Oppas.

    The heroism of Rodrigo and Pelayo, the betrayal of Oppas, and the details of the Moorish invasion were described in prose, verse and song through the centuries and became a legend. I recall one of these works, the famous historical romance Eurico, o Presbítero [Eric, the Presbyter] by the brilliant Portuguese writer Alexander Herculano, which portrays with an incomparable talent the events I just mentioned.

Today, an analogous Muslim danger

    The surprising and tragic attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center last September 11 have had many consequences. One of them was to remind the entire world of the significance of today's Muslim danger. Anesthetized by the hypocritical smile of ecumenism and by illusions of the sincerity of a "moderate" Islam, spread by Catholic progressivism, the West had been oblivious to any serious thoughts about the Islamic danger. The trauma of the terrorist attacks ended the anesthesia and broke many illusions. Therefore, the hour for an analysis of the danger seems to have arrived.

    After Vatican II, the so-called "peaceful invasion" of the Muslims into Europe began. In the last 40 years, this invasion has been taking place in different phases. First, there was a gradual but massive infiltration of clandestine immigrants into European countries, with the open support of the Catholic religious authorities. These ecclesiastical authorities allege an obligation of charity for the European faithful to receive the immigrants.

    Second, the immigrants are being accepted by the average pragmatic European citizen because they permit a non-unionized, and thus much cheaper, labor force in a Europe entangled in labor taxes, laws and processes.

    Third, once established, the number of immigrants grows rapidly because they have many children. Every child born in a Western European country is usually considered a citizen of that country with the right to live there himself and to have his family join him. Therefore, having children became a normal means to gain the easy legalization of the immigrant parents. This policy has promoted a strong Islamic demographic expansion. At the same time, in the majority of these countries the birth rates of Western Europeans are diminishing rapidly.

    Fourth, the immigrants begin to practice their religion under the protection of the law and with the support of Catholic authorities. The result has been the rapid and significant proliferation of mosques throughout Europe. Wealthy Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia are providing large amounts of money to build the mosques and spread the principles of their religion in the West.

    The result of this process is that today Western Europe has more than 15 million Muslims. 2

    2. "The well informed Vaticanist Luigi Accattoli wrote this in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in 1993: "The Pope wanted Europe to pray in all languages, including Arabian, because of the almost 15 million Muslims who live on our continent, almost half speak Arabic" ("Lo slavo Wojtyla apre le braccia ai 'fratelli islamici,'" January 11, 1993)."
That is to say, this fact alone already constitutes a migratory phenomenon of a proportion analogous to the wave of Germanic barbarians who invaded Europe and completely changed the culture and socio-political structure of the Roman Empire.

    In Western Europe, the perspective that presents itself for the future is even more disturbing than the impressive facts of the present. Considering only the demographic explosion of the Arab and Turkish immigrants who are already there, if the European authorities do not put a stop to this invasion and encourage the entrance of non-European peoples who share their culture and religion, in 50 or 60 more years Europe will be a colony of Islam.

    Immigration has made Islam the fastest growing confession in the West. Already, Islam has become the second largest religion in Catholic Italy and France. A close-up of Muslim influence in Europe today shows that after the terrorist attacks of September 11, the European Heads of State, with the exception of Tony Blair, only gave a very moderate support to the United States in its combat against Islamic fundamentalism. Why? Because they feared that open support of American action could incite serious Muslim insurrections in their countries - so serious that they could threaten the political stability of their governments.

    Here, an objection arises. The majority of the Muslim immigrants are not terrorists, Shiites, fundamentalists or violent persons. This, then, speaks in favor of a gradual assimilation of the immigrants into Western culture with the passing of time, let's say, two or three generations. This fact, added to the inter-religious dialogue promoted by the Vatican, give the Western optimist the impression that the Muslim danger is nonexistent.

    In the second part next week I will respond to the objection and immunize my reader against the narcotic effect of this position, which is based on a false opinion with regard to the Islamic religion.

Atila Sinke Guimarães

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For past columns by Atila, see Archives of On the BattleLine

November 5-11, 2001
volume 12, no. 155
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