Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis
by Bat Ye'or
Cranbury, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2005. 384 pp. $49.50 ($23.95, paper).
Reviewed by Johannes J.G. Jansen
Middle East Quarterly
In 1985, Bat Ye'or offered Islamic studies a surprise with her book, The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians under Islam, a convincing demonstration that the notion of a traditional, lenient, liberal, and tolerant Muslim treatment of the Jewish and Christian minorities is more myth than reality. Bat Ye'or's documentation and argument convinced most of her (relatively few) readers.
Now she surprises again (and to a substantially larger audience). The term "Eurabia" in her title was the title of a journal initiated in the mid-1970s by the "European Committee for Coordination of Friendship Associations with the Arab World," and it is still used in the sense of bringing Europe and the Arabs together as in Eurabia Studentenvereniging, the name of a Rotterdam University Moroccan-Dutch students' union.
Bat Ye'or turns the word on its head and uses it to refer to a grandiose scheme, created by unaccountable civil servants and politicians eager to please their Arab counterparts, a scheme that aims at furthering these highly ideological aspirations for Euro-Arab unity, a scheme that, for obvious reasons, can never be allowed to stand the test of being voted upon by European (or Arab) electorates. Her extensive documentation leads to the breathtaking conclusion that the outlook of those insignificant-looking friendship associations has developed into the European Union official policy and ideology.
This Eurabian ideology, for instance, claims a moral equivalency between the Crusades and jihad, ignoring that jihad was unremittingly active in Asia, Africa, and Europe centuries before the crusaders conquered Palestine. Moreover, the last crusader was buried centuries ago while jihadists appear to be very much alive. The Eurabian ideology blinds a number of Western politicians to the fact that extensive Islamic territories lie close to Europe and that millions of Muslim immigrants have settled in European cities, causing those same politicians to overlook the hostility that now reverberates in Western Europe, as exemplified by the ritual assassination of Dutch filmmaker and writer Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam, on November 2, 2004.
God blinds those whom he wants to destroy; Bat Ye'or's Eurabia offers a powerful tool for those who wish to see.
 Cranbury, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1985.
Related Topics: Muslims in Europe | Johannes J.G. Jansen | Spring 2005 MEQ
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