she coined this term some time ago, and it's turning out to be prescient.
No 'cheap souk'
Egyptian-born scholar Bat Ye'or has written extensively about the treatment of dhimmis, or non-Muslims, under Muslim domination. Her latest book, Eurabia (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2005), chronicles Arab determination to subdue Europe as a cultural appendage to the Muslim world-and Europe's willingness to be so subjugated. It is her first book to be published in English before French, a decision Bat Ye'or now says took into account U.S. terror threats but did not foresee the dramatic spike in Muslim-led violence in France. Its publication in French is soon due out.
WORLD: Have the intensity and longevity of the uprisings in France surprised you?
BAT YE'OR: Yes, I was surprised. I did not expect such violence for the accidental deaths of two youths, a tragedy that can happen at any moment in any city, including in Muslim countries; in fact, such a reaction in a Muslim country is not conceivable. Nor did I expect the lethargy and incapacity of parents and the people in the suburbs to control the youth. However, it is the state of total unpreparedness to deal rapidly with an intifada that is worrying.
WORLD: Please explain how its roots go back to the 1970s and even further.
BAT YE'OR: In the 1960s after decolonization, France and Great Britain wanted to establish good relations with their former Arab colonies, while the Arab League was trying to bring Europe to adopt an anti-Zionist and pro-Arab line. The nine countries of the European Community (EC) made a deal with the Arab League countries based on a strategy: the creation of a Mediterranean multicultural and united society. This Euro-Arab alliance was based on three pillars: anti-Zionism and the promotion and support by Europe of Arafat; anti-Americanism and a European policy contrary to that of America; the guarantee of oil supply to Europe. Within this framework, specialists set up numerous unofficial agreements. Muslim immigration is a part of these agreements with a view to create a multicultural Mediterranean society where Christians and Muslims would be reconciled-on the base of anti-Zionism and the delegitimization of Israel and its withering away.
WORLD: Is Europe's Muslim population seeking to be ghettoized?
BAT YE'OR: The radicalized youths of the suburbs of Paris and elsewhere want to control their "territory." [They see] state control as an occupation and an infringement on their rights.
WORLD: Muslim leaders are, according to press reports, working as mediators between angry youths and authorities. Can Islamic leaders come alongside a secular state?
BAT YE'OR: This would make of France an Islamic-type state, or two states: one ruled by French law, with extraterritorial entities ruled by Islamic laws.
WORLD: With these uprisings spreading through Europe, what can European leaders do to halt the violence?
BAT YE'OR: The first thing to do is to stop immigration, and this is not in the cards. Then they should reassess European laws, values, and identity. These have been depreciated by our leaders, fascinated by multiculturalism-the Andalusian utopia, the greatness of Islam-and business profits. We need to re-establish European identity and stop making it a cheap souk open to anyone. Europe must stop its antisemitism and anti-Zionism, because the biblical values are at the root of Christianity and of Europe's civilization.
WORLD: You have a provocative chapter in Eurabia on "The Islamization of Christianity" . . .
BAT YE'OR: There are many processes of Islamization. One of them is through theology and the adoption of the Muslim replacement theology, whereby the biblical figures from Adam-Abraham, Moses, down to Mary and Jesus-are all considered as "Muslim prophets." Hence, Israel's history is transferred to the Muslim Palestinians, and it is easy to see from there the final transition to Islam where the Jewish Jesus becomes an Arab-Palestinian-Muslim prophet.
WORLD: How is Eurabia being received in Europe?
BAT YE'OR: It brought me enemies, and I was calumniated in The New York Times. A major French weekly ran several articles against me, forcing me to take a lawyer, obliging them to publish my response. Half a dozen European publishers have shown interest to publish it in different languages, and there is a great interest from the public as well.