The Attacks in France: An Isolated Incident or the Start of a Global War?

(Israel Hayom) Dore Gold - In response to the attack in Paris on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a member of a jihadi forum affiliated with ISIS wrote: "France was once part of the Islamic land and it will be Islamic again." Muslims held parts of the Iberian Peninsula from 711 until 1492. Shortly after the Muslim conquest of Spain, an Arab army crossed the Pyrenees and occupied territories that today are part of France, including Bordeaux and Lyons. In fact, parts of France remained under Islamic rule until 759. The passion to recover lost territories that were once under Islamic rule hundreds of years ago is a theme running through most of the organizations associated with the global jihadist network. Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, wrote: "Andalusia, Sicily, the Balkans, South Italy and Roman Sea Islands were all Islamic lands that had to be restored to the homeland of Islam." Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, regarded by many as the highest spiritual authority in the Muslim Brotherhood, told Qatari television in 2007: "I expect that Islam will conquer Europe without resorting to the sword or fighting. It will do so by means of proselytizing and ideology....The conquest of Rome - the conquest of Italy, and Europe - means that Islam will return to Europe once again." On January 9, the American journal National Review published emails that were leaked from an al-Jazeera producer who sought to play down the significance of the terror in Paris, rejecting the notion that this was a "civilizational attack on European values." He suggested that the motivation of the attackers was a reaction to France's military actions against ISIS, or its operations in Libya and Mali. In other words, the al-Jazeera producer did not want his network to admit that the attack in Paris was motivated by an aggressive Islamist ideology, but rather preferred to blame Western policies, which, if it became widely accepted, would cripple its leaders and deny them the self-confidence to take any effective action. On Monday, Ghassan Charbel, the editor-in-chief of al-Hayat, the leading newspaper in the Arab world, wrote: "What is clear is that the Paris attack is just the opening shot of a global war that the Islamist extremists will be waging in the West and the rest of the world." Until the West internalizes his warning of what it is facing, unfortunately a new wave of attacks in the West will only be a matter of time. The writer, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN, is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

2015-01-16 00:00:00

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