ישראל נאמן | Lectures, Articles, Tours: Israel | Mideast onTarget | Elliot Chodoff & Yisrael Ne'eman | El Qaeda vs. the Crusaders 21.3.04

El Qaeda vs. the Crusaders

21 March 2004

By Yisrael Ne'eman

Ten days ago the horrific El Qaeda train bombings in Madrid shook Europe. Three days later the Socialists swept to power in an upset victory over the right wing Popular Party. The young anti-war left wing voters who came out in mass are said to have made the difference. 1,300 Spanish peace-keeping troops will now leave Iraq. Spanish involvement at the behest of the Bush administration was never popular as 90% opposed aiding the American war effort. The day after the bombing a million demonstrators demanded peace, no war (meaning Iraq), no terrorism and no violence.

El Qaeda, whose original name is The World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, announced the attacks (201 killed and over 1000 injured) were aimed at the Spanish crusaders as punishment for their involvement in Iraq. Socialist PM elect Zapatero immediately announced the troops will be withdrawn. By such logic, one would think Spain had removed itself as a target for bin Laden & Co. and no longer had to worry. However, in what would seem like a contradiction, Zapatero insisted that Spain would fight terrorism.

The socialists realize that Spain is on the El Qaeda world terror map, and not because of the Crusades, but rather because the Moslems ruled most of what they called Andalusia from the mid-700s until they were forced out entirely by Christian forces on Jan. 2, 1492. The Crusades in the Holy Land (Land of Israel) took place from 1099 to 1291 (when the last European strongholds in Acco and Tyre collapsed) and therefore overlap the slow Catholic re-conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. The extreme militant Islamists view the removal of the Crusaders from the Holy Land as a victory and the Catholic victory in Spain as a defeat.

Zapatero and all other thinking politicians, left or right, know Spain will have no choice except to fight Islamic terrorism, regardless of whether there is a Spanish presence in Iraq or not. The anti-Iraq card was played to garnish support among the young, viciously anti-American left wing types. The Spanish forces are only a token symbol of support for the US. But, coupled with the luck of an El Qaeda attack, which exacerbated anti-Bush sentiment, the election was won.

Yet all this is peripheral. Europe must choose between America and El Qaeda. The totalitarian Islamist movement does not tolerate neutral bystanders, and certainly not infidel cross worshippers. Even the French and Germans, who refused to support Washington and even condemned the US Iraqi involvement, know full well that after the British and other European states who helped the Americans will suffer the militant Islamic wrath, they will be next. Publicly, they cannot line up with the Americans, but behind closed doors, they must.

And in case anyone has forgotten, and for sure the totalitarian El Qaeda Islamists have not, the Crusades were largely a French operation at the start, setting off from Paris in 1096 and capturing the Holy Land three years later. The German Teutonic Knights joined the conquest in the Second Kingdom during the 1200s. One hopes (and even expects) such basic history is known to the powers that be, in Paris and Berlin.

One can assume the young anti-American European Left is devoid of such historical awareness.