Herbert London: Withstanding A Second Muslim Invasion
After two months of an onslaught by troops of the Ottoman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy along with the Polish Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire under the command of King John Sobieski rose to defend Christianity at Kahlenberg Mountain near Vienna in September 1683. The battle marked the turning point in the 300 year Ottoman-Hapsburg wars with Christianity on the European continent prevailing.
Three hundred and thirty years later Europe is once again being called on to defend its civilization against Muslims swarming into the continent at a record rate. This time two of Europe’s most affluent nations, Sweden and Germany have laid out the welcome mat. More than a million migrants will end up in Germany alone by the end of this year. But not everyone is so welcoming. The request for firearms in Europe has been overwhelming as people are seeking the means to defend themselves against rampaging and often criminal migrants. Self-defense – which for decades were words that connoted “out-of-control” – is now widely accepted. In Austria gun sales are at record levels.
ISIS trained jihadists, returning as European citizens are infiltrating the ranks of the migrants. They are the vanguard in this civilizational war. But resistance is building. Most Italians are opposed to new arrivals. The British passed Brexit in large part to oppose the EU mandated migrant quota. Swedes have observed baseball bat wielding teenagers beat up Muslims at the Stockholm train station. President Orban of Hungary foresees the “destruction of Europe” in this migration push and argues it is time to push back.
This, of course, is merely the thin edge of the wedge. From an electoral standpoint, German Prime Minister Angela Merkel was soundly defeated in local elections. Political change is just over the horizon in France, Spain, Austria and Italy. Every incidence of reported rape, beating, and honor killing generates thousands of voters for stability at any price.
A Turkish man kicked a woman in the face leaving her severely bruised because she was wearing shorts. But in this increasingly Islamicized nation, a court released the assailant saying that he hadn’t committed any crime.
After the New Year’s Eve assaults in Cologne and 17 other cities, fears were heightened in every European capital. But Cardinal Rainer Woelki of Cologne reserved most of his concern for the threats from right wing circles that were intent on retaliation. Other cardinals raised the specter of Islamophobia and the return of “new nationalism” – a euphemism for neo-Nazis. But what the Church could not do and has not done is condemn in unequivocal language the damage to European civilization of a borderless continent that has allowed the free flow of migrants from worn torn Syria. Clearly compassion has its place, but so too do the limits of compassion.
This is a war for the future of Europe. There aren’t any Sobieskis on the scene yet, but civil strife has arrived with a vengeance. Many Europeans can see their way of life imperiled by this latest Muslim invasion. Opposition is unquestionably building. However, democratic institutions move slowly until they are roused.
George Washington writing to Henry Knox pointed out that “It is among the evils, and perhaps is not the smallest, of democratic governments, that the people must feel before they will see. When this happens, they are roused to action – hence it is that this form of government is so slow.”
What is in question is whether the pace of action can withstand the pace of destructive behavior. Europe is at a crossroads, not only in Austria, but across a continent that nurtured the Judeo Christian tradition. Can Europeans muster the will to withstand an invasion as they did more than three centuries ago? Surely the response from the Church is not encouraging.
Herbert London is President of the London Center for Policy Research, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of the book The Transformational Decade (University Press of America). You can read all of Herb London’s commentaries at www.londoncenter.org
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