In early September 2008, demands were made that France must make reparations for its colonial past in Algeria. The calls followed the signing between Italy and Libya of a 5 billion dollar investment agreement to resolve colonial-era disputes. The 25-year deal includes the construction of a highway running between Egypt and Tunisia and the return to Libya of a prized ancient marble statue taken to Rome in colonial times.
The settlement was a “complete and moral acknowledgement of the damage inflicted on Libya by Italy during the colonial period,” said Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. “Italy committed historic errors in Libya, and the Italian government’s move to apologise is positive,” secretary of Algeria’s National Liberation Front (FLN) party, Al-Said Abu Haja, told Algerian daily El-Khabar.
The FLN led the war of independence from France between 1954 and 1962. “We hope that the European Union will be able to put pressure on other former colonial powers such as France and get it to make amends for what it did in Algeria,” Haja added. “Algeria asked for France to apologise long before Libya [asked Italy]. The French occupied us for 130 years.”
I’m not an expert on French colonial history, but if I recall correctly, the French were at least partly motivated for establishing themselves in Algeria due to the Barbary pirates, who continued their evil activities well into the nineteenth century. The period of French colonial rule is the only period of civilization Algeria has experienced since the Romans.
Muslims have been raiding Europe, especially the southern regions but sometimes even north of the Alps, continuously since the seventh century. In fact, the only period during more than 1300 years they haven’t done this was during the time of European colonialism. That’s what they are whining about now. This is compensation for lost jizya. Moreover, there are now more North Africans in France than there ever were Frenchmen in North Africa. If non-Europeans can resist colonization and expel intruders, why can’t Europeans do the same thing?
I’m not even going to mention the Spanish and the Portuguese, who were under colonial rule much longer than were the Algerians. As Ibn Warraq says in his book Defending the West:
“Where the French presence lasted fewer than four years before they were ignominiously expelled by the British and Turks, the Ottomans had been the masters of Egypt since 1517, a total of 280 years. Even if we count the later British and French protectorates, Egypt was under Western control for sixty-seven years, Syria for twenty-one years, and Iraq for only fifteen – and, of course, Saudi Arabia was never under Western control.
Contrast this with southern Spain, which was under the Muslim yoke for 781 years, Greece for 381 years, and the splendid new Christian capital that eclipsed Rome – Byzantium – which is still in Muslim hands. But no Spanish or Greek politics of victimhood apparently exist.”
From their strongholds in the Iberian Peninsula and elsewhere, Muslims raided the Mediterranean for centuries. Here is Timothy Gregory in A History of Byzantium:
“In 826/8 Crete was taken by Arab adventurers from Spain, and in 827/9 Spanish Arabs were able to establish footholds in Sicily. The Arab presence on these two islands was to have serious repercussions for Byzantium. Crete became a base for Arab ‘pirates’ who made the Aegean and its shorelines unsafe for the Byzantines and presumably also disrupted trade in the area.
The Arab bases on Sicily were the beginning of a long contest between Byzantines and Arabs for control of southern Italy and Sicily that was also to involve the papacy and, eventually, other powers from Western Europe. The Arabs also used these Sicilian bases to raid Italy and the Balkans.”
The reason why the Vatican became a “city within the city” in Rome with fortifications was due to repeated attacks by Muslims (Saracens). Here are a couple of quotes from the book Rome: Art & Architecture, edited by Marco Bussagli:
“Leo IV’s major building project is generally considered to be the fortification of the Vatican area. After the devastation wrought by the Saracens in St. Peter’s, profoundly shocking to the Christian world, it was decided to fortify the area around St. Peter’s tomb. Leo III had already made this decision, but little had been done because of the theft of the materials set aside for the job. Leo IV, who had already undertaken the repair of the Aurelian walls, gates, and towers, organized the work in such a way that within four years he saw it complete.
On June 27, 852 the ceremony of consecration of the walls was performed, in the presence of the pope and clergy, who, barefoot and with heads smeared with ashes, processed round the entire circuit of the fortifications, sprinkling them with holy water and at every gate calling on divine protection against the enemy that threatened the inhabitants. The enclosed area was to take on the status of a city in its own right, which was both separate and distinct from the Urbe of Rome, despite its proximity to it.”
“Despite defeat in 849 and 916 in the coastal cities of Naples, Gaeta, and Amalfi, the Saracens continued to lay waste to the countryside and sack the outskirts of Rome, causing the already precarious living conditions of the urban population to deteriorate still further. In the face of this continuing external threat, not only was the Vatican area fortified, but the churches of San Sebastiano on the Appian Way Sant’Agnese on Via Nomentana, and San Lorenzo on Via Tiburtina were strengthened.”
Muslims complain because they want the good, old days of jizya payments back. Here is what the Iranian ex-Muslim Ali Sina says in his recent book Understanding Muhammad: “Megalomania, bullishness, the sense of entitlement and all other narcissistic traits of Muhammad are present in each and every Muslim, to the extent that they emulate their prophet.
From king to pauper, from president to janitor, Muslims consider themselves to be superior to the rest of humanity. They are convinced that one day Islam will dominate, mankind will submit to them, and they will be the masters of the world. This feeling of self importance was expressed eloquently by Dr. Mahatir, the outgoing Prime Minister of Malaysia during an OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) summit in 2003.
He acknowledged that the early Muslims built their ‘civilization’ by studying the works of the Greeks and other scholars before Islam and then boastfully added that the ‘Europeans had to kneel at the feet of Muslim scholars in order to access their own scholastic heritage.’ In his speech he invited the Muslims to amass ‘guns and rockets, bombs and warplanes, tanks and warships’ to subdue that non-Muslim detractors and again rule over them.”
Those who were hit the hardest were the Balkan populations. The Balkans, with its close connections to Byzantium, was a reasonably sophisticated region of Europe in medieval times, until the Ottomans Turks devastated much of the area. One of the most appalling aspects of this was the practice of devshirme, the collecting of boys among the Christian minorities who were forcibly converted to Islam and taught to hate their own kin.
Dr. Andrew G. Bostom, author of the books The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism and The Legacy of Jihad, quotes the work of scholar Vasiliki Papoulia, who highlights the continuous desperate struggle of the Christian populations against this forcefully imposed Ottoman levy:
“It is obvious that the population strongly resented…this measure [and the levy] could be carried out only by force. Those who refused to surrender their sons— the healthiest, the handsomest and the most intelligent— were on the spot put to death by hanging. Nevertheless we have examples of armed resistance. In 1565 a revolt took place in Epirus and Albania.
The inhabitants killed the recruiting officers and the revolt was put down only after the sultan sent five hundred janissaries in support of the local sanjak—bey. We are better informed, thanks to the historic archives of Yerroia, about the uprising in Naousa in 1705 where the inhabitants killed the Silahdar Ahmed Celebi and his assistants and fled to the mountains as rebels. Some of them were later arrested and put to death.”
The Christian subjects tried for centuries to combat this evil practice:
“Since there was no possibility of escaping [the levy] the population resorted to several subterfuges. Some left their villages and fled to certain cities which enjoyed exemption from the child levy or migrated to Venetian—held territories. The result was a depopulation of the countryside. Others had their children marry at an early age…Nicephorus Angelus…states that at times the children ran away on their own initiative, but when they heard that the authorities had arrested their parents and were torturing them to death, returned and gave themselves up.
La Giulletiere cites the case of a young Athenian who returned from hiding in order to save his father’s life and then chose to die himself rather than abjure his faith. According to the evidence in Turkish sources, some parents even succeeded in abducting their children after they had been recruited. The most successful way of escaping recruitment was through bribery. That the latter was very widespread is evident from the large amounts of money confiscated by the sultan from corrupt…officials.”
Lee Harris in his book The Suicide of Reason describes how this practice of devshirme, the process of culling the best, brightest and fittest “alpha boys,” targeted the non-Muslim subject populations: “The bodyguard of Janissaries ‘had the task of protecting the sovereign from internal and external enemies,’ writes scholar Vasiliki Papoulia. ‘In order to fulfill this task it was subjected to very rigorous and special training, the janissary education famous in Ottoman society.
This training made possible the spiritual transformation of Christian children into ardent fighters for the glory of the sultan and their newly acquired Islamic faith.’ Because the Christian boys had to be transformed into single-minded fanatics, it was not enough that they simply inherit their position.
They had to be brainwashed into it, as we would say today, and this could be done most effectively with boys who had been completely cut off from all family ties. By taking the boys from their homes, and transporting them to virtually another world, devçirme assured that there would be no conflict of loyalties between family and duty to the empire. All loyalty would be focused on the group itself and on the sultan.”
This practice drained the strength of the Christian populations. Harris again:
“The culling of these alpha boys had two effects, both of them good for the Ottoman Empire, both bad for the subject population. By filling the critical posts in the Ottoman Empire with boys who had been selected on the basis of their intrinsic merit, and not on their family connection, the Empire was automatically creating a meritocracy – if a boy was tough, courageous, intelligent, and fanatically loyal, he was able to work his way up the Ottoman hierarchy; indeed, as we have seen, he become a member of the ruling elite, despite having the formal title of being the sultan’s slave.
The Ottoman Empire was both strengthening itself through acquiring these alpha boys, and weakening its subject population by taking their best and brightest. Thanks to the institution of devçirme, the more ‘fit’ Christian boys who would be most likely to be the agents of rebellion against the Empire become the fanatical Muslim warriors who were used to suppress whatever troubles the less ‘fit’ Christian boys left behind were able to cause.”
Raphael Israeli in his 2008 book The Islamic Challenge in Europe tracks the Islamization of various European countries, from Switzerland to Britain, and describes the efforts to recreate the Ottoman Empire and use the Balkans as a launching pad for Jihad:
“After the fall of Communism in the new regime recognized, in 1991, the self-declared Republic of Kosovo, and its head, Ibrahim Rugova, opened an office in Tirana. The disintegration of Yugoslavia by necessity revived the old dreams of the Greater Albania, which now eyed not only Kosovo, but also parts of Macedonia, Greece, Serbia, and Montenegro where an Albanian population had settled over the years. The rising of Muslim consciousness in the Balkans, after the Bosnian precedent…now acts as a catalyst to draw together, under the combined banners of Greater Albania and Islam, all the Albanian populations of that region.
In 1992 joined the Conference of Islamic Countries, and it has been working to attract support by other Islamic countries to the Greater Albania plan, actually presenting itself as ‘the shield of Islam’ in the Balkans. It has been noted that while the Albanian demographic explosion in Kosovo, which has allowed them to predominate and demand secession, has not taken place in Albania itself, perhaps an indication, as in Palestine and Bosnia, that the ‘battle of the womb’ heralded by nationalists and Muslim fundamentalists, is not merely a natural growth but may be also politically motivated.”
Now that the entire Western world is under attack by Islamic Jihad, we would do well to listen to those who know the frontlines, such as Serge Trifkovic in his book Defeating Jihad.
The wars in the Balkans all the way into the 21st century are a direct result of the legacy of Turkish Muslim brutality. So why does nobody demand that the Turks apologize in public for their massacres? They should pay reparations to their former subjects, starting with the Armenians, who suffered a Jihad less than a century ago, and continuing with the Serbs, the Bulgarians, the Greeks, the Croatians and others who have suffered hundreds of years of abuse and exploitation at their hands.
We can continue with all those European countries that have suffered attacks and enslavement by North African Barbary pirates for more than a thousand years. These nations should now demand public apologies and substantial financial reparations from Arabs and Turks.
If these countries lack the funds to pay, we should hold the Islamic world collectively responsible and demand compensation from the rich members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference such as Saudi Arabia. While we are at it, why not demand compensation to all victims of Jihad, from the Jews who have been expelled from the Middle East to the Indians, who have died in the tens of millions for a thousand years or more?