For those wondering how long it would take for the next shoe to drop, it was 30 months—exactly. For on 11 March 2004, a brutal, cowardly, and senseless terrorist attack blew up four packed commuter trains in Madrid, Spain, killing 200 people and wounding 1,500. Although the jury is still officially out on the identity of the perps, all indications are that it is al Qaeda, rather than Spain’s homegrown ETA (Euskadi Ta Azkatasuna), the terrorist group that has been fighting for Basque independence since the 1960s in a campaign of bombings and assassinations.
Certainly, the bad blood between Muslims and Spain goes back much further than problems in the Basque region. Way back in the 8th century, Spain was the first Christian country in Europe to be invaded by Arab Islamic armies, and portions of the country were under Muslim control until the end of the 15th century. Though the spirit of the Reconquista goes back to ca. 718, when the Christian Asturians opposed the Moors at the Battle of Covadonga, it was not until 11th century, when Moorish unity broke down and the Christian kingdoms of northern Spain began to be affected by an aggressive, anti-Muslim, crusading zeal, that the movement began in earnest. A series of wars followed, and by the mid-13th century most of country had returned to Christian rule, the last Moorish enclave being in the region of Granada in the south.
Of course, as the Islamic fundamentalists would tell the story, “Muslim Spain” was conquered by the infidels, conveniently discarding about 400 years of prior history, and now the true believers must conquer it back. Ever wonder how many people have willingly converted to Islam besides modern day compliant spouses?
Perhaps this day of infamy will be Spain’s wake-up call. Radio talk show host Michael Savage asked on that day, “where are the Conquistadores?” Maybe they will be those leaders, who can inflame Spain’s shocked citizenry into remembering their Catholic roots, forgetting some of their ultra-tolerance, and standing up to the new breed of invaders.
And what else besides ultra-tolerance could explain the continuing prominence of uber-phony Dr. James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute? Zogby is already on record supporting Hizbullah, being an apologist for Yasser Arafat, and listing as his first precept on 9-11 an incredible thinly-veiled blame the victim screed. And while they were still picking up the body parts in Madrid, Zogby had to appear on as many media outlets as he could demanding that we not let this event cause “more” discrimination against Arab-Americans, or Arabs in other nominally Christian countries.
Yes, Jim, not discriminating against Arabs should definitely be priority one for Spaniards these days.
Only in America could a Lebanese Maronite Catholic re-invent himself as the spokesman for Arab-Americans, cleverly using both his alleged Christian identity and his elite background in Islamic theology, to straddle the constituencies of both the Christian/secular Arab-Americans, as well as their Muslim fundy counterparts. Throw into the mix a talent for kissing up to the power brokers, a knack for confounding the usual suspect media morons (not hurt by his Leftist Democratic politics), and his playing the victim card, and thus you have yet another ethnic “leader.”
In an interview with radio talk show host Michael Medved, Zogby invoked the memory of FDR’s internment of Japanese-Americans and others during World War II, as a warning. How interesting that this Democratic activist and critic of the war in Iraq should remind us of this sick event in our nation’s history, opposed at the time by many in the Federal government, including J. Edgar Hoover, and driven only by Roosevelt’s fervent racism against the Japanese.
But don’t expect Zogby to disavow that Dem icon any more than he could unambiguously condemn Islamist terrorism. Ultra-tolerance, indeed.