“Ever since 9/11, I’ve been gloomily predicting the European powder keg’s about to go up. ‘By 2010 we’ll be watching burning buildings, street riots and assassinations on the news every night’, I wrote in Canada’s Western Standard back in February. Silly me. The Eurabian civil war appears to have started some years ahead of my optimistic schedule. As Thursday’s edition of the Guardian reported in London: ‘French youths fired at police and burned over 300 cars last night as towns around Paris experienced their worst night of violence in a week of urban unrest.’
“‘French youths’, huh? You mean Pierre and Jacques and Marcel and Alphonse? Granted that most of the ‘youths’ are technically citizens of the French Republic, it doesn’t take much time in les banlieus of Paris to discover that the rioters do not think of their primary identity as ‘French’: They’re young men from North Africa growing ever more estranged from the broader community with each passing year and wedded ever more intensely to an assertive Muslim identity more implacable than anything you’re likely to find in the Middle East…..
“The French have been here before, of course. Seven-thirty-two. Not 7:32 Paris time, which is when the nightly Citroen-torching begins, but 732 A.D. – as in one and a third millennia ago. By then, the Muslims had advanced a thousand miles north of Gibraltar to control Spain and southern France up to the banks of the Loire. In October 732, the Moorish general Abd al-Rahman and his Muslim army were not exactly at the gates of Paris, but they were within 200 miles, just south of the great Frankish shrine of St. Martin of Tours. Somewhere on the road between Poitiers and Tours, they met a Frankish force and, unlike other Christian armies in Europe, this one held its ground ‘like a wall . . . a firm glacial mass’, as the Chronicle of Isidore puts it. A week later, Abd al-Rahman was dead, the Muslims were heading south, and the French general, Charles, had earned himself the surname ‘Martel’ – or ‘the Hammer’.”
Mark Steyn in the Chicago Sun-Times, 6 November 2005