Perhaps you are old enough to remember 2002, when Thierry Meyssan’s 9/11 truth classic L’Effroyable imposture (The Hideous Fraud) sold more copies upon publication than any other book in French history, Chirac was saying “non” to the Iraq invasion, and Germany’s former intelligence chief Andreas Von Bulow was saying that the Mossad and CIA had collaborated to perpetrate the 9/11 attacks.
In January 2003, a frustrated Donald Rumsfeld launched an angry diatribe against “the old Europe,” suggesting that European opposition to the American Reichstag Fire and subsequent “war on an expanding Islam” was somehow…passé.
In reality, Rumsfeld had it backwards. The Old Europe, the Europe of the Dark Ages from Charlemagne through the Crusades, was in the grip of an Islamophobic psychosis–rather like post-9/11 America. As Europe gradually awoke from its barbarism, it became less and less Islamophobic. The new post-Enlightenment Europe has drawn ever closer to the position of Goethe, a candidate for all-time-greatest European intellectual, who was at the very least a virtual Muslim.
The traditionalist philosophers, who were largely responsible for founding the discipline of Religious Studies, believed that only Islam could save Europe from decadence and barbarism. Their position was seconded by the great Turkish thinker Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, who famously said: “The Ottoman State is pregnant with Europe, and it will give birth to an European state one day. And Europe is pregnant with Islam; one day it will give birth to an Islamic state.”
I am leaving Thursday for the New Europe, where Christianity has become a minority religion, Enlightenment values dominate but are not in themselves sustainable, and Islam is arriving to help shape those Enlightenment values into something sustainable. (Germany’s continued embrace of Enlightenment reason, rather than postmodern “we create our own reality now” neocon madness, is reflected in the recent poll showing that 89% of Germans reject the official US version of 9/11.) This “New Europe” is likely to become a world leader in human rights, sustainable environmental practices, and many intellectual pursuits. It will slowly become a Muslim-majority region, with Enlightenment values and Islamic traditions mutually enriching each other and bringing out the best of both heritages…insha’allah.
I will be speaking to Muslim groups in the Koln-Dusseldorf-Bonn area this weekend, then on to Brussels for a talk on June 15th in the center of Brussels, at the Au Cercle littéraire Victor Hugo, 106 Av Stalingrad. 1000 Bruxelles (Près de la Gare du Midi) — sometimes referred to as the “Cercle Littéraire Arabe” se réuniant dans la “Salle Victor Hugo”. Hope to see you there!