STRASBURG AS A MODEL OF ISLAMIZATION OF EUROPE

WŁODZIMIERZ RĘDZIOCH

I was in Strasburg over 40 years ago. That city impressed on me a lot then, I felt that it is in the heart of Europe – the modern and the historical one. In this city, there had been a Celtic settlement, later - a camp of Roman legions and a military colony, finally – a city of the Franks’ state, and in the Middle Ages - a free city of the Reich till it was joined to France in XVII century

Strasburg, a border city on the Rhine, in next centuries was reigned by the French and the German alternatively. Finally, in 1944 it was included into France again. After the war Strasburg became a symbol of unification between France and Germany and uniting Europe: here there are headquarters of the Europe Council, European Tribunal of Human Rights and finally one of headquarters of the European Parliament - a new building of the parliament is an image card of the city.

Europe of cathedrals

What I was fascinated by in Strasburg was the Old City, being on the Grand Island, with its wonderful cathedral Notre Dame. It was built for over two hundred years, in the Roman style first, later the Gothic one, and was the highest building of the world for many centuries – its only tower is 142 m high. The cathedral of Blessed Mary the Virgin is ornamented with sculptures and an enormous rosette and its inside is illuminated by a light falling into the church through gothic stained glass. I spent a lot of hours, admiring harmonious lines of the church made from ‘warm’ pink sandstones brought from the neighbouring mountain range of the Vosges and pondering on Christian roots of our continent, on ‘Europe of cathedrals’ which is best symbolized by the Strasburg cathedral. This cathedral was visited by Robert Schuman, born in Luxembourg in the French family from Lorraine which belonged to Germany at that time. As a young man he received German education, but when Lorraine was joined back to German after the war, he began to be an active participant of the French political life. And, after the tragedy of the Second World War, this man of the ‘border’ became one of fathers of united Europe. But today’s European Union betrayed Schuman’s ideas and his vision of Europe begged for in a prayer also in the cathedral in Strasburg, by cutting itself from Christian roots of our continent which is proved by this excellent gothic church. What is worse, Strasburg is a symbol of not only secularization of Europe but also its islamization, which was not possible to foresee by the founders of the European union a few dozen years ago.

An assassination in Strasburg

On 11 December 2018 at 8 p.m. of the local time, near the famous Christmas market place there was a shooting. An Islam terrorist chose the symbolic place which is the fair organized before Christmas, with awareness that at this time of the year there are crowds of tourists here. The assassin is 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt, a citizen of France, whose parents come from Maghreb. He was recorded in the so-called ‘S’ file which means that he might have been threatening with ‘a terrorist danger’. Chekatt was found and shot by the French police near his place of living, 2 km away from the city centre. Polish media informed people about the assassination as a Pole had been killed in it, who had lived in Strasburg for years, but soon after that the case died down. Problems connected with Islamic extremists did not end with eliminating one terrorist, though.

Such districts of the city as Koenigshoffen where Chekatt, Mineau or Cronenbourg were born, are considered as ‘fortresses of fighting Islam in the heart of Alsace’. The very socialist mayor had to admit that 10 percent of all French people suspected of sympathizing with Islamic terrorism come from the region of Strasburg. Hence Syria was left by a lot of ‘fighters’ of the so-called Islamic State, from which one of the terrorists came and who murdered 90 people in a Bataclan theatre. In 2000 four Islamists belonging to a Salafi group – three Algerians and one French man of Algerian origin – were planning to commit an assassination on the ‘Christian building’ in Strasburg. They filmed the Christmas fair and the cathedral, making explicit comments on it: ‘This is a cathedral of God’s enemies’, ‘These are God’s enemies. They are dancing and seem to be happy, but if God wants, they will go to hell’. The video got to the hands of police and there was no assassination, but the document proves how important symbolic buildings of Christianity are in choosing the aims of assassinations by Islamic fanatics.

There used to be churches, there are mosques now

The city which used to be nicknamed as a ‘city of thousand churches’ in the past, is becoming a city of mosques today. In the region of Strasburg there are 22 mosques. First of all, the Grand Mosque designed by an Italian architect Paol Portoghesi, whose building was financed by the authorities of Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Olivier Bitz, a socialist vice-mayor of the city, responsible for the cult, called it ‘pride of Strasburg’. But that is not all – the local authorities gave a permission for building a new super-mosque which is going to be financed by the Turks this time. The Grand Mosque Eyup Sultan is to be the biggest mosque of Europe, with its 44-meter-high minarets and 28 domes. Construction work began in 2017 and during its inauguration there were the Turkish vice-prime minister Bekir Bozdadg, the ambassador of Turkey in Paris and local officials.

The gigantic mosque in the ‘capital of Europe’ is only one of the elements of the policy of aggressive islamization on our continent pursued by Turkey governed by the ‘sultan’ Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Muslim campus

Another element of the policy of islamization is an ambitious project of organizing something like ‘a Muslim university campus’, the first one in Europe. It is a ‘Yunus Emre’ school which gives students a possibility to use a double program of teaching French and Islamic language binding in Turkey. The school is financed by Ankara and for 15 million euro in Hautepierre district there is going to be a real university French-Turkey complex building. And all this is taking place under the dictate of the Supreme Chamber for Religious Matters which controls 250 mosques in 400 places of the cult of the Turkish diaspora in France. But the Turkish diaspora went further – it organized an Islamic party ‘Equality and Justice’ in Strasburg which is an equivalent for the party of the president Erogan (Party of Justice and Development – AKP). Such political groups as ‘Equality and Justice’ claim a right to represent all Muslims so that the Turkish authorities could influence policy in Europe. It is aimed at further islamization of Muslim groups and emphasizing their separateness in western societies. Everything is taking place under mottos of ‘a fight against Islamphobia’. And it is necessary to remind that there are over 600 thousand Turks in the very France.

Political laboratory of Erdogan’s party

It is also necessary to emphasize that Strasburg, particularly dear to Erdogan – as just here the islamist leader organized an election meeting in October 2015, under permission by the former president of France Francois Holland, during which, in the presence of over 200 thousand supporters, he called Turkey ‘a real defender of civilisation’ and was calling everybody for a fight against ‘islamphobia’ under the motto: ‘One flag, one country, one religion’. One should not be astonished that Mine Gunbay, used to be responsible for women’s rights in the city council, and definitely was against metamorphosis of Strasburg into ‘a political laboratory of Erdogan’s party’.

Do the Europeans know what is happening in Europe?

When I saw the monumental cathedral Notre Dame and other wonderful sacral monuments of Strasburg, I recalled bitter but realistic words of archbishop Luce Ravel. This son of general Roger Ravel, an engineer, and then a regular canonic of St. Victor and a military bishop of the French Army, appointed the archbishop of the capital of Alsace in 2017 by Francis, said in an interview for a local newspaper ‘Dernieres Nouvelles d’Alsace’ that followers of Islam are aware of the fact that their fertility is much lower than of the French (who promote abortion), so they are aware that ‘one day all this will belong to them…calling it le Grand Remplacement – a big exchange’. Archbishop Ravel is not afraid to call things by name, so maybe that is why he chose the bishopric words for his calling: ‘Que votre oui soit oui’ (May you yes be yes). However, there appears a question whether also we, the inhabitants of Europe, identifying ourselves with the western civilization and Christian religion, are aware of what is happening on our continent. Are our politicians aware of it?

Translated by Aneta Amrozik

Niedziela 3/2019 (20 I 2019)

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Lidia Dudkiewicz • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl