Europe’s growing religious conflict cannot be ignored

Europeans have begun to muse that an ageing and tired Europe is not a partisan or electoral issue; it is a civilizational one. This will also decide the future of the EU.

…From the Moorish conquest of Spain (712 AD) to the second Turkish siege of Vienna (1683), Europe was under constant threat from Islam. All but the easternmost provinces of the Islamic realm had been taken from Christian rulers, and the vast majority of the first Muslims west of Iran and Arabia were converts from Christianity. North Africa, Egypt, Syria, even Persian-ruled Iraq had been Christian, in which their religion was older and more deeply rooted than in most of Europe. Their loss was sorely felt and heightened the fear that a similar fate awaited Europe. The fall of Constantinople, known as the Rome of the East and the seat of the Byzantine Empire and Eastern Christianity to the invading Turks in 1453 is to this day regarded as the greatest tragedy to have befallen Christendom. The Turkish Caliphate ended in 1924 following the Ottoman Empire’s defeat and collapse after World War I, but today’s Turkey under its neo-Ottomanesque ruler Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who disguises his pan-Islamist ambitions, only further exacerbates fears among Europeans, the assertions of the EU elites to the contrary notwithstanding.