I was born in Poland, and I’d like to think that on September 11, Polish forces saved one of the greatest cities of Western civilization. In a great battle 18,000 Polish mounted hussars came to the rescue of Vienna, surrounded by 250,000 Muslim forces and ready to fall. The year was 1683 and the moment marked the high-water of Turkish and Muslim expansion in Europe. 318 years later to the day, two planes flew into the World Trade Center towers, marking a new chapter in a war that most people in the West never knew existed.
Westerners seem more engrossed in a campaign to assimilate Islam into Western society than into understanding the context and strategies of the militant Islam determined to expand into the heart of Western civilizations. While the construction of the Ground Zero Cordoba Mosque is raising so much controversy, the largest mosque in Europe is planned to be erected right next to and tower over the London’s 2012 Olympic Stadium. Just like most New Yorkers, majority of Londoners aren’t too happy about that either, but my leaders tell me that the location is just a coincidence and that thinking otherwise would be insensitive. The London mega-mosque is meant to accommodate 12,000 people, and its image will appear in every aerial shot of the London’s Olympic venues.
Westerners’ willingness to assimilate the Muslim religion into their culture has only improved Islam’s ability to become a more dominant force, and to grow in converts. Islam is a religion of strength and simplicity and is growing increasingly attractive to many Westerners confused by the constantly questioned, eroding and esoteric values of their parents.
In the last 15 years, I have been invited and coerced to convert to Islam several times: in Albania, Somaliland and Iran, to mention a few places. In March, a couple of these attempts took place during my three week stay in Khartoum, Sudan. “On Friday, we’ll take you to a mosque and make you a Muslim,” said Ali, the president of the Blue Nile Sailing Club where I was staying. Fortunately, I have spent enough time in Muslim countries to know how to respond without escalating this into a confrontation.
I wasn’t the only person who was invited to convert “to the religion of peace.” While many may have missed it, every American has officially been asked to convert. In a September 2007 video Osama Bin Laden addressed American people: “I invite you to embrace Islam” in order to achieve your “desire to stop the war in Iraq and show ‘warmongering’ major corporations that you have lost confidence in your democratic system.”
Ali and Sheikh Osama follow in the footsteps of their prophet who in 628 wrote an invitation to rulers of Byzantine, Persia, Abyssinia, Egypt, Syria and Bahrain. “I invite you to Islam and if you become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will double your reward,” read his letter. Today only one, Abyssinia- Ethopia, of these countries is still not majority Muslim.
Our political leaders assure us that any fear of Islam is unreasenable, unfounded, that more then Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, “Islam is a religion of peace” and that “we have a lot to learn from Islam.” I could also tell you that calendar dates and invitations to convert are just coincidences and unrelated facts. I however believe that history is meant to educate us about the context of our reality and help us avoid repeating mistakes. [/private]