Latest Updates on the Barcelona Terror Attack

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Aug. 17, 2017:

Spain has declared three days of national mourning following today’s terror attack in Barcelona that killed 14 and wounded more than 100.

Here are the latest updates:

  • Spanish Prime Minister Marian Rajoy said the attack was “jihadi terrorism.”
  • A few hours ago, Spanish police killed 5 suspected terrorists in Cambrils, 120km south of Barcelona. They were reportedly wearing fake explosives and believed to be plotting a follow-up attack. Six civilians and one police officer were injured.
  • Two suspects are under arrest but neither is believed to be the driver of the van who ran down the pedestrians in the Las Ramblas shopping district popular with tourists. One is from Morocco, the other from Melilla — a Spanish enclave across the Strait of Gibraltar.
  • Reports reveal that victims of the attack come from 34 different countries. At least one fatality has been confirmed to be a Belgian tourist according to Belgium’s Foreign Ministry. The only named victim so far is Italian, Bruno Gulotta.
  • One of the terrorists, Moussa Oukabir, had posted on social media: “Kill all the infidels and leave only Muslims.” Oukabir is believed to be the driver of the van.
  • His brother, Driss Oukabir, claims that Moussa stole his identity to rent the vans and that he wasn’t involved.
  • The explosion at a house yesterday in Alcanar which killed two is believed to be related to the attack. It was originally attributed to a gas line explosion, but police are saying the house was being used as an IED factory. Twenty-plus gas canisters were found at the scene. The premature explosion may have prompted the terror cell to act earlier than planned. Two VBIEDs could have killed considerably more.
  • ISIS’ Amaq news agency claimed its “soldiers” committed the attack. They are encouraging more vehicle attacks via their official social media channels.
  • The CIA had reportedly told Spanish police that Las Ramblas was a likely terror target two months ago.
  • Fog of war: Early reports that the terrorists had taken hostages in a restaurant proved to be false. A driver who drove through a police checkpoint injuring two police officers before being shot and killed is not believed to be involved in the terror attack.

Spain’s Day of Terror: 14 Victims and Six Suspected Terrorists Dead After Multiple Attacks

Spain suffered four incidents believed to be related to terrorism, including two deadly attacks, in little over 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday, which have left 14 victims dead, up to 80 injured, and as many as six suspected terrorists dead.

Spanish authorities have identified the attacks as Jihadist terrorism, and two have so far been arrested — one Moroccan, and one Spanish citizen from Melilla, the Spanish exclave in Morocco. Police announced a 14th victim fatality following the attacks Friday morning — the number had stood at 13 since the previous eveniung. More deaths may follow, with a dozen injured presently in critical condition.

The main attack took place in Barcelona at 1650 local time (1250EST) Thursday, as a hired van departed from the roadway that runs adjacent to the city’s tourist hotspot Las Ramblas pedestrianised walkway. Lined with cafes and bars and at the height of tourist season, the street saw 14 killed and dozens more injured as that van drove at high speed, swerving to target people on foot, according to witnesses.

The perpetrator of the attack then fled on foot and is still being sought by police, reportsSpanish newspaper El Pais. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, calling the killers “Islamic State soldiers”.

The hire van used in the Barcelona attack is towed away Thursday night. A second hired van was later discovered and is believed to have been hired as a getaway vehicle / getty Images

Less than three hours later, there was a second incident — this time on the outskirts of Barcelona. This time a car drove into police officers manning a checkpoint — possibly part of operation cage, the Spanish police mission launched under the attack to lock down the city. While no officers were killed, the driver was found dead in the car, having suffered fatal knife wounds which may have been self-inflicted.

While police initially said they were not treating the incidents as linked, they now believe they may have been.

The vehicle used to ram a crowd in the early hours of Friday morning is loaded onto a lorry / Getty Images

The third attack came in the early hours of Friday morning, as suspected terrorists again drove into police in Cambrils. Using an Audi A3 car the reportedly five would-be killers rammed into a group of people, injuring a police officer and six members of the public.

Police opened fire on the attackers as they emerged from the car, carrying knives and wearing explosive vests. All five were killed in the gunfire, and bomb teams used controlled explosions to destroy the vests, which subsequently turned out to be fake.

Police patrol the scene of Thursday’s mass casualty attack / Getty Images

These attacks are now being linked to a fourth event which took place in Alcanar, a town 120 miles away from Barcelona. A huge explosion destroyed a house, which was initially blamed on a gas leak. However, police now believe the explosion could have been a bomb meant for Thursday’s attacks that exploded prematurely. Dozens of bottles of propane and butane were found at the address.

The police operation following the attacks is still active, with at least one attacker — named as Moussa Oukabir — known to be on the loose.

Barcelona terror attack: Several injured after white van plows into plaza

Pictured: What is thought to be the van that knocked over pedestrians in the area
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4799836/People-hurt-van-crashes-pedestrians-Barcelona.html#ixzz4q1uCnZyv

Fox News, Aug. 17, 2017:

DEVELOPING: Several people were injured after a white van rammed into dozens of people in the historic Las Ramblas district of Barcelona Thursday in what local police described as a terror attack.

The incident took place on Las Ramblas of Barcelona, the famous main pedestrian walk way that crosses the city. Police described the incident on Twitter as a “massive crash.”

In a photograph shown by public broadcaster RTVE, three people were lying on the ground in the street and were apparently being helped by police and others.

“It was real chaos, people started running, screaming. There was a loud bang,” eyewitness Ethan Spibey told Sky News.

Catalan emergency services said people should not go to the area around Placa Catalunya, according to Reuters.

Witnesses told newspaper El Pais the driver ran over several people on the walk way, and there were people lying on the ground injuries.

El Pais, citing a police source, said the driver of the van fled the scene after the crash

One witness said the van “has trampled people while crossing the traffic light.”

Police cordoned off the broad street and shut down its stores. They asked people to stay away from the area so as not to get in the way of the emergency services. A helicopter hovered over the scene.

Las Ramblas, a street of stalls and shops that cuts through the center of Barcelona, is one of the city’s top tourist destinations. People walk down a wide, pedestrianized path in the center of the street, but cars can travel on either side.

***

Also see:

  • 13 dead and dozens hurt as van drives into crowds of people in Barcelona amid reports of gunshots nearby
  • Emergency services have rushed to the scene near the Las Ramblas tourist area as people urged to stay away
  • The driver of the van is being hunted as he fled after ploughing into pedestrians outside a kosher restaurant
  • Also being reported that two gunmen have taken hostages at a bar in the city centre amid carnage in the city
  • Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy said he is in contact with the emergency services at the scene 
  • Harrowing footage shows dozens of bodies lying on the pavement as armed police rush to secure the area 
  • Police are said to be negotiating with two gunmen who have taken hostages in a Turkish restaurant  
  • Did you see what happened in Barcelona, or do you know someone who did? Get in touch by emailing abe.hawken@mailonline.co.uk or calling 0203 615 3908

Europe: Migrant Crisis Reaches Spain

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, August 16, 2017:

  • “The biggest migration movements are still ahead: Africa’s population will double in the next decades. A country like Egypt will grow to 100 million people, Nigeria to 400 million. In our digital age with the internet and mobile phones, everyone knows about our prosperity and lifestyle.” — German Development Minister Gerd Müller.
  • “Young people all have cellphones and they can see what’s happening in other parts of the world, and that acts as a magnet.” — Michael Møller, Director of the United Nations office in Geneva.
  • “If we do not manage to solve the central problems in African countries, ten, 20 or even 30 million immigrants will arrive in the European Union within the next ten years.” — Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament.

Spain is on track to overtake Greece as the second-biggest gateway for migrants entering Europe by sea. The sudden surge in migration to Spain comes amid a crackdown on human smuggling along the Libya-Italy sea route, currently the main migrant point of entry to Europe.

The westward shift in migration routes from Greece and Italy implies that Spain, situated only ten miles from Africa by sea, may soon find itself at the center of Europe’s migration crisis.

More than 8,300 illegal migrants have reached Spanish shores during the first seven months of 2017 — three times as many as in all of 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Thousands more migrants have entered Spain by land, primarily at the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the north coast of Morocco, the European Union’s only land borders with Africa. Once there, migrants are housed in temporary shelters and then moved to the Spanish mainland, from where many continue on to other parts of Europe.

In all, some 12,000 migrants have arrived in Spain so far this year, compared to 13,246 for all of 2016. By comparison, 14,156 migrants have arrived in Greece so far in 2017.

Italy remains the main migrant gateway to Europe, with around 97,000 arrivals so far this year, compared to 181,436 for all of 2016. Italy has been the main point of entry to Europe since the EU-Turkey migrant deal, signed in March 2016, shut off the route from Turkey to Greece, at one time the preferred point of entry to Europe for migrants from Asia and the Middle East. Almost 600,000 migrants have arrived in Italy during the past four years.

Migrants wait to be rescued by crewmembers from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) Phoenix vessel on June 10, 2017 off Lampedusa, Italy. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

In May, Italy signed a deal with Libya, Chad and Niger to stem the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean through improved border controls. In July, Italy also reached a deal with France and Germany to tighten the regulation of charities operating boats in the Mediterranean and to increase funds to the Libyan coast guard.

Since then, the Libyan coast guard has prevented thousands of migrants from leaving the Libyan coast for Italy. The crackdown, however, has sent would-be migrants scrambling for an alternative route to cross the Mediterranean. This appears to explain the increase in migrants arriving in Spain.

On August 14, Frontex, the European Union’s border agency, reported that the number of African migrants arriving in Italy from Libya had dropped by more than half in July compared to the month before. During this period, the number of migrants arriving in Spain rose sharply.

Frontex said that 10,160 migrants had arrived in Italy by sea in July — 57% fewer than in June and the lowest level of arrivals for a July since 2014. According to Frontex, 2,300 migrants made it to Spain in July, more than four times as many as the year before. Most of the migrants arriving in Italy and Spain are believed to be economic migrants seeking a better life in Europe, not refugees fleeing war zones.

“The vast majority of migrants crossing to Italy from Libya come from Senegal, Gambia, Guinea and other west African countries,” said Joel Millman, an IOM spokesman, in an interview with the Financial Times. “Given the crackdown on migration from Libya, it seems natural that many would forsake the dangerous dessert [sic] crossing to Libya and choose to cross from Morocco.”

Julio Andrade, a city councilor in Málaga, a port city in southern Spain, called it “the balloon effect.” In an interview with the Irish Times, he said: “If you squeeze one area, the air goes elsewhere. If there is a lot of police pressure and arrests of mafias around the Mediterranean routes via Greece and Italy, for example, then the mafias will look for other routes.”

Spanish authorities have reported that there is a surge in African migrants attempting to cross the land border at Ceuta by scaling fences that are up to six meters (20 feet) tall and topped by razor wire. Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said there were 2,266 attempts to jump the perimeter at Ceuta during the first seven months of 2017, compared to a total of 3,472 attempts in all of 2016.

On August 7, more than 300 mostly sub-Saharan Africans ambushed Spanish and Moroccan security forces and stormed the border crossing at El Tarajal; 186 migrants made it onto Spanish territory. On August 8, more than a thousand migrants armed with spears and rocks attempted to breach the same crossing. On August 9, Spanish authorities closed the border for a week. On August 10, around 700 migrants stormed the border; 200 migrants were arrested.

Meanwhile, on August 9, a video showed a rubber boat carrying dozens of migrants arrive at a beach full of sunbathers in Cádiz. José Maraver, the head of a rescue center in nearby Tarifa, told the Telegraph that a second boat had landed on another beach in the area and that this scene was now a regular occurrence. “Every day there are boats, every day there is migration,” he said. “The situation is getting very complicated.”

Migrants are also using other means to reach Spain. On August 6, for example, four Moroccans reached the coast of Málaga on jet skis. During July and August, police intercepted at least two dozen migrants using jet skis to cross over to Spain. On August 10, police using motion detectors and thermal imaging sensors found56 migrants, including 14 children, hiding inside trucks en route from Ceuta to the mainland ferry port in Algeciras.

In an August 9 editorial, Spain’s El País newspaper said that it was “obvious that migratory pressure has moved to the western Mediterranean and there is no indication that this situation will change in the near future.” It added:

“The migratory pressure Spain has experienced during the past several weeks is an increase of such dimensions that it exceeds all measures of surveillance and control. The massive entry of sub-Saharan people across the border of Ceuta, whether by jumping the fence or crossing the El Tarajal border, reveals the enormous difficulties in stopping the entry of those fleeing war, famine or economic hardship….

“The management of migratory flows requires a strong European policy and sufficient economic resources. Spain cannot stand alone as the guardian of southern Europe.”

German Development Minister Gerd Müller recently warned that Europe must prepare for the arrival of millions more migrants from Africa:

“The biggest migration movements are still ahead: Africa’s population will double in the next decades. A country like Egypt will grow to 100 million people, Nigeria to 400 million. In our digital age with the internet and mobile phones, everyone knows about our prosperity and lifestyle.”

The director of the United Nations Office in Geneva, Michael Møller, has echoed those concerns:

“What we have been seeing is one of the biggest human migrations in history. And it’s just going to accelerate. Young people all have cellphones and they can see what’s happening in other parts of the world, and that acts as a magnet.”

The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, said that in order to staunch the flow of migrants from Africa, the European Union would need to invest billions and develop a long-term strategy to stabilize the continent: “If we do not manage to solve the central problems in African countries, ten, 20 or even 30 million immigrants will arrive in the European Union within the next ten years.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.

UTT Throwback Thursday: No Wider Plot?

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, June 22, 2017:

If a Special Forces soldier was captured in a foreign land with which America was at war, would our enemy consider him a “lone wolf” disconnected from any “wider plot” or larger army?

On March 11, 2004, 10 bombs were detonated on four trains by Islamic jihadis in Madrid, Spain killing 191 people and injuring nearly 2000 others.  In analyzing the attacks, American academic Scott Atran, who investigated numerous Islamic jihadi attacks, said, “We’ve been looking at it closely for years and we’ve been briefed by everybody under the sun and … nothing connects them.”  Apparently, this was an “isolated” event conducted by “self-radicalized lone wolves.”

On November 5, 2009, muslim Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan stood on a table on base at Fort Hood, Texas, shouted “Allah u akbar,” and began shooting anyone he could.  When it was over, 14 were dead and over 40 people were wounded/injured.  Before the FBI even reached Fort Hood they publicly stated this was not an act of terrorism.  The extensive DoD after action report entitled “Protecting the Force” was chaired by VA Secretary Togo West and Admiral Vernon Clark (USN, ret) and made no mention of Islam, jihad, sharia, or anything which Major Hasan said were the reasons he did what he did.  The DoD assessed this was a case of  “workplace violence” with no wider plot connected to anyone else.  Apparently, Hasan was a “lone wolf.”

Soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas treat their fellow soldiers wounded by jihadi Major Nidal Hasan

On June 13, 2013, muslim Omar Mir Seddique Mateen killed 49 people and wounded over 50 others in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  As the attack was unfolding, Mateen let officials know he was associating himself with ISIS.  Mateen’s father was involved in Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations in the United States and declared his support for the Taliban.  FBI Special Agent Ron Hopper stated the FBI interviewed Mateen three times beginning in 2013.  An investigation was opened, but was closed after the FBI was unable to tie Mateen to a wider plot. Apparently, Mateen was a “self-radicalized lone wolf.”

On Wednesday June 21, 2017, Canadian-muslim Amor Ftouhi yelled “Allah u akbar” and stabbed a police officer in the neck.  FBI Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit office, David Gelios, said there is “nothing to suggest a wider plot.”

And so it goes.  Nearly 16 years after 9/11 and with all of America’s technology and bloated federal intelligence and law enforcement resources, there is not one ounce of logic nor an understanding of the threat.

In fact, the individuals who perpetrated these acts were not “lone wolves” who “self-radicalized.”  Like the Special Forces soldier mentioned in the opening sentence of this article, these men are a part of a large army, guided by doctrine, supported by nation-states, and dedicated to their focused singular objective.

Our enemy identifies itself as the “Global Islamic Movement” and tells us they are “muslims waging jihad in the cause of Allah to establish an Islamic State under sharia.”  All the jihadi organizations on the planet from ISIS to the Muslim Brotherhood say it.  100% of authoritative Islamic doctrine and the highest authorities in Islam, like Al Azhar University, say it.

Their paths to the objective may differ, but they all have the same objective.

There is a WIDER PLOT.  It is called the Global Islamic Movement.

It is the same Islam the West had to deal with at the Battle of Tours in 732 AD.

It is the same Islam from 1095 when the Crusades were launched in answer to over 450 years of muslim violence and incursion into Western lands.

It is the same Islam defeated at the miraculous Christian victory at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

It is the same Islam pushed back at the Gates of Vienna on September 11, 1683.

It is the same Islam America fought in our first war after the Revolution – the war against the muslims of the Barbary (Islamic) States.

Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon at Derna.

American is at war with this adversary again.  All of these muslim jihadis are not “lone wolves” but soldiers for Allah.

They are part of the wider plot called Islam.

Spanish Jihadist chatter on the rise say experts, with sights set on Spain

A masked man with an ISIS flag in the background.  REUTERS

A masked man with an ISIS flag in the background. REUTERS

El Pais, by Patricia Ortega Dolz, Aug. 29, 2016: (h/t Blazing Cat Fur)

Spanish counter-terrorism authorities have issued an alert about “the increase in mentions of our country” in recent propaganda material produced by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), including text documents, videos and graphs.

Jihadists are now writing in Spanish, and even analyzing the political situation in Spain through written reviews of election results.

This is raising Spain’s profile on ISIS’ communication networks. “The progressive increase of texts and releases translated into Spanish is giving our country growing relevance from a propaganda point of view, and increasing the possibility of action by an autonomous terrorist working on our territory,” terrorism experts say.

Potential targets include crowded areas, police officers, Christians, Jews and homosexuals.

“…In any place that you consider a valid target to punish criminal Spaniards… through any available means,” reads a document dated July 18 and released by the Wafa Media Foundation, which supports ISIS. The foundation’s spokesman has encouraged citizens of the Maghreb region, which encompasses Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya, to attack Spanish individuals.

Following the Spanish general election of June 26, a media group called Ifriqiya Media, which is the official mouthpiece of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, wrote the following analysis: “26-J: Everyone has lost, except for Morocco.” The document went on to examine the Spanish election from the viewpoint of its impact on Morocco’s prolonged conflict in Western Sahara.

Recent attacks across the world – Orlando on June 13, Nice on July 14 and Normandy on July 26 – have underscored how one of ISIS’s main tools is its propaganda machine, now that it is losing part of its physical territory. The July 2015 issue of Dar al Islam magazine explicitly encouraged readers to attack Christians as a priority target.

Spanish counter-terrorism experts say that propaganda videos with Spanish subtitles have been cropping up regularly since the beginning of this year. One such video, produced by a jihadist channel from Anbar, a district of the Islamic State located in Iraq, was titled “The predators’ incursions” and had Spanish subtitles.

Another 14-minute video titled “The path of the just fathers” and aimed at attracting new recruits also has Spanish subtitles. All these messages are being disseminated from wilayas, or districts of the Islamic State, “which entails action by various individuals following specific guidelines from a central organization,” say Spanish experts.

The Spanish flag has also been seen in an image headlined “One religion, one caliphate” and showing an individual with a black ISIS flag in his hands and 12 other flags, including the Spanish one, at his feet.

A graph made by Amaq Agency, ISIS’ official production company, shows 100 suicide attacks perpetrated by its followers in the month of June. All text included in the chart is written in Spanish.

In fact, the Spanish is so good that experts suspect that some of the copy is being written by native Spaniards, with the goal of encouraging action by “homegrown terrorists who are frustrated at their inability to travel to Syria and Iraq to fight side by side with the jihadists, and instead may choose to carry out attacks in their own country of birth or residence.”

186 Spaniards have traveled to conflict zones

Since 2004 (the year of the jihadist-inspired attacks against commuter trains in Madrid), counter-terrorism authorities have launched 181 operations against Islamist terrorists, resulting in 692 arrests. In recent years, the police and the judiciary have ramped up their efforts, detaining growing numbers of suspects with each passing year: eight in 2012, 20 in 2013 and 36 in 2014.

Most arrests are tied to recruiting activities in Spain, including the practice of sending individuals to conflict zones in Syria and Iraq. Many of the raids have been carried out in the northeastern region of Catalonia.

So far this year, there have been 15 operations in Spain and one joint action with Morocco. Spanish secret services have identified 186 Spaniards or residents in Spain who have traveled to Syria or other conflict zones, of whom at least 31 may have died there. Authorities are also aware of 25 who have returned to Spain, 15 of whom are in prison and the remaining 10 walking free.

The myth of Andalusian multicultural utopia debunked

Tundra Tabloids, April 14, 2016:

As history and human experience proves, utopia can never be achieved, and islam is not peace.

tours-moslem-andalusia

A Myth Demolished
by Srdja Trifkovic

The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise:
Muslims, Christians, and Jews Under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain
by Darío Fernández-Morera Wilmington, DE: ISI Books 336 pp., $29.95

Over the past two decades a great chasm has opened up between the tenured American professoriate specializing in the humanities and social sciences, and the meaningful discussion of its subjects in the public arena. It is hard to find a recent work by an academic authority on social, historical, and cultural anthropology in general, or on the specific issues of religion, family, race, immigration, education, gender, and sexuality, that is not “informed” by the legacy of critical theory and its conceptual and methodological framework. The authors may divide themselves into different “schools” (constructivist, postmodern, poststructuralist), but they are all initiates of the same sect.

Almost a century after Julien Benda coined the phrase, the trahison des clercs has morphed into a new form. By rejecting the notions of objectivity, truth, and historical reality in favor of the approved forms of ideological “antihegemonistic discourse,” the treasonous clercs of our time have severed the link between what can or should be known and the knowledge itself. The result is a myriad of myths covering every area of human endeavor, past and present. Some have had far-reaching political consequences: The myth of “diversity” has engendered a massive state apparat dedicated to social engineering and control, while the chimera of “human rights” has produced an assault on the institution of marriage hardly imaginable a generation ago. What they all have in common is their visceral antipathy to Western civilization, and to the Christian concept of personhood (dignitas personae) and its related historical “constructs.”

61KpBmmFJeL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Seen against this cultural and ideological backdrop, Darío Fernández-Morera’s Myth of the Andalusian Paradise is doubly subversive. It is a first-rate work of scholarship that demolishes the fabrication of the multiethnic, multiconfessional convivencia in Spain under Muslim rule. The book is also an exposé of the endemic problems of contemporary Western academe, as manifested in the dishonesty, corruption, and dogmatic intolerance of the Islamic-studies establishment both here and in Europe. The author ascribes this phenomenon to a mix of “stakeholder interests and incentives,” “motivated blindness,” “Occidentalism” and “Christianophobia,” and to the corrosive influence of the multimillion-dollar grants that many leading Islamic-studies departments receive from the governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and others.

Fernández-Morera’s book presents a clear and present danger to the “stakeholders.” It undermines one of their cherished orthodoxies so comprehensively that it potentially threatens many careers and reputations. They will take note. An optimistic reviewer has predicted that “[i]t will soon find its place on the shelves of premier academic institutions,” but there is reason to fear the opposite. It is more likely to be demonized, as Sylvain Gouguenheim’s debunking of the myth of Islam’s key contribution to the late-medieval civilization of Europe was demonized in France in 2008; or else ignored, as Raphael Israeli’s prescient Islamic Challenge in Europe was in that same year and after.


The book’s seven chapters deal with the Islamic conquest and subsequent Christian reconquest of Spain; the jihadist destruction of the nascent Visigothic civilization; the daily realities of al-Andalus; the myth of Ummayad tolerance; and the condition of women, Jews, and Christians. Each chapter starts with two or three quotations by prominent academic authorities asserting some elements of the myth, which Fernández-Morera proceeds to discredit point by point. His narrative is supported by massive research: There are 95 small-font pages of Notes, citing hitherto unknown or neglected Muslim, Christian, and Jewish primary sources. Fernández-Morera also relies on dozens of scholarly monographs and articles, many of them published in Spanish and duly ignored—with breathtaking arrogance—by the promoters of the establishmentarian narrative who write in English.

In dealing with the central myth—religious tolerance, the harmoniously multicultural coexistence of Muslims, Jews, and Christians who willingly accepted the enlightened order, and the civilizational flourishing of al-Andalus—Fernández-Morera refutes a host of subsidiary postmodern myths and historical judgments, which now serve as canon law for Western academia. They include: Generations of medieval Muslim scholars and warriors failed to grasp the Koran’s true message of peace and tolerance. They also misinterpreted jihad as a divinely ordained duty to wage perpetual war against infidels, rather than as inner spiritual struggle for moral improvement. Old Muslim chronicles (primary sources, or “texts embellished by legends, serving political and religious agendas”) should not be taken at face value when they celebrate violent conquest, murder, and subjugation of infidels. On the other hand, those same chronicles are completely reliable when they celebrate the splendor of the civilization of al-Andalus, or denigrate El Cid as a sordid mercenary. The political and social change in Iberia in the first half of the eighth century was not a “conquest” but an “expansion,” similar to spontaneous migratory processes through the ages. A primitive Visigothic realm collapsed swiftly because it had reached an advanced stage of social decomposition and was devoid of any excuse for continued existence. The expansion was facilitated by peaceful pacts, generously offered by the new authorities and willingly accepted by many natives. That expansion was materially rather than religiously motivated, and it certainly had nothing to do with the misunderstood notions of jihad. By contrast, the Reconquista was a ruthless war of aggression waged by greedy Christian zealots who were unrelated to the inhabitants of pre-Islamic Iberia, and who replaced tolerance with the Inquisition and ethnic cleansing. And in speaking of all of this, we should refer to Iberia, which evokes a diverse entity comprising Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Arab, European, and other “essences,” rather than Spain, which is an inherently Euro/Christocentric name for something that did not exist at the time. (Islamic Spain is right out!)

Space does not allow us to list all of the fables—some bizarre, others laughable, most of them infuriating—that Fernández-Morera dispatches with unassailable logic and ruthless efficiency. Occasionally, his joy at getting the job done almost radiates from the printed page.

The book ends with a short Epilogue that summarizes the record: In Islamic Spain there was no tolerant convivencia, but a precaria coexistencia. In cultural terms alone, the invasion, conquest, and colonization of Christian Spain by Islamic warriors was a disaster for her population because a promising young civilization—far superior to that of the coarse North African invaders—was nipped in the bud:

This Christian Hispano-Roman-Visigoth population “deserved” to be conquered and enlightened by Islamic rulers no more than the population of the Americas deserved to be conquered and enlightened by the Christian Europeans in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, or that the population of India deserved to be conquered and enlightened by the Christian British in the eighteenth.

A similar hypocrisy, one might add, applies to the academic establishment’s treatment of the Crusades. The meta-message is the same: Islam’s “expansion” into the Holy Land was normal and even desirable—the Eastern Roman Empire’s southeastern flank was as “deserving” of conquest in the seventh century as Visigothic Spain was in the eighth—but any subsequent attempt by Christians to turn the tables was deemed a barbarous crime. Fernández-Morera is right to say that few periods in history have been more misrepresented than that of Islamic Spain. The same verdict applies to the two centuries of Outremer.

In this age of rampant victimology, the largest group of victims in history—tens if not hundreds of millions of Christians who were murdered, enslaved, terrorized, or marginalized by Muslims from Muhammad to our time—is consistently denied its rightful status in the Western academy. This is a scandal, and in the final pages Fernández-Morera abandons his restrained tone when he summarizes the condition of the Christian Mozarabs (italics original):

[T]hey were by definition a subaltern group, a fourth- or fifth-class marginalized people in a hierarchical society . . . the victims of an extortion system, the dhimma, that gave them the choice that gangsters give to their victims: pay to be protected, or else.

To claim that the Christians might have been “content” with their status under medieval Islamic rule—in Spain, or later in the Balkans under the Ottomans—is even more preposterous, Fernández-Morera adds, than saying that American blacks might have been “content” with their treatment by paternalistic slaveowners in the antebellum South. Given Islam’s religious laws, the subaltern status of Christians was inevitable within the Islamic empire at all times and in all places.

Without the Christian resistance and eventual Reconquest, Darío Fernández- Morera concludes, “Spain today could well be an extension of the cultures of North Africa and the Middle East.” She would not have been able to develop the greatness of her own late-medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque civilization, culminating in the Spanish Golden Age, which yielded marvelously rich fruits in every field of artistic, literary, and intellectual endeavor. Compared with the splendor of post-Reconquista Spain, the fruits of medieval Islam were meager, and Islamic Spain failed to deliver much considering its early promise. I hope that in the second edition (and there will be a second edition) Fernández-Morera will devote more attention to the myth of Andalusian intellectual brilliance, which is also in need of a touch of Darío. A few scholars living under Islamic rule, not necessarily Muslim by faith or conviction, made limited use of Greek, Persian,
Hindu, and other pre-Islamic sources, and that’s about it. Claiming that the work of Averroës was the product of a distinctly “Islamic” civilization is on par with asserting that the performances of the Kirov ballet company in the 1940’s, or the launching of Sputnik a decade later, was the outcrop of Stalin’s enlightened cultural and scientific policies. Andalusian translators made a peripheral contribution to the popularizing of Aristotle in Christian Europe, but his works had already reached the Frankoi by way of the Greek Romei: St. Thomas Aquinas wrote detailed commentary on “the Philosopher” in the 1250’s, Barlaam of Calabria taught Aristotle in Italy in the early 1300’s, and Leontius Pilatus promoted Greek studies all over Western Europe a generation later. No Muslim good offices were needed for the flourishing of Greek language and learning in Florence under the Medicis or elsewhere. More importantly, Christian (not Muslim) thinkers actually built upon the legacy of Hellas. They were able to accommodate the pursuit of scientific knowledge within the framework of divine revelation, and to test their findings by adversarial method of proof. In the early 13th century, after al-Ghazali, Sunni Islam abandoned reason and logic and entered a long period of decline-without-fall, which lasts to this day. In that same century after Aquinas, Christian Europeans were able to “invent invention” and foster the exponential growth of knowledge. This theme may be worth an additional chapter.

My only criticism of Fernández-Morera’s Myth of the Andalusian Paradise does not concern what he has written but what is missing: an afterthought on the demographic and cultural peril in which Spain finds herself today. His book ends with the victory of Christian Spain over the most relentlessly anti-Christian project the world has known; but the drama of Spain’s relationship with Islam is not over. Her liberation from Muslim misrule in 1492 may not be as final and irreversible as it had seemed to be for half a millennium.

For the past three years I have been spending a quarter of my time in Gran Canaria, in Spain’s southernmost province 800 miles south of “the Peninsula” (as the locals call the mainland). Even in that short period of time a perceptible change has taken place in the ethnic mix of the island. Mostly Moroccan immigrants are gradually taking over the working-class suburb of San Fernando, just over a mile north of the beaches, hotels, and boutiques of Maspalomas. Their women—easily recognized by their hijabs and many children in tow—make up a large contingent of shoppers in the local Mercadona supermarket, while their men sip tea, talk, and smoke outside the mosque at the nearby Yumbo shopping center in Playa del Inglés. There are visibly more of them now than when I first came, and there are definitely many more balconies with the telltale satellite dishes pointing east to Africa.

Nationwide, there are just over two million Muslim immigrants in Spain, not counting hundreds of thousands of illegals. They account for four percent of her 46 million people. This is lower than the population of Muslims in France or Germany, but the rate of increase is higher in Spain than in any other major member-state of the European Union. (In 1990 Muslims numbered under 100,000.) As is the case in all other countries with a large Islamic diaspora, its leaders in Spain are making ever-escalating, sometimes outrageous, demands. They range from the suppression of the traditional celebrations of the Reconquista—Fiestas de Moros y Cristianos—to the granting of Spanish citizenship to millions of descendants of Muslims expelled after the reconquest, so as to rectify “the injustice inflicted on the Muslim population of Andalusia who are still suffering in the diaspora in exile since 1492.”

What amounts to the re-reconquista will likely continue for as long as Spain’s political, media, and even ecclesiastical establishment remains gripped by the same spirit of “Christian ideas gone mad” (Chesterton) that has made much of Europe unable to resist the ongoing migrant invasion. The writing was on the wall in 2004, when Church authorities wanted to remove the statue of St. Iago “the Moor Slayer” from the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela because it was deemed offensive to Muslims. (They were forced to rescind the decision “for the time being” following a public outcry.) In December 2011 politicians in Madrid inaugurated a major exhibition, “Between the Two Worlds,” to commemorate the 1,300th anniversary of Spain’s “social and cultural transformation”—i.e., the Muslim invasion. Esperanza Aguirre, then-president of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, called it “one of the most thrilling moments in the history of Spain.” There are countless similar examples of the Spanish elite’s moral and cultural decrepitude.

The situation is critical, the consequences are potentially tragic, and the quest for a solution has not even started. It is long overdue. It demands the attention of an accomplished scholar who knows and understands Spain, who can examine her present condition in all its complexity, and whose heart in the right place. I suggest to Darío Fernández-Morera that his next book should be The Threat of the Andalusian Nightmare.

Srdja Trifkovic is Chronicles’ foreign-affairs editor