Charles Martel, 732
Donald Trump, 2016
Trump states, “They’re worried about my tone? We have no time for tone when Christians are getting their heads chopped off.”
– News report
Trump ditches political correctness, discusses “Muslim problem everywhere.”
– News report
Trump outlines his immigration policy.
– News report
Trump notes that we have no way of knowing how many illegal immigrants come from the Middle East.
– News report
“Honor killings” of women on rise in United States.
– News report
About 100,000 Muslims are estimated to immigrate to the U.S. annually.
– News report
Approximately 12% of Muslims worldwide approve of terrorism.
– News report
When you don’t have a hammer, no problem ever looks like a nail.
– Bret Stephens, “America in Retreat”
October 10 or 11 will be the approximate date of the Battle of Tours, which Charles Martel won in 732. He saved Europe from the Muslim expansion beyond Spain. Martel’s Frankish army defeated a Muslim army, which until then had crushed all resistance. The Battle of Tours earned Charles the name “Martel,” because of the relentless way he hammered his enemies. If he had lost at Tours, Islam would have overrun France, and probably the remainder of Christian Europe.
“Martel” is Old French for “hammer.” Students of history know that in order to preserve your nation, your culture, your religion, and your very life, sometimes what you need is not a conference table but a hammer. In addition to defeating the invading Muslim army, Charles Martel was the grandfather of Charlemagne. Students of history also know that in order to have great descendants, you need to have any descendants.
These three lessons are critical to the survival of France, of all Western Europe – and of America as well: (1) In some cases, your nation must fight. (2) In all cases, your nation must control its borders. (3) In all cases, your nation must reproduce. Thus far, it does not appear that Western Europe has learned any of these lessons. Whether America will learn them is also coming into question.
Periodically, unrest including rioting grips many European cities. Thousands of cars and scores of buildings were burned. Thousands of young men were arrested, mainly young Muslims of Algerian or African descent, but mainly born in Europe. Most immigrants know how lucky they are to have escaped the tyranny of their former nations and live in freedom. But their sons and grandsons don’t know how lucky they are.
Of course, their sons could be luckier still. They could live in America, where free enterprise creates jobs – or at least used to. They could live in a nation of immigrants and the children of immigrants, where newcomers usually become Americans in one generation – or at least used to. They could live in a nation where no one denomination has a majority, so religious tolerance is a fundamental principle.
Europe’s beautiful cathedrals are almost empty of worshippers. But the mosques are full. Most Europeans are Christians in name only – they have no deep beliefs. How can they hope to resist the onslaught of people with strong beliefs, some of whom are fanatics?
America used to be in a stronger position. But now, only 71% of Americans identify themselves as Christians of any denomination, while 23% claim no religious affiliation. Do you really believe that those with no religion are in a strong position to combat radical Islam? Unless you’re playing poker and are a good bluffer, you can’t beat something with nothing.
The form of Islam preached by Saudi-trained imams, and taught by Saudi-published books, tells followers to avoid befriending or imitating “infidels,” but instead to keep to their own ways and their own people. And the more radical among them preach the inevitable conquest of the world by Islam.
So what do you get when you combine chronic unemployment, degrading welfare payments, racial and ethnic discrimination, resistance to integration by the immigrants, and uncontrolled immigration of unidentified persons – and then you add a fanatical belief system and a fierce contempt for Western culture? You get burning cars, and eventually burning cities in Europe – and eventually in America.
We can learn from the Europeans’ mistakes:
● We can reduce immigration to controllable levels, and then control it.
● We can make sure that immigrants and their children learn English and are exposed to American values: “Liberty, E Pluribus Unum, In God We Trust.” (Thanks to Dennis Prager for reminding us of them.)
● We can avoid letting racism masquerade as “multiculturalism,” which often really means, “They’re backward and ignorant – let them live in their own ghettos.”
● We can avoid letting anti-Americanism masquerade as “multiculturalism,” which often really means trashing our own culture while honoring all others.
● We can deport preachers of hate before they make more converts like the Oklahoma beheader.
● We can crash extremist websites, or better yet, hack them and insert ridiculous or pornographic content that would destroy their credibility.
● We can let the police do their jobs, and not allow local disturbances to grow into widespread riots as we vainly try to appease violent fanatics.
● We can let our free-enterprise system create more jobs, and not strangle it with needless regulations.
● We can strengthen our own beliefs – in God, in our Judeo-Christian values, in the Constitution as actually written, in freedom, in our nation, and in ourselves – and make sure we transmit this precious heritage to our children.
● We can hold fast to what is truly important, and be willing to act – and if necessary to fight – to preserve it.
As for the Western Europeans, the future remains in serious doubt. They need a new Charles Martel. Thus far, none has appeared on the horizon. All we can do is hope, because we can’t save them again. We could save Western Europe from Hitler and Stalin, but we can’t save it from its own spinelessness and spiritual emptiness.
President Obama claimed repeatedly that Al Qaeda is “decimated” and “on the run.” He declared that the global war on terrorism is over. Apparently it escaped his attention that the day before, Drummer (Private) Lee Rigby, a 25-year-old British soldier, was hacked to death with a meat cleaver – on a London street, in broad daylight, in front of several witnesses – by two men shouting “Allahu akbar.” Both were of Nigerian descent, but were born in Britain as Christians. They converted to Islam and were radicalized in British mosques.
If we allow the situation to deteriorate beyond a certain point, even a new Charles Martel cannot save us. Exactly where that point is we do not know in advance, but in retrospect it will be painfully obvious.
Even now we see ISIS conquering large areas of Syria and Iraq. Fallujah and Ramadi have fallen (remember the names?). Does that sound like the war on terrorism is over? More to the point, does it sound like we won?
For a war to be truly over, one side must destroy the other side’s ability to wage war, or both sides must agree to peace. But if only one side declares the war is over, it is called surrender.
The Muslim invasion was not turned back by Charles the Timid, or Charles the Easy-going, or Charles the Indecisive, or Charles the Multicultural, or Charles the Sensitive, or Charles the Appeaser, or Charles the Soft-spoken, or Charles the Nuanced, and surely not by Charles the Gutless. The Muslim invasion was turned back by Charles the Hammer. Do you think, just possibly, there might be a lesson here?
Like Donald Trump, Charles Martel undoubtedly had his faults. Perhaps Charles was not the ideal leader. But he was the essential leader at that moment in history. Is Donald Trump the new Charles Martel, or at least as close as we have come so far? Or is he all talk and no action? Time will tell.
But one thing we do know. If we do not recognize danger and face it squarely, we have no chance of overcoming it. And Donald Trump is the only candidate who speaks frankly about extremist Islam, because he is the only candidate who is not worried about his “tone.” We know little about Charles Martel’s personal life, but we can be quite certain that he was not worried about his “tone.”
If we don’t emulate Charles Martel, eventually we may be forced to emulate Lee Rigby. It’s our choice.
Lee Rigby, beginnings and endings
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