Charles Martel, Where Are You to Fight Today’s Extremists?

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Circa 720 AD, Charles Martel, (c688 - 741), ruler of the Franks from 719. He was created Duke of Austrasia in 1714. He was known as 'the Hammer', after his victory over the Moors in 732. Original Artwork: Wood engraving from a 16th century book. (Photo: Hulton Archive / Getty Images)
Circa 720 AD, Charles Martel, (c688 – 741), ruler of the Franks from 719. He was created Duke of Austrasia in 1714. He was known as ‘the Hammer’, after his victory over the Moors in 732. Original Artwork: Wood engraving from a 16th century book. (Photo: Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

While an effort was attempted back then by an invading Muslim army to take Europe by force, bringing it into the world of their caliphate, it was rejected by force under the leadership of Charles Martel. Today, a new effort is underway, using less violent means but to achieve the same goal. Incredulously, European leaders are unwittingly laying the foundation for a successful end to be achieved by radical Islamists in this century.

Four million Syrians have fled their country; many have either made their way to Europe or settled in Middle-Eastern refugee camps. As the West opens its doors to them, shockingly five of the wealthiest Gulf nations– Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain–refuse to take in a single Syrian refugee. Why?

It is clearly not for fear of the financial burden such refugees would place on these five fabulously rich countries, since they are contributing to humanitarian relief efforts being undertaken elsewhere. It is, however, the fact that they recognize within these refugees, there are many “carriers” — carriers of an ideological fundamentalism the “Fabulous Five” both fear and revere.

While countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar preach a fundamentalist strain of Islam known as Wahhabism, their reverence for it causes them to look to spread it elsewhere around the world—with these ideological carriers providing the opportunity for them to do so.

But the Fab Five recognize too that radical Islam is a sword with two edges—one edge capable of cutting non-believers but the other capable of cutting believers as well. It is the latter than concerns them most as it can be used as a weapon to undermine their own authority as a royal dynasty.

When Saudi Arabia sought to establish itself as a nation ruled by a royal dynasty contrary to Wahhabist beliefs, a deal was struck with religious leaders. In exchange for their support of the Saud royal family, the royal family agree to fund madrassas and mosques around the world allowing them to indoctrinate the masses into Wahhabism.

For decades, this deal worked satisfactorily for both sides. November 1979 was a wake-up call for the Saudi government as a young Muslim fundamentalist and his followers took control of the Grand Mosque in Mecca in what would lead to a 15-day siege.

In the ensuing years, Riyadh found itself targeted by terrorists both inside and out its borders. This sensitized the royal family to the fact not even Wahhabi religious leaders could control the extremists. It has led to the royal family’s reluctance to open Saudi’s borders to the unknown extremist fish swimming within the sea of refugees gaining entry. This would have a potentially destabilizing influence the royal family is unwilling to risk. Accordingly, its focus is on that risk settling elsewhere, outside its own borders.

To help relocate that risk elsewhere while placating Wahhabist leaders, Saudi Arabia and Qatar look to fund mosques in the West to serve as a rallying point for such influences, whether they be moderate or extremist. In 2015, in Germany alone, Saudi Arabia offered to fund 200 mosques.

Meanwhile, Qatar not only funds mosques in Europe but also invests millions of dollars in places like the French suburbs—home to hundreds of thousands of disgruntled Muslim immigrants. While claiming to support small businesses in disadvantaged neighborhoods, Qatar really seeks to spread its ultra-conservative Wahhabi ideology.

It should concern French officials that Qatar’s emir, Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, considers their country a privileged field of projection for fundamentalist Islam. But, sadly, French officials probably even fail to grasp the irony in the location of one of the Qatar-funded mosques. Built near the site of the Battle of Tours is the Great Mosque of Poitiers. This was the battle in which Muslim hordes advancing into Europe were turned back in 732.

The floodgate access that would have allowed Muslims to forcefully convert France to Islam almost 13 centuries ago, was shut off by the savvy ruler of the Franks, Charles Martel.

As Qatar’s emir knew would happen, the mosques in France he funds today serve as magnets in the center of Muslim communities where Muslim immigrants, with no interest in integrating into French society and every interest in practicing Wahhabism, are drawn in.

A further irony in France is the contrast between the country’s leadership today and that existing in 732. As a responsible leader who recognized the approaching invaders posed a major threat to the survival of the Franks, Martel organized and trained an army to repel them.

Sadly, French leaders today voluntarily leave the floodgates open to masses of immigrants. Many reject assimilation and have every intention of achieving what was denied them 13 centuries ago. This time they will do it as an invasion by immigration—an effort carefully funded by some of the Fab Five.

Absent the miraculous rise of a modern-day Charles Martel, Europe’s fate may well be sealed.



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James Zumwalt

Lt.-Col. James G. Zumwalt is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of three books on the Vietnam war, North Korea and Iran as well as hundreds of op-eds.

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