Australian Parks

This is a basic site about the beautiful and fascinating parks of Australia.

On this site you can read all about my travels to different parks, see photos, and find links to park websites.

This sample site is an example of using the core of Joomla! to create a basic website, whether a “brochure site,”  a personal blog, or as a way to present information on a topic you are interested in.

Read more about the site in the About Parks module.

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As a Muslim, I am Shocked by Liberals and Leftists by Majid Rafizadeh

  • It is the fear of this violence, torture and death, wielded by extremist Muslims, that keeps every person desperate to obey.

  • If liberals are in favor of freedom of speech, why do they turn a blind eye to Islamist governments such as Iran, which execute people for expressing their opinion? And why do they not let people in the West express their opinion without attacking them or even giving them the respect of hearing what they have to say? They seem, in fact, like the autocratic people from whom I was fleeing, who also did not want their simplistic, binary way of thinking to be threatened by logic or fact.
  • As, in Islam, one is not allowed to attack except to defend the prophet or Islam, extremist Muslims need to keep finding or creating supposed attacks to make themselves appear as victims.
  • Finally, a short message to liberals might go: Dear Liberal, If you truly stand for values such as peace, social justice, liberty and freedoms, your apologetic view of radical Islam is in total contradiction with all of those values. Your view even hinders the efforts of many Muslims to make a peaceful reformation in Islam precisely to advance the those values.

If you had grown up, as I did, between two authoritarian governments — the Islamic Republic of Iran and Syria — under the leadership of people such as Hafez al Assad, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, you would have seen your youth influenced by two major denominations of Islam in the Muslim world: the Shia and the Sunni. I studied both, and at one point was even a devout Muslim. My parents, who still live in Iran and Syria, come from two different ethnic Muslim groups: Arab and Persian.

You also would have seen how the religion of Islam intertwines with politics, and how radical Islam rules a society through its religious laws, sharia. You would have witnessed how radical Islam can dominate and scrutinize people’s day-to-day choices: in eating, clothing, socializing, entertainment, everything.

You would have seen the tentacles of its control close over every aspect of your life. You would have seen the way, wielded by fundamentalists, radical Islam can be a powerful tool for unbridled violence. It is the fear of this violence, torture, and death, wielded by extremist Muslims, that keeps every person desperate to obey.

My father was brutally tortured — justified by some of the fundamentalist Islamic laws of the ruling governments in both Iran and Syria. The punishment extended to my mother, my family, and other relatives, who were tormented on a regular basis.

What was even more painful was, upon coming to the West, seeing the attitude of many people who label themselves liberals and leftists, towards radical Islam.

These liberals seem to view themselves as open-minded, but they have a preconceived way of thinking about Islam: to them, it seems, there is no radical Islam, Islam is only a force for the good, Islam can do no evil.

How could they not see the way extremist Muslims exploit some aspects of the religion of Islam to legitimize its acts? How could they not even acknowledge that radical Islam, a force that threatens to destroy the planet, let alone my family, exists?

Instead, many liberals would criticize me or attempt to turn a blind eye, as if I were accidentally making some embarrassing mistake. They seemed instead to love being surrounded by Western Muslim “scholars”, those who are apologetic towards radical Islam and — notably — have never actually lived in a Muslim country under the strangling grip of the official fundamentalist laws, sharia.

Why do many liberals, who criticize Christianity and religious conviction in general, appear to open their arms to radical Islam so affectionately? Why are so many liberals, who call themselves the robust defenders of peace, social justice, and freedoms, apologetic for all types of fundamentalist Islamist laws?

If, as liberals argue, they support women’s and LGBT rights, why, by their silence, do they condone gays executed and women subjugated on a daily basis throughout most of the enormous Muslim world? If liberals are in favor of freedom of speech, why do they turn a blind eye to Islamist governments such as Iran that, based on the government’s radical, theocratic laws, execute people for expressing their opinion? And why do they not let people in the West express their opinion without attacking them before even giving them the respect of hearing what they have to say?

Liberals argue that they are in favor of critical thinking, but they do not like anyone challenging their “comfort zone”. They seem, in fact, to be just like the autocratic people from whom I was fleeing, who also did not want their simplistic, binary way of thinking to be threatened by logic or fact.

Even if a person is from a Muslim country, and has direct experience with extremist Islam, many liberals will strenuously avoid this information. They seem not to want their apologetic view of radical Islam to be questioned or contradicted. They apparently have no desire to open their closed minds on the subject. The thought of a question evidently wounds them, as if an answer would mean that they were turning their backs on the ongoing crimes against humanity. How come, then, that so many liberals appear resistant to seeing that the crimes of radical Islam are those crimes against humanity? And at present, the largest?

Second, these liberals — indulging in faulty, sophisitic, logic — seem to think that if they criticize Christianity and Islamists criticize Christianity, then Islamists will like them for hating the same thing. In the same vein, many liberals hate the U.S. Republican government and many radical Muslim groups hate the U.S. Republican government, so perhaps many liberals think that Muslims will like them for hating the same government? Sadly, as these liberals will soon find out, the enemy of my enemy is not always my friend.

Third, and more fundamentally, sympathizing with all kinds of Islamist practices and radical Islam seems to fit a wider narrative of bashing the West and white people for “imperialism, colonialism, and any sense of superiority”. Unfortunately that view fails to take into account that there have been no greater imperialists the Muslim armies; they conquered Persia, the great Christian Byzantine Empire in Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East, virtually all of Eastern Europe, most of Spain, and Greece.

As, in Islam, one is not allowed to attack except to defend the prophet Muhammed or Islam, extremist Muslims need to keep either finding or creating supposed attacks to make themselves appear as victims.

Anjem Choudary, a radical British Muslim cleric, was sentenced late last year by a British judge to five and a half years in prison for encouraging people to join the Islamic State. (Image source: Dan H/Flickr)

Many liberals, not knowing the background, buy into this claim. By siding with the “other”, they probably feel a moral superiority: they are helping a cause, championing the “other” and rescuing a “victim”! But this moral superiority is both superficial and misplaced. It is more like that of the proverbial boy who murders his parents and then asks the judge for mercy because he is an orphan.

Maybe that is why, when many liberals hear criticism of radical Islam and the nuances of some aspects it, they refuse to hear it. For them, as radical Islam is not being depicted as a victim anymore, this view does not offer them the comfort of being morally superior defending victims. Ironically, that is the same motive for many radical Islamists: feeling morally superior defending Islam. The liberals then become confused, and do not know how to answer because I am a Muslim, have grown up there — not a Western Muslim who has never lived in a Muslim society. I am not even a Western conservative, with whom the liberals are also at odds. Many liberals, like all people happily married to a fantasy, and despite towering evidence, will stick to the fantasy and to their binary way of thinking. It is like trying to tell your friend that the stripper he wants to marry might not want to stay home, make babies and cook. He is so emotionally addicted to his dream that he will do anything to protect it.

Finally, it goes without saying that, as with all of us, liberals too attempt to preserve their financial and political interests. These material and social investments are also threatened by hearing from Muslims who have endured oppression and torture under radical Islam. Those liberals seem to suspect, correctly, that this new information might create some kind of conflict of interest, so possibly decide it might be safer not to hear it in the first place. Instead, again to protect their investment, many liberals and leftists ignore or criticize Muslims such as these.

Finally, a short message to liberals might go: Dear Liberal, If you truly stand for values such as peace, social justice, liberty and freedoms, your apologetic view of radical Islam is in total contradiction with all of those values. Your view even hinders the efforts of many Muslims to make a peaceful reformation in Islam precisely to advance the those values. In addition, sadly, your view towards radical Islam actually contributes to the violence and the repression of millions of people — women, children, slaves, and all those people whom you claim you want to protect. These are the true victims. They are subjugated, dehumanized, terrorized, tortured, raped and beaten on a daily basis by the practitioners of radical Islam and the religious laws of sharia, which are at the core of that fundamentalism. It is time to open your eyes and your minds and see what is staring at you.

Are You Expecting a New Iran? by Lawrence A. Franklin

    • If anyone is expecting any liberalization from Rouhani, please note that he is an even more trusted regime insider than Khatami.


    • The main reason there will not be a less aggressive foreign policy is that Iran’s Presidency and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which negotiated the nuclear deal, have no power over the Islamic Republic’s military, police, and intelligence agencies. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Office of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei control all decisions in these arenas.

    • Unfortunately, there has been no diminution of influence or resolve among Iran’s hard-liners, who control all of these institutions.

    • The military and theocratic cliques who dominate the regime will take full advantage of any opportunities created by the nuclear deal quickly and brutally to crush any attempt by Iranian reformers to expand political freedom or social reforms.

    Are you expecting a new Iran? The most optimistic scenario by supporters of the nuclear deal with Iran is that the pact will bring about better relations between Tehran and Washington.

    This presumptive script also suggests that Iranian pragmatists, emboldened by their success at the impending lifting of economic sanctions against Iran, will move to transform the regime’s overall foreign policy. It also assumes that young supporters of President Hassan Rouhani will somehow “force” the regime to institute reforms that will lead to improved human rights as well as liberalization of the country’s socially restrictive domestic policies.

    In their view, apparently, as Tehran becomes more integrated, developing normal diplomatic ties with Western nation-states, its aggressively expansionist regional policy will become more tame and “manageable.”

    Unfortunately, considering the dark nature of the regime and its behavior during its 36 years of Islamist rule in Iran, this hope lacks any credibility. Given Iran’s recent history, its unremittingly hostile statements and its continuing secretive, self-serving and antagonistic behavior, there seems ample precedent for the high-flown hopes of Western diplomats to be dashed.

    After the election of Mohammad Khatami as President of Iran in 1997, many of America’s most respected Iran analysts strenuously argued that the liberal evolution of Iran’s revolution was already underway[1] — wishful thinking that was also echoed by the United Kingdom’s Iran analysts and diplomats.[2]

    Regrettably, the opposite proved true. Scores of political dissidents were assassinated or disappeared, murdered by hard-line Iranian intelligence operatives of the Ministry of Information and Security (MOIS).[3] When liberal supporters of Khatami seized the initiative in order to accelerate the reform process, the leadership of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) published a letter threatening the dissolution of the Khatami Presidency (1997-2005). Khatami, a trusted ally and childhood friend of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, instantly stopped all attempts at reform, and watched as the MOIS and IRGC placed several of his advisors under arrest.

    After the Khatami Era, the Iranian people elected, in August, 2005, the most reactionary president in the history of the regime: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    Currently, many American diplomats, Congressional lawmakers, and acquisitive international businessmen are optimistically unpacking predictions about the current Presidency of Hassan Rouhani that are similar to their predictions about Khatami. If anyone, however, is expecting any liberalization from Rouhani, please note right now that he is an even more trusted regime insider than Khatami. Rouhani has been intimately involved in all of the Islamic Republic’s military, strategic and political decisions for the last 35 years.

    The main reason there will not be a less aggressive foreign policy is that Iran’s Presidency and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which negotiated the nuclear deal, have no power over the Islamic Republic’s military, police, and intelligence agencies.

    The IRGC, MOIS, and the Office of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei control all decisions in these arenas.

    Rouhani also cannot liberalize domestic regulations unless reforms are blessed by the theocratic institutions — which have been quick to suppress any move to soften Iran’s repressive domestic social and political laws.

    These theocratic institutions — such as the Guardian Council,[4] the Assembly of Experts,[5]and the Expediency Council[6] — are the ideological watchdogs of the regime, and have more power than the Executive and Legislative branches of the Iranian government.

    Moreover, the complex and specialized system of clerically-run courts are insulated from popular pressure.

    Spot the difference…
    At left, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. At right, Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani.

    The pipedreams of many so-called Iran experts have had their optimistic scenarios go up in smoke before. Robin Wright, writing in June 2009, the heyday of the now-crushed “Green Movement” protests, gushed, “What they are doing, however, is forcing Iran’s Islamic regime to face the same ideals that have swept across five continents over the last quarter of a century — the supremacy of popular will, justice, accountability and the transparency of power.”

    Unfortunately, there has been no diminution of influence or resolve among Iran’s hard-liners, who control all of these institutions.

    On the contrary, the military and theocratic cliques who dominate the regime will take full advantage of any opportunities created by the nuclear deal quickly and brutally to crush any attempt by Iranian reformers to expand political freedom or social reforms.

    Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He also served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, where he was a Military Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Israel.


    [1] Karim Sadjadpour, “The Future of Iran’s Islamic Republic: Evolution or Revolution?,” Bologna Center Journal of International Affairs.

    [2] Iranian Students News Agency, 15 July 2013. Jack Straw when he was the UK’s Foreign Minister under the Labor Government of Tony Blair believed that Khatami’s Presidency would usher in a new era of cooperation between Iran and the West. Now as an executive member of the Iran-Britain Parliamentary Friendship Society, straw ‘waxes poetic’ about the Rouhani Presidency in a similar manner.

    [3] Into the Shadows: Political Vigilantes in Khatami’s Iran, by Michael Rubin. The Dissident Murders, p. 90. MOIS ‘rogue operatives’ and Fida’iyan Islam murdered several liberal intellectuals in late 1998.

    [4] Council of Guardians is staffed by arch-reactionary Shia clerics and laymen who adjudicate on the Islamic and revolutionary legitimacy of all legislation passed by the Iranian Majles. The Council also passes judgment of the acceptability of every candidate for public office.

    [5] The Assembly of Experts is a body of 86 high Shia clerics who serve 8 year terms and who elect and/or depose the Supreme Leader.

    [6] The Council for the Discernment of Expediency is a body of policy experts that seeks a compromise solution when key institutions of the regime cannot resolve their differences.

Are the Hard Leftists Aligned with Radical Islamists? by Najat AlSaied

  • The leftist media and other American liberals insist on portraying President Trump’s position as a fight against Islam and Muslims. In fact, most moderate Muslims are not offended by the phrase “radical Islam,” because they are very distressed by the fact that their religion has been commandeered by the radicals and transformed from a religion of peace into a more radical version.

  • I just wonder where those feminists and John Kerry were when millions of Egyptian women needed their support when they marched against the Muslim Brotherhood, asking for America’s help. Where were they when thousands of Syrian and Iraqi women were enslaved and raped by radical ISIS militants?
  • While not a single voice among these liberal feminists spoke out against these inhumane acts perpetrated against Muslim women by radical Islamists, a Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer, Linda Sarsour, co-organized the anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington. What’s worse, these liberal feminists want Sarsour to represent all Muslim women, while in fact she speaks for nobody except herself and those who fund her.

Since the presidential campaign began, and then right up until the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 24, 2017, President Donald Trump has kept saying the same thing: that the United States is at war with radical Islam, mainly represented by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Yet, the leftist media and other American liberals insist on portraying his position as a fight against Islam and Muslims. In fact, most moderate Muslims are not offended by the phrase “radical Islam,” because they are very distressed by the fact that their religion has been commandeered by the radicals and transformed from a religion of peace into a more radical version. Unfortunately, instead of the leftists giving a voice to and supporting these moderate Muslims, a kind of leftist-Islamist alliance has emerged.

Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, a Saudi columnist for pan-Arab newspaper Al Sharq al Awsat, said in 2004:

“It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims… The majority of those who were suicide bombers on buses, other vehicles, in schools and other places, all over the world, were Muslim”.

This statement from a well-known columnist and a former General Manager of the Al Arabiya news channel demonstrates how moderate Muslims are critical of their own culture and how they are saddened by how their religion has been hijacked by radicals. However, these appeals fall on deaf ears with leftists; they call moderate Muslims passive, which instead supports and furthers the radical Islamists’ cause.

In 2009, while millions of Iranians were in the streets opposing a radical, theocratic regime as part of their Green Revolution, then U.S. President Barack Obama ignored this historic moment and continued reaching out to Iran’s rulers, who are designated by the U.S. government as sponsors of terrorism. His appeasing attitude was a clear sign that the US was so eager to reach a nuclear deal by befriending the Iranian regime, that it was willing to tolerate the mullahs’ brutal repression and its hegemonic policies across the region.

In 2011, we witnessed the Obama Administration’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, in the form of billions of dollars that ensured its victory, ignoring the consequences their rule has had on moderate Muslims, Coptic Christians and secular groups. Many moderate Muslim women in Egypt entreated the Obama Administration to support them against the Muslim Brotherhood’s tyranny and misogyny, but to no avail.

Gameela Ismail, an Egyptian politician activist asked John Kerry in 2013 to cease supporting the Muslim Brotherhood:

“We ask you to do nothing for us. Just stop doing anything at all in our country and stop supporting tyranny and fascism, and leave us to complete our revolution and achieve our dreams. Our dreams will not stop because of your humble perceptions of us and our future.”

Kerry responded: “The United States did not take sides but had to deal with the elected legitimate government in place.” Then Kerry announced the United States would give the Muslim Brotherhood government another $250 million.

Ironically, we saw John Kerry protest against President Trump as part of the Women’s March on Washington after Trump’s inauguration. I just wonder where those feminists and John Kerry were when millions of Egyptian women needed their support while marching against the Muslim Brotherhood and asking for America’s help. Where were they when thousands of Syrian and Iraqi women were enslaved and raped by radical ISIS militants? It seems that these liberal women do not recognize the dignity of human life beyond the wall of their uterus. Abortion and contraceptive pills are their ultimate concern.

While not a single voice among these liberal feminists spoke out against these inhumane acts perpetrated against Muslim women by radical Islamists, a Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer, Linda Sarsour, co-organized the anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington. What’s worse, these liberal feminists want Sarsour to represent all Muslim women, while in fact she speaks for nobody except herself and those who fund her.

Sarsour’s interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC was full of false information, yet she was still cheered by several prominent liberal leftists. She said that Muslim children are being executed in the United States [a lie], that Muslims are prohibited from practising their faith [a lie] and that there is opposition to the building of mosques [a lie: There are more than 2,106 mosques in the US]. She also admitted that she wants Islamic sharia law to be applied in the United Sates and is offended that 22 states are opposed to this. All of these lies and allegations were not challenged by MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow. In fact, she agreed with Sarsour by saying, “What is happening domestically around issues about bigotry is spooky”. This shows that she is not a tolerant, open-minded anchor, but proves that she is a professional liar, which is a million miles away from a balanced media that presents the truth.

In a recent interview on MSNBC, Linda Sarsour, a Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer, said that in the United States, Muslim children are being executed [a lie], and Muslims are prohibited from practising their faith [a lie]. Pictured above: Sarsour is interviewed in a Seriously.TV video.

This is not the only example of the liberals’ hypocrisy. Their use of the “Muslim card” went to the extent that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said she is prepared to “register as Muslim” in solidarity with Muslims against President Trump’s plans to take executive action affecting Muslim immigrants into the US. We wonder where warm-hearted Albright’s conscience was when she was asked in 1996 about the deaths of 576,000 Iraqi children under the brutal sanctions on Iraq during the Clinton Administration of the 1990s. She gave a cold-blooded response: that the price paid was worth it. Now she is heartbroken over restrictions on immigrants from seven majority-Muslim states.

Actually, there was nothing new about the three-month temporary block on those with passports from seven majority-Muslim countries. Donald Trump stated on his Facebook page:

“My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror. To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting.”

The fact that the liberals are trying to undermine every single action Trump takes with continuous lies, is making them very hard to believe.

It is pathetic that the liberals are not only against President Trump in his fight against radical Islamists, but are also supporting those extremists at the expense of oppressed moderate Muslims. The alignment of the liberal leftists with radical Islamists, and playing the “Muslim card” hypocritically and exploitatively, will not make Muslims support liberals. On the contrary, this will encourage more moderate Muslims to align themselves with conservatives. So, let the liberals have the radicals as their lackeys.

Najat AlSaied is a Saudi American academic and the author of: Screens of Influence: Arab Satellite Television & Social Development. She is an Assistant Professor at Zayed University in the College of Communication and Media Sciences in Dubai-UAE. She can be reached at: najwasaied@hotmail.com

Are Jihadists Taking over Europe? by Giulio Meotti

  • In the four European countries most targeted by terror attacks — Britain, France, Belgium and Germany — the number of official extremists has reached 66,000. That sounds like a real army — on active duty.

  • The terrorists’ ransom is already visible: they have destabilized the democratic process in many European countries and are drafting the terms of freedom of expression. A jihadist takeover of Europe is no longer unthinkable. Islamic extremists are already reaping what they sowed: they successfully defeated Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen, the only two European candidates who really wanted to fight radical Islam.
  • Europe could be taken over the same way Islamic State took over much of Iraq: with just one-third of Iraqi territory.

“Germany is quietly building a European army under its command,” according to some in the media. Apparently German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after her clash with U.S. President Donald Trump, would like to invest, along with France, in a European army.

At present, however, there is just one real army in Europe — the Jihadist Army, as in the terrorists who struck London on June 3 and murdered seven people, just two weeks after carnage in Manchester.

In the four European countries most targeted by terror attacks — Britain, France, Belgium and Germany — the number of official extremists has reached 66,000. That sounds like a real army, on active duty.

Intelligence officers have identified 23,000 Islamic extremists living in Britain as potential terrorists. The number reveals the real extent of the jihadist threat in the UK. The scale of the Islamist challenge facing the security services was disclosed after intense criticism that many opportunities to stop the Manchester suicide bomber had been overlooked.

French authorities are monitoring 15,000 Islamists, according a database created in March 2015 and managed by France’s Counter-Terrorism Coordination Unit. Different surveys estimate up to 20,000 French radical Islamists.

The number on Belgium’s anti-terror watch-list surged from 1,875 in 2010 to 18,884 in 2017. In Molenbeek, the well-known jihadist nest in the EU capital, Brussels, intelligence services are monitoring 6,168 Islamists. Think about that: 18,884 Belgian jihadists compared to 30,174 Belgian soldiers on active duty.

The number of potential jihadists in Germany has exploded from 3,800 in 2011 to 10,000, according to Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Germany’s domestic intelligence service).

These Islamists have built a powerful infrastructure of terror inside Europe’s cities. These terror bases are self-segregated, multicultural enclaves in which extremist Muslims promote Islamic fundamentalism and implement Islamic law, Sharia — with the Tower Hamlets Taliban of East London; in the French banlieues [suburbs], and in The Hague’s “sharia triangle“, known as “the mini-caliphate,” in the Netherlands. These extremist Muslims can comfortably get their weapons from the Balkans, where, thanks to Europe’s open borders, they can travel with ease. They can also get their money from abroad, thanks to countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. These Islamists can self-finance through the mosques they run, as well as get “human resources,” donated by unvetted mass migration coming through the Mediterranean.

23,000 potential jihadists in the UK, 18,000 in Belgium, 10,000 in Germany, 15,000 in France. What do these numbers tell us? There might be a war in Europe “within a few years“, as the chief of the Swedish army, General Anders Brännström, told the men under his command that they must expect.

Take what happened in Europe with the terror attacks from 1970 to 2015:

“4,724 people died from bombings. 2,588 from assassinations. 2,365 from assaults. 548 from hostage situations. 159 from hijackings. 114 from building attacks. Thousands were wounded or missing”.

Terrorism across Europe has killed 10,537 people in 18,803 reported attacks. And it is getting worse:

“Attacks in 2014 and 2015 have seen the highest number of fatalities, which includes terrorists targeting civilians, government officials, businesses and the media, across Europe since 2004”.

A jihadist takeover of Europe is no longer unthinkable. Islamic extremists are already reaping what they sowed: they successfully defeated Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen, the only two European candidates who really wanted to fight radical Islam. What if tomorrow these armed Islamists assault the Parliament in Rome, election polls in Paris, army bases in Germany or schools in London, in a Beslan-type attack?

The terrorists’ ransom is already visible: they have destabilized the democratic process in many European countries and are drafting the terms of freedom of expression. They have been able to pressure Europe into moving the battle-front from the Middle East to Europe itself. Of all the French soldiers engaged in military operations, half are deployed inside France; in Italy, more than half of Italian soldiers are used in “Safe Streets,” the operation keeping Italy’s cities safe.

Of all the French soldiers engaged in military operations, half are deployed inside France. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

After 9/11, the United States decided to fight the Islamists in Afghanistan and Iraq, not to have to fight them in Manhattan. Europe chose the opposite direction: it as if Europe had accepted to turn its own cities into a new Mosul.

If Europe’s leaders do not act now to destroy the enemy within, the outcome may well come to be an “Afghan scenario,” in which Islamists control part of the territory from where they launch attacks against cities. Europe could be taken over the same way Islamic State took over much of Iraq: with just one-third of Iraqi territory.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

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