Battle of Karbala (detail), Abbas Al-Musavi, late 19th century
Throughout most of their history, Muslims have lived within Daru’l Islam (House of Islam). Between the 11th and 15th centuries, with the reconquest of southern Italy and Spain, Muslims found themselves in a totally unfamiliar environment. As Bernard Lewis put it,
In all these countries the reconquest was followed—sometimes after an interval of tolerance—by a determined effort on the part of Christian rulers to convert or else evict their Muslim subjects. In these efforts they were, in the long run, successful. In general, Christian unwillingness to tolerate Muslims was matched by Muslim unwillingness to remain under Christian rule. Most Muslim jurists held that it was impossible for a Muslim to live under a non-Muslim government. If an infidel in the lands of the infidels was converted to Islam, it was his duty to leave his home and country and travel to a land where Muslims ruled, and Muslim law prevailed. The scriptural authority for this doctrine was the migration (Hijra) of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions from Mecca to Medina—the event which marked the birth of the Muslim state and the beginning of the Muslim era. Where the Prophet had led, others were expected to follow.
This historic tradition underwent a drastic change after World War II. The European nations had suffered the loss of millions of their citizens during the war and their economies were devastated. The post-war years also saw increasingly low birthrates in these war-torn lands. It is not difficult to understand then why European governments encouraged the influx of many foreign workers to help reinvigorate their economies.
Both Canadian and American laws governing immigration changed as well, allowing numbers of Muslims from the Middle East, North Africa, Somalia, and Pakistan, to settle in Canada and the U.S. Before very long, a few short decades, it became evident that the integration of Muslims into European and North American societies would prove very problematical. Immigrants of other religious beliefs made much smoother transitions to Western values and traditions without losing their religious identities.
Quite often, criticisms were levelled against Western societies for their unwillingness to facilitate the assimilation of Muslim immigrants. But when one studied the problem, it became evident that it was the Muslim side that was unwilling, or unable to integrate within the societies that had welcomed them. Their unwillingness or inability was because these immigrants brought with them a religious baggage that was antithetical to Western culture.
By now, more than half a century has passed, since the arrival of large numbers of Muslims to the West. Several high-profile events have taken place during this period that require an examination of the specific problems that accompanied Muslim immigrants. It was not only Western writers that have pointed to this situation, but Arab reformist intellectuals have contributed articles that dealt with this troubling and alarming phenomenon.
In an Interview by the French BFM TV, Fawzi Benhabib, a resident of Saint-Denis, said that since his arrival from Algeria 25 years ago, he found in France the ideology from which he was fleeing in his former country, adding that, “For the Islamists, it is a question of Islamizing modernity, not of modernizing Islam.”
Another interviewee was Algerian novelist Boualem Sansal, who expressed his concern about the level of Islamization in the French journal, L’Express:
Where Islam takes hold, it is forever. Islamism is based on Islam, which no one has the right to criticize. But in your countries, it also plays a role in democracy and in the rule of law. Islamism exploits these values. Since democracy recognizes all opinions, from the far right to the far left, it is obliged to recognize Islam as well. All those who do not commit attacks or violent acts are, in principle, protected in a state of law. Islamism thus immediately finds itself in a conquered terrain. It is necessary to fight Islamism from the beginning. Because it is like humidity in a house. Initially the threat is invisible, it penetrates the walls which, little by little, crumble. When you realize the extent of the damage, it’s too late! You must destroy everything to clean up. It becomes a mission impossible. France is at stage where it has just discovered that Islam is eroding her home.
A relevant example of the Islamic assault on the West is an interview of Mireille Valette, a Swiss Writer and Human Rights Activist that was conducted by the Algerian essayist and author, Hamid Zanaz, on 25 January 2012.
Hamid Zanaz: Does Islam constitute a serious menace to the West?
Mireille Valette: Islam (as taught in the mosques) is a menace to the very foundations of our democracies. Islam has already been responsible for some strong sexist regressions such as standing against any mixing between the sexes, the forcing of the niqab on women, requiring special hours for both sexes in public swimming pools, and forbidding the shaking of hands in greetings between men and women.
It’s the first time in history that an immigrant group requires its people to detest the host society that had welcomed them, and to remain apart, as much as possible. This hatred of the West manifests itself in criminal acts, such as parents murdering a daughter, or a brother killing his sister because “she has been swayed by the Western way of life.” Furthermore, radical Muslims never cease fighting anything that bears witness to our Judeo-Christian traditions. For example, they ask for the suppression of Christmas trees and the singing of carols in our schools; and they strive to change the names of our festivities such as renaming “Christmas stores” as “winter stores!” etc.
Hamid Zanaz: You do emphasize the diminution of freedom of expression.
Mireille Valette: This is a very serious matter. Representatives of Islam are now demanding that no criticisms be made of their religion, and no fun be made of its precepts. While almost daily, some Muslims suicide bombers die and kill others in the name of their faith, convinced that it would earn them a place in Paradise. Furthermore, throughout the entire Muslim world, human rights and specifically women and minority rights, are gravely lacking. Almost no voice is lifted by Muslim organizations to address these realities, save a small group of Muslim intellectuals who share our values.
In order to place limits on our freedoms, Muslims engage in manifestations and protests against certain caricatures or a film, thus attempting to force us into self-censorship. Death threats abound against those judged to have insulted Islam. We are required to pass laws that would prohibit criticisms of religions. Such measures are favored by so-called anti-racist organizations and by some judges who confuse any criticism of a religion or the behavior of its followers, as a sign of a racist or religious hatred.
Hamid Zanaz: In your book, you provide examples for this pressure toward self-censorship.
Mireille Valette: Yes, there are multiple examples. In Great Britain, a student organization was asked to act “prudently” and withdraw a portrait where both Jesus and Muhammad appeared side by side. In Canada, a TV satirist, known for his criticisms of Islam, keeps getting threats such as “I hate you as a Catholic, or as a Jew. I will attempt to hurt you, your wife, and your children.” The Dutch Johan Vlemmix stops singing a parody, “Do, do boerka,” after having received several death threats. An American journalist working on a documentary that would unveil the radicalism of those Muslims, who were promoting the building of a mosque, was forced to stop his work to protect his wife. Then in September 2012, the TV Channel 4 decided not to telecast a documentary dealing with the beginnings of Islam, after it received 1400 complaints; also, the author of the documentary received death threats. This happened because the scientific research that went into the production of the work did not support the traditional Islamic account.
Hamid Zanaz: Is Switzerland on its way to Islamization?
Mireille Valette: There is no exception, even though the process is slower than elsewhere; for one thing the Muslim population is composed of immigrant workers mostly from Kosovo who tend to be less religious than Arabs or Turks. On the other hand, we have no Islamic ghettos as social mixing is generally accepted.
However, Muslim demands in Switzerland tend to be similar to the demands of Muslims living in other parts of Europe. For example, when it comes to the mixing of the sexes, separate cemeteries, and the building of mosques, Muslims require their own traditions to be observed. In a previous book, I demonstrated that all the Muslim religious leaders who express themselves in the public square tend to be fundamentalists, and generally close to the Muslim Brotherhood, as is the case with the brothers Ramadan.
Hamid Zanaz: By writing “Don’t Panik” (Don’t Be Afraid!) the rapper Medine, and Pascal Boniface, the sociologist, sought to portray the fears and the prejudices that are encountered by young Muslims, and generally, by immigrants living in the suburbs of the major cities. On the other hand, you wrote in “Boulevard de l’islamisme” that “a growing number of immigrants demand the continued practice of a petrified Islam in Europe, the very ‘Islam’ that has been responsible for the sclerosis that afflicts their homelands.”
Mireille Valette: I was referring to the unfortunate counties of the “Arab Spring” where most of the population fervently desire the application of the Sharia. This Law has never succeeded in feeding the population. Now, due to their deplorable plight, the pressure is mounting for migration to our lands. By now, we have learned that their coming to the lands of plenty does not change their beliefs; Islam and its medieval precepts remain at the very heart of their convictions.
Hamid Zanaz: Is the West capable to deal with this systematic aggression that you have described, and how?
Mireille Valette: First, the elites, the politicians, and the media, must open their eyes. When the West no longer considers the veil as simply a cultural matter, when all reactionary and intolerant demands have been designated as they really are, a great step would have been taken. Furthermore, it must be an imperative that we should stop following the injunctions of the United Nations and the European Union that require us to combat our “Islamophobia.” Also, there are a number of legislative actions that could be taken to limit immigration, especially the facilitating of the migration of family members such as brothers and sisters, the surveillance of mosques, helping in the education of the worshippers to become more open, fighting anti-Semitism, critiquing tendencies toward bigotry, the absolute respect for, and the controlling nature of such rites as Ramadan, Pilgrimage to Mecca, Feast of al-Adha, halal, etc.
Hamid Zanaz: How do you explain the Western passivity vis-à-vis this conquering Islam?
Mireille Valette: I am unable to explain it completely. There is this ingrained tendency among us to atone for our past which does not allow us to criticize immigrants by pointing to our own culpability. Most likely, we tend to project on others our own cultural openness, such as, ‘how can we ever imagine that those whom we have welcomed, can hate us?’ It is very comfortable to reverse the terms of the problem. Rather than fighting obscurantist and radical Islamists, we point to the animosity of the “extreme Right” toward them!
Hamid Zanaz: May we point to a Western tendency for voluntary blindness and bondage?
Mireille Valette: There is no doubt about the blindness that afflicts the elites, and particularly, the Left. I find it hard to understand that. There is this desire to maintain an angelic view of immigrants by obstinately refusing to listen, to observe, and to debate the issue. It is this rejection of a reality that prevents you from reconsidering the rosy view of the immigrants that you have been propagating for the last several years.
As to the self-inflicted bondage or servitude among Muslim immigrants, it is evident where Muslim women cover their bodies and their hair, in order not to excite men’s libido. Not only that, but at the mosques the young women are taught that Muslim women are greatly superior to Western women who are prone to prostitution, their leaders confer upon them this grand and magnificent task of showing how different, modest, and pure they are.
To behold Muslim women wearing the symbol of their oppression in a society that has given them freedoms that no Islamic land has ever offered them, is beyond belief.
 (Bernard Lewis, The Muslim Discovery of Europe, W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 1982, pp. 66-67)
 This statement refers to temporary stores or open lots where “Christmas trees” are sold; shops maintained for some time during the Advent season. Islamists want to eliminate the word Christmas and replace it with “winter.”
 Tariq Ramadan and his brother Hani Ramadan are sons of Said Ramadan, who played a big role in the spread of Islam in Western Europe after WWII. At present, Tariq teaches Islamics at Oxford University, and Hani is a teacher at a secondary school in Geneva, Switzerland. See the book review of “A Mosque in Munich” https://www.academia.edu/9373327/Will_Islamic_Infiltration_of_Europe_Succeed_in_Transforming_it_into_the_House_of_Islam
 Feast of al-Adha, the commemoration of the supposed trip of Abraham with his son Ishmael to Mecca, where Abraham was told to sacrifice him; a distortion of the Biblical account of Abraham’s trip with his son Isaac to Mount Moriah where Isaac was to be sacrificed; instead a lamb was provided miraculously for the sacrifice. Halal is an Arabic term for a properly-butchered lamb, goat, or cow, in accordance with Sharia.