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FIRST-PERSON: Will Spain fight or flee?

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–In a spectacular upset March 14, Spaniards voted out their center-right government, blaming Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar for the March 11 terror attack on four tightly packed commuter trains that killed 200 people and injured 1,500 in Madrid.

A videotaped message found in a trash bin in suburban Madrid claimed the bombings were executed by Al Qaeda in retaliation for Spain’s support of the war in Iraq. Even greater acts of terrorism were threatened if Spain doesn’t withdraw its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Spanish government’s defeat at the polls certainly reflected the fact that 90 percent of Spain’s people oppose the Western intervention in Iraq and saw the train attack as a consequence of Spain’s support for deposing Saddam Hussein.

It also reveals how vulnerable Europeans feel when it comes to Islamic extremism.

The Socialist Party of their new prime minister-elect, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has pledged to withdraw Spain’s troops from Iraq if the United Nations does not take control of the country by June 30. However, the victorious Zapatero also declared, “My most immediate priority is to beat all forms of terrorism.”

Spain’s new ruling party needs to take a moment and decide which it’s going to be. Are they going to fight terrorism or are they going to avoid conflict?

It’s a pressing issue for Europe, where irrational immigration laws and fuzzy-thinking judges have allowed a massive influx of Muslim peoples into Western Europe: 1 million in Italy, 3 million in Germany, 5 million in France.

While most of those are simply poor souls seeking a better life and relief from oppression, many are extremists bent on converting Europe’s democracies into Islamic republics.

Consider Sheikh Omar bin Bakri, a Syrian who belongs to the International Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders, founded by Osama bin Laden. Expelled as a dangerous agitator from Saudi Arabia in 1985, Mr. Bakri lives in London on a $500 a week welfare dole. His promise for England: “We will remodel this country in an Islamic image.” He calls on young Muslims to fight the “opponents of Islam” — meaning everyone who does not submit to Islamic authority.

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the liberal American and European media moved quickly to head off anti-Muslim violence by declaring “Islam is a religion of peace.” There’s no doubt that most Muslims are peaceable folk, no doubt that extremists like the Sept. 11 terrorists do not represent the religion any more than the Irish Republican Army should be taken as a shining example of Christianity.

What those reporters missed, however, is what Islam means by “peace.” The word “Islam” does indeed mean peace. However, it also means “submission.” Specifically, Islam means the peace that comes in submission to Allah and his earthly authorities.

Even the moderate varieties of Islam divide the world into two realms: “Dar al-Islam” — the house of peace — and “Dar al-Harb” — the house of war. The house of peace is the one over which Muslim authorities rule; the house of war is the realm that is not yet subject to Islam.

When extremist Muslims promise the peace of Islam, what they mean is that no one will have any peace until they submit to Islamic authority. The train bombings in Madrid are but a glimpse into the future of a Europe that sides with America against state-sponsored terrorism. It was no coincidence that the train attack occurred exactly two and a half years after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

Spain’s voters told pollsters that the high turnout for the election should be understood as a display of unity for democracy. But they have accomplished just the opposite by electing a government for its promise to withdraw troops from Iraq.

Liberal Europe needs to understand that there is no middle ground with Al Qaeda. Either you dwell in the house of Islamic “peace” or you suffer in the house of Islamic terror. No diversity. No tolerance. No freedom of thought or action. Submit to the Taliban or suffer the consequences.

It’s a thought Americans also would do well to consider as they approach their own elections this fall. What price are we willing to pay for peace with Osama and his minions? Are we willing to bear the cost of freedom?
Basil Shelton is a writer with Kainos Press, on the Web at kainospress.com.

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  • Basil Shelton