Sacré Coeur (Sacred Heart) Basilica draws your eyes from every point in Paris. The white Romano-Byzantine domes of this marvelous church dominate the skyline of the grittier neighborhoods of northern Paris. Observed from atop the Arc de Triomphe, Sacré Coeur’s domes seem to levitate above Paris.
I decided to save Sacré Coeur for my last full day in Paris. Born into a family of Soviet intelligentsia, I was brought up to revere French literature and art. Having read nearly all famous French works from Dumas to Simenon, I lived in Paris long before ever setting foot in it.
Sacré Coeur emerged in all its divine splendor when we walked up the narrow and trinket-filled Rue de Steinkerque. The glory of the pre-Vatican II Church was there, the domes as white as the ribbons on the hats and sashes of the royalist Vendean rebels, like Henri de la Rochejaquelein and Jacques Cathelineau—merciless warriors and devout Catholics; hard men who executed prisoners yet wept while saying a rosary.
On the day of our visit the descendants of the heroes of the Vendée were nowhere to be seen. Instead, the base of the several hundred feet of steps leading to the basilica was occupied by short, leather-clad, and menacing West African drug dealers. Whispering to one another in bastardized guttural French, these immigrants swarmed every college-age male tourist careless enough to wander within five feet of their glowering band. The middle of the stairs was taken over by yet more West Africans, along with some Arabs hawking bracelets and Eiffel Tower replicas. These entrepreneurs were slightly less menacing and dressed in the cheap warm-up suits previously favored by two-bit Russian thugs.
The Arabs have established a stranglehold on the city’s northern periphery. Largely absent from the museums of central Paris—the paintings and sculptures of the Orsay and Louvre are strictly haram to the Mohammedans—they are ever present at the Eiffel Tower under the watchful gaze of the beefy lads from the CRS riot-control units. Less concerned with “racial profiling” than their American counterparts, the French police have no qualms about rounding up or forcibly dispersing groups of young Arabs.
Unlike in America, every Arab woman I have seen in Paris wears a hijab, while the young men are all decked out in the latest American inner-city fashion: white sneakers, baggy jeans, and short, sporty jackets. Naturally, they behave like their American role models.
Aside from their antisocial antics, the beurs are an acute demographic and security threat. Several years ago, Viscount Philippe de Villiers, a traditionalist-Catholic member of the European parliament, published Les mosquées de Roissy: nouvelles révélations sur l’islamisation en France (The Mosques of Roissy: New Revelations About the Islamization of France). In this book De Villiers exposed the Islamist infiltration of Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport, located in the Roissy suburb of Paris. Based on leaked documents and testimony from French whistleblowers, De Villiers demonstrated that the overwhelmingly Arab workforce of the airport is a hotbed of jihad. There were clandestine prayer rooms and mosques on airport property, and dozens of baggage handlers and janitors were members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Most ominously, the Islamists had access to sensitive security zones. As De Villiers put it, “Islamists and criminals from the housing projects are working in concert to put the airport under Shariah law, threatening managers and the rare employees of French origin.” Two months after the book’s publication, the authorities shut down numerous prayer rooms and suspended 72 Arab employees of Charles de Gaulle. Some of them had trained in Al Qaeda camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan, one was friends with the failed “Shoe Bomber” Richard Reid, and another was close to a senior Algerian Islamist leader.
When I arrived at Charles de Gaulle in February, I thought I had landed in Algiers or Rabat. The cleaning crew waiting outside the gate was exclusively Arab: women in hijab and men with beards who shot us looks of disdain. Like before, the baggage handlers and the janitors—those with the most freedom of access in the airport—were all Arabs, with not a French face in sight. Clearly, the suspensions were just another lame attempt by Sarkozy to show how tough he was on the beurs before the presidential elections. Of course, the recently elected Socialist president will take even fewer measures against the Islamic threat to France.
The growing Islamization of France is also evident in the tens of thousands of French Catholics who have converted to Islam. According to La Croix, there are about 4,000 French conversions to Islam yearly, while only 150-200 Muslims are received into the Church. Famous French converts to Islam include professional soccer player Franck Ribéry, who adopted the name Bilal Yusuf Mohammed and raises his hands to Allah after every goal he scores; female rapper “Diam’s,” who started wearing an hijab and a veil; and international soccer coaches Bruno “Abdul Karim” Metsu and Philippe “Omar” Troussier. Less well known was Lionel Dumont, a former Catholic schoolboy who converted to Islam in 1991 and fought the Serbs in Bosnia, where he and another French convert liked to play soccer with the heads of Serb soldiers. After his return to France he joined the Islamist “Gang de Roubaix,” which specialized in armed robberies and attempted to car-bomb the G-7 summit in Lille. Dumont escaped to Bosnia and was finally apprehended in 2003, receiving 30 years in prison, where he has a splendid opportunity to recruit other young Frenchmen.
The danger from French converts to Islam is illustrated by The Blue Imam, intelligence expert Bernard Besson’s documentary-style thriller. The novel describes an Al Qaeda cell’s plot to suicide-bomb Notre Dame Cathedral on Christmas while simultaneously blowing up a nuclear power plant and the Tour de Mars residential skyscraper in central Paris. The cell is led by Henri Boulard, a French convert known as the Blue Imam. Boulard, a successful engineer, converts to Islam after being first a leftist unionist and an environmentalist. He becomes a Wahhabist after flirting with Sufism, the path of many Western converts who are first drawn to the “spiritualism” and “tolerance” of the Sufis. Needless to say, Besson’s book, with its eerily accurate depictions of Europe’s Islamization, has not been translated into English. However, it has been translated by a mainstream publishing house in Russia, where political correctness is virtually nonexistent.
Back in Sacré Coeur, a plaque commemorates the miracle of 1944, when 13 bombs fell nearby, in an almost perfect line. No one was hurt, and the basilica sustained no damage. Now, France needs an even greater miracle to escape the nightmare scenario of The Blue Imam. Admittedly, the future looks bleak. However, the fact that Marine Le Pen, the only presidential candidate willing to take on the Islamization of France, received the largest share of the youth vote gives some cause for optimism. As I was leaving Paris, I prayed for another Charles Martel who would prevent the Arab destruction of the greatest country in Europe.
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