Mitt Romney touched on several issues involving jihad and the necessity for energy independence from the Middle East in his book, No Apology. Some of the governor’s comments—which suggest that he has a far clearer understanding of global threats, foreign affairs, and national security than his opponent—are worth revisiting today. Romney wrote:
Radical Sunni & Shia “endeavor to cause the collapse of all competing economies and systems of government.”
“In all forms of energy, Russia already is the largest exporter in the world, actually outpacing Saudi Arabia.”
“Our dependence on foreign oil rose from 42% of our total consumption in 1990 to 58% today.”
“Massive Saudi investment in Islamic study centers in Western universities is designed” to lull the West into inaction.
“The [Ottoman] empire’s wealth was amassed from pillage and taxes.”
A presidential candidate who actually defends America and who is critical of aggressive rivals? Very refreshing.
A major factor behind Christopher Columbus’s voyage across the sea in 1492 was his desire to sidestep the heavily taxed Ottoman land routes, as Money Jihad documented on Columbus Day last year. This year, in honor of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella who funded Columbus’s voyage, and in appreciation to our readers in the Spanish-speaking world, we offer the information in Spanish:
Constantinopla Cristiana cayó al Imperio Otomano islámico en 1453. Los otomanos habían ganado el control de la Ruta de la Seda al Lejano Oriente. ¿Qué significó esto para la Europa cristiana y el descubrimiento de América? La Prof. Cynthia Smith, de la Universidad de Hawai, explica:
Hay una consecuencia final del control y la expansión otomana, quizás la más importante desde la perspectiva de la historia del mundo. El Imperio Otomano, a finales del siglo 15, controlaba el Cercano Oriente y el Mediterráneo Oriental. Esto significaba el control de las rutas de tierra que unían la Ruta de la Seda entre Asia y el Mediterráneo. El control de estas conexiones de comercio Este/Oeste permitió que los líderes otomanos cobraran impuestos a todas las mercancías que circulaban al Este y el Oeste a través de sus territorios. Por lo tanto, el control estratégico producía asombrosa riqueza para el Imperio Otomano–riqueza que disfrutaron por siglos.
Este control fue, como era de esperarse, una fuente de resentimiento cada vez mayor por parte de los europeos, especialmente después del siglo 14, cuando el comercio se convirtió cada vez más importante para los europeos. Los comerciantes europeos y líderes resentían la pérdida de ingresos debido a los altos impuestos, y los consumidores europeos de productos asiáticos resentían los altos precios. También hubo tensión religiosa sentían por los cristianos que tenían que seguir las leyes musulmanas para mantener sus conexiones comerciales con el Oriente. Este resentimiento que algunos europeos llamaron el “dominio absoluto” del Imperio Otomano en el comercio internacional fue la razón principal por la cual los líderes políticos y los intereses comerciales invirtieron dinero en esfuerzos para encontrar las rutas marítimas a los mercados de Oriente–lanzando cambios épicos provocados por la exploración europea y la expansión a finales de los años 1400 a 1500.
En otras palabras, los viajes que resultaron en la “Era de los Descubrimiento” o “Edad de la Expansión” europea fueron motivados principalmente por el deseo de soslayar al Imperio Otomano. La expansión del dominio europeo y el poder global que fueron el resultado de estas primeras expediciones cambiaron la historia del mundo. El dominio otomán regional y los intentos europeos para evitar el control económico fueron los catalizadores del dominio marítimo europeo, la colonización, el “descubrimiento” del continente americano y el aumento de las interacciones globales.
Cada vez que alguien pasa a través de la jurisdicción de un ashir’ (recaudador de impuestos), paga impuestos. Si usted es un comerciante extranjero musulmán en un país musulmán, puede pagar aduanas mínimas. Cuando usted es un comerciante no musulmán en un país musulmán, tiene que pagar el máximo. Los intereses vitales de Europa eran incompatibles con la extorsión sharia durante la Era del Descubrimiento. ¿Cómo es que hemos olvidado lo que Colón reconoció 519 años atrás?
Remember the caliphate that Islamist thinkers (and even Western elites) would like to restore to the world? Some would even still like to see it be a Turkish-based caliphate like the last one, which worked out so well for the Christians (see here for earlier coverage) in that neck of the woods–at least if you like massacres, rapes, and taxation. From the American Thinker on Aug. 7:
The “Armenian Genocide”
Most historians regard 1912 to 1925 as a time of massive Christian annihilation and relocation by the Muslim Ottoman Empire. Although commonly given the misnomer “Armenian Genocide,” the atrocity was a carefully planned ethnic cleansing to rid Asia Minor of Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks and other minorities in order to establish an exclusively Muslim Turkish state. Some scholars date the first phase of the Christian genocide from the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid and his Hamidian Massacres of 1895-1897 through the Istanbul Pogrom of 1955.
The Hamidian massacres attempted to assert Muslim supremacy and advance the cause of Turkification. French ambassador Pierre Paul Cambon described Turkey at the time as “literally in flames” with “massacres everywhere” and Christians murdered “without distinction.” Marauding Kurdish chieftains in the region were encouraged to join in and channel their aggression into the killing, pillaging and raping of non-Muslim populations. Estimates of the number of Christians who perished during the reign of Sultan Hamid range from 100,000 to 300,000.
From the 1900’s to 1922, the Christian population declined from 25% to less than 5% within Anatolia. Under Islam, Christians had few rights, paid exorbitantly high taxes – the jizya – and enjoyed limited political representation and access to government services. Their testimony was inadmissible, no provision existed for their legal protection, they were prohibited from owning firearms, and their property, wives and children were vulnerable to spontaneous attacks.
Approximately 2.5 million Armenians, Assyrians and Greek Christians were massacred during this period. Kurds were encouraged to settle in Christian territory, demand the payment of tributes and illegally seize land. They were given free rein against local Christians in exchange for their loyal service to the Ottoman government.
Lee Jay Walker offered up an alternative historical explanation of the conflict in the Balkans via the Pakistan Christian Post on Wednesday. The Christians in Bosnia were long-suffering victims of the Muslim Ottoman tax system including the wicked devshirme and the jizya.
The hidden “Islamic jihad” and dimensions of Bosnia have been ignored prior to the conflict, during the civil war in the early 1990s, and afterwards. This misrepresentation of reality meant that thousands of Islamists from all over the world were aided by so-called democratic powers and the role of the mass media and many leading academics served the ambitions of Al-Qa’ida and other outside powers. Therefore, what is the reality of Bosnia and why is it claimed that all communities resided in peace and tranquility?
According to many naïve Western commentators Bosnia was a tranquil reality where Muslims and Christians lived happily together for many centuries. Not only this, the Western rhetoric claimed that in modern times it was the Muslim leadership in Bosnia which was open-minded, democratic, modernist, and which desired to maintain a multi-cultural and multi-religious society.
The truth could not have been further and Western commentators and academics are clearly glossing over reality because the Ottoman Empire was not based on enlightenment. On the contrary, the Islamization of Bosnia was paid by the blood of Christians and the slavery and forced conversions of young Christian boys who were forcibly converted to Islam via the barbaric devshirme system.
Christian Constantinople fell to the Muslim Ottoman Empire in 1453. The Ottomans had also gained control of the vital Silk Road to the Far East. What did this mean for Christian Europe and the soon-to-be discovered Americas? Prof. Cynthia Smith of the University of Hawaii describes it very well:
There is one final consequence of Ottoman expansion and control, perhaps the most important from the perspective of world history. The Ottoman Empire, by the end of the 15th century, controlled the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean region. This meant control of the land routes linking the Silk Road connections between Asia and the Mediterranean. Control of East/West trading connections enabled Ottoman leaders to levy taxes on all goods moving East and West through their territory. Thus, strategic control resulted in staggering wealth for the Ottoman Empire – wealth they enjoyed for centuries.
This control was, not surprisingly, a source of growing resentment on the part of the Europeans, especially after the 14th century, as commerce and trade became increasingly important to Europeans. European merchants and leaders resented the loss of revenue due to heavy taxes, and European consumers of Asian goods resented the high prices. There was also religious strain felt by Christians who had to follow Muslim laws and policies to maintain their trading connections with the East. This resentment of what some Europeans called the “stranglehold” of the Ottoman Empire on international trade was a primary reason why political leaders, commercial interests, invested money in efforts to find sea routes to the markets and goods of the East – launching the epic changes brought about by European exploration and expansion in the late 1400’s and 1500’s.
In other words, the voyages that resulted in the European “Age of Discovery” or “Age of Expansion” were launched primarily by the desire to go around the Ottoman Empire. The expansion of European global control and power that resulted from these early expeditions changed world history. Ottoman regional dominance, and European attempts to avoid that economic control, were the catalysts for European sea dominance, colonization, Western “discovery” of the American continent and the further increase of global interactions.
Whenever you pass through the jurisdiction of an ‘ashir, you pay taxes. If you’re a foreign Muslim trader in a Muslim land you pay low customs duties. When you’re a non-Muslim trader in a Muslim land, you pay the highest customs duty rates. Vital European interests were incompatible with sharia extortion during the Age of Discovery. How is it that we’ve forgotten what Columbus recognized 518 years ago?
On Aug. 3, the fellows over at Radio Jihad had a lively discussion about the refusal of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to acknowledge where the $100 million for his Ground Zero Mosque is coming from:
The audio excerpt above from their show is about nine minutes long, but here’s a little summary: hosts Vito Esposito, Alan Kornman, and “Scotty K” say that the $100 million didn’t just spring up from “Muslims in the neighborhood”–rather, it’s probably coming through channels such as Saudi Arabia, the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Society of North America, the North American Islamic Trust in Indiana, and Malaysia. (I speculated myself in a comment on Creeping Sharia back in December that funds for the mosque were coming from Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.)
Because of the overseas funding, Radio Jihad calls for Rauf to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (more on FARA here) and open his books for review by government auditors. However, the talk show hosts predict that Rauf will fight any disclosure or registration on the grounds of constitutionally protected religious freedom.
The gentlemen speculate that at this point it will probably take political intervention from a higher level–such as Peter King, Newt Gingrich, Sue Myrick, or Rick Lazio–to put a halt to the mosque project until Rauf comes clean.
One of the Radio Jihad co-hosts also argues that Mayor Bloomberg would rather have the $100 million worth of economic activity brought by the construction project than to protect the safety of New Yorkers. He draws an interesting parallel between the current situation and the Late Middle Ages, when Ottoman Turkey funded German princes to stoke the flames of the Protestant Reformation in order to divide Christendom. Today, it’s Saudi money that is being used to divide the West. Take a listen!
All the relevant conversation takes place in the above clip, but if you want to hear their full show click here.