As Europe turns from its masochistic energy dependence on Russia, and the potential blackmail that came with it, will it now fall into the open arms of other dictatorships that stand ready to pump gas into its markets? (Image source: iStock)
As Europe turns from its masochistic energy dependence on Russia, and the potential blackmail that came with it, will it now fall into the open arms of other dictatorships that stand ready to pump gas into its markets, such as such as Algeria? Even more dangerous might be a new partnership formed between Germany and Qatar. They have just agreed on a huge long-term energy partnership to reduce dependence on Russian gas, according to German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, who last month visited the Persian Gulf and met with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. Italy was the first to negotiate with Qatar, a country that, according to Freedom House, numbers 25 out of 100 on its the freedom score, only slightly above Russia, at 19.
Qatar is now saying that it stands "in solidarity" with Europe.
Qatar is an Islamist state where "Islam is the official religion... and Sharia is the main source of legislation", claims its constitution. Qatar is governed as an absolute monarchy. Political parties are banned and elections are sham, and it is illegal to be homosexual. According to Open Doors, there are only 18 states in the world where a Christian is worse off than in Qatar. As for the billion euros that Qatar has spent on building mosques and Koranic schools in Europe, perhaps the champions of "progressivism" feel expansively "diverse" with that. However, even the newspaper of the French left, Libération, has referred to "Qatar, financier of European Islam".
"Qatar and Turkey are the two main supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood ideology in the world," Elie Chouraqui told i24NEWS.
"They presented themselves well and proclaimed themselves privileged interlocutors of the political world which welcomed them with open arms to the point of entrusting them with the training of imams of France".
At the same time as the economy minister of Germany went to the sheikh to implore him for more gas, in France the ambassador of Qatar was receiving an award from the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi.
Qatar has been extremely active in France. The emirate graciously financed the Islamic Center of Villeneuve-d'Ascq and France's first state-funded Muslim faith school, the Lycée-Collège Averroès. Unfortunately, the Lycée Averroès soon became the center of a scandal. One of its teachers resigned after writing that the school was "a hotbed of anti-Semitism and 'promoting Islamism' to pupils". Qatar, meanwhile, has financed many mosques in France, including the Great Mosque of Poitiers, which sits in the vicinity of the site of the Battle of Tours (also known as the Battle of Poitiers), where Charles Martel, ruler of the Franks, stopped the advancing Muslim army of Abdul al-Rahman in the year 732.
The Assalam mosque in Nantes and the Grand Mosque of Paris are other examples of Qatari generosity. Qatar, in fact, has been funding many mega-mosques across Europe. One might even be forgiven for thinking that Qatar's ultimate goal was to Islamize Europe. In the words of a television documentary, it is Qatar's "war of influence".
"Woman's month for the city of Nantes, a veiled woman on the streets of the city. Unacceptable complacency towards Islamism! This is the real threat that hangs over France!" is how Eric Ciotti, a senior leader of the Les Republicans party, described the municipal billboards in a large city that he sees as lost to Islamization.
Nantes is the city of the Dukes of Brittany, steeped in history on the Loire estuary. Its story is emblematic of how Europe is sinking. Ivan Rioufol wrote in Le Figaro:
"Having been a journalist in Nantes for a long time, I know this city where I was born very well. When I left Nantes in 1984, it was tranquility itself, even in the traditionally more working-class neighborhoods... Immigrants were a minority... Today Nantes has become Lebanonized. And its history is that of France...
"The Malakoff mosque... seats 1,200 and has erected a 17-meter minaret. In addition to this 'cathedral mosque' there are four other mosques in the city, not to mention those in neighboring communities. This influence of Islam accompanied the new settlement of the working-class neighborhoods, under the encouragement of the socialist municipalities".
Today, in Nantes alone, there are ten mosques.
The Assalam Mosque was constructed with Qatari money -- but not only. The Assalam mosque," Le Figaro recounts, "was built on land sold by the municipality, benefiting from a 'cultural' contribution of 200,000 euros and a loan guarantee of 346,800 euros". The city financed its own self-conquest. And who was the mayor of the city at the time of the financing and the agreement with Qatar? Jean-Marc Ayrault, mayor of Nantes from 1989 to 2012 and socialist prime minister of France from 2021 to 2014 ...
Pierre Vermeren , in his book Déni français (French Denial), noted:
"In Nantes, Jean-Marc Ayrault practiced a patronage that led to the construction of three, four, community mosques distributed among the Muslim Brotherhood, Morocco and Turkey, as well as a Salafi mosque on the outskirts of his city. He is accused, like the former mayor of Paris, of violating the religious funding law. In Bordeaux, Alain Juppé (former prime minister) canceled the Great Mosque project when it was discovered that the funds came from Qatar and Azerbaijan..."
The magazine L'Incorrect explains how Qatari money is changing the French landscape.
"When you think of Alsace, you imagine a thousand small flowered villages lost in the vineyards on the side of the Vosges mountains, whose names give you a headache. We are (for the moment) in Christian land, as evidenced by the chapels that line roads and paths. But mosques sprout like mushrooms after the rain, even in villages with a few thousand inhabitants. This phenomenon reveals a slow but sure Islamization of this region".
We are in the region where the other capital of the EU, Strasbourg, is located.
"The European capital has among its buildings the most important mosque in Europe, the center of An-Nour. The largest building of its kind in France, this center is not just a place of worship, but a cultural and political one, funded by Qatar".
This is happening not only in France. The Great Mosque of Copenhagen received a donation of 30 million euros from Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, former Emir of Qatar, who is also a leading supporter of the Muslims in Belgium. Europe's Parliament was also asked to investigate Qatari mosques in Kosovo.
Russian gas is not free; Qatari gas as well.
The German website Tichys Einblick comments that "instead of Putin's war, we will finance Islamic terrorism". The unconditional will to shine morally has harmful consequences -- all because nuclear power is "haram" (forbidden).
Former German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel provided a glimpse of the relativism that dominates our ruling classes:
"Qatar does not threaten anyone, does not finance terrorist organizations, but hosts Hamas and the Taliban at the request of the USA (!) in order to be able to negotiate with them in Doha. Qatar is simply a reliable partner of the West.".
Shortly before his death, Christophe de Margerie, the late head of French oil giant Total, said: "Anything can be bought, including men, it's just a question of price".
What is Europe's price?
"This tiny Persian Gulf kingdom is emerging as one of Europe's best hopes for weaning itself off Russian natural gas, in another sign of how the war in Ukraine is changing the world's energy relationships", The Wall Street Journal reported. "Germany, France, Belgium and Italy are in talks with Qatar to buy liquefied natural gas on a long-term basis, said Qatari and European officials". The EU last month dropped antitrust investigations into Qatar Petroleum, the state energy company, clearing the way for the country to pursue more long-term contracts with Europe.
Le Figaro tells one of these extraordinary evenings in which Qatar supported the French cultural élite:
"Dozens of guests flocked to Place de l'Étoile... home to the Qatari embassy. In the rooms with gilded panels with mosaics and frescoes of languid nymphs, His Excellency Mohamed al-Kuwari awarded cartoonist Jean Plantu and Amirouche Laïdi, president of the Averroes Club, with the 'Doha Arab Cultural Capital' award. The ambassador awarded André Miquel (famous Arabist from the Collège de France), Dominique Baudis (writer), Bernard Noël (art critic) and the poet Adonis. From former Culture Minister Jack Lang to Nouvel Observateur founder Jean Daniel, a total of 66 French cultural figures have been decorated by Qatar".
Making fun of the deal with Qatar, the German newspaper Die Welt ironically proclaimed:
"The relief in Germany is enormous. They are finally no longer dependent on gas supplies from an autocratically-ruled country that makes life difficult for homosexuals and does not always take human rights very seriously."
Before the suspicion arises however, that German environmentalist-progressive-woke circles are throwing their noble principles overboard, it must be said that Qatar is willing to make major concessions to the German "Greens". The emirate has promised to install wind turbines in the desert and to host the next COP26 conference about how to create a "sustainable world".
Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.