BY ALLEN WEST
It’s amazing to me that we actually have a group – of degenerates — who are sending out a clarion call to attack and destroy the statues and monuments of Christopher Columbus all over the United States. The fact that there must now be 24/7 police security in New York City to protect the Columbus Park statue is absurd. And having New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio have a commission to study the retention of the Columbus statue and memorial is utterly disturbing. We must all begin to see this dangerous and delusional endeavor by the progressive socialist left to eradicate history as putting us on a road to perdition. As I’ve stated previously, history is not there for us to love or hate; it is there for us to learn from. Sadly, the left in America is taking the path of the Taliban and ISIS to destroy historical artifacts as a means to advance their ideological agenda.
I remember speaking on several occasions in South Florida at the Italian-American heritage Christopher Columbus celebration in Boca Raton. My first duty station in the Army was in Italy, and the pride that Italians worldwide have in Columbus is deep. But we here in America, indeed Western civilization as a whole, should be proud of what Columbus accomplished, and we must never forget why he embarked upon his quest.
To understand the importance of Columbus, we need to go back to where it all began…Mecca and Medina 632 AD. It was with the death of Mohammed that the first Islamic caliphate would take shape. The Banu Umayya were part of the Quraysh tribe which had initially rejected Mohammed, and they paid the price with his subsequent conquest of Mecca, the Battle of the Trenches, and his triumph.
The Umayyads were converted to Islam — I guess there is something about the sword which is convincing — and then they began the first expansion of Islamic conquest, beginning with what we know as the Arabian peninsula, the Levant, securing Damascus, and then extending over what we know today as Southwest Asia. However, the Umayyad Caliphate also expanded eastward overtaking Northern Africa and then turning its eyes across the Mediterranean to the Iberian peninsula, what we know today as España, Spain. At its height of dominance, 661-750, the Umayyad Caliphate was the world’s seventh largest empire, ever. It would be followed by the Abbasid Caliphate, which overthrew the Umayyads.
But it was under the Umayyad dynasty that Spain fell, in approximately 711, and was renamed and designated as Al Andalusia. From the base of operations in Spain, the expansionist conquest of the Islamic armies of the Umayyads continued as they launched out of Spain into France. It was there that their expansionist designs were countered in 728 AD. At the Battle of Tours, a Frankish army led by Charles “the Hammer” Martel defeated the Islamic army of the Umayyads forcing them to retreat, and potentially saving Europe. Perhaps we should also have a statue of Charles Martel here in America, because who knows, would there have later been a France that would have come to the aid of America in our quest for liberty and independence?
However, the Muslim rule of Spain continued well into the 13th century — the term Moors was used to describe the North African Muslims. There are those who may say the Moors brought new ideals as far as architecture but non-Muslims lived in a subservient and subjugated status as “dhimmis” and were forced to pay a Jizya tax to “live in peace”…not exactly my idea of “coexistence” and liberty. Eventually the two major remaining Catholic kingdoms in Spain, Castille and Aragon, would unite with the 1469 marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand, who combined drove out the last remaining Muslim stronghold in Spain, Grenada. That was achieved in 1492. Then entered one Christopher Columbus, a sailor from Genoa, Italy, who realized the importance of the liberation of the Iberian Peninsula.
Earlier in 1453 something devastating had happened — the Byzantine Empire centered in Constantinople fell to the Ottomans, an Islamic army, who would grow their empire…and we know that history. If you recall that prior to Mohammed’s death circa 632 AD, he drafted and had a letter delivered to Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, demanding that the Byzantines convert, subjugate, or face death. This mentality prevails today as a tradition of Mohammed as we saw implemented by ISIS. Therefore, the long desire of the conquest of Islam had been to defeat the Byzantine empire, and this victory is what brought Columbus to Spain, and seek out the favor of Queen Isabella.
You see, the trade routes to the east had thereby been cut off with the Ottoman conquest over the Byzantines, and the changing of Constantinople to Istanbul. What Columbus proposed, which was against the orthodoxy of the world at the time, was to find a way to the eastern trade lands by sailing west. It was deemed folly, but Columbus was able to convince the Queen and secured three ships: the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. And folks, the rest is indeed history.
Now, the leftists can whine and complain about what happened to the indigenous people, but in the greater scheme of history, Western civilization was expanded to the New World. Incredible ideas and concepts were brought across the ocean, and eventually the greatest concept, individual liberty, was established here in these United States of America.
Now, if the left wants to cherry-pick history, then perhaps they should not be aligning themselves with Islamo-fascists, whose history of slavery, subjugation, and slaughter continues today. The Spanish wanted to export Christianity, Catholicism, into the New World because of the tyranny they had witnessed under Islamic rule from 711-1492, and yes, the Spanish Inquisition was a horrible piece of history, but it’s there to learn from, not eradicate or erase.
I’m very thankful that Christopher Columbus decided to visit Isabella and Ferdinand seeking a means to reach the eastern trade routes via the sea to the west. His was a feat of utmost courage and conviction. If we are to erase his memory, then we shall never understand why he embarked upon his voyage. But, that’s not what’s important to the progressive socialist left who understands that if they control the past, they can manipulate the present, and certainly determine the future.
I for one shall not be a mushroom for the liberal progressive left…kept in the dark, and fed their crap. Indigenous People Day? Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot?
Yo, my man, Christopher Columbus, God bless ya, and thanks. Happy birthday, brother, and to my Italian friends, remember this man, always.
Editor’s Note: This column previously appeared at AllenBWest.com. Used with the permission of the author.
Lt. Col. Allen B. West is the former U.S. Congressman representing Florida’s 22nd District, a Fox News Contributor, a contributing columnist for Townhall.com, the former Executive Director of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas Texas, and the author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom. Col. West is the third of four generations of military servicemen in his family. During his 22 year career in the United States Army, he was awarded the Bronze Star, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, 3 Army Commendation Medals (1 with Valor device), and a Valorous Unit Award. In 1993 he was named the US Army ROTC Instructor of the Year. Col. West believes it will be principled constitutional conservative policies, not politics, which will secure a sound economic future for Americans.