LISBON, Portugal -- When the Republican presidential candidates tire of bashing each other, perhaps they will start addressing the expansion of radical Islam. Only Rick Santorum raised the issue in last Saturday's debate in New Hampshire.
Next door in Spain, two new satellite TV stations recently signed on. They won't be airing "Judge Judy," but instead are broadcasting Islamic theology and political propaganda. It was not coincidental that the launch of Islamic TV in Spain coincided with Christmas. One of the early broadcasts featured a story, from Islam's perspective, on the Virgin Mary and the birth of Jesus. Not surprisingly, it differs significantly from the biblical account with which even secular Americans are familiar.
One channel is called Hispan TV and its program content is produced in Iran. That should be warning enough. One of their shows is called "Debate Abierto," or "Open Debate." The Iranian government sponsors the program, which, according to Soeren Kern, a senior fellow at the Strategic Studies Group in Madrid, "will focus on spreading Shiite Islam" in Spain and Latin America.
The second channel is Cordoba Television, which Kern writes, "is the brainchild of the radical Saudi cleric Abdul Aziz al-Fawzan, the spiritual mentor for one of the Islamists who carried out the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001."
Kern notes that al-Fawzan has a reputation for hating Christianity and marginalizing women. He also preaches against the United States and believes "slavery is a part of Islam; slavery is part of Jihad and Jihad will remain as long as there is Islam."
For many Muslims, Cordoba, a city in southern Spain, remains an important symbol of Islamic conquest. It was once the capital of the Islamic Emirate of al-Andalus, which ruled most of the Iberian Peninsula more than a millennium ago. Cordoba TV is owned by the Foundation for the Message of Islam and backed by the Saudi royal family. Its aim, according to Kern, is to propagate "...the extremist Wahhabi sect of Islam." The same right-wing sect that prints textbooks calling Jews descendants of apes and pigs and Christians cross worshippers and polytheists.
One might reasonably conclude that the goal of these TV stations is to establish a presence in post-Christian Spain with political goals that even Spanish secularists won't like. That Iran is also promoting Spanish broadcasts in Latin American countries is another indication of how radical Islam is advancing worldwide, fueled substantially by what the West pays for their oil.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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