The Islamization of Europe

Excerpt from a longer article here

Mary Boyce, Emeritus Professor of Iranian Studies at the University of London, has confirmed the external validity of Bat Ye’or’s analytical approach in her description of how jihad and dhimmitude (without the latter being specifically identified as such) transformed Zoroastrian society in an analogous manner. Boyce has written definitive assessments of those Zoroastrian communities which survived the devastating jihad conquests of the mid 7th through early 8th centuries 20. The Zoroastrians experienced an ongoing, inexorable decline over the next millennium due to constant sociopolitical and economic pressures exerted by their Muslim rulers, and neighbor. Boyce describes these complementary phenomena based on an historical analysis, and her personal observations living in the (central Iranian) Yezd area during the 1960s:

“Either a few Moslems settled on the outskirts of a Zoroastrian village, or one or two Zoroastrian families adopted Islam. Once the dominant faith had made a breach, it pressed in remorselessly, like a rising tide. More Moslems came, and soon a small mosque was built, which attracted yet others. As long as Zoroastrians remained in the majority, their lives were tolerable; but once the Moslems became the more numerous, a petty but pervasive harassment was apt to develop. This was partly verbal, with taunts about fire-worship, and comments on how few Zoroastrians there were in the world, and how many Moslems, who must therefore posses the truth; and also on how many material advantages lay with Islam. The harassment was often also physical; boys fought, and gangs of youth waylaid and bullied individual Zoroastrians.

They also diverted themselves by climbing into the local tower of silence and desecrating it, and they might even break into the fire-temple and seek to pollute or extinguish the sacred flame. Those with criminal leanings found too that a religious minority provided tempting opportunities for theft, pilfering from the open fields, and sometimes rape and arson. Those Zoroastrians who resisted all these pressures often preferred therefore in the end to sell out and move to some other place where their co-religionists were still relatively numerous, and they could live at peace; and so another village was lot to the old faith.

Several of the leading families in Sharifabad and forebears who were driven away by intense Moslem pressure from Abshahi, once a very devout and orthodox village on the southern outskirts of Yazd; and a shorter migration had been made by the family of the centenarian ‘Hajji’ Khodabakhsh, who had himself been born in the 1850s and was still alert and vigorous in 1964. His family, who were very pious, had left their home in Ahmedabad (just to the north of Turkabad) when he was a small boy, and had come to settle in Sharifabad to escape persecution and the threats to their orthodox way of life. Other Zoroastrians held out there for a few decades longer, but by the end of the century Ahmedabad was wholly Moslem, as Abshahi become in 1961. [Boyce’s footnote:

The last Zoroastrian family left Abshahi in 1961, after the rape and subsequent suicide of one of their daughters.] It was noticeable that the villages which were left to the Zoroastrians were in the main those with poor supplies of water, where farming conditions were hard.”