Twentieth-century America had its national fits of “red” Bolshevik scares. The worst promoted in the late 1940s early 1950s by US Senator Joseph McCarthy’s inspired witch hunt under the congressional auspices freely effected mostly by innuendo a pogrom against communists in the Hollywood movie and television industry. The Soviet Union in the 1960s fell sway to a red scare in yellow peril when Russian Marxists differed with Mao and Red China’s Confucian model. The Soviet scare was a collectively Russian throwback to the 1300′s when Mongol Hordes conquered and subjugated European Russia for centuries. The new “yellow peril” had become Mao Zedong’s Red China with newly acquired atomic bombs in 1964. Border clashes on the Chinese-East Siberian Soviet frontiers nearly lead to all-out nuclear war in 1969.
From Red to Islamic scares, we in the West know the jihadist jitters well but nothing like in Nostradamus’ day. I believe the great 16th-century prophet from Provence suffered at times from seeing his world through a conditioned socio-political and religious filter of fear of an Islamic peril. Like all collectivized scares, red, yellow or Islamic, they are founded on some fact. Communism made it clear it wanted to spread all over the world and take down the capitalist imperial countries and their middle-class bourgeoisie. Russia, ever successful in overthrowing invasions from the West always easily fell to invasions from the East. The rise of a nuclear, belligerent and massively populated red giant in the East frightened the Politburo in Moscow. Scenarios for preemptive, unilateral nuclear war with the People’s Republic of China in the late-1960s were seriously considered. The odds were 2 to 1 that it could happen. Jeane Dixon foresaw it. Richard Nixon (a secret client) prevented it in the early 1970s with his brilliant gamble of trilateral diplomacy.
Nostradamus in the mid-16th century lived in a Christian Europe seriously divided by the Protestant Reformation at a time when the Islamic Ottoman Empire was at its peak of power. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent was Islam’s Alexander the Great, gobbling up Mediterranean outposts of Christendom and Christian kingdoms in Eastern Europe. More than once he threatened to sack Vienna, capital of the Holy Roman Empire, with his vast armies. The coast of Nostradamus’ native Provence was frequently raided by the 16th-century terrorists of his day. Rather than hijack planes and set off truck bombs, these Barbary Corsairs hijacked Christian ships and sacked coastal towns in South France.
It was enough to make Nostradamus fall into fits of prophetic hyperbole about Muslims conquering Europe no less ginned up than McCarthy’s prophecies of imminent communist takeover of Hollywood and the world, or the Soviet Politburo’s forecast of Red turning pale yellow perilous if Mao’s China kept going against the Marxist-Leninist path.
Nothing masks a prophetic bias better in a prophet then an accurate vision of threat in the future. For example, the vision of Century 1 Quatrain 56 had elements that were definitely fulfilled:
Vous verrez tost & tard faire grand change,
Horreurs extremes & vindications:
Que si la lune conduicte par son ange,
Le Ciel s’approche des inclinations.
You will see, sooner and later, great changes made,
Extreme horrors and vengeances:
For as the moon (of Islam) is thus led by its angel,
The heavens draw near to the reckoning.
Gabreel (Gabriel) is the avenging angel of the Christian and the Islamic Apocalypse. Nostradamus often uses the scales of Justice as a symbol for democracy. In this verse, the French inclinations can mean reckoning and balance as in Justice’s scales.
Another reoccurring theme is terror coming out of the heavens. In my book on Mabus, I wrote a whole chapter explaining how Nostradamus’ famous “1999″ prophecy (10 Q72) could describe the terror of the Middle Eastern Antichrist coming from the skies (the heavens). I have wrestled as far back as the mid-1980s in articles with a theme. Back in 1995, I proposed in Nostradamus: The Complete Prophecies (published in 1997) that the Great king of terror from the skies (10 Q72) would descend on the Western democratic powers, as early as July of 1999 or no later than 2001.
The quatrain indexing may target the year 1956, which witnessed the first successful victory of Pan-Arab Nationalism against the West during the Suez Canal incident, when Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal and forced French and British forces to withdraw.
The West waging a struggle with Muslim jihadist is an accurate prediction but there are other quatrains where Nostradamus may have misread his visions because of his own primal fear of militant Islam colored in the real threats to Christendom of his own times.
For example, we have 1 Q71:
La tour marine trois fois prise & reprise,
Par Hespagnols, Barbares, Ligurins:
Marseille & Aix, Arles par ceux de Pise,
Vast, feu, fer, pillé Auignon des Thurins.
The marine tower three times seized and recaptured,
By Spaniards, Barbary raiders, and Ligurians:
Marseilles and Aix, Arles by those of Pisa,
Devastation, fire, steel, Avignon pillaged by the Turinese.
I wrote the following interpretation for Nostradamus the Complete Prophecies:
“The prophet saw Spain and Genoa, allied with the Turks and Barbary Corsairs, embarked on an expedition against Provence. I don’t doubt he peered through the mists and shadows of his vapor-beclouded bowl of water and saw ships invading the Riviera, or Italian troops plundering Avignon. But at what time? I think Nostradamus would sometimes misread the images when coming out of a trance. The process of moving from a subjective experience to objective writing made it easy for his mind to cloak what he experienced in more familiar garb. He probably saw an invasion of southern France but projected Muslims, Genovese, and Spaniards onto a vision that more adequately describes Provence during its occupation by the Axis and during the Allied landings of World War II. The Italians pillaging Avignon were not Turinese mercenaries but Mussolini’s Italians, who marched through Avignon, Aix, and Arles in November of 1942 to assist German troops in occupying Vichy-controlled southern France. For the next year the Italians occupied the French Alpine regions as far west as the Rhône River and as far south as Avignon. Later, in August 1944, the Allied invasion fleet did set sail from bases in Italy. One could say by synecdoche that they are those of Pisa. Marseilles in particular, Aix, and Arles endured vicious street fighting or devastation, fire and steel, during the Allied invasion.”
This accurate prophecy may suffer from Nostradamus Islamophobia.
Keep the above preamble in mind while I share an interchange I had with “Laura” on Islamic perils and Caucasian population declines back on 30 April 2009.
Just watched a YOU TUBE video about the decline of western culture because of very low birth rates.
You mean, the birthrates of Caucasians in Europe.
According to this, Western Europe, Britain, Canada and the US are already past the point of no return…
Caucasians, yes, but America expects to replenish its population with new immigration. It will certainly change the nature of Western Culture. Indeed the world is changing from national-oriented and regional cultures towards a global culture. The spread of immigrants is the key.
And that, with the much higher rate of Muslim births, Muslims will dominate the populations of those places in around 2050. What does Hogue see?
Nostradamus kept talking about an invasion of Europe by a Muslim horde. I think he misread his prophecies and mistook the appearance of Muslims and Mosques in future cities of France as some post-occupation vision.
What you say is not going to happen to America, but has some prophetic merit about Europe. The question to ask is, what will be the nature of the new Muslim communities in Europe? Will they assimilate more completely than they do now? Will the times be different and less bitten by the bug of religious extremism in the future?
It may very well be that in 36 years, when oil is no longer the chief fuel source of the global civilization, the Middle East economies will completely collapse from the strain of population, loss of oil revenues, and the drying out of the water tables from global warming. A huge host of refugees could bear down on Europe. Not an army but an army of refugees looking for work, water and food. This is a future possibility Nostradamus may have misread because he could not see beyond his contemporary fears of the rising tide of Muslim hegemony in the Mediterranean during his lifetime.
There are other potential future destinies which once engaged will depopulate the world to such an extent that this discussion about demographic hegemony of one culture/race over another has no future.
I see coming a future reformation of the Muslim religious creed after the Ummah (community of believers) passes through what the Christian community passed through back in the 16th and 17th centuries — an era of religious civil wars. The Muslim world could avoid this tendency, if lessons are learned from the mistakes of Christians.
I foresee a far more Sufi-like and tolerant Islam 50 years hence, once the fire of intolerant fundamentalism flames out as it always does in the life cycles of religions.
(27 August 2010)