Two Wall Street Journal book reviews, both called “Continental Drift” but spaced over two years apart, echo the pessimism about the future of Europe in the books they discuss: one with absolute pessimism, the other with qualified pessimism. The problem the books discuss is the looming conquest by immigration and non-assimilation by Muslims.
A Daily Telegraph (London) article of August 8th, “Muslim Europe: the demographic time bomb transforming our continent,” substantiates the trends and the perils facing Europe.
Britain and the rest of the European Union are ignoring a demographic time bomb: a recent rush into the EU by migrants, including millions of Muslims, will change the continent beyond recognition over the next two decades, and almost no policy-makers are talking about it.
The numbers are startling. Only 3.2 per cent of Spain’s population was foreign-born in 1998. In 2007 it was 13.4 per cent. Europe’s Muslim population has more than doubled in the past 30 years and will have doubled again by 2015. In Brussels, the top seven baby boys’ names recently were Mohamed, Adam, Rayan, Ayoub, Mehdi, Amine and Hamza.
Yet European leaders and the European Union are ignoring or evading the demographics, writes Adrian Michaels, usually for fear of being accused of racism or religious intolerance.
In another article in the Telegraph, “A fifth of European Union will be Muslim by 2050,” Michaels reports:
Last year, five per cent of the total population of the 27 EU countries was Muslim. But rising levels of immigration from Muslim countries and low birth rates among Europe’s indigenous population mean that, by 2050, the figure will be 20 per cent, according to forecasts….Data gathered from various sources indicate that Britain, Spain and Holland will have an even higher proportion of Muslims in a shorter amount of time….The UK, which currently has 20 million fewer people than Germany, is also projected to be the EU’s most populous country by 2060, with 77 million people.
Gerald Baker’s May 2007 review of Walter Laqueur’s The Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent, makes many of the same points as Paul Marshall’s September 2009 review of Christopher Caldwell’s Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West.
The authors and reviewers concur that Europe is stymied by two disabling phenomena: the deluge of Muslims whose creed forbids all but token assimilation and whose growing numbers will ultimately present non-Muslim Europeans with the paradox of having to choose to assimilate into Islamic society, or else; and the inability or unwillingness of Europe’s policymakers to deal with a problem of their own and their predecessors’ making.
Walter Laqueur, for his part, reviewed Bruce Bawer’s 2006 book on the same subject, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within. Laqueur, a noted critic of Europe’s timidity and evasion when faced with the consequences of its immigration and multicultural policies, noted in his remarks about Scandinavia:
In Denmark, Muslims make up 5% of the population but receive 40% of social-welfare outlays. Their preachers have told them, Mr. Bawer reports, that only a fool would not take maximum advantage of the bounty that Western Europe offers and that it is perfectly legitimate to cheat and lie. The benefits they receive are a kind of jizya, the tribute that infidels in Muslim-occupied countries have to pay to preserve their lives. (The subsidized-radical situation in Britain and Germany is not much different: The four suicide bombers in London last year had raked in close to a million dollars in social benefits before going on their murderous mission.)
With even radical Muslims entrenched in the Scandinavian countries, it’s no wonder that their fellow immigrants are feeling rather confident about the future: In Stockholm, Islamic residents have been known to wear T-shirts that say simply: “2030 — then we take over.” These expectations might be a little overstated, but Muslims in Sweden have indeed already taken over much of the city of Malmo and parts of Stockholm, which are becoming no-go zones for everyone else….The Scandinavian countries are bringing disaster upon themselves.
But what have these books and their reviewers to say about why Europe, heir of the Enlightenment, is becoming an Islamized Europe, whose political and cultural character could only be generously called morbid and medieval? What is missing from the dire predictions and the angst?
It is a recognition that the values born in and nurtured by the Enlightenment — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, best developed, adopted and applied in the United States — had never become as deeply rooted in the European character as they had in the American character. Those values were a consequence of a philosophical revolution in Europe, but Europe never completely shed its dependence on and deference to the state and authority. The monarchs and their bureaucrats of one century were replaced with prime ministers and their bureaucrats of another. With very few exceptions, and in spite of the growing prosperity of Europe made possible by capitalism, Europeans retained class and guild mentalities, a desire to be shielded from the risks and vicissitudes of life, and a natural hostility for the kind of individualism and freedom enjoyed by Americans.
They looked to the state to patronize, promote and sanction their class and guild mentalities, and to complement through legislation and controls their hostility for the individualism that would disturb those mentalities. Piled on top of the Muslim conundrum is the accommodating behemoth of the European Union, a kind of Orwellian prototype Eurasian regime with a pretty blue flag and a smiley face, a supra-organization that seeks to dissolve national sovereignties and rule unconditionally over all its byzantine bureaucracy surveys.
The reviewers Baker, Marshall, and Laqueur, and the authors Laqueur, Caldwell, and Bawer, do not delve into the philosophical bankruptcy that could explain why Europeans cannot defend themselves from being overrun by an inimical population of dedicated Muslims, nor be able to assert why their culture and civilization are superior to Islam‘s. The writers dwell on subsidiary issues, and chronicle futile efforts to combat the phenomenon, such as banning headscarves in French schools and tightening immigration rules, which they concede are too little, too late. Indeed, the authors and the reviewers do not seem to be aware of the philosophical bankruptcy that is the root of the problem.
The books’ authors and the reviewers cite multiculturalism as one cause of Europe’s impotency in the face of conquest by Islam. They do not investigate, except in a cursory way, its philosophically nihilistic nature, a nihilism which can only permit the triumph of a barbarism committed to imposing its suffocating, stultifying, and anti-life values by force or fraud. Values apologized for, denied, or destroyed cannot be defended. Multiculturalism is an egalitarian leveler; its function is to render the highest equal to the lowest common denominator. (To paraphrase Ellsworth Toohey: Enshrine the irrational, and the rational is razed.) The barbarism can take many forms: in art, a Jackson Pollack canvas of drips and scratches equal to a canvas by Jean-Léon Gérôme; in science, invalidated global-warming models equal to observable scientific fact; in politics, church-state separation equal to the mosque-state union of Islam.
Marshall, in his review of Calder’s book, goes right to the point in his introductory remarks about the influx of Muslim immigrants:
“Today’s immigrants might be considered hostile to European values, except that Europe itself increasingly has only a foggy idea of what those values might be.”
Marshall notes, quoting author Caldwell:
Many Europeans are determined to defend their values…but it is hard to defend what you cannot define. “There is no consensus, not even the beginning of a consensus about what European values are.”
Marshall cites German philosopher Jurgen Habermas, an atheist, who acknowledged:
“Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of civilization. To this we have no other options. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter.”
Or post-reason chatter, which is the same thing. Christianity might have once been the “ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy.”
But, no longer. As David Greenfield notes in his August 2009 article, “What will a Muslim Europe Look Like?”:
“The old [native] European is likely to have a limited interest in church or synagogue. His children may even hold an open hostility toward organized religion. The churches and synagogues will pursue his grandchildren with all sorts of gimmicks in the hopes of getting them to show up, but even if they do, there will be very little to hold them.”
By the old Europeans, Greenfield means those who are beneficiaries of the welfare state, more concerned with taking advantage of their state-mandated employment perks and pensions, medical care, extra-long paid holidays, and other collectivist entitlements, all of it the result of burdensome tax rates, than worrying about the future of their countries. Let our children take the hindmost, is their attitude, but let us have fun now. As far as Europe is concerned, it is a question of whether or not religion ever was the underlying moral code that permitted the continent to enjoy the fruits of freedom and capitalism, limited as those fruits might have been by government intervention. The Enlightenment, after all, was in large part a revolt against especially Catholic Church authority.
The vaunted “invincible faith of the Christian” has grown flabby and insouciant, and is no match for the invincible faith of the Muslim. Without a philosophy of reason, Europe is left stammering and stuttering in the face of such certitude.
The authors of the reviewed books and the reviewers also point out that European policy of opening the gates to unlimited immigration was an act of expediency by its leaders, with no thought to the future consequences. Their immediate, electorate-focused concern was to bolster their workforces to take the unskilled jobs Europeans no longer wished to take. The overwhelming majority of these immigrants turned out to be Muslims from parts of the globe that were chronically “undeveloped.” The nature of Islamic belief rejects concessions to non-believers’ political and moral norms. Europeans remain despised infidels. Unless they convert to Islam, they are doomed to dhimmitude, or to second-class subservience.
As many “radical” Islamic spokesmen have smugly observed, if Europe cannot be “reconquered” with military jihad, it can be conquered with population jihad. Which is exactly what is happening. These spokesmen see the day when they can boast: Our brothers disposed of your garbage and swept your streets; now we are going to dispose of you and sweep your culture away. You tolerated us, without grasping that we are not tolerant. Notre Dame de Paris will be turned into a mosque, as well as your opera houses, your topless beaches will be abolished, your books will be censored, and the crescent shall adorn the top of the Eiffel Tower as a symbol of our Ummah.
From a journalistic standpoint, it may be profitable to note the disturbing demographics of Muslim population growth in Europe, together with European accommodation of Muslim sensitivities, the latter in itself a mark of uncertainty whose root is nihilistic relativism. But no prominent author has undertaken, to my knowledge, the task of addressing the fundamental problem, which is philosophic in nature: What can account for and permit the decline of a civilization in the face of conquest by barbarism?
What is happening in Europe — a self-induced philosophic drift, a drift encouraged and sanctioned by universities, schools and official, politically correct policies — can also happen in America as its politics teeters between a defaulting commitment to statism and the command economy of a compulsory welfare state, and a renewed commitment to freedom, the beginnings of which have been manifested in the Tea Parties and the hesitant behavior of Congress to legislate socialism.
However, Muslim organizations such as CAIR, the American Muslim Council, and other non-profit Muslim councils and advocacy organizations, even though many of their principals have links to Islamic terrorist organizations, are making virtually unobstructed headway in having their customs and barbaric ethics accepted under the ruse of “civil rights.” Death threats against apostates, “honor killings” of teenage girls, and even beheadings go largely unreported in the American media.
The self-censorship practiced by Europeans only encourages Islamic hubris. The same self-censorship, especially by the mainstream media, can only result in the United States contracting the European disease. The Tea Parties of 2009 especially cause some hope that America’s own drift towards statism — never mind an Islamic demographic jihad in this country — can be arrested, and the course reset to rediscover its glorious philosophic origins, origins which promoted reason and individual rights.