March 28, 2006
The best genes spawned in Europe had the dynamism, like Europa herself, to cross the ocean. They settled and thrived in freer lands such as the United States and Australia. Others among Europe’s best offspring died patriotically in the mass carnage of 500 years of Europe’s religious and civil wars, leaving behind mostly dregs. As the lunatic poet Ezra Pound wrote in 1920 of the soldiers of World War I: “There died a myriad, / And of the best, among them, / For an old bitch gone in the teeth, / For a botched civilization….”
Europe’s botched civilization, perverted by socialism and lost faith, seems to have lost the will, the passion to sustain itself. If it continues to practice today’s multiculturalist leftism, Europe’s demographic doom will be sealed. Some harbingers:
* In Brussels, Belgium, the most popular name for baby boys is now Mohammad. Sustaining the population of a nation requires that on average each couple gives birth to 2.1 children. The average European couple now has fewer than 1.4 babies, compared to 3.6 babies born to the average Muslim immigrant couple in Europe. Across Western Europe 16 to 20 percent of babies are being born into Muslim families.
* In France at least 12 percent of the population is already Muslim, the fruits mostly of immigrants from former French colonies in North Africa. If present birth trends continue, by 2030 a quarter of France’s people will be Muslim, more than enough to determine who controls the national parliament and executive. As this columnist recently noted, the nuclear-armed French military is already 15 percent Muslim. Adjacent Switzerland is now 20 percent Muslim.
* The German newspaper Deutsche Welle days ago reported that Germany’s birth rate in 2005 fell to a level lower than at the end of World War II, to a “historic low,” more than fifty percent lower than those of France and Great Britain. But at a meeting this week in Berlin that brought together the interior ministers of six European nations, Germany’s leftwing Social Democrats continued to oppose the application of any test or standard that would restrict who could migrate into Germany.
The burgeoning Muslim population within Europe is not evenly spread. It is largely concentrated in and around big cities, whose local politicians feel its pressure acutely and often bend to that pressure. In the Netherlands the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam nearly have Muslim majorities now.
These Islamic enclaves are already taking on the character of conquered provinces that no longer belong to the European countries around them. As FrontPage Magazine recently quoted from the new book While Europe Slept by liberal American expatriate Bruce Bawer:
In France, a public official met with an imam at the edge of Roubaix’s Muslim district out of respect for his declaration of the neighborhood as Islamic territory to which she had no right of access. In Britain, imams have pressed the government to officially designate certain areas of Bradford as being under Muslim, not British, law. In Denmark, Muslim leaders have sought the same kind of control over parts of Copenhagen. And in Belgium, Muslims living in the Brussels neighborhood of Sint-Jans-Molenbeek already view it not as part of Belgium but as an area under Islamic jurisdiction in which Belgians are not welcome.
Europe has several potential choices in the face of a flood of immigrants and families within its borders who refuse to assimilate European values of mutual toleration and liberal social policies.
Europe’s cultural polarization vis-à-vis its Muslim underclass is being exacerbated by socialist policies that are producing stagnant economies and high unemployment. These fruits of Euro-socialism have also created a political tinderbox of Muslim frustration and, as we saw in recent days of protests in Paris, an angry refusal by many traditional Europeans to reform or relinquish their welfare state and job security benefits. This climate discourages investors and pits new and traditional Europeans against one another.
If Europe continues as it is now, the rising Muslim tide will, one at a time, transform the members of the European Union into Islamic Republics under Islamic Shari’a law as Muslims become the majority population.
Already the wealth of traditional Europeans is being bled away and transferred to new Muslim immigrants and their children. One mechanism for this is the European welfare state. In Denmark, observed Bawer, only five percent of the population is Muslim, but this minority demands and receives 40 percent of the Danish government’s total welfare payments and other taxpayer-subsidized social benefits. Even the liberal New York Times Magazine in February reported on the social impact of this growing Islamic drain on the resources of European welfare states such as Sweden and Denmark.
Another method used to transfer wealth from Europeans to Eurabian Muslims is theft. Some radical Mullahs have told their European congregations that Islamic Shari’a law justifies shoplifting and other forms of stealing from European merchants and companies as a way to make non-Muslims pay the discriminatory jizya tax that is extracted from non-Muslim citizens in Muslim countries.
And in Europe’s growing Islamic neighborhoods, where police are often afraid to go, European law is being supplanted by Shari’a. European women venturing into or near such enclaves have been assaulted and, in some cases, raped by gangs of macho Islamic males for violating Muslim dress codes and failing to exhibit the subservient status some Islamic subcultures require of females.
Forty percent of Muslims living in Great Britain want Islamic Shari’a law introduced into parts of that country, according to a poll reported last month by the London Sunday Telegraph.
Shari’a differs dramatically from modern Western notions of law and society. Shari’a has no separation of church and state; to the contrary, under Shari’a the Koran is the ultimate law book and constitution, and the Islamic Mullah is the magistrate who punishes violators of this law. Under Shari’a, as practiced in much of the Islamic world, equality exists only among Muslim men; women are inferior to men, and Jews and Christians are inferior to all Muslims. Risk-taking and usury, i.e., money-lending for profit, are forbidden, so we would kiss capitalism goodbye.
Religious freedom is non-existent under Shari’a. A Christian or a Jew is permitted to convert to Islam, but the penalty for any Muslim converting to a different faith is death. In American-liberated Afghanistan a 41-year-old former Muslim, Abdul Rahman, is on trial in Kabul for the crime of converting to Christianity. The prosecutor in the case, Abdul Wasi, has asked for a death penalty, as Shari’a requires. Wasi, reported Associated Press, said that he “had offered to drop the charges if Rahman changed his religion back to Islam, but the defendant refused.” The Muslim judge’s ruling is expected by mid-May.
It seems worth asking American authorities whether the U.S. would intervene to prevent the execution of an Afghan whose only crime was converting to Christianity.
European Muslims demand toleration and respect and accommodation for their laws, garb, Halal (Islamic “Kosher”) dietary rules, customs, and faith. But as the world has seen in recent months, radical Muslims have no respect for Western traditions such as press freedom. Cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad set off riots, killings and death threats against European journalists.
(Oddly, as this columnist uniquely noted, the tradition prohibiting depictions of the Prophet began with Muhammad himself, who gave such guidance to avoid becoming an object of idolatry by misguided Muslims tempted to worship him instead of Allah. Logically, therefore, a devout Muslim should object to any positive depiction of Mohammad, but negative depictions of Mohammad, as in the European cartoons, pose no such danger of causing idol worship. It was the Islamists who fanatically objected to negative European cartoons of the Prophet who were practicing idolatry by turning Mohammad into an image too sacred to depict in any way.)
Islamic Shari’a is incompatible with Western traditions of tolerance. Too much of today’s Islam preaches “an eye for an eye” but not “live and let live.”
No wonder, then, that earlier this month the chairman of Britain’s Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips, responded to the Telegraph poll by urging the 40 percent of his nation’s Muslims who want part of the country ruled by Shari’a law to move elsewhere. “We have one set of laws” in Britain, said Phillips. “They are decided by one group of people, members of Parliament, and that’s the end of the story.” (In February Australia’s Federal Treasurer Peter Costello, said much the same, suggesting in a public speech that Shari’a advocates would feel more comfortable living in Saudi Arabia or Iran.)
Immigrant to Norway Iraqi Mullah Krekar, a former leader of the Kurdish guerrilla group Ansar-al-Islam, has told Norwegians that “our way of thinking…will prove more powerful than yours” and described Al Qaeda terror mastermind Osama bin Laden as “a good person.” This prompted Norway’s Minister of Labor and Social Inclusion Bjarne Hakon Hanssen to say he intended to deport Mullah Krekar back to Iraq in the near future. Selective deportation of such radical Islamist firebrands (such as those who inspired recent Muslim terrorism in London) across Europe could reduce immediate social tensions.
What Europe is doing in the meanwhile is preaching the need for press freedom and tolerance while preparing this June to prosecute, in Paris, famed Italian journalist Orianna Fallaci for daring to write a book, The Force of Reason, critical of the Muslim immigrant inundation of Europe. In today’s Europe free speech is stifled by laws that prohibit Political Incorrectness in a wide and arbitrary variety of ways.
And France, at the heart of Europe, is promoting trade barriers with a dogmatic zeal not seen since the frenzy of stone castle building in the dark ages. In the name of preserving national security, as Daniel Schwammenthal reported in the March 13 Wall Street Journal, France last winter declared 11 of its industrial sectors off limits to purchase by investors from other European nations; these sectors, noted Schwammenthal, range “from data security to (bizarrely) casinos.” What might become of France if its dice and roulette wheels became Dutch…or Russian?
France is also dragging its feet on agreements to allow European Union workers to move freely from one EU country to another. The French have phobias not only about Muslim peasant immigrants but also about what they call the “Polish plumber,” the skilled European workers who would move to Paris and undercut the high pay now pocketed by scarce French workers. The French incentive to work is dulled by an easy, lazy alternative: a fat welfare check.
If Europe can somehow buy time, then in theory it might be able to make a comeback. What it needs is cloning and fertility technology, moxie, imports of its old sturdier, healthier genetic material from the United States and Australia to restore its seminal vigor, and a renewal of faith. Europe was able to restore its lost population rather quickly after the Black Plague and spawned Baby Booms after two World Wars.
Political policies could facilitate this. When France was unable to recruit many settlers to its colony called New France, now known as Canada, it offered fat pensions to any married couple there that had six children. Quebec to this day retains the spirit of fecundity those pensions bred.
Last September French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin proposed accelerating cash benefits to encourage women to have a third child. This is yet another kind of slacker welfare, but at least it encourages the lazy to spend more time breeding and less watching television. De Villepin did not propose restricting these or other government breeder benefits to non-Muslims, although he could have made the argument that non-Muslim French are an endangered species meriting special help.
Europe has stopped rising Islamic tides before, in battle in southern France in 732 by the knights of Charles Martel, “The Hammer,” and twice at the gates of Vienna in 1529 and 1683 by holding off the Ottoman Turks. Spain even rolled back its Muslim occupiers with the Reconquista of 1492, and Greece, the cradle of Western democracy, won back its independence from Muslim rule in 1829.
In time Islam could collapse, as Communism did. More likely, this religion now living through its own dark 14th Century might flower into a Renaissance and follow the enlightened model of Ataturk’s Turkey. Modern Turkey is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a friend of Israel, and a candidate for European Union membership. Women had the right to vote in Ataturk’s Turkey before they did in England. Turkey could become the model for the future Islamic world, besting the medieval ideology of Islamism, narrow-mindedness, hate and violence preached by Osama bin Laden and his ilk.
A courageous European stand against that nest of Islamist vipers and their atomic eggs in Teheran would be a good place for Europe to demonstrate to itself and to the world that it has the will and skill to survive.
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Mr. Ponte co-hosts a national radio talk show Monday through Friday 6-8 PM Eastern Time (3-5 PM Pacific Time) on the Genesis Communications Network. Internet Audio worldwide is at GCNlive .com. The show's live call-in number is 1-800-259-9231. A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.