Ten years ago a relative of mine moved to a small town in Northern England. My relative was looking for somewhere cheap to live, so he was willing to live on a street where prostitutes plied their trade outside his door and drug pushers sold drugs on the corner. But my relative hadn’t lived there long when a strange transformation began to take place. Muslims from Kashmir and Pakistan began to move in to the area, one family at a time.
The area’s new inhabitants weren’t happy about some of the unsavoury activities that took place in the town. They began to hold nightly marches and vigils until the prostitutes and drug dealers finally gave up and left.
Applications for lap-dancing clubs were similarly met with opposition by the Muslim community. Every time an application was made to open a new lap-dancing club in an empty building, Muslim organisations would buy the building and turn it into a Muslim Learning Center. At one point I believe there were around five Muslim Learning Centers on the town’s main street.
Today the town is an almost exclusively Muslim area. The Muslims are generally friendly towards my relative and he feels safe leaving his house, at least during the day. The town has acquired a new vibrancy and is no longer the terrible place to live that it once was.
But the Muslim community brought some new problems with it. Honor killings began to occur in the town; a girl who committed adultery or who wanted to leave her arranged marriage was liable to end up being killed by her own relatives. Supposedly a favored technique was to throw boiling vegetable oil on the girl, set fire to it and then claim that her death was a cooking accident.
The local police found it impossible to investigate these killings; the local Muslim men refused to speak to the police and the women were afraid to.
Furthermore, recently a gang of Muslim men were convicted of preying on young girls; the gang enticed girls as young as twelve into their car, took them home and pushed them into having sex with them. Previously I had believed allegations of Muslim gangs preying on “young white girls” to be lurid fantasies invented by white nationalists, but now members of this gang have confessed to their crimes and are in prison, after several of the girls bravely spoke to the police about what had happened to them.
While it’s worth emphasising that honor killings and the rape of underage girls are activities carried out by a tiny minority of the Muslim community, it’s fair to say that what happened in my relative’s town — both the good and the bad — will be happening in more European towns in the future.
A video created by evangelical Christians has been circulating on the Internet for a while now; the video claims that the birth rate of Muslims in Europe is so high compared to the birth rate of non-Muslims that the whole of Europe will be an Islamic state within only a few decades.
It’s hard to get to the bottom of the figures presented in this alarmist video (alarmist if you’re not a Muslim, that is!); the figures it presents seem distinctly exaggerated.
The birth rate of non-white Muslims is certain higher than that of white European inhabitants; Muslim women are often pressed into arranged marriages at an early age and are expected to stay at home and have children. Western women on the other hand are having children later and later in life, choosing careers over families, and making good use of modern contraceptives.
The changes that have taken place in Western society have led to a declining birth rate and falling population levels among the white population of Europe. One manifestation of this is that the working population is increasingly struggling to support the elderly, and the problem is projected to get much worse.
Faced by the probability of eventually having to levy enormous taxes on the working population or else allow more immigrants into their countries, the politicians of Europe have overwhelmingly opted for more immigration. Meanwhile, predominantly Islamic countries such as Pakistan and Iran currently have enormous population growth rates, Pakistan standing at 1.6% per year and Iran at 1.2%; by comparison the UK’s growth rate (including immigration) stands at 0.6%, France at 0.5% and Italy at 0.4% per year. Muslims from relatively poor countries are flocking into Europe in the hope of a better life, many of them bringing a hardline, primitive version of Islam with them.
This appears to be one of the driving factors behind the explosion of Islamic immigration into Europe. The electorate demands reduced immigration and lower taxes, but they cannot have both unless they sudddenly start having a lot of children. Unwilling to confront their voters with this brute fact, politicians instead quietly pursue “soft” policies on immigration.
Yet immigration ebbs and flows and not all Muslims are radical fundamentalists. In recent years the birth rate of Iran has dropped, and immigration into Western Europe from the former Eastern-bloc European countries has increased.
But supposing Islamic immigration and growth rates continue as they are; what kind of place will Europe be in fifty or a hundred years?
The United Islamic States of Eurabia
It’s safe to say that the Europe of the future will be different to the Europe of today; Europe now is not the same place it was a century ago, and few consider the changes wholly negative.
If the Muslim population continues to grow in Europe (and that’s a big “if”), it’s unclear whether countries like the UK, Germany and the Netherlands will end up being progressive, secular states like Turkey or frankly oppressive, aggressively Islamic states like Iran.
There are some negative signs. Once the Muslim population has increased to a certain point, Muslims will be free to vote in whatever kind of government they want, and it seems that as many as 40% of British Muslims would like to see British law replaced with Islamic, or Shariah law to some degree.
In 2004, in the famously-tolerant society of the Netherlands, Dutch film director The van Gogh produced a film called Submission which was critical of Islam. He was promptly assasinated by a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim.
The current coalition Dutch government is able to govern only with the support of the PVV, a political party formed by Geert Wilders around a platform of opposition to Islamic immigration. The party is currently the third largest in the Netherlands. Wilders lives with round-the-clock protection and moves from place to place to evade would-be assasins. The man who many consider to be Wilders’ predecessor, Pim Fortuyn, was shot near his home — ironically not be a Muslim fanatic but by a white animal rights fanatic who believed Fortuyn to be “the next Hitler”.
In the UK a politician was recently knifed (fortunately surviving the attack) by a Muslim woman, solely because he had voted in favour of the war against Iraq. Muslim fanatics shouted support for her as she was sentenced to life in prison.
Muslims vs. Christians: How Bad Can It Get?
Possibly the most worrying scenario for a future Europe is demonstrated by the recent history of the Balkans. In the 1990s, parts of the Balkan peninsula dissolved into chaos as Serbia, led by Slobodan Milošević, ceased to recognize the autonomy of the majority-Muslim region, Kosovo.
From the standpoint of most of the outside world, Milošević had whipped up hatred against the Kosovans and brutally attacked them — while at the same time Kosovans carried out brutal reprise attacks against Serbians. The Balkan war appeared to most of us to be an almost-incomprehensible affair, with one Balkan state fighting another.
From Milošević’s own disturbing perspective however, things were very simple. Kosovo, a region that had once been largely Christian, a region considered by the culturally-Christian Serbs to be the “cradle” of their national identity and where many ancient Christian churches could be found, had been taken over by a burgeoning Islamic population and was trying to declare independence from Serbian rule. As leader of Serbia, Milošević attempted to “restore order” by sending in the troops, many of whom subsequently carried out massacres — according to Milošević, against his wishes.
Milošević died while in custody in The Hague for his alleged war crimes, and it’s fair to say that his testimony must be taken, to say the least, as dubious.
Nonetheless, the Balkans presents us with a sort of worst-case scenario for future Muslim-Christian relations in Europe, raising the spectre of two ethnic factions locked in hand-to-hand combat.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. Many European states have both large culturally-Muslim and large culturally-Christian populations and yet exist as stable entities with little or no conflict. The island of Cyprus, for instance, is roughly half Muslim and half Christian, and while subject to various ongoing disputes, is nevertheless a largely prosperous and stable place — well, at least since 1974.
Turkey, of course, is a great example of a modern, secular Muslim-majority country where the rights of Christians and others are respected. And if we go further back in time, we find many examples of Muslims and Christians living in peace. While most of Europe was sunk deep in the dark ages, Medieval Islamic Spain was a thriving center of science and culture, tolerant much of the time to its non-Muslim residents.
Please No More Nazis
However the future of Europe plays out, one thing that must never happen again is the resurgence of the violent right. Western culture today is heavily colored by the memory of what happened under the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s and early 1940s. The Nazis asserted that a non-Christian minority population, the Jews, were “too powerful” and “racially degenerate” and embarked on a nearly-successful project to wipe them out.
Europe must never again allow the horrific state-sponsored herding of men, women and children into gas chambers — an event by comparison with which the events in Kosovo seem almost mild.
If we learn anything from the lessons of the past, surely it should be that one way or another we must find ways to live together peacefully and with tolerance and respect for each other’s differences.