Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Islamic soft war against Europe

There is a sense in which some on the right are considering this war with Islamism a religious war. We see in Europe the gradual decline of native Europeans accompanied by the influx and rapid increase of Muslims. It is the interpretation of those events that smacks of religious war. This is exacerbated by several notable Islamic leaders, Moamar Qhadaffi for one, saying that Europe shall be conquered without their having to fire a shot. A peaceful invasion is occurring. Now if it remained peaceful; then Europe, given the continuation of these demographic trends, would have an Islamic majority somewhere in the neighborhood of 2050. Thus far in this analysis there is no religious war.

But some Europeans oppose this peaceful takeover. They do not wish Europe to become Islamic. Oriana Fallaci has written passionately on this subject in The Rage and the Pride, and The Force of Reason. The British Historian, David Selbourne has written about it in The Losing Battle with Islam. Bat Ye’or has written about it in Eurabia, The Euro-Arab Axis. And there have been others.

This Islamic increase in Europe is viewed apparently with equanimity by many European leaders but not so much by the European rank and file. Laws have been created making Islamophobia a crime. A whole political party in Belgium is being tried for this crime. If it is a crime to oppose the religious takeover by Islam then how can it be opposed, many are asking? 75,000 Dutchmen have given up and emigrated, primarily to Australia and New Zealand.

But so far there is no European war, religious or otherwise. Given the fact that Europeans have a history of being very good at war, some think it only a matter of time before some of them become extremely violent in an organized sort of way and the subsequent fight would have to be considered religious in that the Europeans doing the fighting would believe they were resisting a religious takeover. They have actively rejected, most of them, Christianity; so shall they sit idly by and see it replaced by Islam? Many of them think not, but the process is occurring so slowly that only a few who have managed to obtain a greater perspective see the trends as alarming. The water is heating up so slowly that few are thus far feeling uncomfortable. Fallaci, Ye’or, Steyn and others are denounced as crackpots.

If we break this hypothetical religious war into two parts and look at the native European part first, we see the EU as a major economic force in the world. At the same time there is an emphasis on Social benefits that is seen by many as nearly ideal. Europeans are virtually professionally non-racist; so the ethnicity of Arabs and other Muslims doesn’t bother than, and perhaps they are so used to marginalizing Christianity that they don’t fully appreciate the Islamic threat, especially when they see many Muslim young people behaving just like young people anywhere. Sure there is evidence of an increase in things Islamic, but so what? There are already a great number of cultures in Europe. What’s wrong with another one? Furthermore, Muslims are not all the same. Everyone knows some Muslims who are just ordinary people trying to get along. It is only a few young people, youths, causing the trouble. But every nation has a few gangs, even America. So while a majority of Europeans aren’t willing to take the Islamic threat as any more than an annoyance, an increasing number, but still a minority, are seeking means for opposing the Islamic inroads.

The other part is the Islamic immigration. These people emigrated from a number of Islamic nations. France took in a huge number of Algerian Arabs after they lost that colony. Spain has large number of Moroccans, many of them come across by boat as easily as Cubans come to Florida. Germany and Turkey have had an historic affinity for each other and a large number of Turks now live and work in Germany. And then many Indian and Pakistani Muslims emigrated from that former British colony to the Motherland. Every group is different; so surely those who see a unified threat are crackpots. There is no unity among these Muslims. But we know this isn’t completely true because Islamism is such a unity and it seems to embrace all of the nationalities and draw them into one ummah.

Well, some might say, it is all well and good for a few Islamist fanatics to seek their unified ummah, but they aren’t very successful. Well, no, not in the sense of a single force operating in accordance with a single ideology and answering to a single leadership, but they share enough so that the effect is a fairly uniform. Part of the genius of the Qutb/Khomeini revolution is that each group is encouraged to act independently. How much indoctrination does it take to start with the Islam everyone knows, add an interpretation of Jihad that is more militant than was known in the past which makes both infidels and lapsed Muslims (meaning any Muslim who doesn’t share this ideology) fair game?

Those two parts of Europe make it a battlefield of a different nature than the ones in Afghanistan and Iraq have been, but we know that even if the Afghan and Iraqi governments are established on a firm footing and the overt direct attacks by Islamists are reduced to a quiet whisper, there is still the other threat, the insidious growth of Qutbism and Khomeinism. Young people who don’t even know an insurgent today could listen to a few Friday Sermons and embrace the ideology and in a short time be out trying to blow up some infidels -- or lapsed Muslims like the leaders in Afghanistan or Iraq that are cooperating too closely with the Great Satan.

Something else to keep in mind is that America retains a religious majority and is thereby much closer to the world’s norm than Europe is. We Americans are too used to looking to Europe as our ideal or future and we shouldn’t. Daniel Drezner wrote a review of two books based upon "Pew polls in 16 countries spanning the globe." At one point he wrote "Europeans are the outliers when it comes to attitudes about nationalism and religion – they ‘re turned off by both kinds of creeds. American levels of patriotism and devotion to God look perfectly normal when compared to the non-European parts of the globe." Too much of the world’s attention is being applied to America’s efforts as the world’s single superpower and not enough on that outlier Europe which may be in serious trouble.

Lawrence Helm

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