Friday, September 5, 2008

Europe's Future, Catastrophic or Apocalyptic

There are obviously two views about these matters.

1) One view has it that the Muslim take-over of Europe is in progress and Europeans who say otherwise are in denial or sleeping. This view is consistent with the viewpoint of those who take Militant Islam in the Middle East as a serious threat.

2) The other view is that Militant Islam is not a serious threat in Europe or in the Middle East. Gilles Kepel and Olivier Roy champion this view. There are merely a few well-educated but alienated young European Muslims called Jihadists who are stirring things up. Roy even challenges the trend information I recently posted. He argues that sure the Islamic birthrate is very high at the beginning but as time goes on and Muslims become integrated or assimilated their birthrates become the same as those of the ambient society. As Fukuyama indicated in his book America at the Crossroads, he embraces the Kepel/Roy viewpoint and largely as a result has applied this viewpoint to the Middle East and distanced himself from Neocons who adhere to view number one.

I suppose there is nothing inherently wrong with mixing and matching. We non-Leftists believe here in the U.S. that there is a serious Islamist problem in the Middle East. Muslims who come to the U.S. however are not a problem (with very few exceptions) because they readily assimilate. They become indistinguishable from other Americans. But while we understand that to be true in the U.S. we aren’t at all sure about you Europeans. Your Muslims seem to go berserk at the drop of an insult. You don’t seem to be assimilating them as well as we do here in the states, and if they remain in distinctly Islamic enclaves, we think, they shall be growing at a more rapid rate than the ambient society. To us it looks as though you may have big trouble looming on your horizon.

Oriana Fallaci shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. She represents the fear that European society is doomed. I understand that her books are very popular in Europe. Perhaps she is wrong but her fear is real -- and it is shared. And it is that fear that Berlinski addressed in her book – a fear like that of a fear-biting dog that rends someone who may or may not have intended him harm.

If you have a whole city full of Oriana Fallacis and they become convinced that Amsterdam, for example, is being taken over by a Dutch-hating group of aliens called Muslims, they may react violently. Berlinski was, I believe, suggesting that as a serious possibility.

Ralph Peters said, “Europe, history’s killing continent, remains the most unpredictable stretch of the globe.” People go on making their predictions about it anyway.

Lawrence Helm

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