David T at Harry's also linked approvingly to this, by Newsweek's William Underhill. If this is representative of what the Septics are being told about events across the pond, maybe the US-haters are right and they ARE an ignorant bunch who know nothing about the rest of the world. It would be difficult not to be if this is all you're getting.
The first paragraph strikes the wrong note from the off :
What kind of educated rabble do they have in the States - or Holland, for that matter ? I'll wager not one Brit in a hundred knows about the Battle of Tours and not one in five hundred about the Battle of Vienna. Even I get it mixed up with Sultan Suleiman's earlier failure before the walls of Vienna in 1529.
To listen to Europe's far right, it would be easy to conclude that the continent is poised for another round of bitter conflict with a centuries-old adversary. "The first Islamic invasion of Europe was stopped at [the battle of] Poitiers in 732. The second was halted at the gates of Vienna in 1683. Now we have to stop the current stealth invasion," argues Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom, which claims that Islamic doctrine encourages terrorism.It's rabble-rousing stuff.
Why are the rabble not only a rabble, but a deluded rabble ? Well, "the rise of a Eurabia is predicated on limited and dubious evidence". For example, a 2004 estimate from the US National Intelligence Council (not an estimate I've heard of, btw) is "speculation based on speculation—and even if it's accurate, it would still mean the number of Muslims will represent just 8 percent of the European population". Even if it's right, it's wrong ! (8%, by the way, was the approximate - and absolute maximum - percentage of Muslims in Burnley in 2001 - when rioting broke out sufficient to decide the council to forcibly integrate the schools).
Not only that, but - wait for it :
"The worst of the scaremongering is based on the assumption that current behavior will continue," says Grace Davie, an expert on Europe and Islam at the University of Exeter in Britain.Now I am frightened. After all, Mark Steyn's scaremongering includes civil war, pogroms and extermination, mass flight of populations etc etc. And 'an expert on Europe and Islam' (who she?) reckons that's only likely if things go on as they are ? Very comforting.
OK, so what will change, that things do not go on as they are ?
For the number of Muslims to outnumber non-Muslims by midcentury, it would require either breeding on a scale rarely seen in history or for immigration to continue at a pace that's now politically unacceptable.I'm no demographer and not qualified to talk about the history of 'breeding', but what's this 'politically unacceptable' ? Surely the only people who find current levels of immigration politically unacceptable are the rabble he took a pop at in his first paragraph, and whose arguments his piece is intended to refute ?. As Ross put it in the HP comments :
If this is correct then the writer seems to be arguing that if current trends continue then the Muslim majority talk is right. In other words it will only be avoided if the objections he is seeking to discredit are heeded. Which seems like a strange way to refute something.Back to Mr Underhill.
More likely, new controls will slow Muslim immigration. The birthrate for Muslim immigrants is also likely to continue to decline, as it has tended to do, with greater affluence and better health care.The first point is exceeding moot. I don't see any 'new controls' at all, sir. Every government initiative to 'crack down' or 'toughen up' on immigration is purely for domestic consumption, for amusement only, government by signifier. It would be discriminatory to target Muslims as such, and there is no slow-down in immigration. Nearly 300,000 new National Insurance numbers were handed out last year to non-EU workers. As for the birthrates, it would be likely that they would indeed reduce over time - were it not for the practice of chain migration i.e. choosing your bride or groom from the ancestral village back in Mirpur or Sylhet.
This takes the biscuit :
Also, fertility rates are edging upward in some Northern European countries, which would offset some of the Muslim growth.I hate to say it, but "fertility rates edging upwards" is the Muslim growth !
I'm not a 'Eurabian' in that I'm not hung up on exactly what the Muslim population size is likely to be and whether or not it is a majority. As any Marxist-Leninist should be able to comprehend, a smallish number of people with sufficient will can have a pretty hefty effect on a society.
Just look at the numbers of Muslims in the UK now, maybe three million tops. Not very large, is it ? Yet the relationship between the Government and this small section of the governed has been at or around the top of the UK political agenda for nearly ten years now. Stories like this, where women police in Bristol have been issued headscarves for use when entering mosques, or this, where in Yorkshire they try wearing burkhas 'to improve community understanding' are commonplace. As Salman Rushdie put it "you see it every day, this surrender". One of the things which triggered Michael Caldwell's book was his observation that the relationship between black people and the US government had been a dominant theme of US politics for the last forty years, despite black people comprising less than 15% of the US population.
If Muslim issues grab a disproportionate share of our rulers attention now, at maybe 4% of the population, what will politics be like when they're 8% - or 14% - or 24% ?
Another anti-Eurabian trumpet blast has come from the Quilliam Foundation, the tax-funded Muslim group set up to (correct me if I'm wrong) put forward the moderate face of Islam and lead the youth along the paths of righteousness. They bang the 'only 3%' drum like good-uns.
Max at Shiraz Socialist (currently my locus classicus for well-meaning, decent leftism that manages to get many important things totally wrong) welcomes the report, and adds an argument worthy of William Underhill himself :
David Thompson recalls a debate:
At some point, I made reference to migration and the marked tendency of families to move from Islamic societies to secular ones, and not the other way round. ‘This seems rather important,’ I suggested. ‘If you want to evaluate which society is preferred to another by any given group, migration patterns are an obvious yardstick to use.[']
This is key. If Muslims are abandoning the theocratic world for the godless decadent West, what does that say about Muslim support for theocracy? Why try to ’Islamise’ Europe if you are running from an Islamised Middle East?
If they didn't like our society, why would they come here ? If they like their theocracies so much, why do they leave ?
Well, maybe - just maybe, the things that they come here for aren't the things that Max or David Thompson put so much value on. Maybe they come for the same reasons we went across the globe.
I’ve heard some interesting ‘nothing to see here’ arguments recently, but the ‘they wouldn’t leave if they liked the religion so much’ argument has at least originality, if nothing else, to recommend it.
Peru, Brazil, Mexico,Virginia, 1580 :
“This is key. If Christians are abandoning the theocratic world for the infidel West, what does that say about Christian support for theocracy? Why try to ‘Christianise’ the American continent if you are running from a Christianised Europe?”Max seems a decent sort, like David T at HP, who maintains a touching belief that everything will be OK because Muslims will stop having kids on the grand scale. Why it would be a problem if they don't, he doesn't say. But David, as a supporter of Israel, is a tad wary of a demographic trend that could mean a transformation of foreign policy in the UK and across Europe, as the Muslim vote increases and the possibility of a reversal of support for Israel looms larger.
Not that Max hasn't his limits :
"Any kind of sharia areas/sharia court proposals is something to be shot down immediately"
But Jewish Britons already have their eruvs and their Beth Din courts. How in justice can you deny them to Muslims ? And what sort of position will you be in to do the denying ?
Here's Ian Buruma, articulating the sombre sub-theme which has been running through the whole debate since 9/11 - and bringing us somehow full circle.
Do the many supporters of anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders fully realise the dangers of a divided society?... If people feel rejected, one shouldn’t be surprised if they develop a hostile attitude. As the hostility increases we will get exactly what so many people are so afraid of. The distinction between believers and ideologists is blurred. Sympathy turns to action. Society as a whole is divided into camps, Muslims against non-Muslims. That’s when the blood starts to flow in the streets... whether the 40 percent of Dutch people who now say they agree with Wilders will still want any part of it is another question altogether.That's certainly a novel way to combat bigotry, encourage moderation and cement the notion of a religion of peace. I wonder if they'll try that one over here ?
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