Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Eurabian Fantasies

I noted a couple of weeks ago Kenan Malik's review of Christopher Caldwell's Reflections on the Revolution in Europe (other, not unsympathetic Observer/Guardian reviews here and here - Ed West's take is here) and said that the 'point-by-point refutation wasn't actually terribly pointy or refutish.

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 :

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.
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.

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 ?









(unpleasant/abusive/bigoted comments will be deleted. Don't post them)

18 comments:

BenSix said...

"...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."

I agree, but suspect we have differing perceptions as to why that is. Come to that, though - at the risk of exposing myself as incorrigibly prejudiced - what's your view as to why that is?

"
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 ?"


False dilemma, surely? Yes, it would be difficult to deny sharia laws under the current system, but you're assuming that Max - and anyone else that holds his view - supports eruvs or BD courts.

wildgoose said...

Either we're one people under one and the same (secular) law or we're not. And so for consistency I'm afraid that would mean Beth Din courts would also have to go.

Immigration should be about joining a society, not colonising and preying upon it.

Sharia Law is completely and utterly unacceptable in any way, shape or form.

Recusant said...

I have no problems with Beth Din courts or Sharia courts, per se. After all both the CofE and the Catholic Church have their own courts where they adjudicate their law on matters pertaining to their religion.

That of course is the rub. Would Muslims be willing, like the Jews and Christians - and every other organisation with a Rule Book - be willing to limit their Sharia courts to purely religious matters?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure most people know but David T at Harry's Place and David Thompson are not the same person.

Both good bloggers though.

Rob said...

Ian Buruma is deluding himself. It is not us rejecting them; it is them rejecting us. Second and third generation immigrants often reject the host society and 'revert' to their ancestral one, especially if the host society is weak, decadent, uninteresting.

10%, and a YOUNG 10%, would be more than enough to easily dominate a tired, predominantly elderly western society. Strong enough to 'shoot down immediately' sharia law then? Don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Rob,

there is no way that 10% of Muslim youth could dominate a Western society. We have the numbers and the weapons...how many divisions do they have? We will never get there but if Muslims, or anyone else, took to the street against the Brits or any other European people they would be annihilated tout suite.

Laban,

Welfare reform would cause the Muslim birth rate to plummet. And I think this depression is going to force the Government to make serious inroads into benefit culture which won't just affect the 'underclass' but the middle-class professionals who live off them.

Richard

Anonymous said...

Anon says
"there is no way that 10% of Muslim youth could dominate a Western society. We have the numbers and the weapons...how many divisions do they have?"

Er, well: we may have the numbers and the weapons, but do we have the will? Doubt it.

Another anon

Mr Grumpy said...

Yes, that Ian Burama quote is a classic. Earlier in the same article:

'He may not always be tolerant, but he will always be a democrat.'

Buruma's argument for treating Geert Wilders as on balance a Good Thing and not an evil fascist? Errr, no, it's an endorsement of Tariq Ramadan.

As you've been reading your Catholic Herald I expect you'll have seen this: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/features/f0000458.shtml

Evidently Pakistani Christians need to take some niceness lessons from Mr Buruma.

Anonymous said...

Criticism of Geert Wilders is misplaced. He is merely the muted European response to the growing Islamic violence in Europe. He never stabbed any film-makers or bombed any trains. He is simply exercising his free speech, and taking enormous risks in doing so.

The motivating factor for Muslims migrating to Britain is poverty. Who on earth would want to live in Pakistan or Bangladesh? Now you or I might say that poverty is a natural consequence of Islam and its teachings, but these migrants don't see it that way. Given that poverty still exists in the Islamic world there is still a strong desire for further immigration to the UK, and with the children of these migrants then importing their wives from Pakistan and Bangladesh not only must their be further exponential expansion of migration but further exponential expansion of the population through fecundity "medieval style".

Naturally such large numbers will indeed have an impact on politics - and that influence will firstly ensure that the door for immigration will remain open (indeed, forced further open at regular intervals by a Labour Party dependent on Islamic votes).

There is now no political solution to this problem however much Geert Wilders might wish for one. The numbers will simply rise. We will either rub along peacefully or we will not. The reason Laban writes about this topic regularly is because he fears we will not. On the basis of what evidence? Could it be the bombings and attempted bombings and the cheers of the young Muslims of Luton that cause him to fear the rise of Islam? It would seem reasonable. There are maybe 300,000 young Islamic men out there, and a small number of these plant bombs whilst the rest cheer. What will happen when there are 3million young Islamic men, some of which feel like planting bombs?

There might not be much motivation for young white men to do much about Islam right now, but it won't be a long wait before a violent backlash against rampant Islamic extremism in the UK becomes necessary, let alone motivated.

Borealis said...

Yes, the Buruma piece is amazing and a fine illustration of what happens to clever men when they try to find reasons to keep on believing in a world view that has become untenable: they must finally betray their own intelligence, and degrade themselves in mouthing what honest (and even not-so-clever) people can see immediately as contradictions and absurdities. Or perhaps it is the case that what could pass for a fine intelligence in cozier times is revealed as a mediocre endowment, in a more demanding era.

Mark said...

There is a link to an excellent review of Caldwell's book over at the ScepticalDoctor website. (It originally appreared in the National Review).It shows why the that site justly describes Dalrymple/Daniels as the best essayist since Orwell.
Here are some excepts-

'In this well-written and wide-ranging examination of the causes and consequences of the mass immigration into Europe, Weekly Standard senior editor Christopher Caldwell gives us the history of the shifting justifications for that immigration employed by the European political elites. First, of course, Europe had a labor shortage after the war, and tried to prop up its decaying and obsolete industries for a time by the importation of cheap labor. This was short-sighted, because, in a world of free, or free-ish, trade, cheap labor in expensive countries can never be as cheap as cheap labor in cheap ones, and so cannot be the basis of successful competition.'

'Once structural mass unemployment became the general rule in Europe, the need for unskilled labor could no longer be advanced to justify immigration. Suddenly, the cultural and ethnic diversity of a population became itself the supposed advantage justifying mass immigration, though in actual fact most people, including immigrants, felt uncomfortable about such diversity, hunkering down in little ethnic enclaves rather than sampling the delights of the various cultures adjacent to them, to which indeed they were often very hostile. The only tangible advantage of mass immigration was culinary: One had henceforth only to walk a hundred yards to be able to taste a dozen or more cuisines.

Whether mass immigration was necessary to produce this agreeable result might be questioned. Moreover, if you were to ask a believer in multiculturalism for the tangible cultural or other benefits brought to Europe by hundreds of thousands of Somalis, not as individuals but as bearers of Somali culture, he would almost certainly be reduced to silence; for the truth is that believers in multiculturalism are not really very interested in other cultures (for such interest is very hard work): They are, rather, moral exhibitionists, out to prove the largeness of their minds and the breadth of their sympathies to others of like disposition.'

'The European political elites were in a very vulnerable state of mind, which Caldwell explores with subtlety...They thought that everything would come out in the tepid wash of European social democracy.

It has been an unpleasant surprise for Europeans, at least of the political-elite class, to discover that the response of immigrants to their new countries depends as much upon the immigrants as upon the receiving countries; and that, by arrogant inadvertence, and by supposing that it held all the cards, Europe has landed itself with a problem it has no idea how to solve.'

Dalrymple/Daniels has gone from strength to strength since his departure from the Spectator. Buruma, unfortunately, appears to be heading in the opposite direction, although I hope his decline doesn't prove to be as irreversible as that undergone by the establishment's leading Europhile tribune,Timothy Garton Ash.

Ed West said...

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Struggle+for+a+continent.-a0204685663

This is the TD link

I tend to agree with Laban - we probably wont have a a "Eurabia" as such, a Muslim-majority Europe, but one which is ultimately between 20 and 25 per cent before we wake up. Which wont be Eurabia but it wont be Europe either.

Homophobic Horse said...

The "End of History" has been and gone and now the liberal order has nothing left to say and no original ideas and cannot possibly prevent the coming of Eurabia because liberalism caused it in the first place.

Here are some instructive points:

1. David Milliband wants to create a "Mediterranean Union", i.e. Merge the European Union with the Islamic world complete with open borders facilitating the Muslim Al'Hijra

2. What is Al'Hijra? Muslim conquest by immigration as per Muhammads example.

"To those in Western democracies, these accommodating actions appear, on the surface, to be little more than harmless civil gestures, respecting the needs of a growing religion in their midst and welcoming a new addition to their proud, multicultural tradition. Many Westerners pat themselves on the back for their liberal bent, their tolerance and their open-mindedness.

Little do they realize that this strategic pattern of demands is part of an insidious, 1,400-year-old proscription for Muslims that originates in the Koran and the Sunnah, the deeds of Mohammed."


2. Colonel Ghaddafi's speeches where he declares that Europe will become part of the Islamic world, victory will be bought with the wombs of Muslim women.

3. The OIC, Organisation of Islamic Conference (sic), a organisation with 57 member nations working in the UN that seeks through international law to criminalise description of Islam as "hate-speech" or "Islamophobia".

4. Simon Hughes, a Rainbow Nazi and homosexual Lib Dim MP wants his Rainbow Aryan Muslim pigs to lead the post-national New World Order.

Super Imperialism: "Every country of the world is your country.

"Mr. Hughes opens his address with “salaam aleikum”, the standard Muslim-to-Muslim greeting."

"But his wrap-up is the most chilling part of his speech: borders must be abolished, all nations become one, and his Muslim “brothers and sisters” step forward to take their rightful place as leaders of this new transnational entity."

Homophobic Horse said...

If you want find out what the future holds study the collapse of Yugoslavia. Do you know what happened in Kosovo in the 1970s?

"The Albanization of Kosovo and Metohia was especially bolstered by the Province's unhindered communication with Albania, from where professors came to the Pristina University in the seventies, spreading Greater Albanian propaganda. With the import of textbooks from Tirana, whole generations of young Albanians were raised in the spirit of Greater Albanianism and in hatred for Serbia and Yugoslavia. "

Let's rerun that paragraph with a few word changes:

"The Islamization of Europe and Europeans was especially bolstered by the European Muslims unhindered communication with the rest of the Islamic world, from where professors came to the Western Academia in the seventies, spreading Islamic supremacist propaganda. With the import of textbooks from Saudi Arabia, whole generations of young Muslims were raised in the spirit of Wahhabism and in hatred for the West and Non-Muslims. "

Here's why Eurabia is inevitable: The logic of political correctness dictates that the truthfulness of a statement is determined by it's social consequences and not it's objective truth. i.e. That Islam is highly aggressive and unassimilable requires a response consistent with the outlook of the old historical and traditional European man, that foreigners must be excluded, among other things. This view is regarded as "out of date" or "fascist" and as having been totally repudiated by "progress" which has "evolved" "naturally" and is therefore "inevitable" and "superior".

Political correctness therefore represents the nadir of postmodernism. It reverses the signifier and the signifier, thereby making communication impossible, constraining natural order and natural law, eliminating the creator. It is Europe's gravestone carved in plastic.

Homophobic Horse said...

Last paragraph should read:

Political correctness therefore represents the nadir of postmodernism. It reverses the signifier and the signified, thereby making communication impossible, constraining natural order and natural law, eliminating the creator. It is Europe's gravestone carved in plastic.

Anonymous said...

Another anon,
we will get the will once Brits as a whole feel threatened.

Richard

Anonymous said...

Richard,

Could be. But we are reduced to a sorry state, sliced and diced by a thread of lies and mythologies that obscure the motives of our current governing elite (the "Boomsters").

I guess I'm on the same road as Laban, just a little further along - probably because I'm older, and more cynical. And I don't want to go where this road is leading.

A significant number of folk - maybe not a majority yet - are receptive to the message that the high level of immigration is a problem out of control. It's a start.

But the knowledge that a problem exists is not enough. It is very likely that the response called up will follow an established line of thought; the same one that led us into the Euro ditch thirty-some years ago.

Veterans on the blog will remember the monotonous editorial rant that coloured the debate (???) leading up to a lousy deal on EEC accession - "We have no choice...".

Preferred solution then was surrender (to the inevitable, of course). We're just waiting for our Chamberlain!

Another anon.

Royston said...

A people can come through foreign wars, civil wars, economic depressions and periods of political tyranny or religious fanaticism, as Britain’s native people – the English, the Scots and the Welsh have. Britain’s native people could all convert to Deobandi Islam tomorrow, and they would still be able to “pull through it”. But once a people have been socially engineered out of physical existence, then there is no coming back. And that is the real issue with what is happening in Britain. If you are a native Briton, you need to realise that arguing for Asians and Africans to “assimilate” with us is not the anti-liberal answer – it is quite the opposite.