According to Moorish legend, Boabdil, the last Muslim (Moorish) king of what was left of Al Andalus (the great Moorish Empire in Spain), surrendered the keys to his city Granada on January 2, 1492, and on one of its hills, paused for a final glance at his lost Empire. The place would become known as El Ultimo Suspiro del Moro – “the Moor’s Last Sigh.” Boabdil’s mother is said to have taunted him: “Weep like a woman for the land you could not defend as a man.” Over 500 years have passed since the end of the Moorish Empire, but for the Muslim world, the memory and the pain linger. Bin Laden, in the wake of the Madrid rail attacks called for the restoration of the Muslims lost Islamic caliphate. In a strange twist of irony, history may now be coming full circle. If Muslim population growth continues at it”s expected pace, the Europe of today will become the Eurabia of tomorrow. What kind of European Islam will evolve, however, remains to be seen.
The ascendancy of Islam in Europe began in response to the booming European economy of the 1960s and the need for cheap foreign labor (mostly from North Africa) and as a political consequence of the Arab oil embargo in the early 1970s where Europeans became so afraid of losing their oil supplies that they decided to pander to the requests of OPEC, discarding Israel and beginning an intense dialogue with Arab countries. The political trappings of this change can be seen today in Islamic control over Middle Eastern Studies Departments at European universities; the re-writing of European historical textbooks; allowing Euro-Arab bodies to screen cultural exchanges and publications relating to Islam and the Arab Muslim world for “unwelcome” content; taboos imposed on issues related to immigration and Islam; disinformation campaigns demonizing Israel (and America), while fostering a comprehensive and “brotherly” alliance between European Union (EU) and Arab League countries on the political, economic, cultural, and social levels; and the servile obedience of the EU’s mainstream media to all these initiatives. (1)
But there are other, more ominous developments unfolding. Over the past three decades, liberalization, secularization, and the need for cheap labor brought about liberal immigration policies resulted in millions of impoverished Arab Muslims flocking to the continent for its wealth, it”s higher standard of living, its freedom and its ethnic and religious tolerance. Europe opened its borders to them while turning a blind eye to the hundreds of minarets that began rising in the shadows of its basilicas and bell towers.
Islam vs. Christendom
For many Muslims, the cultural change from North Africa to Europe was invigorating, but for others, notably second and third generation European Muslims, Europe has become a decadent and godless prison. As a consequence, they have refused to be assimilated into European society preferring instead to remain on its periphery – aloof, devoutly religious, impoverished and increasingly radicalized. Islamic religious narcissism has become a cultural force that is gradually overwhelming secular Europe. The threat is reflected both in Muslim population growth and in Muslim religious observance – a religious observance far more intense than that within post-Christian secular Europe where religion is seen as an irrational force stemming from the intellectual repression of the Catholic Church.
The Islamic faith broadly divides civilization into two camps – Dar al-Islam, the land of the believers (where it is permissible to interact with society and to send children to schools because they are subject to Shari”a or Islamic law), and Dar al-Kufr, the land of unbelievers (where assimilation is forbidden and devout Muslims are required to “keep their distance from the infidels,” and even wage jihad against their adopted country). (2) Since the Qur’an comes after the Torah and the Bible (historically and chronologically), it is the final and therefore perfect manifesto of God’s will.
It is the latter belief that is prevailing in the slums and tenements of Europe. In the past year alone, it has reflected itself in riots in France’s banlieues and the European uproar over the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Radical Islamists see no contradiction between their demand for “respect” for Islam and their demands that Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Mormonism or any other non-Islamic religion accept d”himmitude or legal second class status. They see no contradiction between demanding the supremacy of Islam on the one hand, and trampling on the Danish flag (which has the Christian cross emblazoned on it), banning religions other than Islam in Saudi Arabia, publishing viciously anti-Semitic canards in the Arab media and demanding that all other religions must submit to “the will of Allah” on the other. That is, infidels should have no rights or freedoms other than those bestowed upon them in accordance with Shari”a (Islamic law). And therein lies the problem – the view that Muslims cannot practice true Islam in a secular environment. This belief translates into decrees (fatwas) from European imams prohibiting the giving of greetings to infidels on their religious holidays, encouraging Muslim parents to remove their children from secular European public schools and prohibiting Muslim service in the armies and police of their newly adopted lands. Safety, security and survival can only be found within the greater Muslim “community” (ummah). This religious imperative has led to widespread Muslim alienation and poverty throughout Europe. It has also led to the growth of Islamic radicalism.
The degree of religious observance between the two cultures is substantial. While seventy-five (75%) of French Muslims observe the month-long Ramadan fast, and two thirds avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages, French (indeed European) post-Christian culture is strongly rooted in secularism. (3) In the Netherlands, Britain, Sweden and Denmark, fewer than ten percent (10%) of the population attend church even once a month, and while an estimated fifty-two percent (52%) of Norwegians and fifty-five (55%) of Swedes believe that God is unimportant to them, European mosques are full. One result is that in Paris alone, more than 200,000 people live in families where polygamy is common practice.
Thus, secularism, liberalism and religious tolerance have left European culture vulnerable to the more aggressive Islamic advances. This higher degree of European Muslim religious observance is also reflected in its successful proselytization efforts. (4) While secular European society is busying itself promoting religious tolerance, there are an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 converts to Islam in France alone (mostly, though not exclusively from Afro-Caribbean countries).
The Demographic Challenge
The high degree of Islamic observance (reflecting itself in the cultural alienation of European Muslim society) when combined with the massive influx of millions of Arab Muslims into Christian Europe, represent the first significant challenge to European Christendom in centuries. Immigration has accounted for some 70% of Europe’s general population growth over the past five years, and the majority of that immigration has been Muslim. According to a 2002 report by the World Jewish Congress, the Muslim population in Europe now ranges anywhere from twelve to twenty million persons (depending upon whether surveys include estimates on illegal immigration) or around five percent (5%) of the population, but that figure would soar closer to 17% if Muslim Turkey were to join the EU. Thus, the debate about Turkey (and its 71 million Muslims) joining the European Union is increasingly a Eurabian issue. Once upon a time, the countries that comprise the European Union constituted fourteen percent (14%) of the world”s population. Today, that figure is down to six percent (6%) and projections show that by 2050 (according to a UN forecast) it will be just over four percent (4%) all brought about by a gradual lowering of the non-Muslim birthrate. There has not been such a sustained population reduction in Europe since the Black Death ravaged the continent in the 14th century. (5) If non-Muslims decide to flee the coming Islamic order (which is a distinct possibility) the continent could have a Muslim majority within decades. (6)
The UN predicts that Europe”s non-Muslim population will drop by an estimated 7.5 million over the next 45 years while its Muslim population will increase dramatically. European Christians are having fewer children ” an average of 1.5 children each, but to sustain a population, a birthrate of 2.1 children per woman is required. Since workers are needed to pay taxes and maintain the economy, Europe continues to bring in millions of immigrants ” mostly Muslim. Approximately 1.6 million new immigrants are needed annually to keep Europe”s working population stable. But if Europe wants to maintain the current ratio of workers to retirees, with more of its aging population retiring all the time, it will have to bring in a staggering 13.5 million immigrants every year. Millions of these are (and will probably continue to be) Muslims, especially if Turkey’s Muslim population is accepted into the European Union and is added to the equation. Muslims tend to have their children when young, in contrast to the native Europeans. They also tend to have more of them. Estimates suggest that birthrates and immigration will put the Muslim population of Europe at 10 percent (10%) by 2020. (7) Already, the Muslim birthrate in Europe is three times higher than the non-Muslim birthrate. In fact, for the past five years, the most common name for baby boys in Brussels, Belgium has been “Mohammed,” with “Osama” placing a close second.
In the Netherlands, Muslims represent a majority among children under fourteen in the country”s four largest cities. Rotterdam, a port city where over half the population is of foreign origin will soon unveil Europe”s largest mosque, and official projections confirm that Amsterdam and Rotterdam will have fifty percent (50%) non-Western populations (mostly Muslim) by 2020. This has brought the Dutch to the realization that their nation, the nation that spawned geniuses like Erasmus, Spinoza and Rembrandt is in danger of being overwhelmed by an alien culture that knows no compromise and refuses to be assimilated into secular Dutch society.
For these and other reasons, several leading radical Islamic theologians like Yourself al-Qaradawi in Qatar (the spiritual leader of the radical Muslim Brotherhood) and Sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Sudais in Saudi Arabia speak of the Islamic conquest of Europe simply by allowing demographics and Muslim conversions to take their course. (8) They see the adoption of the Muslim faith and the submission of Christian Europe to Islamic rule as inevitable. “We will remodel this country in an Islamic image,” Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad told an attentive London audience less than two months after 9/11. “We will replace the Bible with the Qur”an.”
When Tolerance Ends
Many second and third generation European Muslims, however, are not prepared to wait. They consider the Salafist understanding of Islam to be the only way to behave. More and more young people are turning to European madrasses, online extremist literature, satellite TV and the powerful rhetoric of groups that counsel belligerence and inveigh against assimilation and the countries that took them in. They want an Islamic Europe, and they want it now, and that desire is facilitated by European tolerance. After all, it was in the Al Quds mosque of secular, liberal, tolerant Hamburg, Germany that Mohammed Atta developed his hatred for modernity, secularism, liberalism, women and the “decadence” of Western and Arab societies. And it was in Al Quds mosque, too, that a young “party boy” from a secular family in Lebanon underwent the transformation that would take him from an elite Catholic prep school in Beirut to the controls of a hijacked passenger airliner that crashed in the fields of Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. (9)
The religious culture that brings European Muslims to the mosques and restricts their interaction with European society has also limited their opportunities in the economic marketplaces of Europe. Despite their increasing numbers, most of Europe”s Arab Muslims continue to dwell in slums and have four to five times the unemployment rate of native Europeans. This has produced a culturally alienated, socially marginalized, and economically unemployed Muslim second and third generation whose pathologies have led to a surge of gang rapes, anti-Semitic attacks and anti-American violence, not to speak of raging radical ideologies and terrorism. (10)
Today, the call to jihad is rising in the streets of Europe and intelligence chiefs across the continent are struggling to contain the openly seditious sermons of Islamic extremists, some of whom have been inciting young Muslim men to suicidal violence since the 1990″s. All this has led to a growing public uproar in Europe that more strident measures are needed to integrate their unassimilated immigrant Muslim communities into the secular European polity.
In Britain, where the Muslim population exceeds 1.8 million people, this radicalization is reflected in the results of recent surveys where a growing number of disaffected young Muslims responded that being a “martyr for Allah” meant a ticket out of poverty and into paradise. Eighty percent (80%) were against the invasion of Iraq, thirteen percent (13%) said that another 9/11 was justified, and fifty percent (50%) said they would consider becoming a suicide bomber “if forced to live like Palestinians.” Almost 200,000 Muslims sympathized with Osama bin Ladin. (11)
Within European governments, there is a growing sentiment that rogue mosques are bent on destroying the West and that a foreign policy based upon appeasement of Arab regimes is simply not working. In response, police across the EU now monitor prayer meetings in mosques, and media accounts of the anti-Western and anti-Semitic sermons from European Islamic imams are fuelling public anger. From Norway to Sicily, governments, politicians and the media are laying aside their traditions of diversity and tolerance and are now insisting that Islamic fundamentalism be recognized as incompatible with Europe”s liberal values. But the Muslim community is pushing back. The French are being intimidated for banning Muslim headscarves, the Dutch for films deemed offensive to Islamic practices, and the British for supporting a “Crusader war” against Islam.
In the Netherlands, in the aftermath of 9/11, the weekly magazine Contrast took a poll showing that just under half of Dutch Muslims were in “complete sympathy” with the attacks. Many expressed the desire to turn to terrorism. In October 2004, Dutch newspaper readers were riveted by the story of a quiet married couple who had been harassed to leave their predominantly Muslim Amsterdam neighborhood of Diamantbuurt by gangs of Muslim youths.
A month later, on November 2, 2004, it all came to a climax when Theo van Gogh (great grand-nephew of Vincent), a well-known and controversial Dutch film director who had recently produced a brief 11-minute documentary on the shameful abuse of Muslim women by Muslim men in Europe (“Submission”) was murdered on the streets of Amsterdam, in broad daylight, by a young Muslim man of Moroccan origin (Mohammed Bouyeri) carrying out a religious fatwa (command) and committed to jihad. Reportedly, van Gogh was dragged from his bicycle as he rode down a quiet Amsterdam street and shot at least six times. As he attempted to escape, his assailant pursued him and despite pleading for his life, his assailant proceeded to slit his throat with a butcher knife (almost severing van Gogh”s head) and then impaled a five-page letter attacking the enemies of Islam on the chest of his dying victim.
For the most tolerant of peoples (whose approach to past terrorist threats had simply been to sentence “offenders” to 120 hours of community service), van Gogh”s murder was too much even for the Dutch. Signs began appearing throughout the city – “If you don”t like it, leave.” In the wake of the van Gogh murder, Pakistani, Kurdish, and Moroccan terrorist cells were discovered to be operating in the land of religious tolerance. The Hague-based “Capital Network,” (out of which van Gogh’s killer came) was discovered to have had contact with terrorists involved in the 2003 Casablanca bombings. It was also discovered that Bouyeri”s mosque had received a massive Euro loan from the Saudi Al Haramain Foundation – a Foundation that has since been designated as a funder of terrorism. Perhaps the most alarming revelation was that an Islamist mole had been working as a translator in the AIVD, the Dutch national investigative service and tipping off local radicals to impending operations. (12) The Dutch were shocked. Indeed, prior to the van Gogh murder, the government had actively encouraged immigrant children to speak Turkish, Arabic or Berber in primary schools rather than insisting that they learn in Dutch. In the 1980s, the government even encouraged the establishment of Muslim schools. It poured public money into the construction of mosques, and funding was provided for “ethnic diversity projects” including seven hundred Islamic clubs. (13) But, the van Gogh murder was a wake-up call, and even the Dutch realized that for tolerance to work, it had to be reciprocal and that to intolerant jihadists, tolerance was just another word for an opportunity to exploit European culture. As one editorialist noted in the aftermath of the van Gogh slaying – “Unilateral tolerance in a world of intolerance is like unilateral disarmament in a world of armed camps: It regards hope as a better basis for policy than reality.” (14)
As a result, Dutch MP Geert Wilders launched a new political party demanding a halt to non-Western immigration into the Netherlands for five years and a tougher line towards Islamic radicalism. He has warned that many of the more than one million Muslims who live in the Netherlands “have already opted for radical Islam” and he has urged closing extremist mosques. Wilders has since gone into hiding in response to numerous threats on his life and he travels under armed guard when he travels at all. (15) Some Dutch national opinion polls already put his party in second place. Holland has just become the first country in Europe (perhaps in the world) to declare a four-year moratorium on any new immigration, including “asylum seekers.” In fact, the Dutch parliament recently voted to expel 26,000 such individuals – mostly from the Third World. It is also considering a new anti-terrorism law that parallels the USA Patriot Act and, in recent months, the government has imposed new laws requiring anyone over the age of fourteen to show identification to authorities if asked. In addition, the Dutch have directed their attention to their marriage laws where it has become a custom for young, marriageable Muslims to return to their homelands to find a bride or groom and bring them back to Holland. Foreign spouses marrying Dutch citizens must now be twenty-one and speak Dutch, and their eligibility for welfare is not immediate. Education in foreign languages has also been phased out, so the Dutch can concentrate on teaching their own endangered language. (16)
A similar scenario is unfolding in France in the wake of the French government’s ban on Muslim headscarves. Just days before a 23-year old Tunisian-born Frenchwoman (Ghofrane Haddaoui) was to be married, she was stoned to death near her home for refusing the advances of a teenage Muslim boy in Marseilles. She paid with her life. (17) For a while, traditional French appeasement seemed to be working. The French adopted the 1980 Venice Declaration that made clear that the European Community (under French leadership) had adopted pan-Arab conditions regarding Israel without qualification, including the 1949 armistice as Israel”s legitimate borders; Arab sovereignty over East Jerusalem; an Arab Palestinian state; the recognition of the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinians, as well as its participation in all negotiations, the obligation of Israel to negotiate with Arafat exclusively; and the refusal to recognize a separate peace between Israel and any Arab country for the resolution of the “Palestinian problem.” (18) Later, it called for a revision of a century-old law on the separation of church and state, allowed government bodies to subsidize mosques, parroted the pan-Arab refrain that no reforms can be achieved in any Muslim country before the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and accorded state honors to Yasser Arafat after his demise in a French military hospital.
But for all that, France”s six million mostly North African Muslims who represent 10% of its population and the second largest religion in the country, have refused to be patronized. Today, Islam reaches out to the Muslim poor and disillusioned in France’s working-class neighborhoods and suburbs. Fully fifty percent (50%) of the French unemployed are Muslims. Most Muslim quarters are plagued with all the social problems that beset poverty-stricken areas, including a high crime rate, drugs, prostitution, etc. (19) And to add insult to injury, not one Muslim sits in France’s 577-seat Chamber of Deputies. Perhaps that is the reason that Muslims account for over half the population of French prisons, while penitentiaries close to these districts have up to 80% Muslim inmates (20). Not surprisingly these neighborhoods have become the most fertile recruitment grounds for those preaching the message of Islamic terrorism.
To the average Frenchman, it is becoming clear that France’s “republican” approach to integration (whereby immigrants were supposed to blend harmoniously into society and not exist in separate communities) has failed as dismally as has Dutch tolerance. One indication of that failure arose in 2002 when the French government tried to create a representative council for French Islam. French Muslim organizations were set to choose their representatives, but the government canceled the election as pre-vote polls showed that the majority would have gone to the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF), a federation representing the majority of France’s 1,500 mosques. The UOIF is allied with the Muslim Brotherhood – the most powerful and dangerous opposition force in Egyptian politics – which supports the right of Muslim women to wear headscarves in public schools, something France simply won’t allow. The organization also relies on the Persian Gulf states for its financial survival and on the guidance of Yousef Al-Qardawi, the radical sheik referred to above who has preached a clash of Christian and Islamic civilizations on al-Jazeera.
The French believe that their country can no longer tolerate the excesses of an alien culture in their midst and only recently abandoned political correctness to halt the inroads of Islam by deporting foreign imams who support wife beatings and similar Islamic practices. (21) It is a telling commentary on French society’s feelings toward its Islamic population that a National Commission on Human Rights poll revealed that sixty-three percent (63%) of French society think there are “too many Arabs” in France (43% say that there are too many blacks; 21% too many Asians and only 19% too many Jews). (22) In December 2004, the government banned Al Manar (Hezbollah”s Lebanon-based television channel) for anti-Semitic broadcasting and as the year came to an end, French Interior Minister de Villepin announced the creation of a state-supervised “Foundation for Islam in France” that will manage financial contributions from Muslims abroad.
The French government has finally made the connection between Islamic mosques and Islamic terrorism. It has recognized that part of the problem is a shortage of domestically trained Islamic clerics to lead congregations of European-born Muslims. This shortage has led European mosques to rely on imported imams or self-proclaimed clerics who espouse radical Islamic beliefs that grate against Europe’s more tolerant societies. Only about ten percent (10%) of the imams preaching in France’s mosques are citizens and half do not speak French, according to the Interior Ministry.
Similar fears of Islamic radicalism have surfaced in traditionally tolerant Scandinavia – and no longer just from the populist rightwing party (Pia Kjaersgaard”s People”s Party in Denmark). The center-right government of Anders Rasmussen has equipped Denmark with Europe”s toughest curbs on Muslim immigration.
In Britain, where Islamic courts (ninety or more in London alone) inflict sentences that are inconceivable, new anti-terrorism laws under discussion would forbid suspects from meeting certain people, impose curfews or electronic tagging on them or confine them to house arrest and, unlike previous measures which were based on immigration law and applied only to foreigners, the new measures could be used against British nationals thousands of which are currently under surveillance according to British intelligence officials. Even more significantly, the government would not have to prove suspects had committed a crime.
In Sweden, where anti-Muslim feeling is running high and mosques have been burnt, schools have been authorized to ban pupils who wear full Islamic headscarves (although the measure comes nowhere near France”s ban on the hijab in all state schools). Giulio Meotti writes that, in Stockholm, the latest fashion is a T-shirt worn by young Muslims on which is written: “In 2030 we will take over”.
In Germany, Islam is the third-largest religion (after the Protestant and Roman Catholic faiths) and its three million mainly Turkish Muslims represent 3.2% of the population. Several years ago, Turks in Germany approached the German government to ask for religious education. The German constitution permits such religious instruction for those who voluntarily wish to take it. But when the German government turned down Turkey’s offer to provide textbooks and teachers, the government unwittingly opened the educational door to instruction from Islamic radicals who brought in Wahhabi textbooks from Saudi Arabia. It all came to the surface with the van Gogh murder. The murder resulted in pressure for sermons to be preached in German (rather than Turkish or Arabic) in an attempt to halt radical Islamic diatribes.
Hidden TV cameras recently broadcast a sermon from an imam in a Berlin mosque telling worshippers that “Germans can”expect to rot in the fires of hell because they are kuffaars (nonbelievers).” (23) And as if to throw more fuel on the fire, German television viewers were aghast when local young Muslims (asked to comment on the murder of van Gogh) approved saying “If you insult Islam, you have to pay” – a threat played out in the subsequent European cartoon jihad. As a result, the German Interior Ministry and other government departments are developing legislation that would include the compulsory use of German in Islamic schools, more training for Islamic theologians at German universities, and more pressure on foreign-born social welfare beneficiaries to attend German-language classes.
In December 2004, the government also instituted an anti-terror command headquarters at a secret location in Berlin, and on January 1, 2005 a new law went into effect requiring detailed background checks for every immigrant applying for residency and permitting the deportation of “Islamic hate-preachers.”
Local German councils have started to question permission for new mosques to be built especially since there are already more than seven hundred in the country. As of December 1st, 2006, under the new rules, immigrants seeking to come to Germany will now have to show knowledge of German and be under 45 years old. They will not be eligible for social aid.
Islamic radicalism in Germany continues to increase. In recent years, a Berlin lawyer was beaten along with her Muslim client who wanted a divorce; she was also attacked in the subway and was forced to close her practice. Again in Germany, Mozart”s opera, Idomeneo, was cancelled following Islamic threats, and by pure luck, the editor-in-chief of Die Welt, Roger K”ppel, blocked the hand of a young Muslim who was about to stab him in his office.
And even Italy”s traditional tolerance towards immigrants has been eroded by fear of Islamic domination. An Ipsos poll conducted in September 2004 showed that 48% of Italians believed that a “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West is already under way and that Islam is “a religion more fanatical than any other,” (24) In fact, 30,000 women have been subjected to genital mutilation in that country alone.
Some Final Thoughts
Throughout history, adherents to Islamic culture have devoted themselves to making their religion and way of life the dominant culture in every land they entered. And it is becoming so in Europe. When a Swedish company withdraws a textbook on religion because it contains illustrations of Mohammed, or when a British judge bars Jews and Hindus from the jury at the trial of a Muslim, or when a medieval Christian Spanish King (Ferdinand III) who was responsible for the defeat of Islamic Spain six hundred years ago is removed as the patron saint of an annual Spanish fiesta, or when the Dutch Language Union decrees that the word “Christ” must now be spelled with a lowercase “c”, or when crucifixes begin to disappear from some European hospitals, or when discussions commence on whether statues of Dante should be removed because the poet’s “Divine Comedy” happened to placed Mohammad in hell, or when a British government office bans Winnie the Pooh piggy banks and other images of pigs because they are offensive to Muslims…..a significant freedom is being lost not because of “sensitivity to certain cultures” and not because of “the responsibilities of the press” but because of pure fear and intimidation. The issue becomes the point at which a free, tolerant and primarily secular society is prepared to find the courage to stand up to those determined to tear it down.
During the Golden Age of Islamic Spain a thousand years ago (tolerant and creative though the culture was), the Moors demanded d’himmitude that saw Islamic rulers require tens of millions of non-Muslim peoples (primarily Christians and Jews) being treated as second-class citizens in accordance with the Qur’an. Jews and Christians were “tolerated” under Islam provided that they paid a jizya (or head tax) and accepted Islamic dominance. Church steeples were prohibited from overshadowing mosques. Non-Muslims had no right whatsoever to an independent existence and they could live under Islamic rule only so long as they kept to the rules that Islam had promulgated for them.
Should the Muslim population continue to grow in Western Europe at its current rate and should it remain a fundamentally alien culture within European society, it is conceivable that, well before the end of this century, Islam will become the dominant religious and political force on the continent. That is, the Europe of tomorrow will look and feel very different from the Europe of today. As Bernard Lewis of Princeton, a leading scholar of Islam told the German paper Die Welt during the summer of 2004, by the end of the century “at the very latest,” the European continent would be “part of the Arabic west, the Maghreb.” Or as Bassam Tibi, an Islamic scholar in Germany put it: “Either Islam will become Europeanized, or Europe will become Islamic.”
The great unknown is not whether Europe will become more Islamic, but the degree to which European Islam will become radicalized. When British intelligence agents arrest a group of Muslim men in London experimenting with ricin (a biological toxin used in assassinations); when British Muslims are told by Sheikh Omar Bakir Muhammed (the judge of the Sharia court in Britain and leader of the now officially disbanded Islamic militant group Al Muhajiroun) that British Muslims face two choices – either to leave Britain or to join jihad against the British; when British police break-up an al Qaeda plot to bomb Heathrow Airport; when the Financial Times of London quotes a British Muslim mother urging other Muslim mothers to take their children out of kuffaar (unbeliever) schools and to use “martyrs” as their role models; when David Bell, the chief inspector of schools in London accuses Islamic schools of undermining the coherence of British society; when an Islamic jihad group narrowly fails in an attempt to bomb a busy marketplace in France; when the French security and intelligence services smash a cell that was recruiting terrorists to join the insurgency in Iraq; when Germany arrests a Syrian embassy staffer and charges him with espionage and issuing threats against the Syrian opposition in Europe; when Italian investigators acknowledge that several recruits from Italy have carried out bombing attacks in Baghdad; when Swiss officials express concern that several militant clerics have openly urged Italian men to become terrorists; when the German authorities arrest twenty supporters of Ansar al-Islam (an Iraqi terrorist organization with links to al Qaeda) including dozens of forged passports and boxes of militant propaganda, and estimate that there are another hundred supporters remaining in Germany and five hundred to a thousand in Europe fomenting jihad; when an increasingly poor, disenfranchised, alien and radicalized Muslim population and culture continue to grow in the heart of Europe; and when rising Muslim violence culminates in the murder of Theo van Gogh, the torching of cars in French riots and the burning of embassies and consulates across Europe because of the Mohammed cartoons, it”s time for Europeans to stop pandering to “Arab goodwill” in the name of political expediency and religious tolerance and focus attention on the Islamic threat at home. As French Arabist scholar Gilles Kepel stated in a recent interview: “As to the future of Islam in Europe,” he said, “either we train our Muslims to become modern global citizens who live in a democratic, pluralistic society, or the Islamists will win…Then, we”re in serious trouble.”
In 1974, former Algerian President Houari Boumedienne warned Europe in a speech at the U.N.: “One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. They will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory.” Boabdil”s revenge for the loss of Al Andalus may have been long in coming, but for European Muslims, time and patience may prove Boumedienne and the Islamic theologians right.
- Bat Ye’or, “How Europe Became Eurabia,” FrontPageMagazine.com, July 27, 2004.
- Lawrence Wright, “The Terror Web – Were the Madrid bombings part of a new, far-reaching jihad being plotted on the Internet?” The New Yorker, August 2, 2004.
- “Radical Islam in Europe: A united continent faces a burgeoning threat to its stability,” World Jewish Congress Publications, No. 83 September 2002.
- Craig S. Smith, “Europe”s Muslims May be headed where the Marxists Went Before,” New York Times, December 26, 2004; see also: Aminul Haque, “Islamic Pride and Prejudice,” The Independent (London), April 14, 2004.
- Niall Ferguson, “Eurabia?” Hoover Digest, April 4, 2004, #3; Lorenzo Vidino, “Forceful Reason: Fallaci issues a wake-up call to Europe,” National Review Online, May 4, 2004.
- Niall Ferguson, “Eurabia?” ibid.
- Daniel Pipes, “Europe en route to Islamic takeover,” Chicago Sun-times, May 12, 2004. Update – In Britain, in 2009, the most common name given to baby boys was none other than Mohammed, in its various forms. Muslims make up roughly 3% of Britain”s 58 million people, but their birth rate is higher than the norm for England.
- Anthony Browne, The Triumph of the East,” The Spectator (U.K.), July 25, 2004.
- Fouad Ajami, “The Moor’s Last Laugh: Radical Islam finds a haven in Europe,” Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2004.
- Daniel Pipes, “Europe”s Threat to the West,” FrontPageMagazine Sun, May 18, 2004; see also: Michael P. Germano, “Islamic Europe: The Rise of Eurabia,” Perspectives, July-September 2003, Volume 6.
- Arnaud de Borchgrave, “Islamist Fifth Columns,” Washington Times, April 8, 2004; for a detailed analysis of Islamic terrorism in Britain, see: Rachel Ehrenfeld, “London”s Jihadists: The U.K. Must Crackdown on Resident Islamists,” National Review, May 10, 2004.
- Christopher Caldwell, “Holland Daze: The Dutch rethink multiculturalism,” The Weekly Standard, December 27, 2004, 12/27/2004, Volume 010, Issue 15.
- Alexis Amory, “Europe Resisting Islam”s Dark Ages,” FrontPageMagazine, January 28, 2004.
- Theodore Dalrymple, ” Why Theo Van Gogh Was Murdered,” City Journal, November 17, 2004.
- Christopher Caldwell, op. cit.
- Christopher Caldwell, op. cit.
- Charles Bremner, “Stoned to death…why Europe is starting to lose faith in Islam,” London Times, December 4, 2004.
- Bat Ye’or, op. cit.
- “Radical Islam in Europe,” op. cit.
- “Islam gaining ground in French prisons,” Associated Press.
- Elaine Ganley, “France Targets Imams to Rein in Terrorism,” Associated Press, May 3, 2004; see also: Glen Feder, “Fight or Flight: Will France Stand up to Terrorism this time?” National Review Online, April 26, 2004.
- “Radical Islam in Europe,” op. cit.
- Roger Boyes, “Germans fear Islamic Unrest,” The Times of London, November 17, 2004.
- Lawrence Wright, op. cit.