by Bruce Bawer, FRONTPAGE Magazine
Few readers of this website will be unaware that over the last several years plenty of books, including my own While Europe Slept, have warned about the present and future effects of the rise of Islam in Europe. Some writers, notably Christopher Caldwell and Mark Steyn, have gone into considerable detail about the now widely recognized fact that the low birth rate among ethnic Europeans, the high birth rate among European Muslims, and the steady arrival of new Muslim immigrants on the continent will mean an increasingly Muslim Europe in the decades to come and, ultimately, a majority Muslim population in one country after another.
FrontPage readers will also likely be aware that ever since these books starting coming off the presses, any number of supposedly intelligent and well-informed critics have vehemently dismissed such prognostications as alarmist nonsense, noting that in this or that European country the Muslim percentage of the population is still quite modest, and suggesting that there is no reason to expect the current numbers to climb very drastically in the years to come. The fact that these critics actually appear to buy their own arguments, and that they are able to persuade other reasonably intelligent people to believe them as well, only demonstrates the remarkable level of ignorance of basic math on the part of many individuals with pricey liberal educations.
A few recent news stories out of Europe confirm that concerns about the continent’s skyrocketing Muslim populations are, in fact, anything but alarmist. On August 8, for example, Britain’s Daily Telegraph actuallypermitted into its pages an article reporting that “Britain and the rest of the European Union are ignoring a demographic time bomb: a recent rush into the EU by migrants, including millions of Muslims, will change the continent beyond recognition over the next two decades, and almost no policy-makers are talking about it.” According to the Telegraph, Spain’s foreign-born population rose from 3.2% in 1998 to 13.4% in 2007, and in Brussels, “the top seven baby boys’ names recently were Mohamed, Adam, Rayan, Ayoub, Mehdi, Amine and Hamza.” The Telegraph cited the highly euphemistic conclusion of a recent report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life that the rapid introduction of large numbers of Muslims into Europe results in “a difficult social fit.”
Similarly, an August 26 article in Denmark’s Dispatch International revealed that the number of Muslims in Denmark and Sweden, which had previously been uncertain (with estimates ranging widely), could now be stated with an unprecedented degree of precision, based on a meticulous study of the records of given names in the two countries. Within ten or twenty thousand, the real number of Muslims (not including unregistered illegal aliens) was about “574,000…in Sweden and 256,000 in Denmark,” meaning “that Muslims make up 6.05% of Sweden’s population and 4.59% of Denmark’s.” The Swedish figure was up from around 3.21% in 1998: “In other words, the number of Muslims has roughly doubled over the period 1998-2011.” As for Denmark, although the climb was less precipitous, that country’s center-right governments between 2001 and 2011, while often criticized as Islamophobic, turned out to have “hardly made a dent in the Muslim growth rate.” As for Norway, the Norwegian website document.no reported on September 5 that just over 38% of all newborn babies in Oslo now have “mothers with foreign national backgrounds.”
Europe is on a journey, and the destination is clear. Just a few days ago it was reported that Kiwi, one of Norway’s largest grocery-store chains, has introduced a version of its employee uniform that comes equipped with a hijab. This summer in Marseilles, a city that some observers have long pointed to as cheering evidence that Islamic integration in Europe can work, a woman wearing a niqab, or full-face veil, in public – which, of course, violates French law – was confronted by a cop, who was, in turn, according to the Washington Post, confronted by a “youth” who informed him that the police “had no business patrolling the neighborhood and accosting its predominantly Muslim residents.” Next thing you know, this tête-à-tête-à-tête erupted into a full-scale riot, requiring “carloads of police reinforcements,” in which no fewer than three gendermes sustained injuries. The only surprises in the whole story are (a) that a French cop was actually on patrol in a “predominantly Muslim” neighborhood to begin with and (b) that he dared to confront a woman in niqab. This time, thankfully, the cops managed to get things under control: but how long will it be before the numbers have tilted to a point where control is impossible?
September 5 was Flag Day in Denmark. Outside Christianborg Place in Copenhagen, a formal ceremony was held paying tribute to members of the Danish military, living and dead; meanwhile, across the canal, a sizable mob of Muslims gathered, holding up signs reading “To hell with Danish soldiers” and “Islam will dominate the whole world” and howling out “Allah akbar” and various anti-Danish, anti-Christian, and anti-Western slogans in an effort to disrupt the commemoration. In an impromptu response, hundreds of the Danish soldiers in attendance formed a “human shield” along the canal and drowned out the Muslims with shouts and applause. “The soldiers’ exemplary behavior and good humor turned the episode into an inspiration,” wrote one commentator. But what happens when the howling Muslims outnumber the soldiers?
Who has the answers to these questions? Not, you can be sure, the officially credentialed “Europe experts,” whose heads, even now, remain firmly buried in the sand. On September 1, one of the most respected of those “experts,” Timothy Garton Ash – who bestrides the Western academy like a colossus, with faculty positions at both Oxford and Stanford, but who, for all his purported expertise, has long managed to either ignore or minimize the threat of Islam to the glorious European future he envisions – offered yet another of his ridiculous, self-deluding paeans to Europe. Although (for the hundredth time) turning discreetly away from Europe’s ongoing Islamization, he did admit the seriousness of the Euro crisis, yet still refused to give up on the EU, instead offering what he calls a “new case for European unification”: namely that every European country, in the coming century, will be puny alongside China, India, and the U.S., so that if Europeans wish “to preserve the remarkable combination of prosperity, peace, relative social security and quality of life that they have achieved over the last 60 years, they need the scale that only the European Union can provide.”
Great point. The only thing it overlooks is reality – indeed, a long list of realities, among them the fact that most Europeans never wanted to join the EU (which was forced upon them by elite types like Garton Ash himself); the fact that the EU, far from bringing Europeans prosperity, peace, and so on, has proven to be a formula for economic disaster; and – above all, putting all else in the shade – the grim and looming reality that Europe is undergoing a relentless process of Islamization. The evidence, as we have seen, is accumulating apace, and most Europeans have recognized the truth for quite a while; yet the big-time, institutionally legitimized “experts” – along with most of the politicians whose job it should be to try to reverse this process – continue to pretend it’s a racist lie.