Eurabia Revisited: Muslim Surge – Multi-Ethnic vs. Multicultural Society

In 2005, Tony Blankley, a conservative editor at the Washington Times, not the Washington Post, wrote a slim book that caused people to yell: Foul! Discriminatory! Inflammatory! I do not remember if he was a participant on the Sunday morning Mclaughlin Report at the time but I do remember his slight English accent and gracious manner. His political position was very much cutting edge on the far right side of the political spectrum. His book was described as “shocking”. He argued that it was the West’s last chance at survival because the European continent was to become Eurabia.   He argued that the European continent would be overwhelmed by militant Islam, which would pose a greater threat to the United States than Nazi Germany. This, he argued, was the West’s last chance at survival. This was in 2005.

That was eleven years ago. We had lived thru the September 11 2001 attacks –a series of four coordinate attacks by an Islamic terrorist group that killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 and caused billions in property damage. Five years prior to the Blankley book, a book published in the Netherlands had claimed that multiculturalism had failed in that country. That author was viciously attacked, called a racist and bigot. It was against this background and with the then surge of Muslims into Europe, that Mr. Blankley envisioned a continent where Muslims outnumber non-Muslims.

What has happened in Europe? This is 2016, and we will take count in 5 days of the 9/11 attack. Is there a Eurabia? Have the Muslims assumed the mantel of ownership in Europe? Clearly the answer is “no” but with a very large warning asterisk. When one meshes a fine article by Abigail Esman for the IPT News and the work of Conrad Hackett, a demographer focusing on religion at Pew Research Center, we see the formation of a very disturbing trend on the European Continent and England. I had a colleague who was fond of saying: Yes, I have a phobia, but that doesn’t mean someone is not trying to kill me.

Phobia based reasoning, people claim, is not a rational method for discourse, but there is a factual trend unfolding before us that is more than disturbing for the present and the future. Let me explain.

In Britain, Poles constitute the largest number of foreign-born residents, and the Brexit referendum to leave the European Union has unleashed a wave of violent xenophobia. But it is the Muslim population in Western Europe and Great Britain that has caused the greatest amount of fear.

In France, Belgium, Germany, the UK and Netherlands there is mounting concern because of the ever increasing Muslim population. Germany and France have the greatest number of Muslims. In approximate numbers, Germany has 4.8 million Muslims or about 5.8 percent of its population. Germany has roughly the same number but constituting 7.5 percent of its population. The UK has 3 million Muslims or 4.8 percent of its population. Last, the Netherlands has only 1 million Muslims but 6 percent of its population.

When viewed as a whole, Europe’s total Muslim population has been increasing steadily and consistently from 4 percent in 1990 to 6% in 2010, and should reach well above 8 percent, because of the extreme violence now in play in the mid-East and the rush of immigration fleeing to Europe. In 2015 alone the number of refugees escaping to Europe pushed to an astounding 1.3 Million people. While in the small and progressive nation, Denmark, the more than 36,000 mostly Muslim asylums seekers who had arrived in the last year has created a backlash. Bo Lidegaard, a prominent Danish historian, as reported in the New York Times, voiced the issue most profoundly:” we are a multi-ethnic society. We are not and should never become a multicultural society.”

These numbers are a haze to digest. But important as they are, they create a troubling picture for the future. The Muslims who have endured extreme hardship and arrive in Europe are younger than all other people in Europe, and thus it is expected they will reproduce at a greater rate than their older European neighbors. In 2011, it was predicted that the world Muslim population will grow twice as fast as non-Muslim s over the next 20 years. They have the highest fertility rate well above replacement levels and, thus, become the fastest growing religion worldwide.

Within the last 15 months I have felt the increased tension while visiting in the UK and France. Taxi drivers, without request, are indicating which streets and cafés were bombed; there is a palpable tension and one feels the quiet sense of possible danger. Since my visit in January of 2015 to London, with a cancelled trip to France because of the bombings, over 275 have been killed at the hands of Islamic terrorists. The youth are racializing and communities across Europe are in the midst of heated discussion regarding the strict control of immigration, reviewing counterterrorism strategies, increased surveillance and tighter control of currency exchange that have provided clandestine help to the potential terrorist.

I have written previously of much needed programs to coordinate intelligence gathering and data within EU partners. And that has come to fruition. Most important, beside the regularly scheduled meetings of the EU partners which I have called for is the present sharing of databases pinpointing not just groups but individuals whose potential for terrorism is demonstrable.

With the intensity of the data and intelligence sharing process we are faced with the concerns for individual privacy and the ability to have sufficient resources to conduct the most crucial aspects of counterterrorism intrusion. There is also the necessity to appreciate the macro picture –considering the effect on the general well-being of the European population with the arrival of thousands of fleeing refugees. “What now that that Europe is close to its limit on accepting refugees,” EU President Donald Tusk (the former president of Poland) said on Sunday, 4 September, as he urged the international community to do more to step up resettlement of those seeking refuge.

Taking the problem one set further, a major consideration in Ms. Esman’s article is how to combat/prevent radicalizing of the non-terrorist persons within the prison populations by the terrorist in the next cell. Equally important in the total fight against terrorism is the aggressive surveillance of those places that advertise themselves as cultural or religious centers but serve yet another purpose. Too many years ago, Steve Emerson of IPT came to my home and showed Yigal Carmon (who was then the advisor to the PM of Israel and now the founder and president of MEMRI) and me the first cut of a documentary he produced that was to be shown on PBS-Television: “A Jihad in America”. You were taken—with the use of hidden cameras– into mosques across America that were openly utilized as recruiting and training grounds for future terrorists. I remember clearly when the video print came to an end, I sat silent and stunned. I could only mutter: Please play it again. I watched it three times before I was able to discuss its content. Today, I would not be shocked.

Looking at Europe from afar, from the safety of my home, what I see is in some quarters is a culture that evokes hate and fear. There is so much more fear in Europe and the UK than in the United States. And the reason is obvious. 9/11 has become a memory to most of us in this Country—almost a symbol with little or no personal pain; the terrorist attacks in Europe are in the present, unrelenting, personal and with no understanding why the locations or the persons chosen to be attacked are determined—other than, in some instances, mere convenience. There is no place to hide. And so the rapid influx into Europe, first gradual and now in torrents, of Muslims bringing their traditions, culture and religion create a sense of being overwhelmed.

There is no Eurabia today and maybe not tomorrow, but there will be a massive change in the complexity of Europe’s character in our lifetime as the flow of large numbers of people rush from the Mid- East to Europe. Some to merely escape violence and they will be content to find peace anywhere. There will be some who will seek to impose their lifestyle on their host nation—and there will be conflict; there will be some who come not to escape violence but to vent through violence their religious hatred toward their host.

It is unfortunate, but the terrorists will, in the short run, outpace their pursuers. It is unfortunate, in the macro world, that the process thru which these refugees must be processed and their acceptance into our community will require enhanced surveillance. This will require the surrender of some of those civil rights we cherish until we find a method that truly balances those rights with providing for our individual safety. Pragmatically that is possible. There is always a price – a price for living in an open multi-cultural society.

Blankley was right. This is the West’s last chance to maintain its heritage—but only if we do deal humanely with those who flee from violence. In the process of recognition we must accept the concepts of religious freedom and deal simultaneously and pragmatically with terrorism –in one integrated bundle. One must understand that these are not separate issues; each forms an important part of the mosaic that will keep the continent European and embracing. France cannot be only for the French and Muslims cannot superimpose their will on the French –their culture or heritage. The EU must be in lock-step, united in one common goal. We, in the United States, learned that lesson when 13 very independent states formed one union, no physical barriers, accepting of diverse religions, no competing tariffs, and one nation-wide set of legal principals — all embedded in what became our Constitution.

Richard Allan,
The Editor

Gutter Politics, Fear and National Security and more

Once in a while and more often than not it is a good idea to get out of your own apartment. It is also very healthy to get out one’s own country. We have done that and have just returned from a trip to London and Paris. The view from abroad was startling. To understand one owns country through the eyes of a foreign nation, to read the local press of another nation not tainted by the prejudices of home, to look at something at arm’s length provides a view neither varnished nor sanitized. It was at once unsettling and refreshing. I have waited a short while to write this blog to allow the events that transpired to settle into reality.

First London, where only a year before we were counselled not to go on to Paris because of the bombings, we found the hotels in London half empty, easy to obtain a restaurant reservation and theatres selling tickets at half price. The Americans (among others) were staying home. Our hotel tea room was filled with a group of women wearing burkas with mere slits so they could see. Men from Africa in overflowing bright floral-patterned shirts, their fingers encased in massive rings, doing business with their formal English counterparts, and English secretaries’ scurrying about with their I-pads taking notes. Security was on alert but nothing to compare with what we were to confront in Paris. And, as an aside, property rates in London are still rising with the influx of foreign money.

But, it was the local and national UK politics that held center stage with massive headlines in London. And by American standards, the language was not far behind the language used by Donald Trump. In the past I have written about the level of anti-Semitism in English academia, but it became clear that it was now more pervasive and intense, than I had seen in the past or anticipated. Shocking to me because this news had not even scratched the surface in the US press, then again, why should it.

A vicious campaign for the mayor of London was about to end with an election during our stay. In the headlights: The Conservative Party vs. the Labor Party. The Conservative Party candidate wild eyed and the Labor party headed by a Muslim. In proper London, bowler hats, rolled umbrellas and with a population no longer represented by Mary Poppins elected the Muslim candidate. A first, but not the end of the story: The Labor party was hit by a massive scandal that found dozens of its members drummed out of the party for extreme anti-Semitic remarks. This behavior was now street talk. The unsettling news shared the headlines in the London press in which the PLO announced, with the killing of an American, that “their” people “loved death more than life”.

While this played out each day, the ongoing slug fest was whether the UK should leave the EU: “Brexit”. The international invitation to join the conversation had words from the President of the United States and the Chancellor of Germany and all the rest around the world. Clearly, there are massive implications for not merely those who live and work in the UK but for treaties, deals, travels, security and life beyond the tiny island of the Kingdom. If the vote, to take place later in June, were to find the UK saying goodbye to the EU, it is more than an economic decision. Many think that the UK would be stronger economically, since it could deal with whomever it wishes on any terms it wishes. “Self-government works better than being part of an empire that doesn’t have our interests at heart”. A comment made in 1776 and now repeated with the question: will the Eurozone be in existence a decade from now? Others feel it would be a catastrophic. The person shopping in the UK does not trade locally in the Euro but the Pound, so there is no problem there. But it invades the lives of each person living in the UK whether they are citizens of the UK or not. From the simple decision to take a day trip by Chunnel train to France, to the cost of their daily purchases. Passport control will be reinstated, border controls will be erected, import duties will be imposed; a French person or Italian or German living in London might have to register as an alien. The legal issues will remain even after a proposed economic retreat. Investors are pulling out of Europe in anticipation of the vote. And while Britain provides more intelligence to the EU than it receives, the routing will be slower, more guarded, and thereby impacting security.

But more import and overarching: Since World War II the world has looked to a united European Continent: different languages, but one nation, one set of legal values and the civil rights of individuals. People of enormous political stature had given their entire adult lives to this political and social cause, and now it seems to be unravelling. And the big question is why and why now? And the not very simple answer is not economics. It is immigration and control of not merely ones own boarders, but of who can be allowed to enter “my” country by merely crossing an invisible line on a map. “My” country no longer looks like me; these people speak a different language; the food they cook smells funny; their clothes and manner of dress are not the same as mine; their religion is not mine. And they want things—the line is longer for health care; they want to build a mosque, they talk about imposing their own laws instead of our treasured national laws of governance. I am losing my country; it is no longer mine. So let’s turn back the clock to a time “before” the EU by voting for Brexit. But is that simple, and can you? Tension, but clearly not the type of tension we experienced in Paris.

In Paris, a most beautiful city that is changing: a narrow local street that I love, once occupied by a small butcher, a baker, a tobacconist, a florist and a small super market, now has cafes shoulder to shoulder. But it is the tension that runs through it all that is mounting and palpable. A department store now has a private security force at all its entrances, examining your purse, back pack, your attaché case and your shopping bag. Outside on the sidewalk are four to six young men—soldiers in full combat fatigues, wearing green berets with their helmets attached to their combat vests, carrying Famas assault weapons across their chest, at full ready with their fingers across the trigger guard. Their eyes darting and suddenly they will move to another street or another location. In a taxi cab rid–any ride if you pass by one of the areas hit by the terrorist attacks in January 2015, you are told how many died that night.

The driver will tell you how Charlie Hebdo has moved but not to where.

Then the Paris government, in the midst of our stay, announced a new austerity movement that will curtail labor and the protests started and continue to this day. Coming back to our hotel after dinner, night after night, we are diverted more than once because the protesters had taken over the streets. The protests then turn into riots and then the attack on the police and an American is accused of a violent attack on a police car. My wife has metal in her legs because of a series of breaks, it has been years since any airport security has stopped her and, in fact, we stopped carrying a doctor’s letter to that effect in our passport holder. At the airport in Paris, on the way home, she was not only patted down with utmost precision, but also subjected to the use of the wand in a slow and meticulous manner. Nothing left to chance. But that was Paris.

After our return home, I heard “horror” stories from seasoned travelers who are complaining that airport security is getting negligent to the point of non-existence. I had a friend who once said (and it has been said by others):”Just because I am paranoid doesn’t mean that someone is not trying to kill me.”

The political world – and I do not mean international foreign relations—is getting more vulgar with gutter politics looking to incite the lowest common dominator in the population. This is not unique to America. England has its share. There are pronouncements and statements aimed at our most irrational fears, looking for a scapegoat for our own failures, and not taking responsibility but blaming others for missteps is becoming the norm. This vile populist rhetoric attempts to create a mass movement in efforts to morph a nation into nationalistic isolation. This behavior, by its very nature, invites not merely verbal confrontation as in the discussion of the place of the individual Mexican in the US or the hostility toward the immigrant in the UK. It adds fire to a type of tension that gives rise to fascism and the ugly personal violence it usually accompanies. One need only look back a little more than seventy-five years ago in world history. It is all based upon the irrational, the stereotypical and innuendos to intentionally introduce instability. It jeopardizes not merely our political process but in the long run our national and international security, our individual security and individual rights. That is my fear, and it is not unfounded.

Richard Allan,
The Editor

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