The de­mo­graphic threat to the West

Mus­lim im­mi­gra­tion threat­ens to change the Euro­pean way of life

The Washington Times Daily - - EDITORIAL -

Acom­bi­na­tion of fall­ing birthrates among the na­tive-born and the in­flux of hun­dreds of thou­sands of Mus­lim refugees from the Mid­dle East threat­ens to swamp the in­dige­nous Euro­pean cul­ture from which America sprang. Pre­serv­ing the best of the cul­ture will be the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the emerg­ing gen­er­a­tions, and the size of that re­spon­si­bil­ity is only now com­ing clear.

Be­cause French law for­bids cen­sus-tak­ers ask­ing re­li­gious ques­tions, es­ti­mates of the num­ber of Mus­lims in France varies, but Mus­lims may com­prise as much as 10 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion of 70 mil­lion. A third of those de­scribe them­selves in other sur­veys as “ob­serv­ing be­liev­ers.” Ger­many as re­cently as 2015 was be­lieved to count about 4.5 mil­lion Mus­lims, nearly 6 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion of 83 mil­lion. That was be­fore Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel per­mit­ted a mil­lion Syr­ian and other refugees, nearly all Mus­lims, to en­ter in 2016.

De­mog­ra­phers sug­gested in ear­lier years that the grow­ing num­bers of Mus­lims would as­sim­i­late to the pow­er­ful, largely sec­u­lar Chris­tian cul­ture of the West. They ob­served that Islam shares some as­pects of Ju­daic and Chris­tian re­li­gious ex­pe­ri­ence. But in other ways Islam is not a faith as faith has been un­der­stood in the West. In some Is­lamic coun­tries Islam is be­queathed at birth, and leav­ing it for an­other re­li­gion is pun­ish­able by death. Islam is of­ten not a faith of the heart, but of law.

Fur­ther com­pli­cat­ing as­sim­i­la­tion, Mus­lim im­mi­grants tend to de­velop self-con­tained slums around the great Euro­pean ur­ban cen­ters, which be­come in­cu­ba­tors of Is­lamic ex­trem­ism. Po­lice fear to en­ter some neigh­bor­hoods and rad­i­cal Is­lamic cler­ics ag­gres­sively re­cruit young men to wage ji­had against the West. The bloody Novem­ber 2016 at­tacks in Paris were hatched in Molen­beek, a Brus­sels slum that has long been a hot­bed of rad­i­cal Islam, drugs and law­less­ness.

Islam has his­tor­i­cally been hos­tile to un­be­liev­ers. Mus­lims early on de­bated the au­thor­i­tar­i­an­ism of Is­lamic dogma, which ad­vo­cates the forced con­ver­sion that en­abled the con­quest of much of the Mediter­ranean world. Ibn Rushd, (1126–1198), a me­dieval An­dalu­sian cleric, taught tol­er­ance and for­bear­ance but even­tu­ally lost the ar­gu­ment to rigid Mus­lim the­olo­gians. They had de­bated whether an act of the in­di­vid­ual oc­curs be­cause God wills it, or whether, as Ibn Rushd taught, such acts of the in­di­vid­ual fol­low the nat­u­ral laws of God’s hand. Ibn Rushd’s be­lief was a fun­da­men­tal teach­ing of the Euro­pean Re­nais­sance, in­clud­ing a re­dis­cov­ery of ear­lier Greek and Ro­man learn­ing.

Since 2014 Europe has con­tended with an up­surge of rad­i­cal Is­lamic ter­ror­ism, a con­se­quence of the Euro­pean mi­grant cri­sis. Mus­lim rad­i­cals have used so­cial me­dia to en­cour­age ter­ror­ism across Europe, in­clud­ing a num­ber of “lone wolf” at­tacks. The num­ber of so-called “honor crimes” has es­ca­lated in Ger­many. Honor-crime pun­ish­ment ranges from emo­tional abuse to phys­i­cal and sex­ual vi­o­lence to mur­der, usu­ally car­ried out by male fam­ily mem­bers against women in the fam­ily who are per­ceived to have brought shame on a fam­ily or clan by re­fus­ing to agree to an ar­ranged mar­riage, en­ter­ing into a re­la­tion­ship with a non-Mus­lim or some­one not ap­proved by the fam­ily, re­fus­ing to stay in an abu­sive mar­riage, or fol­low­ing an “ex­ces­sively West­ern life­style.”

In prac­tice, how­ever, the lines be­tween honor crimes and crimes of pas­sion are blurred, and can be any chal­lenge to male author­ity. Pun­ish­ment can be stag­ger­ingly bru­tal — such as by the Ger­man hus­band who stabbed his wife sev­eral times and dragged her be­hind his car with their two-year-old child watch­ing from the back seat.

The grow­ing Amer­i­can de­bate over the qual­i­fi­ca­tions and num­bers of per­mit­ted refugees in­cludes some of these con­sid­er­a­tions. Pro­po­nents of a more gen­er­ous pol­icy to­ward refugees cite the U.S. suc­cess with as­sim­i­la­tion. Oth­ers ar­gue that con­di­tions in the world and in America have changed rad­i­cally, and cite the rapid and in­ex­pen­sive com­mu­ni­ca­tions and trans­porta­tion that en­able main­tain­ing ties be­tween im­mi­grants and their ori­gins that did not ex­ist for ear­lier waves of im­mi­grants. Be­ing a na­tion of im­mi­grants is re­ward­ing, but in prac­tice not al­ways easy.

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