|Back to Society|
|Adam Wallace||August 10th 2009|
Cutting Edge Contributor
The makeup of European populations has been changing since the 1950’s, unnoticed except to a tiny minority of statistical and census experts. That is until the last decade, when an almost exponential change in the demographic makeup of European populations became apparent to even the average citizen. The change in question is the unprecedented growth of Europe’s Islamic population.
When the statistics on immigration and birth rates are examined, the projections point to this conclusion; that if all other things remain equal, Europe will have a 20 percent Muslim population by 2050, with some nations arriving at that point even sooner. Debate at the highest levels has ensued about what the future holds for the Old Continent.
To many European government officials, the statistics are startling and alarming. For example, the EU’s Muslim population has doubled in the last 30 years, and is projected to double again by 2015. In France, Muslims make up 9 percent of the overall population, but in certain major urban areas, for example Marseille, the figure approaches 25 percent. In the UK, the second most popular name registered at birth is Mohammad. Likewise in Brussels where the top seven boys names are Mohammed, Adam, Rayan, Ayoub, Mehdi, Amin and Hamza.
In Britain, research by the Times newspaper into official figures published by the British government’s Office of National Statistics has also revealed that the UK’s Muslim population is growing ten times faster than that of indigenous Britons.
When comparisons of the age ranges of different religions in the UK are examined, the meaning of the data is apparent. While the majority religious group in the UK remains Christian, it is revealing that Christian affiliation is concentrated almost overwhelmingly within the over 70 age bracket. For Muslims, the largest population group is between 4 and 6 years old.
Looking at the total number of Muslims in the UK, and the change in numbers over a five year period, the data reveals the following. In 2004 there were 1.8 million people of Muslim faith in the UK. This rose to 2.2 million in 2006 and, for the last year figures are available, 2008, to 2.4 million. A forty percent increase in any population segment in less than a decade would be cause for serious examination, if not alarm to those seeking to understand their own national identity, values and traditions. That this trend is being repeated across Europe shows it is not scaremongering manufactured by the far-right against immigrants, or by those opposed to further European integration, but rather a very real phenomena whose roots lie deeply buried in the aspirations of post-War European society, and the expectations and lifestyles of the baby-boomer generation.
Two factors can be identified as fueling this unprecedented shift in population makeup: immigration and birth rates. The two are synergistic.
The welfare societies created by post-WWII Europe changed many established social patterns, with successive generations of a new welfare norm. With increasing cradle-to-grave welfare provision throughout the European Union, the traditional reasons for having large families became ever more eroded. Among most European groups, the whole drive for large families has vanished. As such, the greatest change in population growth since the Industrial Revolution—a reduction—occurred without anyone appearing to notice—until now.
Some background and history is needed. Throughout the 19th century, families of between eight and fifteen children were by no means uncommon across all social classes. The rationale was that natural mortality, as well as the prevalence in Europe for warfare, would pare down that number somewhat, but a number of your offspring would survive, and in turn be able to provide for their parents in old age. Advances in medicine and hygiene at the beginning of the 20th century considerably lowered infant mortality, and thus eliminated one of the reasons for large families. By the 1930’s, a family of three or four children was “normal,” whereas producing Victorian-style double figured numbers of children became stigmatized as a sign of low social standing and poverty.
The end of the World War II wrought major changes. A highly-mobile world, the permissive society accenting pleasure and freedom from responsibility all acted against the traditional model of life planning. Beginning in the 1960’s, Europe has seen the growth of a purely hedonistic section of Europeans who consciously disavow childrearing, opting instead for a lifestyle based on material comfort, and relying on pension plans and other financial investments to provide for their old-age. In many cases, individuals make no provision at all for a family, assuming instead that government Social Security schemes will remain forever abundant. Cradle-to-grave welfare provision was after all the stated policy of many European nations, and many chose to believe its promise.
The question that springs to many official minds is why should the growth in the Muslim population of Europe be of particular concern, as opposed to the mass migration of Eastern Europeans, which occurred after the admittance of former Warsaw Pact nations to the EU? The extreme left cries “Islamophobia,” assuring people that there is no cause for concern. After all, the dominant doctrine, which has governed attitudes towards immigration in Europe for the last thirty years, has been multiculturalism. This theory stated that every culture is as valid as another, and rather than promoting integration as a must for all immigrants, the host nation must learn to accept the values of the immigrant for the greater good of community cohesion. But many believe that this very concept devised to promote communal harmony has now become a potent weapon in the hands of Islamic extremists. Traditional Europe now sees a difference between the aspirations of the multiculturalists and the everyday reality in cities with large Muslim populations where, rather than integration and tolerance, the evolution of so called "parallel communities", having little or no attachment to the values of the host country is becoming more common throughout the continent. Within these deliberately inward-looking and closed communities, Sharia law is often upheld over the law of the land via mosque councils, and satellite television broadcast from the Middle East are the main source of media and entertainment. On the other hand, it is apparent that second and third generation Muslim immigrants are, in some cases, becoming integrated, and many European governments are now working hard together with Muslim elders, who oppose the jihadist movement, to develop programmes to counter the influence of the extremists and prevent the indoctrination of Muslim youth into terrorist cells. As was graphically demonstrated by the Madrid and London attacks, the deadly result of ignoring these deliberately segregated Islamic communities in the heart of our cities is an explicit and violent rejection of Western values in favor of the militant Islamist movement."
Unlike former immigrant groups who have assimilated the cultural values of their host nations, the Islamic community has, without exception, turned inward creating so-called parallel communities within urban areas, with almost no contact with the wider community. As has been graphically demonstrated in Madrid and London, an explicit and violent rejection of Western values has occurred in favor of the militant Islamist movement.
In the changed geopolitics of a post 9/11 world, the debate on Islam, and its role in Western society is beginning to assume a much higher profile, in ways experts see as simultaneously healthy and unhealthy. In 2005, the former head of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) in Britain, Lord Ousley, said he foresaw a growth of “US-style ghetto segregation in Britain.” Trevor Phillips, the current CRE head, almost immediately followed up with a warning that multiculturalism had failed in Britain, warning that the UK was “sleepwalking into racial and religious segregation.” This was a surprising volte-face for a senior appointee of Tony Blair’s Labor government, the main proponents and defenders of multiculturalism in Britain for the last thirty years. Very possibly this is an indication of how seriously the development of parallel communities in Britain is being taken.
In 2008, the Right Reverend Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, himself a descendant of Pakistani converts to Christianity, warned that Islamic extremists have created “no-go” areas within British cities, where it has become physically dangerous for non-Muslims to enter. Though mainstream political leaders condemned him, it seems that often the facts bear his views out. In 2007, then-Home Secretary John Reid visited Whitechapel in East London, the most densely concentrated Muslim area within the UK. His mission: address Muslim community leaders on the growing problem of radicalization of Muslim youth by extremists. But he was shouted down during his speech by radical Islamist Abu Izadeen, who demanded to know how he “dared to come to a Muslim area.” Other examples include the assault on parishioners and the vicar at a Whitechapel Church by a gang of Muslim youths, and the arrest in Birmingham of two members of Christian Voice, an evangelical outreach organization. Naeem Naguthney, a Muslim Police Support Officer, interrupted Americans, Arthur Cunningham and Joseph Abraham, as they were speaking to Muslim youths about their beliefs. He told them that converting Muslims to Christianity was a “hate crime.” Naguthney told the two preachers: 'You have been warned. If you come back here and get beat up (sic), well, you have been warned.”
On the other extreme, far-right political parties have not been slow to exploit the growing resentment over this change in demographics for their own ends, with considerable success. The British National Party, a far-right quasi-National Socialist party, with a track record of extreme anti-Semitism in the 1970’s has made considerable headway in rebranding itself as a moderate party interested solely in putting indigenous British people’s interests first. In the European elections of May 2009, the BNP, who twenty years ago were a political insignificance, fielding candidates only in two locations in East London, managed to run a truly national campaign, and succeeded in winning two seats in the European parliament. The recent exposure of expenses corruption among British MP’s from all the mainstream political parties has undoubtedly helped the BNP gain credibility among a far wider section of British voters than they would have otherwise achieved. The present economic climate undoubtedly makes their policies seem attractive to people who would otherwise have them out of hand.
This is not to say that this trend is nothing to be concerned about. Events in Europe in the last five years have shown that allowing the growth of a Muslim population to 20 percent will bring about either irrevocable change to the nature of European society, or racial strife of a type not seen in Europe since the 1930’s. The murder of Theo van Gogh and Pym Fortune in Holland, the necessity for the Dutch politician Geert Wilders to have 24-hour police protection, as well as the discovery of an assassination plot against Hirsi Ali and the editor of the Jylands Post newspaper in Denmark for publishing the Mohammad cartoons reveals that radical Islam has a clear agenda, which it believes it has a Holy mandate to implement. That agenda is the Islamification of Europe, and so far, it appears that the numbers are on their side.
Some government planners, especially in Britain, now remember what Sir Winston Churchill said of Islam: “Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step, and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it (Islam) has vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”
Europe is facing an unprecedented and radical change in its demographic makeup. Critics of this change declare that to reverse it will require a political will which currently appears to be lacking among its leaders. More than will, they say, is needed, a willingness to discuss this subject in a style that the forces of cultural relativism, and the hard left quickly denounce as akin to racism. Undoubtedly Europe faces some major changes, but unless the Old Continent is willing to come further and further under Islamic influence, with its inevitable goal of sharia law for the continent, it will be necessary to speak openly about the desirability of Muslim immigration as well as what should be the proper limits for social security provision without fear of being branded a racist.
Cutting Edge contributor Adam Wallace writes from London.