Daniel Pipes on Europe’s Stark Options

Daniel Pipes has an extended meditation on Europe’s future which is well worth thinking about. He lays out three starkly different choices and explores the odds that Europe will take one or the other. The one he doesn’t consider is muddling through, which I think most Europeans think they’ll be able to pull off.

(I remember the Italian response to Y2K was: “it’s a long weekend… we’ll fix what we have to.” They were right. This one’s not as easy, and the consequences are far more serious.)

Europe’s Stark Options

by Daniel Pipes
National Interest
March-April 2007

[Title and text differ from that published, “Eurabian Nights“]

Europe’s long-term relations with its burgeoning Muslim minority, the continent’s most critical issue, will follow one of three paths: harmonious integration, the expulsion of Muslims, or an Islamic takeover. Which of these scenarios will most likely play out?

Europe’s future has vast importance not just for its residents. During a half-millennium, 1450-1950, this 7 percent of the world’s landmass drove world history; its creativity and vigor invented modernity. The region may have already lost that critical position sixty years ago, but it remains vitally important in economic, political, and intellectual terms. Which direction it goes in, therefore, has huge implications for the rest of humanity, and especially for its daughter countries, such as the United States, which historically have looked to Europe as a source of ideas, people, and goods.

These points are extremely important to consider. I know too many people who, aware of the threat of Islamism in Europe, have already written it off. We can’t afford that no matter how much Schadenfreude some of us might feel at the sight of the French (just to take a salient example) getting what they deserve. For cultural and practical purposes, Europe cannot be left for lost.

On the other hand, Europe has a (mild?) version of what the Arabs have — prickly sense of honor and deep resentment of the US for being so much bigger and better than they. As a result, it’s very hard for the US or Israel — both of whom have a great deal to offer the Europeans — to help without being resented for condescension and unwarranted interference. If Europe successfully deals with Islamism without violence, it will be because it rediscovers both its political core in the Atlantic alliance and its cultural heritage, which includes — as much as they hate to admit it — both religion and Israel.

Here is an assessment about the likelihood of each scenario.

I. Muslims Rule

The late Oriana Fallaci observed that, with the passage of time, “Europe becomes more and more a province of Islam, a colony of Islam.” The historian Bat Ye’or has dubbed this colony “Eurabia.” Walter Laqueur predicts in his forthcoming Last Days of Europe that Europe as we know it is bound to change. Mark Steyn, in America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, goes further and argues that much of the Western world “will not survive the twenty-first century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most European countries.” Three factors – faith, demography, and a sense of heritage – argue for Europe being Islamized.

Faith: An extreme secularism predominates in Europe, especially among its elites, to the point that believing Christians (such as George W. Bush) are seen as mentally unbalanced and unfit for public office. In 2005, Rocco Buttiliglione, a distinguished Italian politician and Catholic believer, was denied a position as Italy’s European Union commissioner because of his views on such issues as homosexuality. Entrenched secularism also means empty churches: in London, researchers estimate, more Muslims attend mosques on Friday than do Christians churches on Sunday, although the city is home to roughly 7 times more born-Christians than born-Muslims. As Christianity fades, Islam beckons; Prince Charles exemplifies the fascination of many Europeans with Islam. Many conversions could be in Europe’s future, for as the saying is ascribed to G.K. Chesterton, “When men stop believing in God they don’t believe in nothing; they believe in anything.”

It’s a good quote, although I’m not sure it’s appropriate, since Muslims (at least say they) believe in God. But the intellectual madness of European elites today — especially their suicidal self-image as the cutting edge of the globe… moral Europe — is something to wonder at. I guess that does qualify as “anything.”

Europe’s secularism shapes its discourse in ways quite unfamiliar to Americans. Hugh Fitzgerald, formerly vice president of JihadWatch.org, illustrates one dimension of this difference:

    The most memorable utterances of American presidents have almost always included recognizable Biblical phrases. … This source of rhetorical strength was on display this past February [2003] when the Columbia shuttle blew up. Had it not been an American but a French shuttle that had blown up, and were Jacques Chirac having to give such a speech, he might well have used the fact that there were seven astronauts, and evoked an image of the Pleiades first named in pagan antiquity. The American President, at a solemn national ceremony that began and ended with Biblical Hebrew, did things differently. He took his text from Isaiah 40:26, which led to a seamless transition from mingled wonder and awe at the heavenly hosts brought forth by the Creator, to consolation for the earthly loss of the crew.

My favorite, since it addresses the problem of moral equivalence head on with a profound sense of “demotic religiosity” comes from Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address about the civil war:

    Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged.

The buoyant faith of Muslims, with its attendant jihadi sensibility and Islamic supremacism, could not differ more from that of lapsed European Christians. This contrast leads many Muslims to see Europe as a continent ripe for conversion and domination. Outrageous supremacist claims result, such as the statement of Omar Bakri Mohammed, “I want Britain to become an Islamic state. I want to see the flag of Islam raised in 10 Downing Street.” Or the prediction of a Belgium-based imam: “Soon we will take power in this country. Those who criticize us now, will regret it. They will have to serve us. Prepare, for the hour is near.”[1]

Small piece of personal history here. When I spoke with Dan Pipes in the late 1990s, he told me of Islamic plans to take over Europe and the United States. I could scarcely restrain my disbelief. But, as a historian of millennialism, I know how just because things seem impossible to “rational people,” that does not stop millennial dreamers from the most outrageous hopes, and that no matter how wrong they might be, the damage the unintended consequences of their mad desires could me immense. (Among the millennial movements that have killed tens of millions we already have the Taiping, Nazism, Bolshevism, Maoism.)

But it never occured to me that they could succeed. And now, here we are, not a decade later, and we have to wonder if they won’t succeed.

Population: Demographic collapse also points to Europe being Islamized. The total fertility rate in Europe today averages about 1.4 per woman, whereas sustaining one’s population requires just over two children per couple, or 2.1 children per woman. The existing rate is just two-thirds of what it needs to be; one-third of the requisite population is simply not being born.

To avoid a severe diminution of population, with all the woes that implies – and specifically, an absence of workers to fund generous pension plans – Europe needs immigrants – lots of them. That imported third of the population tends to be Muslim, in part because Muslims are close by – it’s only thirteen kilometers from Morocco to Spain, only a couple of hundred to Italy from Albania or Libya; in part because colonial ties continue to bind South Asia to Britain or the Maghrib to France; and in part because of the violence, tyranny, and poverty so prevalent in the Muslim world today, which prompts wave after wave of emigration.

Someone explain to me why Europe doesn’t take Latin-American immigrants. They already speak a Romance language, they’re Christian, and they too are desperate to get out of violent, tyrannical and poor countries.

Likewise, the high fertility of Muslims complements the paucity of children among indigenous Christians. Although the Muslim fertility rate is falling, it remains significantly higher than that of Europe’s indigenous population. No doubt, the high birth rates have something to do with the premodern circumstances in which many Muslim women of Europe find themselves. In Brussels, “Muhammad” has for some years been the most popular name given to infant boys, while Amsterdam and Rotterdam are on track to be, by about 2015, the first major European cities with majority Muslim populations. The French analyst Michel Gurfinkiel estimates an ethnic street war in France would find the children of indigènes and of immigrants in a roughly one-to-one ratio. Current predictions see a Muslim majority in Russia’s army by 2015 and in the country as a whole by about 2050.

I’m not sure of these figures. There was a piece by Mark Steyn, “10 Million People in Moscow, Do You Know How Many of Them Are Muslim?” that claimed these figures for Russia, and a Russian specialist I consulted was more than skeptical. He sent me the CIA figures which he says have been reliable in the past.

Russian 79.8%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 2%, Bashkir 1.2%, Chuvash 1.1%, other or unspecified 12.1% (2002 census)
Religions: Russian Orthodox 15-20%, Muslim 10-15%, other Christian 2% (2006 est.)
note: estimates are of practicing worshipers; Russia has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers, a legacy of over seven decades of Soviet ruleBut it’s hard to know since we’re flying blind in this. We don’t know how many Muslims there are anywhere in the West.

Of course, that’s also problematic since not having any religion, as Chesterton reminds us, is not necessarily a stable factor. We cannot forget that a) Islam is a vigorous proselytizing religion, and b) it thrives when it “looks like it’s going to win.” Demographics is only part of the problem.

Sense of heritage: What often is depicted as Europe’s political correctness reflects what I believe is a deeper phenomenon, namely, the alienation of many Europeans from their civilization, a sense that their historic culture is not worth fighting for or even saving. It’s striking to note differences within Europe in this regard. Perhaps the country least prone to this alienation is France, where traditional nationalism still holds sway and the French take pride in their identity. Britain is the most alienated country, as symbolized by the plaintive government program, “ICONS – A Portrait of England,” that lamely hopes to rekindle patriotism by connecting Britons to their “national treasures,” such as Winnie-the-Pooh and the miniskirt.

Winnie the Pooh, but, heaven forbid! not Piglet. I’m not sure I agree with Pipes on his optimistic view of the French. According to Alain Finkielkraut, since ’68, their intellectual elite has been slowly but surely telling their students how awful, imperialistic, and oppressive their ancestors have been. I don’t know how much of an ability to rally patriotic self-defense the French can muster. My impression is that they lack what they call “amour-propre” (self-esteem), which manifests itself in the twin disaster of anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism (the two Western cultures with the most self-esteem), and a natural sympathy for the Arabs/Muslims (the cultures with the lowest self-esteem). This is just impressions and I may be wrong about any or all of these remarks, but I do think these issues matter, and that Europe’s behavior — preening as the “moral” light of the universe while trashing Israel and the US — reflects serious problems and self-destructive ways of dealing with them.

This diffidence has had direct and adverse implications for Muslim immigrants, as Aatish Taseer explained in Prospect magazine.

    Britishness is the most nominal aspect of identity to many young British Pakistanis. … If you denigrate your own culture you face the risk of your newer arrivals looking for one elsewhere. So far afield in this case, that for many second-generation British Pakistanis, the desert culture of the Arabs held more appeal than either British or subcontinental culture. Three times removed from a durable sense of identity, the energised extra-national worldview of radical Islam became one available identity for second-generation Pakistanis.

Immigrant Muslims widely disdain Western civilization, and especially its sexuality (pornography, divorce, homosexuality). Nowhere in Europe are Muslims being assimilated, rarely does intermarriage take place. Here is one colorful example, from Canada: The mother of the notorious Khadr brood, known as the country’s first family of terrorism, returned to Canada from Afghanistan and Pakistan in April 2004 with one of her sons. Despite her seeking refuge in Canada, she publicly insisted just a month earlier that Al-Qaeda-sponsored training camps were the best place for her children. “Would you like me to raise my child in Canada to be, by the time he’s 12 or 13 years old, to be on drugs or having some homosexual relationship? Is it better?”

I’m under the impression that there’s a fair amount of intermarriage, for example, in France, but primarily Muslim men with non-Muslim women, and not the contrary. But I don’t have any statistics to back this up. As for the “critique” of Western sexual depravity, given the behavior of the Arab world when it comes to sexuality, this ranks high on the scale of hypocrisy which we should not leave unchallenged.

(Ironically, in centuries past, as the historian Norman Daniel has documented, Christian Europeans looked down at Muslims with their multiple wives and harems as overly-sexualized, and therefore felt morally superior.)

And the superiority of monogamy in producing a culture that respects women and can develop in the productive and egalitarian ways the West has developed over the last few centuries is indeed a key element in our cultural superiority to those Islamic cultures that treat women like chattel. One of the marks of Muslim “moderates” is precisely the fact that, when they come to the West, they adjust to monogamy. Our problem is we won’t utter such an un-PC sentiment.

To sum up: this first argument holds that Europe will be Islamized, quietly submitting to the dhimmi status or converting to Islam, because the yin of Europe and yang of Muslims fit so well: low and high religiosity, low and high fertility, low and high cultural confidence.[2] Europe is an open door through which Muslims are walking.

There’s one more component to this prognosis which is even more disturbing: European attitudes of appeasement. Right now the dominant mode in Europe is “don’t provoke the Muslims.” As a result, anyone who criticizes Muslims becomes the target of attacks, be it Alain Finkielkraut for talking about the riots as related to Islam, the Jylands Post for publishing cartoons of Muhammad, or the Pope for citing a 14th century emperor’s reflections on violent Islam. This is what French Jews, aware that they are the first victim of the policy refer to as “l’esprit munichois” — the spirit of Munich. This dhimmi attitude, more than any trait, will spell the death of Europe precisely because it whets the appetite of Muslims for conquest — this is a culture asking to be dominated.

II. Muslims Rejected

Or will the door be shut in their face? American columnist Ralph Peters dismisses the first scenario: “Far from enjoying the prospect of taking over Europe by having babies, Europe’s Muslims are living on borrowed time. … predictions of a Muslim takeover of Europe … ignore history and Europe’s ineradicable viciousness.” Instead, depicting Europe as the place “that perfected genocide and ethnic cleansing,” he predicts its Muslims “will be lucky just to be deported,” and not killed. Claire Berlinski, in Menace in Europe: Why the Continent’s Crisis Is America’s, Too, implicitly agrees, pointing to the “ancient conflicts and patterns … now shambling out of the mists of European history” which could well trigger violence.

This scenario has indigenous Europeans – who do still constitute 95 percent of the continent’s population – waking up one day and asserting themselves. “Basta!” they will say, and reclaim their historic order. This is not so remote; a chafing among Europeans, less among elites than the masses, loudly protests changes already underway. Illustrations of that resentment include the anti-hijab legislation in France, irritation over the restrictions of national flags and Christian symbols, and the insistence on serving wine at state dinners. A movement spontaneously developed in several French cities in early 2006 to serve pork soup to the poor, thus intentionally excluding Muslims.

These are minor issues, to be sure, but insurgent anti-immigrant parties have already emerged in many countries and are beginning to demand not just effective control of borders but the expulsion of illegal immigrants. A nativist movement throughout Europe is forming largely unnoticed beneath our eyes. However meager its record so far, it has huge potential. Parties opposed to immigration and Islam generally have neo-fascist backgrounds but are growing more respectable over time, shedding their antisemitic origins and their dubious economic theories, focusing instead on the questions of faith, demography, and identity, and learning about Islam and Muslims. The British National Party and Belgium’s Vlaamse Belang offer two examples of such a move toward respectability, which may one day be followed by electability. The presidential race in France in 2002 came down to a contest between Jacques Chirac and the neo-fascist Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Other parties have already tasted power. Jörg Haider and the Freiheits Partei Österreich were briefly in office. The Lega Nord in Italy was for years part of the ruling coalition. They will likely grow stronger because their anti-Islamist and often anti-Islamic messages resonate, and mainstream parties will partially adopt their messages. (Denmark’s Conservative Party offers a model; after 72 years in the wilderness, it returned to power in 2001 due basically to anger concerning immigration.) These parties will likely benefit when immigration to Europe surges uncontrollably to ever-higher levels, including perhaps a mass exodus from Africa, as many indications suggest will happen.

Once in power, nationalist parties will reject multiculturalism and try to re-establish traditional values and mores. One can only speculate about their means and about the Muslim reaction. Peters dwells on the fascistic and violent aspects of some groups and expects an anti-Muslim backlash to take ominous forms. He even sketches a scenario in which “U.S. Navy ships are at anchor and U.S. Marines have gone ashore at Brest, Bremerhaven or Bari to guarantee the safe evacuation of Europe’s Muslims.”

For years, Muslims have worried about just such incarceration and brutalization, followed by expulsion or even massacres. Already in the late 1980s, the late Kalim Siddiqui, director of London’s Muslim Institute, raised the specter of “Hitler-style gas chambers for Muslims.” Shabbir Akhtar warned in his 1989 book, Be Careful With Muhammad that “the next time there are gas chambers in Europe, there is no doubt concerning who’ll be inside them,” meaning Muslims. A character in Hanif Kureishi’s 1991 novel, The Buddha of Suburbia, prepares the guerilla war that he expects will follow after “the whites finally turned on the blacks and Asians and tried to force us into gas chambers.”

But it is more likely that European efforts at reclamation will be initiated peaceably and legally, with Muslims – in keeping with recent patterns of intimidation and terrorism – being the ones to initiate violence. Multiple polls confirm that about 5 percent of British Muslims endorse the 7/7 bombings, suggesting a general readiness to resort to force.

However it happens, a European reassertion cannot be assumed to take place cooperatively.

I have commented on the debate between Peters and Steyn on this matter. I also think that the speed with which Europe wakes up, the way in which they respond to having the (elite and media spawned) shingles fall from their eyes. One thing is certain, I think. As the West becomes less and less of a patsy, the diplomatic face of civility from Muslim organizations like CAIR will become increasingly violent, reflecting the underlying menace of their current demopathic discourse. The “spiral of violence” likely to ensue, once the tacit alliance between demopathic bullies and politically correct cowards breaks down, is unpredictable.

As for the fascist tendencies of European culture, it is rather amazing that we haven’t seen them earlier. And here, I think a look at the Roman empire is of particular interest. The Romans were fairly well-known for their ruthlessness (decimating was a particularly nasty form of discipline of Roman soldiers, so one can imagine what kind of discipline they meted out to conquered peoples… like crucifixion.) And yet, having been taken over by Christian ideologues in the fourth century, by the fifth they essentially collapsed before a tribal warrior culture far inferior to them in both numbers and military might. It’s not at all clear that the will to fight back is still strong in Europe.

III. Muslims Integrated

In the happiest scenario, autochthonous Europeans and Muslim immigrants find a modus vivendi and live together harmoniously. Perhaps the classic statement of this optimistic expectation was a 1991 study, La France, une chance pour l’Islam (“France, an Opportunity for Islam“) by Jeanne-Hélène and Pierre Patrick Kaltenbach. “For the first time in history,” they wrote, “Islam is offered the chance to waken in a democratic, rich, laic, and peaceable country.” That hopefulness lives on. An Economist leader from mid-2006 asserts that “for the moment at least, the prospect of Eurabia looks like scaremongering.” [Fisked here] Also at that time, Jocelyne Cesari, associate professor of Islamic studies at the Harvard Divinity School, claimed a balance exists: just as “Islam is changing Europe,” she said, “Europe is changing Islam.” She finds that “Muslims in Europe do not want to change the nature of European states” and expects them to adapt themselves into the European context.

Such optimism, unfortunately, has little foundation. Europeans could yet rediscover their Christian faith, have more babies, and cherish their own heritage. They could encourage non-Muslim immigration or acculturate the Muslims already among them. But such changes are not now underway, nor are their prospects good. Instead, Muslims are cultivating grievances and ambitions at odds with their indigenous neighbors. Worryingly, each generation appears more alienated than its predecessor. Canadian novelist Hugh MacLennan dubbed his country’s English-French split the “Two Solitudes“; one sees something similar, but far more pronounced, developing in Europe. Those polls of British Muslims for example, find that a majority of them perceive a conflict between their British and Muslim identities and want Islamic law instituted.

The possibility of Muslims accepting the confines of historic Europe and smoothly integrating within it can virtually be dismissed from consideration. Even Bassam Tibi, professor at the University of Göttingen, who has often warned that “Either Islam gets Europeanized, or Europe gets Islamized,” has personally given up on the continent. Recently, he announced that he is leaving Germany after 44 years’ residence there, to move to Cornell University in the United States.

Now, while I will grant you that this is the least likely alternative now, it is not only the most desireable, but also, with some important changes of attitude, the most plausible. In order to achieve that, however, Europeans would have to get over their resentment of the USA and their pathetic effort to rid themselves of Holocaust guilt by trashing Israel. Only then can a) the Atlantic alliance — including Israel — become the core of a Western democratic response, and b) can the Europeans begin to learn from their natural allies about what works and doesn’t in dealing with the Islamic threat. Of course, making that move would call for swallowing pride that a secretly but profoundly honor-shame culture like the Europeans will find hard to do. And yet, ironically, it may be the only way to save themselves. Sooner dead than embarrassed?

Conclusion

As the American columnist Dennis Prager sums them up, “It is difficult to imagine any other future scenario for Western Europe than its becoming Islamicized or having a civil war.” Indeed, these two deeply unattractive alternative paths appear to define Europe’s choices, with powerful forces pull in the contrary directions of Muslims taking over or Muslims rejected, Europe an extension of North Africa or in a state of quasi-civil war.

Which will it be? The decisive events that will resolve this question have yet to take place, so one cannot yet make the call. Decision-time is fast approaching, however. Within the next decade or so, today’s flux will end, the Europe-Islam equation will harden, and the continent’s future course should become apparent.

Correctly anticipating that course is the more difficult for being historically unprecedented. No large territory has ever shifted from one civilization to another by virtue of a collapsed population, faith, and identity; nor has a people risen on so grand a scale to reclaim its patrimony. The novelty and magnitude of Europe’s predicament make it difficult to understand, tempting to overlook, and nearly impossible to predict. Europe marches us all into terra incognita.

I do think we need to study the fall of the Roman Empire in this context. It’s not identical, but there are sufficient parallels, that it makes for an important case of compare and contrast. Maybe a conference of late-antique/medievalists and Eurabianists?

And I do think that Europe has the cultural resources to rise to this challenge and develop a (much) deeper commitment to the principles of democracy, equality, and freedom than they have so far — and therefore demand from their Muslims the kinds of disciplines and responsibilities any democracy has the right to demand of its citizens. But that will take efforts that few seem willing to make. How tragic that, for want of civic courage Europe will either die quietly or tear itself apart with a civil war which, even if it won, it would emerge from vastly diminished.

Mr. Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and visiting professor at Pepperdine University. This article is adapted from a talk for a Woodrow Wilson Center conference on “Euro-Islam: The Dynamics of Effective Integration.”

[1] De Morgen, Oct. 5, 1994. Cited in Koenraad Elst, “The Rushdie Rules”, Middle East Quarterly, June 1998.
[2] It’s striking to note that in these three ways, Europe and the United States were much more similar 25 years ago than today. This suggests that their bifurcation results less from historical patterns going back centuries and more from developments in the 1960s. However deeply that decade affected the United States, it had a far deeper impact on Europe.

5 Responses to Daniel Pipes on Europe’s Stark Options

  1. Terrapod says:

    These are three fascinating scenarios, but as been mentioned above, Europe also has a history of “muddling through” and this means that there may be all three scenarios happening within countries and between countries simoultaneously.

    Being of European heritage and a recent immigrant to the U.S., I tend to favor the following sequence of events.

    1) France, England, Denamark, Sweden and Spain will continue to have festering hot spots of friction and likely more “car bar-b-Q” activity, riots and probably bombings, where groups of islamists try to force local and central authorities to cede more power or to abandon regions to Islamic rule.

    2) In some countries this is likely to generate a sever backlash leading to armed conflict in which the islamists will be killed and or expelled. Others will cede areas, balkanizing their country to the point where walled off cities a la Israel/Palestinan model may result.

    3) Long term, 2) is not a tenable or stable solution, leading to a likely outright war of expulsion and/or cleansing action brought on by a resurgence of nationalism.

    4) I believe this process will take another 10 to 20 years to evolve and do not see the EU surviving as a cohesive economic unit as matters devolve to individial countries to solve their internal problems.

    You will note that I have not mentioned Germany or Holland in the above scenarios because I think they may evolve somewhat differently. It is conceivable that the Turks who are the majority of the German muslim population may choose to remain secular in sufficient numbers to dampen attempts to radicalize and impose Sharia law. I would keep an eye on Hambourg as this is a center of Arab and Pashtun immigration. The Dutch have a smaller population if muslims to deal with and have a history of pragmatic solutions which could include a mass deportation.

    As to the other countries mentioned previously, friction is more likely due to the mix of N. Africans, Pakistanis and Arabs that predominate.

    If I were a betting man, I would say Denmark (already taking actual measures) and France will be the first to react with force to the threat. England may well balkanize at first, then engage in the true separation from past colonial policies and start deporting all who will go. They in some ways will have the hardest time with it due to their historical ties. I would also hazard to say that another attack on English soil could trigger a backlash that will be hard to quell.

    One last comment – with Venezuela, Bolivia, Uruguay and Ecuador heading for possible decline, one does ask why Europe will not open the doors for professionals and skilled labor from these countries to emigrate. A large wave of skilled, western oriented practicing christians could benefit them all tremendously.

  2. igout says:

    Remember that train ride from hell in France a year ago? Some 20 “youths” got on board and went on a rampage from car to car while the train was under way. There were about 600 passengers who offered no resistance when they were robbed and assaulted. Others who know more about this incident may correct me here, but it seemed that the passengers feared legal prosecution if they attempted to defend themselves. In other words, they were more afraid of their own government than they were of the hoodlums.

    This is encouraging, faintly. At least the European people understand that they are in danger and who their enemies are, which is certainly better than if the pc lullabies sung to them were still working. What’s needed now is a galvanizing act, a Bastille event.

  3. Eliyahu says:

    I think that Arab resentment of Israel differs from their resentment of the USA. The Arabs respect power, like most people, and the US has it and has had it for a long time. Their attitude towards Christian dhimmis was often moderated –I believe– by their awareness that mighty Christian states might attack Arab-Muslim lands, perhaps to defend the Christian dhimmis. The Byzantine empire under Nikephoras Phokas penetrated to the northern Galilee in a Byzantine Crusade in the 10th century, as I recall. The Jews on the other hand did not have any powerful outside state that might conceivably intervene on their behalf. Hence, the Jews generally were treated in a more exploitative, more humiliating way than even the Christian dhimmis. Further, Muslim traditions from the early period seem to be more hostile, more contemptuous of Jews, than the beliefs about Christians were hostile and contemptuous towards them. As an example, of early Muslim hatred for Jews, think of the fable about the end of days when the Muslims will fight and kill Jews who will hide behind rocks and trees. The rocks and trees will then cry out: O Muslim, a Jew is hiding behind me. Come kill him. Etc. The current attitudes toward Israel explicitly are carried over from the Muslim tradition, although some might claim that the old Judeophobic traditions have been revived because of the current conflict. Nevertheless, all those traditions, hadiths, etc. were there, waiting to be exploited for current political purposes [see Carlo Panella, Il ‘Complotto Ebraico’ Torino 2005]. Now, when Arabs/Muslims lose a war to someone whom they have been oppressing, exploiting, humiliating for centuries, then the hatred is all the greater and the Arabs readily seize on diabolical plots to explain their difficulties, for how otherwise could the long-standing world order have been overturned.

  4. RL says:

    Response to Terrapod:

    interesting comments. my comments in italics.

    These are three fascinating scenarios, but as been mentioned above, Europe also has a history of “muddling through” and this means that there may be all three scenarios happening within countries and between countries simoultaneously.

    Being of European heritage and a recent immigrant to the U.S., I tend to favor the following sequence of events.

    1) France, England, Denamark, Sweden and Spain will continue to have festering hot spots of friction and likely more “car bar-b-Q” activity, riots and probably bombings, where groups of islamists try to force local and central authorities to cede more power or to abandon regions to Islamic rule.

    yes, altho the question is, how rapidly will this accelerate? and the answer is a function of the response, with either concessions or excessive force provoking still further violence.

    2) In some countries this is likely to generate a severe backlash leading to armed conflict in which the islamists will be killed and or expelled. Others will cede areas, balkanizing their country to the point where walled off cities a la Israel/Palestinan model may result.

    precisely. of course if any of the islamists are even remotely “youth”, the europeans will have a muhammad al durah on their hands, and a large population of “sympathetic progressives” up in arms against the government.

    3) Long term, 2) is not a tenable or stable solution, leading to a likely outright war of expulsion and/or cleansing action brought on by a resurgence of nationalism.

    4) I believe this process will take another 10 to 20 years to evolve and do not see the EU surviving as a cohesive economic unit as matters devolve to individial countries to solve their internal problems.

    of course, what happens if one country goes Muslim? large emigration of the non-Muslim population to neighboring places… what else?

    You will note that I have not mentioned Germany or Holland in the above scenarios because I think they may evolve somewhat differently. It is conceivable that the Turks who are the majority of the German muslim population may choose to remain secular in sufficient numbers to dampen attempts to radicalize and impose Sharia law. I would keep an eye on Hambourg as this is a center of Arab and Pashtun immigration. The Dutch have a smaller population of muslims to deal with and have a history of pragmatic solutions which could include a mass deportation.

    that would take an enormous shift in dutch attitudes. they’re so proud of their tolerance.

    As to the other countries mentioned previously, friction is more likely due to the mix of N. Africans, Pakistanis and Arabs that predominate.

    If I were a betting man, I would say Denmark (already taking actual measures) and France will be the first to react with force to the threat. England may well balkanize at first, then engage in the true separation from past colonial policies and start deporting all who will go. They in some ways will have the hardest time with it due to their historical ties. I would also hazard to say that another attack on English soil could trigger a backlash that will be hard to quell.

    One last comment – with Venezuela, Bolivia, Uruguay and Ecuador heading for possible decline, one does ask why Europe will not open the doors for professionals and skilled labor from these countries to emigrate. A large wave of skilled, western oriented practicing christians could benefit them all tremendously.

  5. sully says:

    Response to Terrapod.

    You wrote “Being of European heritage and a recent immigrant to the U.S., I tend to favor the following sequence of events.”

    You point up an interesting practical problem faced by the U.S.
    By admitting escaping Europeans we gain assets for later use in resistance here, but we weaken potential allies by allowing the escape of their most enterprising citizens.

    My sense is that closing the escape hatch would hasten the explosion and maximize the potential of a Europe successfully resisting Islam.

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