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PostIs the Islamization of Europe an Undeniable Fact? (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela, 09/25/21 4:14 am)
Recently I was talking with an old German friend, a diplomat with more than 30 years of experience as an ambassador in various countries, mainly in the Middle East, Egypt and Latin America. As usually happens in our meetings, we talked about politics and social or economic issues. Of course we talked about the issue of Muslim immigration to Europe and, on that particular we disagree in our approach and conclusions. In what follows I dare to expose the product of those reflections, conscious of inviting criticism and perhaps controversy.
Of course, this is a very delicate and sensitive issue for Europeans and Western society in general, because addressing it without falling into the negative aspects, of which there are many, is hypocritical as well as politically incorrect. I consider myself a liberal of convictions, without racial or religious prejudices. In fact, I firmly believe that social, cultural and racial diversity contributes to the development and success of societies, and that miscegenation is essential for bringing out these qualities.
All large migratory movements, sometimes for economic reasons or war conflicts, or both, tend to be unforeseen and improvised, uncontrolled and with little "social selectivity." They tend to be indiscriminate, or in the worst cases, illegal.
This characterizes the recent Islamic and African migrations to Europe, or that of Venezuelans to other Latin American countries, or of Latin Americans to the United States. It is evident that the reasons are justified and cannot be ignored, without falling into an insensitive and inhumane denial. It cannot be ignored that these migrants justifiably flee for fear of life, political persecution, economic ruin, and despair.
However, selectivity or immigration discrimination is a practical necessity, a practice that states must unfortunately assume. Otherwise, the risk for the survival of that state is very high--unfortunately so, because it would be an ideal progressive aspiration to have no borders, allowing the free movement of people throughout the world. But the reality is and always has been different. Although imperfectly, sometimes unjustly, states exist to ensure the survival of their population, culture and prosperity.
Muslim or African migration to Europe has characteristics that make me question the need to accept it without concerns. And there are certainly reasons that must be put forward to reflect on unreserved acceptance of the type proposed by progressive or radical liberals of Europe. In the first place, cultural differences represent an obstacle to adapting Western culture, for a great majority of immigrants, especially for those who come from markedly different societies, less developed or "backward", in a comparative sense of course, such as is the case of many Islamic or North African countries. These obstacles very often produce social marginalization.
One of the cultural differences that most contributes to the marginalization factor is undoubtedly Islam, which like almost all traditional religions in the past and in its fundamentalist forms is undoubtedly sectarian, supremacist and intolerant of other religions. Perhaps the reason is that Islamism is a relative young religion, and in this sense intolerant and less "mature." I apologize for this idea, which may be the product of my ignorance on religious issues.
The non-secular, non-democratic nature of almost all Islamic countries is another cultural obstacle that contributes to resisting the integration of the migrant population, into modern secular Western and democratic European states.
Although the logical thing would be to suppose that they will adapt to the ways of life and fully enjoy the political and social freedoms that have taken Europe and the Western world several centuries to conquer, the reality is that in many countries of the EU, for the most part these populations have been consolidated in racial ghettos, in marginal nucleus populations.
Obviously, it should not be overlooked that many, perhaps the majority, have been integrated and contribute in a productive and positive way to the community where they have been received and welcomed, but nevertheless many others have become a social burden who take advantage and abuse the generosity of the state, something that we have personally observed and witnessed in Spain and Germany, for example.
On the other hand, no less important is the fact that these migrations have produced many declared enemies and terrorists who only pursue the destruction of the West. A risk that Western society runs permanently thanks to the generosity and political correctness that is repeatedly demanded in the face of this social drama.
The argument that cultural and social marginalization is fundamentally due to rejection, persecution, and intolerance by the extreme right in Europe, may be partially true, although, without a doubt, the roots of the problem will have to be found also in their own religious and cultural differences, sectarian and intolerant, of the immigrant populations.
The risk of the Islamization of Europe is an undeniable fact, very important today and one that will have long-term consequences for our Western culture, something with which we will have to coexist for future generations.
JE comments: José Ignacio Soler raises a difficult topic in the most tactful way. But is a balanced conversation on Europe's Islamization even possible, without resorting to "woke" indignation on the one side, and right-wing xenophobia on the other?
An answer to this question is above my pay grade, but I'll add two more for our discussion. How do you tolerate intolerance (towards women's rights, for instance), without resorting to a different kind of intolerance? And a second question: why do I have the impression that Europe's Muslims are much more inclined towards extremism? One almost never sees this among the Muslim population in the United States. My home state has one of the highest proportions of Muslims anywhere in the US, yet this community is as "integrated" as any other immigrant group.
Will Europe Become Muslim, or Will Islam Become European?
(Eugenio Battaglia, Italy
09/27/21 3:01 AM)
Excellent post of José Ignacio Soler, 25 September, about the possible Islamization of Europe.
I fully agree that it is a real possibility, and I have already written about it. Various Muslim and Christian personalities have addressed this same topic:
1) Bernard Lewis in 1990 said that demography will create a Muslim Europe. The Muslim Arabs and Turks did not succeed with arms in the past but they will now succeed with immigration. The question is: will Europe become Islamic or will Islam will become European?
2) Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, when commemorating the 1453 conquest of Constantinople, claimed, "Muslims are the future of Europe. Europe will be Muslim."
3) The late Cardenal Giacomo Biffi in 2005 said: "Either Europe will again become Christian or it will become Muslim."
4) Fifteen years ago when commemorating the birth of Muhammad, Gaddafi said, "We do not need swords or bombs to spread Islam, we already have 50 million in Europe and within 10 years Europe will be a Muslim continent."
We may go on.
There is no chance that Islam may become European as hypothesized by Bernard Lewis. It is submission to a God as seen by a caravan merchant in the Arabian desert 1400 years ago. It cannot accept the separation Church-State.
We, very stupidly, lost the chance to support the creation of a socialist/secular Islamic world with Nasser, Mossadeqh, Gaddafi, Saddam, Assad, etc. This would have been much less dangerous than at present.
When I lived in Mount Prospect, Illinois, near my house there was a Pakistani gentleman who was printing the Quran and many other Islamic books in an attempt to convince people to convert to Islam. We were friends and I have some of his books, but the poor fellow did not convert me.
I hope that Europe will wake up and realize the gravity of such a problem and will forget its silly "buonismo" (bleeding heart).
JE comments: Why shouldn't the Muslim population of Europe become increasingly "European"--meaning, secularized? It's a hot-button issue, but I hope we can further discuss this in a dispassionate way. The secularization of Christian Europe is in itself a recent phenomenon--dating largely from after WWII. Granted, (Christian) religious revivalism is taking hold in some Eastern European countries, such as Poland, Hungary, and Russia--but curiously, not in Estonia, Slovenia, or the Czech Republic.
Is there any doctrinal reason Islam cannot accept the separation of "Church" and State?