One thing different between a war in Europe today and World War 2 is the large number of enemies living in our home societies - the minority, but still depressingly large, number of jihadi sympathisers among Muslims in the West. Under the right circumstances - such as mass hysteria after some huge terrorist atrocity - this has the potential for ultimately starting some kind of awful Bosnia-style, infidels versus Muslims, civil war in Europe.
Such a war would likely: (A) lead to the defeat and ethnic cleansing (or worse) of Europe's innocent Muslims, and: (B) lead to the end of European democracy and the resurgence of old-fashioned ultra-nationalist European fascism. It would be a disaster both for Muslims and for infidels.
Could Europe fall?
It's the Demography, Stupid, by Mark Steyn, points out (as others have) that the Muslim birth rate in Europe is far higher than the native "post-Christian" birth rate (which is below replacement level). Extrapolate for a century and more than one European country will become majority Muslim.
Could much of Europe become Islamic (and hence unfree) in the 21st century? Could the Muslim population of Europe finally end the centuries old experiment in freedom and democracy?
Even large minority Muslim could end European freedom (not even majority):
Mark Steyn analyses the 2005 Freedom House rankings.
Of the 46 Muslim majority nations only 3 were ranked as Free.
But equally scary, of the 16 nations in which Muslims were a large minority (20 to 50 per cent of the population) only 3 were ranked as Free.
Reasons why Europe may not fall
Steyn makes a good case, but I don't think Europe is doomed just yet. Predicting the future by extrapolating from current trends has a long record of failure, a notable example being the global population crisis that was supposed to have happened by now. Global warming may turn out to be another. So what could prevent the end of freedom in Europe in the 21st century? Here's a few possibilities:
The Muslim birthrate declines. Muslim immigrants are unlikely to carry on indefinitely with the same birthrate in prosperous Europe as in their impoverished home countries. Martin Walker has some counter-stats. Mark Steyn replies.
Birthrates in Europe's Muslim neighbours are already declining:
Morocco - 2.57
Algeria - 1.82
Tunisia - 1.73
Libya - 3.15
Turkey - 1.87
Israel - 2.77
Ireland - 1.85
UK - 1.66
France - 1.98
My immediate family - 4.00
My extended family - 2.40
The Great Muslim Apostasy begins in the West (it may already be under way). For every young Muslim attracted by the austerity of jihad and sharia, two more are attracted by sex, atheism and freedom. European countries become more Muslim and "post-Muslim", but it makes little difference.
Fundamentalism is unexpectedly defeated in the Islamic world. Belief in the jihad, sharia (and maybe even the Koran and Muhammed) collapses like belief in communism, as Islamic peoples are exposed to the modern world for the first time. Wolfgang Bruno (and followup) speculates that due to its many weaknesses, Islam itself could be in trouble: "Islam will have faded off the world stage by the end of this century, and .. the process should be apparent by mid-century, or even before."
Europe becomes more assertive. Weak, "post-modern" Europe dies out because it isn't having kids. The stronger, more assertive elements in Europe are, and so the future belongs to them. In America, "red state" Republican voters have more children than "blue state" Democrat voters, which should mean America will get less blue over time. Likewise in Europe, left-wing, anti-American, postmodern, urban cosmopolitan Europeans tend not to have children. Whereas pro-family, pro-west, assertive Europeans probably do. Hence, over time, Europe should become more like America, and hence more assertive in defence of its freedom.
Europe gets serious. Once Europeans see that sharia really threatens their freedom, they wake up, and belief in multiculturalism vanishes overnight like communism. Europeans ban all Islamic fundamentalist immigration. Temporary ban on all Islamic immigration until existing immigrants are integrated. Internment and deportation of all Islamist suspects (instead of surveillance). Any expression of Islamic fundamentalism becomes illegal. Anyone promoting sharia or Islamist ideas is deported. European governments offer massive support for having children, and financially punish the childless.
Europe gets irrational and fascistic. Europe, the birthplace of modern industrial genocide, descends into darkness again. Civil war. Europeans, the inventors of the western way of war - the most deadly and effective way of war in the history of the world - win again of course. Muslims lose. Ethnic cleansing of Islamic population. Wolfgang Bruno thinks Islam will not triumph in the West, but warns there could be European war first, in what he calls The Clash of Fascisms. If sharia is bad for infidels, this could be even worse. The Norway attacks are a glimpse of this nightmare world.
It's not clear what's going to happen. There are many alternatives to Steyn's future of Europe under sharia, just as plausible. Unfortunately, not all of them are good.
Scepticism about extrapolations
Jon Ihle expresses some healthy scepticism about extrapolations:
"if immigration to the US continued along the lines it did from 1880-1920, America would be split roughly between Italians, Slavs and Jews. Present trends almost never continue."
Although one could equally argue that just because democracy has existed in Europe for a while doesn't mean it will continue to exist.
Muslims Take Over Europe? Sorry, There's No Chance by Ralph Peters, is much darker:
"The historical patterns are clear: When Europeans feel sufficiently threatened - even when the threat's concocted nonsense - they don't just react, they over-react with stunning ferocity. ... And Europeans won't even need to re-write "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" with an Islamist theme - real Muslims zealots provide Europe's bigots with all the propaganda they need. Al Qaeda and its wannabe fans are the worst thing that could have happened to Europe's Muslims.
When Europeans feel sufficiently provoked and threatened - a few serious terrorist attacks could do it - Europe's Muslims will be lucky just to be deported. Far from enjoying the prospect of taking over Europe by having babies, Europe's Muslims are living on borrowed time. When a third of French voters have demonstrated their willingness to vote for Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front ... all predictions of Europe going gently into that good night are surreal. I have no difficulty imagining 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."
As I have said, Europe looks pacifistic, but maybe it is more correct to describe it as irrational. It could swing the pendulum to the other side very quickly.
And again, in case anyone thinks this is good, this would mean the end of European liberal democracy too. It would be a disaster both for Muslims and for infidels.
The French intifada, 2005
2005 Muslim riots in France - Is this the start of the European Muslim intifada? Do we have a future of endless war in European cities by hate-filled young European jihadis?
Young Muslim thugs burn down a nursery school in Acheres, west of Paris (from here). The poor children must be terrified when they see what happened to their little school.
As Nidra Poller says, it is the Islamists who are the real oppressors in the housing projects, the enemies of the law-abiding hard workers who want to contribute to France, and above all the oppressors of women: "These are French women, born in France, and abandoned to de-facto Islamic rule in the country of their birth. It is their Islamist brothers, not French society, that reduce them to second class citizenship."
Disabled Woman Set On Fire In Riots - A 56-year-old disabled woman was doused with petrol and set on fire by youths in the French intifada.
The left can't stand the right's use of the word "intifada" to describe the French Muslim riots. They have always half-supported (or even fully supported) the Palestinian intifada. The right, of course, regards the Palestinian intifada as a disgusting war on innocent civilians, and they have no problem comparing the French riots to it. To them, "intifada" is a disgusting word - that is why they apply it to the French riots.
And it is also used to mock the European left for their long support of the Palestinian intifada. Now do you understand, we are trying to say.
The right is making the point that to many rioters, this really is meant to be the start of a revolution. That Europe's future could be like Israel, with suicide bombers in every European city.
Leftists think this is Islamophobic nonsense. But why listen to me? Many radical Muslims have claimed this. For example, the Islamic socialist terrorist Col. Muammar Gaddafi of Libya: "According to Gaddafi the riots in the poor suburbs of Paris last year were "only the beginning of the armed struggle of the Muslims against discrimination in Europe". "Probably one day Europe will be subordinated to Islam", Col. Gaddafi claimed".
Other young thugs (letting down their respective minorities) have caused riots, without starting war:
1965 riots (blacks) in LA - 34 dead.
1967 riots (blacks) in Newark - 23 dead.
1967 riots (blacks) in Detroit - 43 dead.
1968 riots (blacks) in Washington DC - 12 dead.
1985 riots (blacks) in Britain - 1 policeman hacked to death.
1992 riots (blacks and Latinos) in LA - 53 dead.
I don't mean to pick on blacks, Latinos and Muslims. It's just that, apart from the strange case of Northern Ireland, I'm not aware of any major life-taking riots by whites, Jews or Asians (non-Muslim) in the West in the last 40 years. If you know of any, let me know.
Why classify the above riots by race/religion at all? Because I am interested in what happened next. I want to look at similar riots by groups in the past in the West and ask did they lead to war or not. And the answer is encouraging.
My point is actually optimistic. Despite the actions of young black thugs, the majority black community did not support them, and they failed to start a war.
Let's hope the 2005 French Muslim rioting is the same, and will be seen as just an isolated event. The alternative - that the future of Europe looks like Israel - is unthinkable.
By the way, it should not be forgotten that all the worst democide of the 20th century was by whites and Asians, not by blacks, Muslims or Latinos.
There is a darker possibility, though. This could be the start of the long-awaited European intifada. It is highly ironic that France's endless appeasement of (and even support for) Islamist extremism, and its leadership of the "Axis of Weasels", has gained it nothing, any more than Hitler was really impressed by Chamberlain. To the young Islamists, the French are all infidels. Appeasement does not gain respect from thugs, but rather is viewed as a sign of weakness.
I don't agree that it is amusing to see this happen to the Weasels of France, after all of their treachery, but I do think this comment has a point:
"I, for instance, do indeed think that the Euro-fada is a very good thing, but not because I am disgusted by the French (even though I am). Civil war is coming to Europe. The only question is whether it will be sooner or later, and the sooner it happens the better the chance that secular/Christian Europe will survive. We were lucky that Al Qaeda attacked the Trade Center with airplanes, instead of waiting until they had nukes. They woke us up in time for us to destroy them. The Euro-fada is Europe's wake up call, ... In response, the intifada will rise joyously throughout Europe. When all the Islamo-fascists stand up as one and start marauding in earnest, Europe will finally fight. The Islamo-fascists will have their AK's, their body bombs and their IED's: no match for Europe's small but well armed militaries, who will kill every last one of them. This is great news. The futures price for secular/Christian European survival just quadrupled. So you see, it is not shaudenfreude. We are on France's side, even though France is not on ours."
Ultimately I think he is wrong. Civil war is not inevitable (though I am realistic about the risks if Europe avoids confronting Islamism forever). But I think he is right to say that Europe may wake up. And that could be a very bad thing for Islamism. And the sooner it happens, the better. Europe waking up sooner will mean government-led action, tough laws, increased intelligence, active deportation, and a controlled, restrained crushing of Islamism. Europe waking up later will mean panic, pogroms, civil war, and attacks on innocent Muslims.
For the sake of the Muslims of Europe, far more than for the infidels, we need to stop Islamism now before it gets any worse.
My optimism above was right after all. The riots fizzled out, and only 1 person was killed. The revolutionaries got nowhere, and maybe never will. It's still fun to call it an "intifada" though, to annoy the left.
Hey, maybe I was just ahead of the curve. Muslims are waging civil war against us, claim French police, Oct 2006. "Radical Muslims in France's housing estates are waging an undeclared "intifada" against the police, with violent clashes injuring an average of 14 officers each day. .. the interior ministry said that nearly 2,500 officers had been wounded this year". Michel Thoomis of the Action Police trade union says: "We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists. This is not a question of urban violence any more, it is an intifada, with stones and Molotov cocktails."
Will all those lefties who laughed at the word "intifada" now apologise?
Further Muslim riots in Europe:
Muslim youths riot in Brussels, Sept 2006.
Muslim youths riot in Amsterdam, Oct 2007, after police shot dead a violent, and apparently Islamist, gangster who attacked them. "Moroccan-Dutch residents of Slotervaart complained to reporters they were "sick and tired" of continuous "negative news reports" about fellow Moroccan-Dutch, adding they felt increasingly stigmatized." Charles Johnson: "And what better way to counter those negative news reports than to riot and burn stuff?"
More French urban thugs riot, Nov 2007.
By Mark Humphrys