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The Islaming of Europe ^ | May 20, 2002 | Alan Caruba

Posted on 05/20/2002 6:36:52 AM PDT by Stand Watch Listen

The recent assassination of Pim Fortuyn, a Dutch politician, an outspoken opponent of immigration in general and Muslims in particular, plus the uproar over the initial success of the French politician, Le Pen, who shared similar views, points out the growing concerns many Europeans have regarding its Muslim population, in particular, and immigrants in general.

It may surprise you to learn that Muslims are the second largest religious group in England after the Anglican and Catholic majorities. There are some two million Muslims in Great Britain. They are not indigenous to England, being largely newcomers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India. Others come from Africa, Asia, and even Europe. The Muslims of England are very diverse in many ways, except for their faith in Islam. Increasingly, though, demands have grown for education of Muslim children to reflect their religion, for official recognition of the Islamic faith. Native-born Brits are less than thrilled with their growing numbers and demands.

The vote in France for Le Pen, a candidate with extreme right-wing political views, was generated by a growing concern of ordinary, native-born French men and women regarding their Muslim population and other immigrants. Here again, the fact that some five million Muslims are the second largest religious group in France may come as a surprise; more than half of whom are French citizens. They are largely the result of France's colonial past, especially in the North African region.

Most of the Muslim community in France are from nations called the "Maghreb", Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Others come from Turkey, Senegal, and Mali. Some are converts. Islam has a long history in France. Ironically, the spread of Islam into Europe was ended with their defeat at Poitiers, France, in 732. It would not be until 1683 when Muslims were defeated near Vienna, that further expansion efforts ended in Europe. Now Muslims merely immigrate to European nations.

France's situation is particularly instructive. Immigration began in earnest in the 1950s, primarily from Maghreb nations. For decades, the religion was largely invisible and Muslims represented the lowest rungs of the economic and social ladder, but, in the 1990s second and third generation French Muslims underwent a re-conversion of sorts, joining the ranks of radical Islam to seek an identity in a society from which they felt excluded.

This is interesting, too, because, twenty years ago, the demand for official recognition of Islam led to the Charter of Muslim Faith that defined how a French Muslim could remain faithful to both Islam and France. Today, native French citizens tend to regard Muslims as a danger to their society. The French government, however, has seen integration of Muslims into French society as a wiser path than some form of de facto isolation.

Reportedly, the overwhelming majority of Europe's Muslims see their religion as a moderate one. There are 32.5 million Muslims throughout England, Europe, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. Some are in the process of redefining Islam as people born and bred in Europe. This could be the beginning of a much-needed Reformation within Islam that occurred and redefined Christianity.

Having noted the Muslim defeat outside of Vienna, Austria in 1683, it would not be until 1878 before Muslims appeared in greater numbers as the result of the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and other territories by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Currently, Muslims are the third largest religion in Austria and growing. Their numbers doubled between 1981 and 1991. These Muslims are largely immigrants and are often political refugees. The bulk are formerly Turkish and citizens of the former Yugoslavia. The recent Balkan wars drove a lot of Muslims to choose Austria as a homeland.

The relationship between Muslim minorities and the State of Austria has been formalized and regulated since 1912 by the Islam Act that officially recognized the religion. It led to the establishment of the Muslim Faith Union in 1979 and Austrians Muslims are taught their faith in public schools with teachers paid by the State. The rise of nationalistic political parties in Austria reflects a concern seen in France. Increasingly, a growing portion of native Austrians are suspicious and fearful of Muslims.

In Poland, chiefly Polish-Lithuanian Tartars, a group estimated between two and three thousand, have lived in that nation for some 600 years. Their small numbers versus the overwhelmingly Catholic Poles has left them largely ignored. Muslims, however, in the post-Soviet Caucasus are a different situation entirely. Islamic fundamentalism has, for example, led Muslim Chechens to use terrorism and war on the Russians to seek a separate and Islamic nation. The Russians have responded to the Chechens in the same fashion as the US has to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Several former Russian provinces, now independent, but allied republics, have large, if not dominant Muslim populations. These include Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kryghyezstan, and Kazakhstan. Add to this, Albania. The recent Balkan wars were largely religious movements by militant Muslims and, ironically, the US sided with them and against the Serbs. So did the rest of Europe.

So, now, when you say Europe, keep in mind that the nations that compose it are increasingly home to a growing population of Muslims. Wherever a population of Muslims gains in numbers, they begin to demand autonomy or a change in the governmental structure to reflect Islamic law.

Other than Turkey, you cannot name a single Islamic nation that is a democracy. An elite military in Turkey have maintained its secular government since the days of Ataturk, the man who turned Turkey into a modern nation. The Islamic demand for something less than democracy is likely to lead to religious conflict in Europe. This is the danger it poses to the entire world.

Alan Caruba is the author of "A Pocket Guide to Militant Islam", available exclusively from the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center.
Alan Caruba

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: caruba; islam
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1 posted on 05/20/2002 6:36:52 AM PDT by Stand Watch Listen
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To: Stand Watch Listen
Good post. Hopefully Europe will close its borders to Mohammedan immigrants before it's too late. Mohammedanism is inextricably tied with authoritarianism both in principle and in practice.
2 posted on 05/20/2002 6:57:32 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: Stand Watch Listen
Muslims probably think the attacks on September 11th were a great victory, but I think history will reveal that event as the beginning of the downfall of Islam. Prior to that, the world could pretend that Muslims were peaceful, if backward, people who wished to peacefully co-exist with others.

After 9/11 the world rightly sees and understands that Islam is imperialistic and authoritarian and a serious threat to peace, culture, and democracy anywhere it invades. And I think it's no accident that there's been a creeping invasion of Muslims in all areas of the world over the last 10-20 years.

3 posted on 05/20/2002 7:00:11 AM PDT by tdadams
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To: Aquinasfan
The minute a McDonald's or Disney land is built in a foreign country, the inhabitants go wild screaming about how they don't want to be "Westernized" or "Americanized." And everyone is sympathetic to their desire to "protect their culture."

But if the Europeans want to protect THEIR culture (and they do have one, although half of it seems to consist of chain-smoking and sneering at America) everyone has a fit and calls them racist. Why? Because White People Should Know Better, which is in itself an EXTREMELY racist assumption. Duh.

4 posted on 05/20/2002 7:04:04 AM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Stand Watch Listen
The West may well be determined to choose light over the darkness of islamism...once it is too late.
5 posted on 05/20/2002 8:09:22 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: Stand Watch Listen
As per Winston Churchill, "You must fight. You must challenge the enemy now. Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may be even a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves."
6 posted on 05/20/2002 8:33:21 AM PDT by bsaunders
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To: Stand Watch Listen
It will be interesting to see the course of events unfolding in Europe. I wonder which country will fall to Islam before they wake up. For a while, I figured it would be France, but with the percentage of Moslems in Holland, I'm thinking it may go first. England has a good chance of falling too, but let's hope the govt there catches on to the threat before that happens.

Whichever western country it is that becomes an Islamic Republic first, it will be like the canary in the mine for us though. If we haven't caught on by then, that is.

7 posted on 05/20/2002 9:17:41 AM PDT by texasbluebell
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To: Stand Watch Listen
We are being invaded by foreigners, and the INS is furthering the islamic conspiracy.

Nobody bothered to ask us if we want to change the demographics of the united states to make it more islamic. What can we do to change this situation?!

I am sick and tired of the INS, they should be the nations first line of defense, instead they are the unwitting co-conspiritors of Islamic extremists!

8 posted on 05/20/2002 10:13:44 AM PDT by rageaholic
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To: Stand Watch Listen
the overwhelming majority of Europe's Muslims see their religion as a moderate one.

It's always moderate in the beginning.

9 posted on 05/20/2002 12:35:21 PM PDT by aimhigh
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To: tdadams
I agree with your analysis. 9/11 may have been a tactical victory for Islam (just like Pearl Harbor was a tactical victory for Japan); but it was a strategic blunder. The West is beginning to awake; when it united, when Russia is brought completely into the fold, Islam will quake in its boots.
10 posted on 05/20/2002 6:42:47 PM PDT by Phillip Augustus
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To: texasbluebell
Already in Europe Christians don't go to church very much, in general. Muslims are fired up, active. The rest of the people, Christian, Jews, etc. better wake up! What Hitler was unable to do, Hussein and bin Laden may do.
11 posted on 09/09/2002 10:28:56 AM PDT by buffyt
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To: Phillip Augustus
"I agree with your analysis. 9/11 may have been a tactical victory for Islam (just like Pearl Harbor was a tactical victory for Japan); but it was a strategic blunder. The West is beginning to awake..."

And I hereby concur with your analysis...

Up till 9/11 Islam was as an innocuous Trojan Horse -- it's insidious infestation "end-game" has since been exposed, especially here in the U.S. We can NOW root out as much insurgence as we can -- if Islam had waited, it could have caused an infintessimal amount of damage in the U.S. -- proof that God still sheds His grace upon America...

However, for the Euro-French, Germans, and Brits it may be too late, unless:

They seriously and aggressively pursue investigating para-military Muslim factions and shut them down pronto; slam shut it's borders; and immediately AND sincerely begin working together with America instead of against.

Islam truly is at war against the West whether the obstinent Euros admit it or not -- in fact aren't they at the moment as an oblivious cow standing amidst a pirahna-infested South American river at the moment?

12 posted on 09/09/2002 10:57:17 AM PDT by F16Fighter
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To: Stand Watch Listen
"Wherever a population of Muslims gains in numbers, they begin to demand autonomy or a change in the governmental structure to reflect Islamic law."
13 posted on 09/09/2002 11:04:49 AM PDT by skeeter
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