Europe has woken up to the threat of likely Muslim domination of the continent within the next few decades. Across Europe, the fertility rates of Christians have fallen far below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman. Islam is already the second largest religion of almost every European country. The European Union has an estimated 15-20 million Muslims, while the number of Muslims in the UK could be around two million or more. If the Muslims of the Balkans are added, the total Muslim population of Europe could add up to 53 million or more.
Muslim-dominated Kosovo broke away from Serbia in February 2008; it is now viewed as a beachhead for Islam’s speedy march across western and central Europe. Now the continent has four Islamic nations – Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Kosovo. As Muslims already comprise nearly one-third the population of Macedonia, homeland of Alexander the Great, that nation is likely to be Islamicised over the next two decades, despite stubborn opposition by Macedonian Christians. Soon the entire Balkans will be a Muslim dominated region of Europe, barring perhaps Serbia which has a long historical tradition of battling Muslims since the fourteenth century when the Serbs lost to the Ottoman Turks in the historic battle of Kosovo in 1389.
The demographic change has been accompanied by a surge in Islamic belligerence and in recent years Europe has witnessed many terrorist attacks. On 2 Nov 2004, Amsterdam witnessed the gruesome killing of Theo van Gogh, film director and descendant of Vincent van Gogh, for his controversial film, ‘Submission’, depicting the plight of a Muslim girl forced into an arranged marriage. The script was written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee and former member of the Dutch Parliament, who now lives in the USA under the shadow of a fatwa ordaining her death.
In one scene, which infuriated Muslim opinion, the documentary showed a girl in a see-through chador with Quranic verses written across her body along with whip marks. The film was about a forcibly married Muslim woman who was abused by her husband and raped by an uncle. Theo Van Gogh was first stabbed and then shot dead in public by Mohammed Bouyeri, a Moroccan with a Dutch Passport. A letter, affixed to the body with a dagger, declared that the film maker was assassinated because of his objectionable views about Islam. The missive was addressed to Ayaan Hirsi Ali who had acted in the documentary. The letter called for jihad against kafirs, especially the USA, Europe, the Netherlands and Hirsi Ali herself.
The film had to be withdrawn from the International Film Festival, Rotterdam, due to fear of violence. After Van Gogh’s brutal killing, there were ‘revenge’ fire bombings of some mosques and Muslim schools, followed by counterattacks on churches. Netherlands is home to approx. one million Muslims who comprise about 5.5% of the population.
Radical Islam’s onslaught on Europe continued unabated post 9/11. One ghastly attack was the bombing of four trains in Madrid on 11 March 2004, in which nearly 200 innocents, including children, were killed and 1500 wounded. Investigations revealed the bombings were the handiwork of Al-Qaeda related outfits. A few months before that, a taped threat purported to be from Osama bin Laden had surfaced, which listed Spain among the countries which should be attacked in future. Mohammed Atta, a lead pilot of the 9/11 attack on WTC and Pentagon, had reportedly visited Spain twice in 2001, perhaps for working out last-minute details with plotters living in Spain. The country has a sizeable Muslim population and a long history of conflict with Islam.
Fifteen months later, on 7 July 2005, London went through the horror of coordinated suicide attacks on underground trains and a double-decker bus, which took 56 lives (including four terrorists) and caused injuries to nearly 700 persons. The bombings were carried out by four Britishers, three of Pakistani and one of Jamaican descent. They were angered by the British government’s decision to send troops to Iraq in support of the American attack on Saddam Hussein’s regime.
Another attempt to bomb London’s public transport system was made on 21 July 2005, by exploding four bombs. Luckily only one minor injury was reported. On 29 July 2007, two car bombs were detected – one near a nightclub in Haymarket and another in Cockspur Street – and were disabled before they could be detonated. The next day, there was an attack on Glasgow Airport involving Bilal Abdullah and Kafeel Ahmed, an Indian national who died due to injuries sustained while carrying out the attack.
Bilal Abdullah was arrested in Australia. According to CBS News, on 28 June 2007, a message had appeared on an internet forum, Al-Hesbah, declaring, “Today I say: Rejoice, by Allah, London shall be bombed”, which suggested that the bombings were part of a well planned international plot.
The sharply rising proportion of ageing Christians in most European countries means that more and more migrants are needed to man the factories and transport systems, even defence forces. These numbers are likely to come from Africa and West Asia, and are likely Muslims. Thus there is a clear civilisational mismatch between the original and migrant populations.
Zachary Shore noted in, ‘Breeding Bin Ladens: America, Islam and the Future of Europe’ that, “the world’s median age is 24, but by 2050 it is projected to be 53-55 in Germany and Japan. Western Europe and Japan will grey the most. At the same time, Europe’s mortality rate is falling, so too is the birth rate. Ethnic Europeans are having fewer children and consequently their populations are shrinking. And with them shrinks the labour force.”
He forecasts that by 2050, Japan’s work-force – those aged between 16 and 64 – will drop by an extraordinary 37%; Italy’s will fall an even greater 39% and Germany’s by 18%. Presently the ratio of workers to pensioners is 4:1, but by 2050 it may drop to 2:1. That will put enormous strain on societies with high ageing populations by drastically reducing the percentage of working age young population, leading to an economic disaster.
Global population scenario
Developing countries are largely responsible for this state of affairs, having for decades spread the disinformation that any increase in population per se impedes economic development. The truth is that manpower is a great asset for economic development. Of course, the population must be educated and invested with professional skills.
A study by the Development Research Centre of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development covering eight decades (1900-1980) revealed that the per capita income in most developing countries rose faster than the increase in population. In the same period, the population of Latin American countries increased nearly seven-fold, while their GDP grew thirty-five times, thus multiplying their overall prosperity nearly five times.
The latest threat to humankind comes from too few new arrivals, a phenomenon which will soon lead to depopulation of many countries and regions. With the spread of contraceptives all over world, except Muslim countries, fertility levels have sharply declined by more than half since 1972 – from 6 children per woman in 1972 to 2.9 in 1990s. The United Nations Population Report 2002 showed that Europe’s fertility rates had fallen far below the replacement level of 2.1. Russia’s population is decreasing by 7000,000 every year and President Vladimir Putin considers it a ‘national crisis’. In the next 40 years the population of Germany could go down by one-fifth, that of Bulgaria’s by 38% and Romania’s by 27%.
Muslim countries are striking exceptions to the global trend of declining population growth. In Europe, Albania and Kosovo are growing fast, and in Asia so are Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Besides growth in population, there have been huge mass migrations of Muslims from country to country and continent to continent in search of livelihood and better living conditions. Apart from Europe, India has been witnessing massive illegal infiltration of Bangladeshi Muslims whose numbers, including their progeny, are now estimated at between three to five crore.
Across Europe, the increasing visibility of women wearing niqab or hijab, presence of bearded men with skull caps and ankle-high pyjamas, and growing number of mosques with lofty minarets, have made average European Christians feel insecure.
Bruce Bawer, in his book, ‘While Europe Slept’ (2006), warned that buoyed by their galloping population Muslims across Sweden were flaunting T-shirts announcing “2030 – then we take over”. He said Muslims across Europe were confidently planning to make Europe part of their caliphate. Europe is already being referred to as Eurabia by many futurologists and strategic analysts.
Phillip Longman, an expert in demography and author of The Empty Cradle, proclaimed that “Birth rates, not weapons or tech, spell power”. In countries where populations age, economies falter and the world influence of the affected country or community diminishes.
An important aspect of demographic change in Europe is that many of the largest cities, mostly capitals, have come to acquire a disproportionately larger presence of Muslims. Daniel Pipes observed that Sweden’s Stockholm and Malmo may soon be the first Western European cities having a Muslim majority, soon to be followed by Moscow in Russia. Pipes says the fate of European civilisation in coming years will depend upon three unknowns: (i) whether radical Islamism will prevail, (ii) whether integration will prevail, or (iii) if a nationalistic turn in Europe will at some point opt to deport the immigrants. These are loaded questions and at this stage it is difficult to arrive at any conclusion.
Though the United States does not appear to have any comparable concentration of Muslims in any city, there is a sizeable Muslim presence in two towns, Dearborn and Michigan. The birth rate of Christians in USA is certainly lower than that of the Muslims, and has been causing concern to American society.
So overpowering is the dominance of Muslims across the UK that the British government has decided to allow the Sharia to regulate the lives of British Muslims; 85 Sharia courts function in Britain. Even though Muslims constitute less than 5 percent of UK population, the Archbishop of Canterbury agreed that “Sharia is unavoidable”. That emboldened the chief of London’s Sharia Court to declare, “if Sharia is implemented then you can turn this country into a heaven of peace… Once a thief’s hand is cut off, nobody is going to steal. Once an adulterer is stoned, nobody is going to commit this crime at all.”
Sometime ago, the well-known Dutch Member of Parliament, Geert Wilders, produced a controversial documentary ‘Fitna’ which juxtaposes passages from Surahs (chapters) of the Quran with 11 September 2001, jihadi attacks and beheadings, including shootings and speeches by Muslim clerics advocating violence against all non-Muslims; this led to his prosecution for racism.
At a speech at Four Seasons in New York, highlighting the plight of Christian Europe, he said that future generations will ask two questions. First, they will ask the Americans, “Who lost Europe?” Second, they will ask Dutch leaders of the next generation, “What were our fathers doing?” Wilders felt that in the coming decades no one would be able to answer either question.
Mark Steyn, a Canadian strategic analyst, asserts that the Eurabian civil war has already started with young rioters asserting a Muslim identity burning cars and firing at police in the suburbs of Paris in 2006, and subsequently off and on in several European cities. He feels it is easier to be optimistic about the future of Iraq and Pakistan than the future of Holland and Denmark. Fear of Muslim dominance has spread as far as Norway where the population of Muslims grew 75 times in just 23 years, from 1006 in 1980 to 75,761 in 2003.
In Norway, in 1974, some immigrants from Pakistan established an Islamic Cultural Centre. Later, it was found that the Centre was a direct subsidiary of a notorious religio-political movement known as Jamat-e-Islami, founded by Islamist ideologue Abu Ala Maududi (1903-1979), the inspiration behind total Islamisation of Pakistan by General Zia-ul-Haq. The ICC of Oslo was found to be associated with Pakistani Islamist Qazi Hussain Ahmed.
Norway, too, suffers from low birth rate of the non-Muslim population. Oslo and Akshersus are likely to soon become Muslim dominated areas.
France is the soft underbelly of Europe because it has the largest Muslim population in Europe. The ground reality is complex as France has more than 700 No-Go areas where the police find it difficult to enforce law because of persistent resistance by mobsters. After Switzerland in January 2010 banned more minarets, France decided to adopt a number of measures to protect its civilisational identity.
After a ban on wearing veils in public places, it decided to take proactive measures to reaffirm its secular tradition and curb the influence of radical Islam. President Nicholas Sarkozy declared the ‘burqa’ was unacceptable because it violated civilisational values cherished by France. Some innovative measures were initiated to insulate France from the influence of radical Islam, including singing national anthem with gusto and teaching the history of France to children and adults. Immigration Minister Eric Besson called for a national debate on the importance of national identity: “What does it mean to be French?” He announced that a decision had been taken to send back to Kabul all illegal Afghan immigrants by chartered flights. More than 21,000 were deported last year; the ultimate target is to deport 27,000.
There are now increased religion-based conflicts in West Asia, the Balkans, western Europe, Chechnya in Russia, erstwhile Soviet satellites like Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ingushetia, Dagestan and even Azerbaijan. In Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, southern Thailand and India have been badly infected with the virus of secessionist campaigns.
In 1961, Kosovo had 67 percent Muslims (mostly immigrants from Albania), while Orthodox Serbs constituted 24 percent of the population. Due to conspicuously higher Albanian birth rates, by 1991 the Muslims rose to 90 percent, while the Serbs declined to a meagre 10 percent. Ultimately, Kosovo was lost to the Serbs.
Serbs had a civilisational attachment to Kosovo which was deemed as their holy land like Jerusalem, being the site of the famous battle between Serbs warriors and invading Ottoman Turks in June 1389, which the Serbs lost. They suffered the ignominy of servitude for nearly five centuries.
Another example of how demography can change the destiny of a civilization is Bosnia-Herzegovina, which went through a demographic transformation in three decades. In 1961, Serbs constituted nearly 43 percent of Bosnia’s population; Muslims were 26 percent, while Croats (another sect of Orthodox Christians) were 22 percent. By 1991, the percentage of Serbs dropped to 31%, Muslims rose to 43%, and the percentage of Croats fell from 22 to 17%. Now Bosnia-Herzegovina is a Muslim dominated country.
These demographic changes in the Balkans have caused multiple fault-line conflicts, enormous bloodbath and large scale uprooting of populations. The International Centre of Migration Policy Development has estimated that approximately 15 percent of the population of the Balkans – 75 million – had to move from their habitats in the 1980s due to force of demographic changes and the resultant politico-religious upheavals