2007-01-10 03:17:58 UTC
Michael Freund, THE JERUSALEM POST Jan. 9, 2007
If you ever wanted to see Paris or Rome before you die, but haven't
had a chance to do so, you might want to hurry. Soon enough, most of
what we now think of as Western Europe will be transformed into a
branch of the Muslim world, which is sure to make it an even less
welcoming place for Americans, Israelis and for Jews.
That, at least, is the unpleasant, yet entirely unavoidable conclusion
to be drawn from Europe's headlong demographic drive toward oblivion.
Think I'm exaggerating? Consider a few cold hard facts.
According to a recent report by the Rand Corporation, "Across Europe,
birth rates are falling and family sizes are shrinking. The total
fertility rate is now less than two children per woman in every member
nation in the European Union."
Needless to say, demographers consider a birthrate of 2.1 children per
family to be the replacement level at which a society's population
size remains stable. Barring large-scale immigration, anything less
means decline and dissolution.
A research study published last year in the International Journal of
Andrology found a similar trend, concluding that, "Fertility rates
have fallen and are now below replacement level in all European Union
(EU) Member States. In the 20-year period since 1982," it noted, "most
EU Member State countries have had total fertility rates continuously
below replacement level."
At the bottom of the list are Spain, Italy and Greece, where
birthrates hover around just 1.3 per couple, leading some forecasters
to suggest, for example, that Italy's population could shrink by
one-third by the middle of the century.
Others, such as Germany's 1.37, the UK's 1.74 and Sweden's 1.75,
aren't all much better.
The figures are so bad that in many European countries, the total
number of deaths each year has actually begun to exceed the number of
Indeed, the Council of Europe's 2004 Demographic Yearbook warned that,
"for Europe as a whole, more people died in 2003 than were born." In
1990, said the yearbook, "three countries - Germany, Bulgaria and
Hungary - had negative natural growth for the first time. By 2002, it
was negative in fifteen countries."
LAST YEAR, after the publication of statistics revealing that 30
percent of German women have not had children, Germany's family
minister, Ursula von der Leyen, caused a stir when she said that if
her nation's birth rate did not turn around, the country would have to
"turn out the light." And while Europeans may be busy everywhere but
in the bedroom, the Muslim populations in their midst are proving far
As columnist Mark Steyn points out in his must-read new book, America
Alone, "What's the Muslim population of Rotterdam? Forty percent.
What's the most popular baby boy's name in Belgium? Mohammed. In
Amsterdam? Mohammed. In Malmo, Sweden? Mohammed."
Last month, the UK Daily Telegraph reported that, "Mohammed, and its
most common alternative spelling Muhammad, are now more popular
babies' names in England and Wales than George."
This, said the paper, using typically British understatement,
"reflects the diverse ethnic mix of the population."
But that "mix," so to speak, is rapidly changing - and not in
traditional Europe's favor.
ISLAM, BY all accounts, is the fastest growing religion in Europe,
spurred by immigration and high fertility rates. According to
projections by the US federal government's National Intelligence
Council, the continent's current Muslim population of 20 million will
likely double by 2025.
And as Bruce Bawer noted last year in While Europe Slept, "Already, in
most of Western Europe, 16 to 20 percent of children are
Muslims within a couple of generations many [European] countries will
have Muslim majorities."
Not since September 8, 1683, when the Ottomans were threatening to
breach the walls of Vienna, has Islam been so perilously close to
seizing control over Western Europe.
The implications of all this are far graver than we can even begin to
imagine, and it is not just a matter of choosing new and more
hospitable tourist destinations.
An increasingly Islamified Europe will prove ever more hostile to
Israel and America, and this trend will only intensify as the Muslim
population there continues to grow.
Even if European governments succeed in reversing the curve, which
seems highly unlikely, it will be decades before it would begin to be
felt. In the meantime, however, Muslim political power on the
continent will develop and expand, and European leaders will be
hard-pressed to ignore their demands.
This makes it far less likely that Israel and the US can count on
Europe - if they ever really could - at times of crisis in the decades
ahead. Just pick an issue, from the war on terror to Palestinian
statehood, and you'll see what I mean.
For however unbalanced Europe's stance has been until now, it will
likely only grow worse in the years to come.
Europe as we know it is a thing of the past, and it is time for
Israeli and American decision-makers to take this into account as they
plan for the future. The face of Europe is changing rapidly, and with
it the continent's social and political make-up.
So if you really want to see the Eiffel Tower up close, you had best
not delay. Before you know it, it might just turn into a minaret.
Wherever I go it will be well with me, for it was well with me here, not
on account of the place, but of my judgments which I shall carry away
with me, for no one can deprive me of these; on the contrary, they alone
are my property, and cannot be taken away, and to possess them suffices
me wherever I am or whatever I do. -- EPICTETUS
"There are no absolute certainties in this universe. A man must try to
whip order into a yelping pack of probabilities, and uniform success is
impossible." -- Jack Vance
"Civilization is the interval between Ice Ages." -- Will Durant.
"Progress is the increasing control of the environment by life.
Joseph R. Darancette