Why Eurabia?

More than a few sources–the Economist, Douglas Todd’s blog The Search, the Globe and Mail, the New York Times–have reported on a recent report by the Pew Research Group observing that Muslim population growth is slowing, and certainly Muslims won’t become majority populations in any European country.

At the heart of its analysis is the ongoing effect of a “youth bulge” which peaked in 2000. In 1990 Islam’s share of the world’s youth was 20%; in 2010, 26%. In 2030 it will be 29% (of 15-to-29-year-olds). But the Muslim world is slowly heading towards paunchiness: the median age in Muslim-majority countries was 19 in 1990. It is 24 now, and will be 30 by 2030. (For French, Germans and Japanese the figure is 40 or over.) This suggests Muslim numbers will ultimately stop climbing, but later than the rest of the world population.

The authors call their calculations demographic, not political. Drawing on earlier Pew research, they say conversion is not a big factor in the global contest between Islam, Christianity and other faiths; the converts balance out. Nor do they assess piety; via the imperfect data of the United Nations, the European Union and national statistics, they aim simply to measure how many people call themselves Muslim, at least culturally, if asked.

New numbers, they say, will change the world map. As Indonesia prospers, its birth rate is falling; South Asia’s remains very high. By 2030, 80m extra mouths in Pakistan will boost its Muslim numbers to 256m, ousting Indonesia (with 239m) as the most populous Islamic land. India’s Muslim minority will be nearly as large at 236m—though growth is slowing there too. And in 2030 India’s Muslims will still constitute only a modest 15.9% of that country’s swelling total, against 14.6% now.

The report asserts no causal link between Islamic teaching and high fertility rates, although it notes that poverty and poor education are a problem in many Muslim lands. In Muslim countries such as Bangladesh and Turkey, it observes, the lay and religious authorities encourage birth control. Better medical care and lower mortality boost poor-country population numbers too.

[. . .]

The total Muslim share of Europe’s population is predicted to grow from 6% now to 8% in 2030: hardly the stuff of nightmares. But amid that are some sharp rises. The report assumes Britain has 2.9m Muslims now (far higher than the usual estimates, which suggest 2.4m at most), rising to 5.6m by 2030. As poor migrants start families in Spain and Italy, numbers there will rocket; in France and Germany, where some Muslims are middle-class, rises will be more modest—though from a higher base. Russia’s Muslims will increase to 14.4% or 18.6m, up from 11.7% now (partly because non-Muslims are declining). The report takes a cautious baseline of 2.6m American Muslims in 2010, but predicts the number will surge by 2030 to 6.2m, or 1.7% of the population—about the same size as Jews or Episcopalians. In Canada the Muslim share will surge from 2.8% to 6.6%.

But then, that doesn’t bother people like Glenn Beck, who predicts an Islamic caliphate covering the Middle East and parts of Europe based on …. what numbers?

Why all this talk about Eurabia? It’s been an in thing over the past decade, inspiring any number of hysterical posts about the imminent end of civilization. My first big blog post disproved the idea of an inevitably Muslim France, and I’ve revisited it later, both in connection to Europe again and in relation to South Asia (again, fears of an Islamic Caliphate of India, equally without grounds).

Eurabian theory starts from the premise that Muslims aren’t normal people, specifically that they won’t respond to social and economic change by reducing their completed fertility like every other demographics, more generally that they’re utterly unassimilable, that it’s impossible to interact with them without losing one’s own core identity. It needn’t be said how dangerous this is.

And then, there’s the matter of some conservatives–for Eurabia is a conservatives’ fantasy–who seem to envy Muslims their sustained conservatism, as I wrote earlier.

One thing that has constantly popped up in scare talk about population trends [. . .] is the way that the superfecundity and ultratraditional family orientation of these other groups is made an object of fear and envy. The fear comes from a supposed recognition that these outsiders possess a population dynamic that is unstoppable, rooted in an unyielding tradition that is set on the destruction of our culture. The envy, well, it comes from a desire on the part of these terrified commentators to have the old-time family values reinstalled at home, traditional gender relations and economic structures and all. Take the Archbishop of Guam, who recently dispatched a letter praising Islamic fundamentalists, with their fervent belief and attachment to values of family and self-sacrifice, as an example of this sort of phenomenon.

Matt Carr’s take on Christopher Caldwell’s soft Eurabianism is worthwhile.

In Caldwell’s estimation, Europe’s misguided promotion of multiculturalism is a consequence of a self-loathing and loss of confidence that extends to religious, cultural and even sexual matters. Not only do Europeans no longer believe in anything, but immigration has made them feel ‘contemptible and small, ugly and asexual’. Little evidence is offered to prove this ridiculous generalisation, beyond a few quotes from the misanthropic French ‘post-humanist’ novelist Michel Houllebecq and others. But Caldwell clearly likes to have his Eurabian cake and eat it. If Europeans are asexual and unconfident compared with the more virile immigrant hordes, they are also having too much of the wrong kind of sex, in societies marked by ‘the pierced navel, online gambling, a 50 per cent divorce rate, and a huge rate of anomie and self-loathing’.

One minute Caldwell is suggesting that immigrants share a puritanical aversion to Europe’s depraved sexual mores that might make them reluctant to integrate. The next he is explaining that ‘Europe’s Third World immigrants, and particularly its Muslims’ might not undergo the ‘same demographic transition that their Western hosts did’ and have smaller families, because ‘Muslim culture is unusually full of messages laying out the practical advantages of procreation’. One of these ‘messages’ consists of a verse from the Koran, the other is a quote from Yasser Arafat that the wombs of Palestinian women should be a ‘secret weapon’ against Israel.

And then, there’s the motive of revenge against those countries that have done terrible things. France and Germany are most common targets of this, their refusal to back the Iraq War having enraged conservatives so much that some would like them destroyed, their short-sighted populations left to suffer under the rule of the very same people whose lives they want to protect. They loathe themselves and their civilizations, they are decadent and weak, thus they’ll get what they deserve. In some cases it takes on pornographic qualities, the sexual and other sufferings of young European women forming a disgusting presence.

The shame of all this is that Eurabia is a fantasy immune to facts. Again and again, people have demonstrated that the basic facts are against the idea, but this is a fantasy that exists despite facts, an ideology, really, an unshakeable worldview. A terrible shame, this. What will come of it?

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13 Responses to Why Eurabia?

  1. Observer says:

    A terrible shame, this. What will come of it?

    You know perfectly well what will come of it: another Third Reich. It is the Europeans’ aboriginal nature. We are simply not as civilized over here as the Americans are. I am serious.

  2. Observer says:

    One thing though. Ironically, it is probably to some extent boosted by Israeli propaganda, which is next to God’s word for evangelical groups. In my country Israeli intelligence officers visit evangelical groups quite openly, and they proudly announce such lectures as “The Truth about Middle East”.

    There is of course no Jewish conspiracy behind this, just the misguided notion of Israeli authorities that this sort of propaganda somehow helps their cause.

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  4. Jussi Jalonen says:

    I should probably point out that the “True Finns” party has several candidates who seriously believe in the “Eurabia”-myth. These people make up the so-called “immigration critics” faction, which is, in many ways, quite different from the old base of the “True Finns” party. Whereas in many other Europan countries, the anti-immigration elements have tended to set up their own political parties – such as Sverigedemokraterna or the BNP – in Finland they decided to join an old, pre-existing party, where they now make up a distinctive faction.

    Some of these people might even make it to the Finnish parliament in the upcoming April elections, which should promise some hilarious times and prime material for political satire in the next four years. The fact that these political autists have carbon-copied their anti-immigration program from foreign blogs is particularly funny, considering that the majority of immigrants in this country have, of course, arrived from Russia, whereas the Islamic immigration is more or less minimal, and is hardly any kind of an issue.

    Hm. Perhaps I should write a blog post about the Finnish branch of this peculiar subculture, now that Randy has opened this can of worms again?

    Another note: in the European anti-immigration discourse, the talk of “Eurabia” has recently faded just a little bit, and people talk of “islamization” instead. Instead of actual demographic shift, the comments focus on the supposed soft submission, where the European political elites extend privileges to the Muslim immigrants and yada yada taqiyaa stealth jihad liberal-leftist multi-culturalist intelligentsia cultural relativism burning ring of ghettos yada yada eventually this subversion destroys Europe and the Western Civilization.

    Of course, many of these same people were endorsing these demographic predictions only a short time ago, and are still doing it, as testified by the speech held by Geert Wilders in his recent trial.

    Best,

    J. J.

    • GeertWildersForPresident says:

      In my country there is a online forum that is highly frequented by Muslims. They approve stoning, death penalty for apostates etc…
      and they say openly that they support shariah law.
      You can find those things even on islamic sites, not only on anti islam sites.

      There are also many arabic sites (even from Saudi Arabia) that are against islam.

  5. Observer says:

    But Caldwell clearly likes to have his Eurabian cake and eat it. If Europeans are asexual and unconfident compared with the more virile immigrant hordes, they are also having too much of the wrong kind of sex, in societies marked by ‘the pierced navel, online gambling, a 50 per cent divorce rate, and a huge rate of anomie and self-loathing’.

    I am not familiar with this Caldwell guy, but I think this reminds me of Michael Burleigh’s Sacred Causes. I liked Burleigh’s New History of the Third Reich, and I even found his Earthly Powers highly interesting, but Sacred Causes disintegrates and descends into a rant the internal logic of which I find utterly difficult to follow, because Burleigh cannot decide, whether he should be ranting against ungodly liberals from a Christian conservative position, or against Muslims from an ungodly liberal position. The result is that he tries to have it both ways.

  6. Ben says:

    There is a certain undertone of “soft racism” here. Some of the ideas…

    Muslims will become “normal”? Doesn’t that presume that secular western liberal culture is, in fact, normal? Why? Perhaps we are the outliers?

    Determining that our cultural values (because of their innate superiority?) will eventually triumph is like betting on the prettier species to win a Darwinian struggle. Pretty has nothing to do with it. Which possesses the adaptations necessary to survive?

    Evolution can work in slow increments. If we assume even a small “cultural” tendency on the part of Muslims to have more children than non Muslims, numerical superiority is not myth, it’s math, the only question is when. If we take note of the many “reproductive advantages” Islamic culture claims for itself- for example, the “one way door” that lets non-Muslim women convert in while preventing Muslim women from converting out- all we need is a few, surviving even in limited form, to ensure an eventual numerical superiority.

    It almost seems like this analysis assumes it is not possible for one culture to displace another, as the arriving culture inevitably assimilates… because that is cosmic law. But there are already numerous examples of cultures displacing other cultures. We don’t have to imagine it, we know what it looks like. There is a reason Albania is mostly Muslim (so much for “certainly Muslims won’t become majority populations in any European country”).

    And while we watch the trend of growth of the Muslim minority in a western-secular-liberal environment, fast or slow as it may be, we cannot be blind to a mirror phenomenon. The other trend to watch is the destruction of other minorities in Muslim environments. Current events cannot be hidden: We are witnessing serious losses to non-Muslim cultures in Muslim environments.

    One might observe, that if cultural memes were living things, the “meme-pool” presented by Islam is superior from a competition point of view. It combines exploitation of tolerant environments with a knack for creating intolerant societies itself, when it can in. It then flourishes in both. How, then, do we say it will “assimilate”? Who will assimilate whom? How do we say it will become “normal”? It seems far more likely that future western cultures will become “normal”: guided by the Muslim ethos, and ruthlessly intolerant to other religions, homosexuality, insult, and questioning.

    Remember- according the history a typical Muslim learns in a Muslim educational system, that is exactly what happens, what has happened, and what will happen: Muslims will make the world normal.

  7. Ben:

    “Muslims will become “normal”? Doesn’t that presume that secular western liberal culture is, in fact, normal? Why? Perhaps we are the outliers?”

    Somewhat possible, but unlikely. Given the general trend of cultures which urbanize, experience a shift away from agriculture, see the growth of mass education, and give women autonomy to shift to much more instrumental views of the place of religion in the fashion of developed countries–see the rising irreligious generation in Iran, frex–I feel fairly confident in that conclusion.

    “Evolution can work in slow increments. If we assume even a small “cultural” tendency on the part of Muslims to have more children than non Muslims, numerical superiority is not myth, it’s math, the only question is when.”

    If.

    The trend in France, with the largest Muslim population in Europe, has been for extensive intermarriage between “Franco-French” and Muslims.

    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/62281/jonathan-paris/europe-and-its-muslims

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18119226

    Muslim women are marrying out, too.

    “It almost seems like this analysis assumes it is not possible for one culture to displace another, as the arriving culture inevitably assimilates… because that is cosmic law. But there are already numerous examples of cultures displacing other cultures. We don’t have to imagine it, we know what it looks like. There is a reason Albania is mostly Muslim (so much for “certainly Muslims won’t become majority populations in any European country”).”

    Won’t _become._ Albania has been Muslim for centuries, while even in 1912 Kosovo was two-thirds Albanian by population.

    “And while we watch the trend of growth of the Muslim minority in a western-secular-liberal environment, fast or slow as it may be, we cannot be blind to a mirror phenomenon. The other trend to watch is the destruction of other minorities in Muslim environments. Current events cannot be hidden: We are witnessing serious losses to non-Muslim cultures in Muslim environments.”

    Sure. That’s a separate phenomenon from the one I’m describing.

    “One might observe, that if cultural memes were living things, the “meme-pool” presented by Islam is superior from a competition point of view. It combines exploitation of tolerant environments with a knack for creating intolerant societies itself, when it can in.”

    I find it difficult to describe Western attitudes towards Islam and Muslims as particularly positive, with attitudes–and, critically, official policies–towards Islamic customs and Muslim immigration particularly hostile in countries like France, Germany, and the Netherlands, where the largest Muslim populations are found.

    “Remember- according the history a typical Muslim learns in a Muslim educational system, that is exactly what happens, what has happened, and what will happen: Muslims will make the world normal.”

    Much the same applies for any religious denomination. Me, I’m reminded of Roman Catholics, who were subjected to a global and hierarchical church which claimed a right to determine the future. Claims do not reality make.

  8. Laban Tall says:

    “an Islamic caliphate covering the Middle East and parts of Europe based on …. what numbers?”

    I would just like to point out that the last Pew survey forecast that only 8% of the UK population would be Muslim by 2030 (although numbers have grown from 1.5m (3.3% to 2.4m between 2001 and 2009). However, Muslims made up less than 8% of the population of Burnley, Lancashire in 2001, when rioting by young Muslim men caused the government, among other measures, to completely reorganise education there so as to force integration upon the schools.

    I’m not a ‘Eurabian’ in that I’m not hung up on exactly what the Muslim population size is likely to be and whether or not it is a majority. As any Marxist-Leninist should be able to comprehend, a smallish number of people with sufficient will can have a pretty hefty effect on a society.

    Just look at the numbers of Muslims in the UK now, maybe three million tops. Not very large, is it ? Yet the relationship between the Government and this small section of the governed has been at or around the top of the UK political agenda for nearly ten years now. Stories like this, where women police in Bristol have been issued headscarves for use when entering mosques, or this, where in Yorkshire they try wearing burkhas ‘to improve community understanding’ are commonplace. As Salman Rushdie put it “you see it every day, this surrender”. One of the things which triggered Michael Caldwell’s book was his observation that the relationship between black people and the US government had been a dominant theme of US politics for the last forty years, despite black people comprising less than 15% of the US population.

    If Muslim issues grab a disproportionate share of our rulers attention now, at maybe 4% of the population, what will politics be like when they’re 8% – or 14% – or 24% ?

    “Eurabian theory starts from the premise that Muslims aren’t normal people… that they’re utterly unassimilable… It needn’t be said how dangerous this is.”

    What’s normal ? It’s historically normal for peoples to invade and dispossess other peoples. Those jealous conservatives fear that Muslims are all too normal. What’s unusual is for the invadees to acquiesce in their dispossession (note the comment relates to native Britons becoming a minority due to overall immigration, not Muslim immigration).

    “It would be the first time in history that a major indigenous population has voluntarily become a minority, rather than through war, famine or disease.” “

  9. Laban Tall says:

    One does seem to get background noise like this :

    “Four men launched a horrific attack on a teacher in which they slashed his face and left him with a fractured skull because they did not approve of him teaching religion to Muslim girls. Akmol Hussein, 26, Sheikh Rashid, 27, Azad Hussain, 25, and Simon Alam, 19, attacked Gary Smith with a Stanley knife, an iron rod and a block of cement. Mr Smith, who is head of religious education at Central Foundation Girls’ School in Bow, east London, also suffered a fractured skull.”

  10. Mike says:

    “They loathe themselves and their civilizations, they are decadent and weak.”

    The reasons that their like this is because the victorious Allied power brainwashed them into hating themselves and then spent half a century pounding the same thing non-stop into their heads.

  11. The French are weak? The Dutch are weak? The British are weak? And what of Spain and Sweden et al., none of which took part in the Second World War et al?

    And why are the Germans supposed to be so weak and willing to accept Eurabia, or the Italians? How is Eurabia demonstrated in those two polities?

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