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Charles Martel- Eat your heart out
, August 2, 2009
This review is from: Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West (Hardcover)
There is now a growing literature on the subject of the threat presented to Christian or perhaps secular- post- Christian Europe by its post- War immigration from Islamic countries. As Christopher Caldwell points out in this book, a prospering Europe hungering for workers, and perhaps overestimating its need for them opened the gates to what it thought would be a temporary immigration of foreign workers from Islamic lands. But today Europe has between fifteen and twenty-million adherents of Islam, whose continued growth is promised even if the gates of immigration be shut. The Islamic minorities have far higher rates of population - growth than do the native populations of the host - countries. There is even in Caldwell's book a study of the psychological and sexual implications of the virile East over against the zero- population- growth West. The demographic component is then one real element in the threat Caldwell sees to Europe's future.
But an even more major element in the threat is as Caldwell sees it the failure of the Europeans to truly integrate the new immigrants. Instead of being encouraged to assimilate to the host cultures the new immigrants were given a kind of laissez- faire treatment. This was one of the reasons they persisted in holding on to their Islamic loyalty as first element of their identity. So instead of there being a Europe in which Islamic populations in some way enter a kind of melting pot, there is a Europe in which whether in East London or the suburbs of Paris in Rotterdam and Amsterdam in various other European areas, Islamic population concentrates and remains in a world of its own.
There are many consequences of the European failure to present their own respective national identities or even a collective European Western identity as appealing. One has been outbursts of terrorist violence . Another has been the development of a hostile minority attitude towards the general culture. There are too the economic sides of this with the immigrants suffering from higher unemployment rates as they swell the welfare rolls. There is a vast culture of the unemployed, living off the social services and network of the host countries.
Caldwell analyses brilliantly the collapse of moral will and identity on the part of the host countries. When one no longer believes in oneself it is apparently easy to be manipulated by others. He also points out how the Islamic element has revived anti- Semitism in Europe.
Like all those who have written on this problem including Ba'at Yeor, Bruce Bawer, Robert Spencer, Mark Steyn, Caldwell does not provide a very hopeful picture of the European future. For even if the Islamic groups fall far short of ever really 'taking over' in any country they represent they promise to be a continual source of economic and social disturbance for the future.
Caldwell is far more sanguine about the United States, in which he believes there has been better integration of minorities. Yet an Islamicized Europe in presenting a global threat to the forwarding of values of liberty and individual rights, threatens the United States also.
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