Immigration Islamic Europe?

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Islamic Europe?
From the October 4, 2004 issue: When Bernard Lewis speaks . . .
by Christopher Caldwell
10/04/2004, Volume 010, Issue 04

SELDOM HAS THE COURSE of European history been changed by a non-politician's throwaway remark in a German-language newspaper on a Wednesday in the dead of the summer doldrums. But on July 28, Princeton historian Bernard Lewis told the conservative Hamburg-based daily Die Welt that Europe would be Islamic by the end of this century "at the very latest," and continental politics has not been the same since.

Days before the third anniversary of 9/11, Frits Bolkestein of the Netherlands, the outgoing European Union competition commissioner, caused an uproar when he mentioned Lewis's remark in the course of an address at the opening of courses at the University of Leiden. Bolkestein warned that the E.U. will "implode" if it expands too quickly. It was a timely topic.

A few days from now, the E.U. commissioner for expansion, Günter Verheugen of Germany, will issue a report on whether to open negotiations with Turkey on E.U. membership. It is expected to be positive. The full commission must vote on the report in December, after which a decade of talks is envisioned. But since the Verheugen report is likely to be positive, and since the commission is expected to rubber-stamp the report's recommendations, and since no candidate state that has begun E.U. accession negotiations has ever been rejected, the process has the look of a fait accompli. Thanks to . . . what? . . . Günter Verheugen's mood, the peoples of Europe are about to see their fate yoked irrevocably to that of the Islamic world.
Indeed, the need to forge a solemn bond with Islamic secularism of the sort that Turkey enjoyed after Kemal Atatürk came to power is the reason most often given for the indispensability of Turkish accession.

Bolkestein was thus addressing a continent-wide discomfiture. His speech was long. It was no rant. Alluding to the E.U.'s aspiration to become a multinational state, he drew listeners' attention to the fate of the most recent European power with that aspiration, the Austro-Hungarian empire just over a century ago. Austrians were culturally confident (Liszt, Richard Strauss, Brahms, Mahler, and Wagner were working in Vienna). They were prosperous and proud. The problem was that there were only 8 million of them, and expanding their country's frontiers brought them face to face with an energetic pan-Slavic movement. Once the Empire absorbed 20 million Slavs, it faced difficult compromises between allowing the new subjects to rule themselves and preserving its own culture. Rather like the E.U., the Empire was past the point of no return before it realized it was going anywhere in particular.

Bolkestein asked what lessons Europeans ought to draw from this history, as they consider welcoming Turkey. He then addressed two specific problems. First, that there was no logical end in sight to European expansion--once the E.U. accepts Turkey, it will have no principled reason to reject the considerably more European countries of Ukraine and Belarus. Europe is thus adding instability that it has neither the financial means nor the cultural solidarity to master. The second problem, Bolkestein warned, is that immigration is turning the E.U. into "an Austro-Hungarian empire on a grand scale." He alluded to certain great cities that will soon be minority-European--two of the most important of which, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, are in his own country--and warned that the (projected) addition of 83 million Muslim Turks would further the Islamization of Europe. It was this part of his speech--in which he referred to Lewis's projections--that made headlines around the world: "Current trends allow only one conclusion," Bolkestein said. "The USA will remain the only superpower. China is becoming an economic giant. Europe is being Islamicized."

A kind of chain reaction ensued. Two days after Bolkestein spoke, the Financial Times printed a letter that Franz Fischler of Austria, the outgoing E.U. commissioner for agriculture, had sent privately to his fellow commissioners. Fischler complained that Turkey was "far more oriental than European" and, worse, that "there remain doubts as to Turkey's long-term secular and democratic credentials. There could . . . be a fundamentalist backlash."

Europe's reaction was a collective So now you tell us! Taken together, Bolkestein's and Fischler's remarks seemed symptomatic of the political correctness that suffuses the issue of Turkish accession. A majority of the European parliament is anti-accession, the various national parliaments are against it, and the national populations are overwhelmingly opposed. It is the European Commission that has been driving the process--and now two prominent members of that very body, on the eve of leaving their political careers behind them, were saying it was all a big mistake that nobody dared to talk about. (Perhaps the only thing that infuriates the European man-in-the-street more than such bureaucratic shiftiness is the United States' bafflingly consistent support for Turkish E.U. membership.)

WHAT IS FASCINATING about the Lewis interview that gave rise to this round of European soul-searching is that it was not meant to be specifically about Europe. His interlocutor asked Lewis about developments in the Iraq war, the evolution of the Palestine question, the hopes for liberal democracy in Iran, and the prospects for defeating al Qaeda. (On this last subject, Lewis provided an unsettling answer: "It's a long process and the outcome is by no means certain," he said. "It works similarly to communism, which appealed to unhappy people in the West because it seemed to give them unambiguous answers. Radical Islam has the same force of attraction.") He was equally engaging when he described the European Union's break with the United States in terms of a "community of envy." ("Understandably, Europeans harbor some reservations about an America that has outstripped them. That's why Europeans can well understand the Muslims, who have similar feelings.")

But Europe's own Islamic future came up only incidentally. Asked whether the E.U. could serve as a global counterweight to the United States, Lewis replied simply: "No." He saw only three countries as potential "global" players: definitely China and India, and possibly a revivified Russia. "Europe," he said, "will be part of the Arabic west, of the Maghreb." What seems to have infuriated European listeners is that Lewis did not assert this as a risqué or contrarian proposition. He just said it, as if it were something that every politically neutral and intellectually honest person takes for granted.

Is it? Bolkestein said he did not know whether things would turn out as Lewis predicted. ("But if he is right," Bolkestein added, "the liberation of Vienna [from Turkish armies] in 1683 will have been in vain.") Bassam Tibi, a Syrian immigrant who is the most prominent moderate Muslim in Germany, seemed to agree with Lewis's diagnosis, even while rejecting his emphasis. "Either Islam gets Europeanized, or Europe gets Islamized," Tibi wrote in Welt am Sonntag. Having spent much of the past decade arguing for the construction of sensible Islamic institutions in Europe, Tibi seemed to warn that Europe did not have the ability to reject Islam, or the opportunity to steer it. "The problem is not whether the majority of Europeans is Islamic," he added, "but rather which Islam--sharia Islam or Euro-Islam--is to dominate in Europe."

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/685ozxcq.asp?pg=2


This article is a bit old but I think it's still very interesting. I think the European Union should not keep expanding a lot more. The final borders should be where the European continent ends. I don't see Turkey really being a part of Europe. It's much more Middle Eastern and more then half of it lies in the Middle East. So I think it should not be a part of the European Union. However I suspect it will become a part of the EU somewhere in the future.
Also I do see a big chance that most of Europe will be islamic by around the end of the century because of the graying populations of most European countries and the immigration of younger people to fill in the empty spaces in the European economies many from North Africa and the Middle East. If it is inevitable then I think Islam should be europeanized and not Islam making Europe Arabic.
It's actually quite funny. The home of Christianity ie the Vatican, Pope etc turning into Islamic. I'm not saying Islam is a bad religion I respect all religions but it's not European or western. What do you think about this?
 
But on July 28, Princeton historian Bernard Lewis told the conservative Hamburg-based daily Die Welt that Europe would be Islamic by the end of this century "at the very latest," and continental politics has not been the same since.

What is this imbecile talking about ? Princeton historian ? He doesn't seem to know much about Europe and Europeans. :eek:kashii: Europe will be Atheist by the end of the century, and hopefully the Islamic minority will be converted to Atheism or expelled from Europe.

His speech was long. It was no rant. Alluding to the E.U.'s aspiration to become a multinational state, he drew listeners' attention to the fate of the most recent European power with that aspiration, the Austro-Hungarian empire just over a century ago. Austrians were culturally confident (Liszt, Richard Strauss, Brahms, Mahler, and Wagner were working in Vienna). They were prosperous and proud. The problem was that there were only 8 million of them, and expanding their country's frontiers brought them face to face with an energetic pan-Slavic movement. Once the Empire absorbed 20 million Slavs, it faced difficult compromises between allowing the new subjects to rule themselves and preserving its own culture. Rather like the E.U., the Empire was past the point of no return before it realized it was going anywhere in particular.

More imbecilistic comments. :eek:kashii: How could a renowned historian compared a semi-federal democratic institution that is the present E.U. with a Vienna-centered monarchy that was the Austro-Hungarian Empire ? Today's EU prones diversity, cultural exchange, mutual understanding, freedom of movement and speech, and multilingualism. The Habsburg Empire, as multicultural as it was, proned the use of the German-language, reverence to a single German-speaking sovereign and uniformity rather than diversity. It was the typical behaviour for government of the time. But this empire came to an end almost 100 years ago, and a lot happened in Europe and in the world since then (especially since WWII). Frankly, this pseudo-historian is not better with his comparisons than the Bush administration comparing the occupation of Iraq to that of Japan. Different times, different background, different circumstances.

"It works similarly to communism, which appealed to unhappy people in the West because it seemed to give them unambiguous answers. Radical Islam has the same force of attraction.") He was equally engaging when he described the European Union's break with the United States in terms of a "community of envy." ("Understandably, Europeans harbor some reservations about an America that has outstripped them. That's why Europeans can well understand the Muslims, who have similar feelings.")

So basically, this Lewis is saying that Europeans envy the USA and are as unhappy as those in Muslim countries that forment terrorism, and that it is why Europeans can show empathy toward them (e.g. by disagreeing with Bush to invade Iraq for its oil). What kind of ***** is that ? The standard of living are higher in many European countries (esp. Northern Europe) than in the US. There is less social injustice and insecurity, less crime, less uneducated folk, less wooden hovels that break when a hurricane passes...

According to World Audit, the USA rank 15th in terms of democracy (after most European countries), and 14th in terms of freedom of press. As for average life satisfaction, the US rank 12th, after 9 European countries, Canada and New Zealand. If we look at how happy people are, the US ranks 13th, again after mostly European countries. The US even ranks as bad as 48th for life expectancy ! I could continue like that ad nauseam, with poverty, obesity, quality of education, etc.

How could this Princeton professor insinuate so openly that Europe is on the bring of 1) turning Muslim, and 2) envy the US the same way as poor, undeveloped and undemocratic Muslim countries ? :angryfire: It is not the US that will teach Europe about democracy, freedom or quality of life. I wish this guy would look a bit further than the GDP to rate the developement level of a country. Japan too is rich on paper, but rather undeveloped in many respects (see statistics).
 
Wang said:
This article is a bit old but I think it's still very interesting. I think the European Union should not keep expanding a lot more. The final borders should be where the European continent ends. I don't see Turkey really being a part of Europe. It's much more Middle Eastern and more then half of it lies in the Middle East. So I think it should not be a part of the European Union. However I suspect it will become a part of the EU somewhere in the future.
Also I do see a big chance that most of Europe will be islamic by around the end of the century because of the graying populations of most European countries and the immigration of younger people to fill in the empty spaces in the European economies many from North Africa and the Middle East.
It's actually quite funny

I agree with you in the last part, about the population of Western Europe getting older and importing younger people, that's why I feel Western Europe before the EU expansion and also recently has a bad immigration policy. They should favor eastern european immigration and curb that from north africa and middle east so that a more socially stable europe is created.

Also I don't see Turkey as a threat in bringing islam here as they are a secular country and with moderate muslims. The fundamentalist/radical islam is mostly present in north african/middle eastern communities. In fact turkey has been a victim of islamic terrorism itself.

Thirldy I agree fully with Maciamo on his points and his comments on this so called expert and his lengthy article.
 
Wang said:
Also I do see a big chance that most of Europe will be islamic by around the end of the century because of the graying populations of most European countries and the immigration of younger people to fill in the empty spaces in the European economies many from North Africa and the Middle East.

I seriously doubt that immigration from Muslim countries will be steady enough to reach 1/4 of Muslims in Europe within 100 years. The actual immigration policies are more in favour of stricter border control, and even expulsion or illegal immigrant. This is the new trend, and I think it will only be accentuated with time. The only way for Muslims to really adapt in Europe is to hide their religion, or even better, to lose it. I am already angry at older people who can't understand that religion is just a way of controlling their thoughts and fears, not truth. If now even young immigrant come along with another similar religion, I will fight for the introduction of philosophy classes into all schools, teaching about the danger and absurdity of religions.

Wang said:
If it is inevitable then I think Islam should be europeanized and not Islam making Europe Arabic.

Islamic does not equal Arabic. In fact, there are much more non-Arabic Muslims worldwide than Arabic ones (only Indonesia or Pakistan and Bangladesh each have a bigger population than all Arabic countries combined. This is also true in Europe. The Pakistani-Bangladeshi in the UK and Turks in Germany (and other countries) are more numerous than the Arabs.

Btw, there are about 15m Muslims in Europe at most, in a total population of 500m (so only 3%).
 
Maciamo said:
Btw, there are about 15m Muslims in Europe at most, in a total population of 500m (so only 3%).

Here are some information about the muslim population in Europe.

Europe's Muslim population has tripled over the last 30 years, to about 23 million, and experts predict it will double again by 2020. Between 15 million and 18 million Muslims live in EU member countries.

Turkey probably won't join for at least 10 years. But even the possibility of a predominantly Muslim country of 72 million entering the EU is controversial. Polls show citizens of some European countries strongly oppose the prospect.

If Turkey joins, the European Union's Muslim population, now about 3 percent, would jump to 20 percent.

"I think there is a lot of soul-searching that Europeans have to do," said Franco Pavoncello, a political scientist who is dean of John Cabot University in Rome. "Basically, the integration experiment of Europe has not been very successful. Certainly it has not been as successful as the one in the United States. Muslim communities in the United States are far more integrated than you have in Europe."

Even without the entry of Turkey into the EU, the percentage of European residents who are Muslim will continue to grow rapidly.

Most member countries have a very low birthrate. Muslims in Europe have three times as many children as families with long-established roots in Europe. And nearly 1 million immigrants come to Europe every year, many from Muslim regions such as North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey.

http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/stories/1204/17muslims.html

Yet many companies know they need immigrant labor. With European birth rates at historically low levels, immigrants have become the most dependable source of population growth for many countries, including Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. In Spain, which has one of the world's lowest birth rates, the government this month began offering permanent residence to some illegal immigrants who could prove they had jobs. The program could legalize as many as 800,000 immigrants. Dewinter fears plans like these will create an "explosive cocktail" of ethnic groups. "Islamization is Europe's biggest problem right now," he says, "and if we don't do something fast, it will be too late."

http://www.time.com/time/europe/html/050228/story_3.html


One country facing severe problems is Italy which is set to lose between a quarter and a third of its population within 50 years.

By the year 2050, the average Italian will be 53 years old compared to 41 now, and 41% of the country will be over 60.

"Governments are going to have to look at these numbers," said Joseph Chamie, director of the UN Population Division. "These are cold sobering statistics. There is nothing political about them."

"People have become accustomed to certain benefits and lifestyles. The sooner [governments] address these issues the easier the problem will be."


By contrast, the 15 European Union countries will see their combined population fall from 375 million to 330 million.

The greying EU would need 674 million immigrants over the next 50 years to keep its ratio of workers to pensioners constant, or 79.4 million to maintain a steady workforce, according to the report.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/685332.stm


Where do you think most of these immigrants will come from? From North Africa and the Middle East probably. And a lot of them are religious.
 
Wang said:
Here are some information about the muslim population in Europe.

Europe's Muslim population has tripled over the last 30 years, to about 23 million, and experts predict it will double again by 2020. Between 15 million and 18 million Muslims live in EU member countries.

Of course, if you count the Muslims of ex-Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria and the European part of Turkey (including Istanbul with over 10m people !), and the millions of Muslims in the ex-USSR, then Europe's Muslim population could be 23m, probably even more. If you only count the EU + Norway and Switzerland, it's less than 15m, and most of them are in the UK (2 million), France (5 million) and Germany (2 million).

If Turkey joins, the European Union's Muslim population, now about 3 percent, would jump to 20 percent.

? Turkey's population is 70m. Added to the current 457m, that is 527m + 15m Mulsim now, so 85m. 85/527 x 100 = 16%. This shows how a single Muslim country can influence the total statistics. Anyway, if we only count immigrants (if Turkey joins the EU, then the Turks in Germany won't be immigrant by EU standard anymore), then there are only about 12m Muslims.
 
Entitled "Europe and Islam, Crescent Waxing, Cultures Clashing", it was written by Timothy Savage, a serving US diplomat writing in his private capacity. It synthesises a great deal of existing research and comes to the conclusion that the position of Europe's Muslims is worsening and the European political order cannot deal with it. Crisis looms.

For a start, the demographic statistics are much more startling than anything we've realised. Savage writes: "Some even predict that one-fourth of France's population could be Muslim by 2025 and that, if trends continue, Muslims could outnumber non-Muslims in France and perhaps all western Europe by mid-century."

That's at the high end of possible outcomes and may not come about for many reasons, but whatever happens Muslims will be a dramatically larger share of Europe than they are now. According to Savage there are 23million Muslims in Europe, about 5 per cent of the total population. This figure has more than doubled in three decades and the growth rate is accelerating. Non-Muslim Europeans, on the other hand, are declining absolutely in numbers.

Meanwhile, the Middle East and North Africa have the second highest fertility rate in the world and Europe the lowest. Notwithstanding tougher rules on immigration, something like one million to 1.5 million new immigrants come to Europe legally and illegally each year. Probably most are from the Middle East and North Africa, mostly Muslim.

Similarly, within Europe the Muslim populations are young and just about to enter their child-bearing years. One-third of France's five million Muslims are under 20, one-third of Germany's four million Muslims are under 18 and one-third of Britain's 1.6 million Muslims are under 15. So while France's Muslims, for example, are only 8 per cent of the population, they are a much higher percentage of the cohort about to enter child-bearing years. Most importantly, the Muslim birthrate in Europe is more than three times the non-Muslim birthrate. By 2015, Europe's Muslim population will at least double while its non-Muslim population will decline by at least 3.5per cent. If Turkey joins the EU, these trends get another big kick along.

None of this is meant to be alarmist. It doesn't matter how many Muslims live in Europe if there is general peace and reasonable civic harmony. And nobody should ever be judged negatively because of their membership of a social group, race or religion. But this demographic change does pose policy challenges. Savage reports that European authorities believe 1per cent to 2 per cent of Muslims are involved in extremist activities; that is, 230,000 to 480,000. That's an awful lot of people.

For a diplomat, Savage doesn't mince his words. He comments: "In the estimates of some, Europe is entering a period of demographic, economic, psychological and political decline, which will make it all the more difficult to address the additional challenges of integration, tolerance and identity posed by Europe's Muslim population."

Savage reports much fascinating survey material, the most concerning of which is that second and third-generation European Muslims feel less integrated into European societies than did their parents and grandparents.

"If anything," he writes, "the trend towards Muslim differentiation and alienation appears to be growing stronger, with the younger generation in the vanguard." He quotes extensive survey data on this.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,15995276%5E25377,00.html


France is facing the problem that dare not speak its name. Though French law prohibits the census from any reference to ethnic background or religion, many demographers estimate that as much as 20-30 per cent of the population under 25 is now Muslim. The streets, the traditional haunt of younger people, now belong to Muslim youths. In France, the phrase "les jeunes" is a politically correct way of referring to young Muslims.

Given current birth rates, it is not impossible that in 25 years France will have a Muslim majority. The consequences are dynamic: is it possible that secular France might become an Islamic state?

The situation is not dissimilar elsewhere in the EU. Europeans may at some young point in the 21st century have to decide whether they wish to retain the diluted but traditional Judaeo-Christian culture of their minority or have it replaced by the Islamic culture of the majority.

http://opinion.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2004/01/26/do2601.xml

I think you haven't put the very low birthrates of "non immigrants" in Europe into your calculations.
 
Wang said:
I think you haven't put the very low birthrates of "non immigrants" in Europe into your calculations.
& I think, you haven't put the decreasing birthrates of immigrants into consideration. The original immigrants may have a dramatically higher birthrates, but in the next generations these decline rapidly.
 
bossel said:
& I think, you haven't put the decreasing birthrates of immigrants into consideration. The original immigrants may have a dramatically higher birthrates, but in the next generations these decline rapidly.

I don't think immigrants birth rates will decrease rapidly more like gradually in the next generations. If they don't have enough babies then more immigrants will be needed.
 
Wang said:
I don't think immigrants birth rates will decrease rapidly more like gradually in the next generations.
That's an issue of perception, probably. I'd call a relevant change over 1 or 2 generations (which is what happens) rapid.
 
Even declining rapidly, there are already quite a few Muslims in France, Germany, the Benelux and Britain. I think that France has the worst problem to deal with regarding the integration and security. Some districts of French cities have become so violent because of these young, unemployed immigrants that even the police cannot safely enter those ghettoes.

The most worrying is the state of relationship between the increasingly Atheistic French (or Europeans) and the increasingly radical Muslim population. If 1% of Europe's Muslim's really participate in extremist activities, Europe could soon errupt into a civil war between Muslims and non-Muslims. With the huge number of young Muslims, who knows how it might turn out. Could we imagine an open jihad with a Muslim militia of a few hundred thousands extremists starting to rampage across Europe or try to overthrow the government(s) ? Jihad is part and parcel of Islam, whatever the most moderate Muslims claim.

As we were discussing about the crusades, Jarvis came up with this article, in which is mentioned :

Thomas F. Madden said:
Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword. Muslim thought divides the world into two spheres, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War. Christianity—and for that matter any other non-Muslim religion—has no abode. Christians and Jews can be tolerated within a Muslim state under Muslim rule. But, in traditional Islam, Christian and Jewish states must be destroyed and their lands conquered. When Mohammed was waging war against Mecca in the seventh century, Christianity was the dominant religion of power and wealth. As the faith of the Roman Empire, it spanned the entire Mediterranean, including the Middle East, where it was born. The Christian world, therefore, was a prime target for the earliest caliphs, and it would remain so for Muslim leaders for the next thousand years.
 
I think before Europe even looks as it it will turn muslim smth like a civil war may happen. We saw already in holland the reactions to the murder of Van Gogh. European governments need to immediatly adress this issue and curb the spread of radical islam in Europe and impose new strict laws on immigration and assimilation in the community such as language, dhe adoption of certain ways of life, ie no veils for women and so forth so that we don't create a group of disgrunted paranoic hateful and dangerous fanatics with delirious religious ideas being fed by scheming individuals who in reality seek nothing more than power.

I feel that Europe has really become too complacent and passive in these new era where social democracy and human rights in the context of EU development and expansion. The governments of Europe are simply letting too many things slide by. For example we allow freedom of religion here in Europe and there are even mosques in Rome, the capital of christianity, but in Saudi Arabia and other middle eastern muslim countries christians are persecuted and there is no freedom of religion such as here. Another example is that if middle eastern women wish to wear veils here they are allowed to do so, but foreign women visitors visiting many islamic countries are forced to wear a veil. My point is that there is no reciprocity. There is no mutual tolerance between the 2 cultures. We allow and tolerate the other culture but they refuste to respect our ways.

Furthermore I'll say it again, Western Europe seriously needs to relook their immigration and social development policies. With the standards are criteria that many western european nations such as belgium has, these nations are themselves helpin the development of an immigrant subclass that resents the local hosts and is absorbing resources and effort without giving something back, in fact they are causing more problems than actually helping for the better welfare of society.
 
Duo said:
I think before Europe even looks as it it will turn muslim smth like a civil war may happen. We saw already in holland the reactions to the murder of Van Gogh. European governments need to immediatly adress this issue and curb the spread of radical islam in Europe and impose new strict laws on immigration and assimilation in the community such as language, dhe adoption of certain ways of life, ie no veils for women and so forth so that we don't create a group of disgrunted paranoic hateful and dangerous fanatics with delirious religious ideas being fed by scheming individuals who in reality seek nothing more than power.

Yes, it's for a reason that someone like Le Pen almost became president in France. He might have failed mainly because of his association with the neo-nazis and his anti-European views. Someone more moderate but clearly anti-immigration, like Pim Fortuyns in the Netherlands, would have good chances in France.

I feel that Europe has really become too complacent and passive in these new era where social democracy and human rights in the context of EU development and expansion. The governments of Europe are simply letting too many things slide by. For example we allow freedom of religion here in Europe and there are even mosques in Rome, the capital of christianity, but in Saudi Arabia and other middle eastern muslim countries christians are persecuted and there is no freedom of religion such as here. Another example is that if middle eastern women wish to wear veils here they are allowed to do so, but foreign women visitors visiting many islamic countries are forced to wear a veil. My point is that there is no reciprocity. There is no mutual tolerance between the 2 cultures. We allow and tolerate the other culture but they refuste to respect our ways.

I totally agree with that. Then these immigrants still complained when the veil and other religious symbols (of any religion) was banned in public institutions in France in order t avoid discrimination. Not only don't they understand what it means to live in a multicultural society, but if they didn't like that secular system, why did they come to France ? France has been one of the most secular country in the world since 1789 !

IMO, Muslims in Europe should not be allowed to wear the veil, traditional Muslim gown or any other religion symbol in any public place. They would be allowed to do it at home or in mosques, but discouraged to, so as to better integrate into European society. Some countries have started to expel Muslims participating in extremist activities. I think that all Muslim extremists should be expelled and lose their European citizenship if they already have one, then be barred from entering Europe ever again. That is what they would get in the USA or in Japan.

In fact, Japan even rejects asylum seekers if they do not fill strict criteria (something unthinkable in Europe), and can expel (at their discretion) anyone committing even a petty crime or overstaying their visas. There has even been Westerners who were refused entry into the country and put in the first flight home at their own expenses because they had "come and gone" too often with a 30-day temporary visitor visa (e.g. to Korea or China), which the authorities found dubious. My embassy told me that it had happened to quite a few people. On the other hand, I know many Japanese who have done the same in Europe, or who actually used their temporary visa to study one year in Europe, and never got any problems.

So yes, European countries are much too lenient in matters of immigration. I can see it when I arrive at the airport; in some countries they don't even check my passport because I "look local", and just make a hand gesture to say "ok, you can pass". As for visas in Belgium, my wife doesn't need one, even to work, because she is married. There is no way of proving it to employers though as there is no paper proving that she can stay and work in the country. So it's just a matter of trust between people's word. How can such a system still exist in a country with such a high immigration level ?! What's more, immigrants that haven't got any visa or citizenship, are allowed to receive social security benefits paid by taxpayers too ! That means that they can almost freely come to Belgium, decide not to work and get paid, even while staying illegally !! That's just insane, but that's because the Belgian government is too kind and humane and doesn't want that anybody starve on their land. Then they should have a (much) stricter immigration policy. For example, it only take 6 months of marriage for someone to get Belgian/EU citizenship. After that, they can divorce and stay in all the EU for the rest of their lives, and invite their relatives from abroad too. This should be changed. In Japan, it many other developed countries, 4 or 5 years of marriage is required for permanent residency or citizenship. After that, relatives can only come if the sponsor has enough financial means to support them.


Furthermore I'll say it again, Western Europe seriously needs to relook their immigration and social development policies. With the standards are criteria that many western european nations such as belgium has, these nations are themselves helpin the development of an immigrant subclass that resents the local hosts and is absorbing resources and effort without giving something back, in fact they are causing more problems than actually helping for the better welfare of society.

Exactly ! This is because too many Belgian politicians have too much heart and not enough head ! Strange as the right Liberals are in power, yet it seems that we can't get more leftist than that ! It is time to create a new centrist political party that is both pro-European and pledges to curb immigration and reform the current system (visas and citizenship, but also unemployment benefits for everyone). Another needed reform is giving more freedom to people to start a new company. The restrictions in this field are tougher in Belgium than in any English-speaking country or Japan. Then, there is the education system to reform, especially the university funding and introducing strict university entrance exams.
 
Maciamo said:
Even declining rapidly, there are already quite a few Muslims in France, Germany, the Benelux and Britain. I think that France has the worst problem to deal with regarding the integration and security. Some districts of French cities have become so violent because of these young, unemployed immigrants that even the police cannot safely enter those ghettoes.
The situation in Germany is entirely different, though. Here, similar ghettos do not exist. That's a particular French problem as it seems (I think, I've heard something similar about Belgium, but not that extreme).

If 1% of Europe's Muslim's really participate in extremist activities, Europe could soon errupt into a civil war between Muslims and non-Muslims.
Improbable. The number of muslim extremists seems pretty stable at 1%. & most of this 1% belongs to non-violent organisations like Milli Görüs in Germany (some 27,000 of an overall 31,000 Muslim extremists).

Jihad is part and parcel of Islam, whatever the most moderate Muslims claim.
But Jihad doesn't need to be violent, whatever some zealous Christian propagandists claim.

As we were discussing about the crusades, Jarvis came up with this article, in which is mentioned :
You should take this Christian propaganda crap with a HUGE grain of salt. The 1st crusades were in response to Muslim conquests in Asia Minor. But the reasons varied from re-conquest (the Byzantinians) over gaining power (the Pope) to religious fervour (many common participants).

What the Christian zealots who write articles like the one you linked to usually forget to mention are the crusades in Eastern Europe or against the Cathars in France. Hard to explain those as defence against some evil Muslim conquerors.
 
bossel said:
The situation in Germany is entirely different, though. Here, similar ghettos do not exist. That's a particular French problem as it seems (I think, I've heard something similar about Belgium, but not that extreme).

Yes, the Turks tend to be better adapted in Europe, mostly because they are less radical Muslim (e.g. they drink and produce alcohol, don't pray very often, don't wear much Muslim clothes, etc.), but maybe also because they are partly European. After all, a considerable portion of the Turkish population (including emigrants) have Greek (Byzantine), Latin (Roman), Celtic (Galician) and Germanic (Gothic) blood, with all the European heritage that goes with it.


Bossel said:
Improbable. The number of muslim extremists seems pretty stable at 1%. & most of this 1% belongs to non-violent organisations like Milli Görüs in Germany (some 27,000 of an overall 31,000 Muslim extremists).

Improbable for Turks, but what about Arabs in France ?

Bossel said:
But Jihad doesn't need to be violent, whatever some zealous Christian propagandists claim.

Wikipedia explains the 5 types of Jihad, among which holy war is only one of them. However proselytism and Islamic propaganda, including incitation to holy war, are considered non-violent forms of jihad (jihad by the tongue or by the pen), although they are harmful to the host society. How do you think the most radical Muslims would react when they see that their attempt to convert mostly Atheistic Europe will lamentably fail ? If peaceful jihad of tongue/pen fails, then they will have to resort to jihad of hand or sword. The problem with Islam is that it is an fundamentally intolerant religion (Christianity too, but it has become milder in Europe nowadays, as if struck by senility), that strives for the military conquests of non-Muslim land (Dar al-Harb) for the so-called good of mandkind.

Ofensive Jihad is what I meant was also part and parcel of Islam.

Wikipedia said:
Traditional Islamic doctrine divided the world into two parts: the Dar al-Islam (land of Islam), and the Dar al-Harb (land of war). The former were the Muslim territories, governed by Islam as a political movement, while the latter were the non-Muslim territories of the world. The concept of warfare in Islam is of two distinct types: defensive Jihad, which is defense of the Dar al-Islam, and offensive Jihad which is the military conquests of the Dar al-Harb by Islam as a political movement (hence the term, "land of war.")

Bossel said:
You should take this Christian propaganda crap with a HUGE grain of salt. The 1st crusades were in response to Muslim conquests in Asia Minor. But the reasons varied from re-conquest (the Byzantinians) over gaining power (the Pope) to religious fervour (many common participants).

There were obviously crusades that diverted from their original aim (e.g. the 4th crusade, led by the Count Baldwin IX of Flanders, who became Emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople after sacking Constantinople because the Byzantines couldn't pay what they had promised in exchange for their help).

But it is basically true that the original aim of the crusades were to rescue their Christian brothers and prevent Europe from being Islamised. The Spanish Reconquista was in some way the first and the last series of crusades (i.e. Christian struggle to keep the Muslims out of Europe).

Hadn't King Pippin the Younger of the Caroligians defeated the Saracens near Poitiers (South-West of France) in 759, the Arabs could already have conquered Europe then. The reaction was slow until the first crusade in 1095 (led by yet another "Belgian", Godfrey of Bouillon).
 
Maciamo said:
Improbable for Turks, but what about Arabs in France ?
Good question, but I think it's more a matter of integration policy than anything else. Ghettos cause problems. If you don't want these problems, you should try to avoid having ghettos.

How do you think the most radical Muslims would react when they see that their attempt to convert mostly Atheistic Europe will lamentably fail ? If peaceful jihad of tongue/pen fails, then they will have to resort to jihad of hand or sword.
Not necessarily. & even if so, this would most probably not lead to some kind of civil war. The extremists number simply too few.

The problem with Islam is that it is an fundamentally intolerant religion (Christianity too, but it has become milder in Europe nowadays, as if struck by senility), that strives for the military conquests of non-Muslim land (Dar al-Harb) for the so-called good of mandkind.
That's long gone. You'll find hardly any mainstream Muslim cleric nowadays calling for conquest of non-Muslim countries.

There were obviously crusades that diverted from their original aim
The original aim of the crusades in Eastern Europe & against the Cathars was not defence against Islam. That's for sure.

who became Emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople after sacking Constantinople because the Byzantines couldn't pay what they had promised in exchange for their help).
Even the 1st crusade was already accompanied by wide-scale looting, even of Christian swathes of land.

But it is basically true that the original aim of the crusades were to rescue their Christian brothers and prevent Europe from being Islamised.
That's rather doubtful. Christians in Western Europe were rather oblivious to Muslim gains in Asia Minor until the Byzantinian called for help (help to regain lost territory, not to stop Islam). & only then the Pope realised that he had something to gain if he provided support to the East Roman empire: influence & power.

The Spanish Reconquista was in some way the first and the last series of crusades (i.e. Christian struggle to keep the Muslims out of Europe).
Interestingly it seems that it were Christians who invited the Moors over to Spain in order to fight other Christians. To quote from your link: "After several centuries (most of them marked by civil wars) the last elected king, Rodrigo, was betrayed by the count of Ceuta, Julian, who called for the Muslims (or Moors) to enter Hispania. This was caused by religious reasons, as Julian, like most of the Spanish people at the time, was an Unitarian Christian (Arianism) and disagreed with the Visigoth elite conversion to Trinitarian Catholicism. The rebels considered Islam a related religion as opposed to "heretic" Trinitariasm."
 
Eh, tried to add to your rep Mac, but apparently ive heaped too much on you and need to spread it around, anyway, i totaly agree with your first post after the thread starter, for europe to become muslim AND envy a country thats already arguably at the beggining of the end of its world dominance and prosperity that goes with it, europeans need to be willingly looking for a religion to define them, withou the presence of another major system of belief, thats activly sending missionaries to convert us, which is daft because Muslims in europe at least, dotn make a habit of trying to convert folk, and in general keep their religion to themselves and their communities, european islam has no interest in turning us muslim.
Secondly we need to be so poor, our quality of life so bad, that america, as it stands now looks good.

Dont get me wrong, many parts of america are nice but europeans dont envy the states at the worst of times, let alone the fact we enjoy higher quality of living in general i feel, at least in the west of the continent.

So yeah i agree with Macs first reply, it pretty much covers my feelings and opinions on this. :cool:

If Turkey joins, the European Union's Muslim population, now about 3 percent, would jump to 20 percent.

I dont wanna nit-pick but when did turkey become part of europe, since when is being a european nation just a case of membership to the EU?....last i checked Europe was a geographical continent, and a european country is that which is actually in europe (counting that slither of land in the balkans doesnt make turkey european....) and when did the EU become the new europe?, since when did this non-democratic massive practice in corruption and un-accountable beaucracy become the voice of europe?, you'll find that non-elected over-paid paper-pushers in brussels dont actually represent the broad spectrum of european people.

"I think there is a lot of soul-searching that Europeans have to do," said Franco Pavoncello, a political scientist who is dean of John Cabot University in Rome. "Basically, the integration experiment of Europe has not been very successful. Certainly it has not been as successful as the one in the United States. Muslim communities in the United States are far more integrated than you have in Europe."

Sorry, when you say integrated you mean segregated into seperate little communities, like black folk and chinese and any other major ethnic minority?

I have to say, i dont get why some people come here then preach the countries destruction, i mean, wtf?....go home then, piss off, i think its time for europe to say to these kinda folks " you either respect our rules and laws and culture, or you get deported back from where you came, got it?" i mean i just dont get it, i wouldnt get away with going to a muslim country or japan and calling for the country to be bathed in the genocidal flames of psychopathic murder, and expect to stay, so why should they be allowed to call for me and my future childrens murder and live off of the prosperity my ancestors and those who came to live her epeacefully worked for and sometimes died for?

I agree all to whole heartedly that this respect is one-way, without muslim countries returning the favour.
 
What do u mean when did turkey become part of Europe? Since like ever, since the begining of civilization in anatolia. U ever been to Western Turkey ? Turkey has played an integral part in european history and development more than u think. Europe is not just Great Britain and France. These nations are relatively young compared to many balkan civilizations, the greeks, the turks, the Illyrians, the Romans and so forth...
 
Turkey, anatolia, asia minor, has been part of ancient history, indeed, but it still doesnt defeat the fact it isnt in europe, thats like inviting brocolli to a apples convention, it doesnt make sense, i know fine and well its staged many of the worlds history, but it still doesnt defeat the fact it isnt geographically part of europe, so it isnt european, and EU membership doesnt make it so.
 

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