During the Second World War, Americans naturally had a strong interest in events in Europe. The war in Europe was the stuff of daily headlines in the U.S., and this interest in European affairs continued for a long time afterwards. Americans recognized that their own fate was tied to that of their allies across the Atlantic.
Despite the fact that Europe is even closer now in terms of travel time, that interest has waned considerably. Whatever is happening in Europe—the ever-pending Greek default, the refugee crisis off the coast of Italy, the fate of the EU itself—seems to have little to do with us. Except for the occasional major headline story, most Americans haven’t the faintest idea what is happening in the UK and on the Continent. Unless there’s a war going on, we don’t pay much attention to European affairs. Yet there is a war going on in Europe, and it’s part of a wider global war, the outcome of which will profoundly affect the future of Americans. The reason we don’t notice is that, although there are occasional bombings and shootings, Europe’s war is primarily a culture war—a war to determine whether or not Islam will eventually be imposed on the people of Europe. How is that war progressing? Consider a couple of recent headlines:
- UK waterpark bans bikinis, orders visitors to wear “Islamically appropriate” clothes
- Turn empty Catholic churches into mosques, French Muslim leader says.
It’s been announced that Waterworld in Stoke-on-Trent will hold women-only nights, where women will be expected to wear “full-length jogging bottoms and a dark-coloured t-shirt” in accordance with Islamic rules of modesty. Seeing as the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent is a chap named Majid Kahn, and that Mohammed Pervez is the head of the City Council, one assumes that the city is located in a heavily Muslim area of England. Thus, many will accept the news as no big deal—as just a reasonable local concession to diversity, which, of course, is our strength and our salvation. Catholics and other Christians might even be inclined to welcome the idea. After all, isn’t it about time that somebody did something about the near-nudity one encounters in beaches and water parks?
That’s one way of looking at it. On the other hand, as Conservative MP Philip Hollobone said, “Imagine … if the boot was on the other foot and swimmers were told they had to dress appropriately in respect of Christians.” If you’re familiar with the way things work in politically correct Britain, you’ll realize that that’s a non-starter. In explanation of the new policy, a Waterworld spokesman said: “We pride ourselves in having the adaptability and diversity to cater to demands of our guests.” But as Brits are coming to realize, the only diversity that counts in England today is Islam.
Over on the other side of the Channel, a top Muslim official has suggested turning empty or abandoned Catholic churches into mosques. There are presently about 2,500 mosques in France, but it’s estimated that at least 5,000 are needed for France’s growing Muslim population.
Again, at first glance, there seems to be no cause for alarm. After all, as Dali Boubakeur, rector of the Grand Mosque in Paris, said: “it’s the same God, these are neighboring rites, fraternal, and I think that Muslims and Christians can coexist and live together.” Christian leaders concurred. Monseigneur Ribadeau-Dumas, spokesperson for the Bishops’ Conference of France, told radio station Europe 1 that “Muslims should, like Christians and Jews, be able to practice their religion.”
Oh, well, then, that’s all right. Still, behind the headlines one detects some alarming shifts in population and in spirituality. Not only are Catholics unable to keep their churches full, they’re unable to keep them open. The Monseigneur says that Muslims should be able to practice their faith just like Christians. But what happens when Muslims practice their faith and Christians don’t? Christian indifference has resulted in a population vacuum and a spiritual vacuum. And it’s no secret who has been filling the empty space. Muslims are, so to speak, doing the jobs that Christians won’t do—that is, the work of praying and propagating.
If these shifts continue apace, the real question will not be whether Muslims will be able to practice their religion but whether Christians and Jews will. Although “Islamophobia” is the buzzword of the day, statistically one is much more likely to fall victim to “Christophobia” at the hands of zealous Muslims. As is now dawning on the world, in those places where Islam is practiced to the fullest, Christian worship is highly restricted. In Iran and Pakistan, Christians had best confine their Christianity to the inside of a church. In Afghanistan there are no churches left, and in Saudi Arabia, the spiritual capital of Islam, churches and Bibles are forbidden. Meanwhile, the question of freedom of religion for Jews living in Muslim-majority lands is more or less an academic question since there is only a remnant of Jews left in the Muslim world.
Jews in France who have taken note of the population shift and understand what it portends are leaving the country in large numbers. Those who remain are still guaranteed freedom of religion—as long as they can hire enough security guards at the synagogue to ward off firebombers, armed assailants, and the occasional Muslim mob.
As for Christians, the future also seems dim, or, to use the technical term, dhimmi. The term refers to the second-class status assigned to Christians in Muslim-majority societies. Under the dhimmi system, Christians are expected to know their place, to practice their faith as quietly and unobtrusively as possible, and to avoid any word or action which might be perceived as an insult to Islam and its prophet.
If that future seems difficult to imagine, take a tour of Europe’s great and small cathedrals and note the shrunken size of the congregations. Or consider that Christians who have been unable to resist the secularization of Europe are even less likely to be able to resist its Islamization. The same goes for Europe’s atheists, agnostics, and nominal Christians. When push comes to shove, Europeans may discover that the switch from bikinis to burqa bathing wear is not so difficult after all.
While the founders of secularist movements and ideologies tend to be of the radical-individualist sort, the rank and file tend to be of the trend-following sort. And it’s rather amazing how quickly they pick up on the latest trends. In the blink of an eye, historically speaking, fringe behavior has become fashionable. But what’s trendy today is often gone by tomorrow. The sudden acceptance of same-sex marriage and transgenderism may seem like signal victories for secularism, but they might better be seen as the prelude to the demise of secularism. Because the biggest trending trend in the Western world is not transgenderism, but Islam. And if the general citizenry can be so easily and rapidly converted to accept behavior that only yesterday was considered aberrant, they can just as easily be converted to a once-alien belief system.
Under the dhimmi system, the population of North Africa gradually shifted from about 90 percent Christian to 90 percent Muslim. That took centuries, of course, but then again, the North African Christians did not subscribe to a relativistic view of life. The conversion of modern-day Europe will likely be accomplished much more rapidly. Ten years ago few would have thought that transgenders would be the new heroes of our society. But Western societies now seem disposed to celebrate any change so long as it’s perceived to be a rejection of Western mores. So it doesn’t take a Nostradamus to predict that mass conversions to Islam may well be the in-thing in a decade or less. But, whereas transgenderism is most probably a passing fad, “Islam,” as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls recently declared, “is here to stay.” In other words, the next big fad may turn out to be the fad to end all fads.
Due to the pervasiveness of relativism in the UK and on the continent, Europe’s “culture war” hardly qualifies as a war. A slow-motion capitulation might be a more accurate description. Whatever you wish to call it, Americans need to pay attention, because the relativist mindset which is enabling the Islamization of Europe is almost as firmly entrenched on this side of the Atlantic.