Skip to comments.Islam in England and Europe: The Coming War of Religions
Posted on 05/13/2002 3:51:13 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
The assassination of Pim Fortuyn, a Dutch rightwing politician who was outspoken against the influx of Muslims into Holland and the rest of Europe, and an opponent of immigration, needs to be seen in the larger context of how the growing Muslim population is having an impact throughout Europe and Great Britain.
Americans tend to pay little attention to other nations unless they pose a threat to our national security. It is doubtful that the average American could tell you much about the politics of Great Britain or European nations. The recent French elections got everyones attention because an avowed anti-Semite gained 17% of the vote that led to a run-off and repudiation. His brief moment in the spotlight, however, sent a shiver down the spine of those who recalled or know of the politics of the 1930s that led to World War II.
The United States has officially declared its opposition to three nations designated an "axis of evil", Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Other nations are designated as terrorist states, but European nations remain identified as allies, despite their reluctance to support US foreign policy. Moreover, these nations have formed the European Union in order to acquire more power for their region of the world. Great Britain has flirted with the idea of joining the EU, but so far has resisted.
It may surprise you, therefore, to learn that Muslims are the second largest religious group in England after the Anglican majority. There are some two million Muslims in Great Britain. They are not indigenous to England, being largely newcomers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India. Others come from Africa, Asia, and even Europe. The Muslims of England are very diverse in many ways, except for their faith in Islam.
Increasingly, though, demands have grown for education of Muslim children to reflect their religion, for official recognition of the Islamic faith. Native-born Brits are less than thrilled with their growing numbers and demands. Still, a recent poll by Eastern Eye, an Asian newspaper published in the UK, revealed that 87% of the Muslims polled said they are loyal to Britain, even though 64% were opposed to the US-led military action against Afghanistan.
The vote in France for Le Pen, a candidate with extreme right-wing political views, was generated by a growing concern of ordinary, native-born Frenchmen and women regarding their Muslim population and other immigrants. Here again, the fact that some four million Muslims are the second largest religious group in France may come as a surprise; more than half of them are French citizens. They are largely the result of Frances colonial past, especially in the North African region.
Most of the Muslim community in France are from nations called the "Maghreb", Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Others come from Turkey, Senegal, and Mali. Some are converts. Islam has a long history in France. Ironically, the spread of Islam into Europe was ended with their defeat at Poitiers, France, in 732. It would not be until 1683 when Muslims were defeated near Vienna, that further expansion efforts ended in Europe. Now Muslims merely immigrate to European nations.
Frances situation is particularly instructive. Immigration began in earnest in the 1950s, primarily from Maghreb nations. There are some five million Muslims in France. For decades, the religion was largely invisible and Muslims represented the lowest rungs of the economic and social ladder, but second and third generation French Muslims, in the 1990s, underwent a re-conversion of sorts, joining the ranks of radical Islam to seek an identity in a society from which they felt excluded.
This is interesting, too, because, twenty years ago, the demand for official recognition of Islam led to the Charter of Muslim Faith that defined how a French Muslim could remain faithful to both Islam and France. Today, native French citizens tend to regard Muslims as a danger to their society. The French government, however, has seen integration of Muslims into French society as a wiser path than some form of de facto isolation.
Following 9.11 and the US retaliation in Afghanistan, the French magazine for Muslims, La Medina, organized a public meeting to discuss its significance for Islam. In a converted warehouse just north of central Paris, in October, a large crowd of French Muslims, mostly from North Africa, gathered. One speaker was a 39-year-old Swiss professor, Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of a man who founded Egypts Islamic revival movement, the radical Muslim Brotherhood, in the 1930s. "Now more than ever, we need to criticize some of our brothers," he told the packed hall. "My dignity depends on saying You are unjustified if you use the Koran to justify murder." No doubt his grandfather is doing cartwheels in his grave.
Reportedly, the overwhelming majority of Europes Muslims see their religion as a moderate one. There are 12.5 million Muslims throughout Europe and they are in the process of redefining Islam as people born and bred in Europe. This may be the beginning of a much-needed Reformation within Islam that occurred and redefined Christianity after the Dark Ages.
Having noted the Muslim defeat outside of Vienna, Austria in 1683, it would not be until 1878 before Muslims appeared in greater numbers as the result of the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and other territories by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Currently, Muslims are the third largest religion in Austria and growing. Their numbers doubled between 1981 and 1991. These Muslims are largely immigrants and are often political refugees. The bulk are formerly Turkish and citizens of the former Yugoslavia. The recent Balkan wars drove a lot of Muslims to choose Austria as a homeland. There are also distinct and visible Iranian and Arab minorities as well.
The relationship between Muslim minorities and the State of Austria has been formalized and regulated since 1912 by the Islam Act that officially recognized the religion. It led to the establishment of the Muslim Faith Union in 1979 and Austrians Muslims are taught their faith in public schools with teachers paid by the State. The rise of nationalistic political parties in Austria reflects a concern seen in France. Increasingly, a growing portion of native Austrians are suspicious and fearful of Muslims.
In Poland, chiefly Polish-Lithuanian Tartars, a group estimated between two and three thousand, have lived in that nation for some 600 years. Their small numbers versus the overwhelmingly Catholic Poles has left them largely ignored. Muslims, however, in the post-Soviet Caucasus are a different situation entirely. A growing fundamentalism has, for example, led the Chechyans to use terrorism and war on the Russians to seek a separate nation. The Russians have responded much as the US has in Afghanistan.
Several former Russian provinces, now independent, but allied republics, have large, if not dominant Muslim populations. These include Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kryghyezstan, and Kazakhstan. Add to this, Albania. The recent Balkan wars were largely religious movements by Muslims and, ironically, the US sided with them and against the Serbians. So did the rest of Europe.
So, now, when you say Europe, its wise to keep in mind that the nations that compose it are increasingly home to a growing population of Muslims. Wherever a population of Muslims gains in numbers, they begin to demand autonomy or a change in the governmental structure to reflect Islamic law. This is going to lead to a long religious war, an Islamic Jihad. Not all Muslims will support it, but few can be expected to speak out against it.
No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!
Well this average American can tell you this much: Britain and the rest of Europe had better halt Islamic immigration--and fast!
A very sobering thought! Some one on one of these threads projected that these conditions, along with the rate of immigration today, France could have a Muslim majority by 2020!
LOL! I love it!
Now, that's a sober truth. People don't want to say it out loud. They don't want to just label "them ones over there" as "bad" or "enemy". But that's what it's coming to- and it's not our fault.
We don't have to feel guilt, as if we have instigated this situation. Islam has something underlyingly radical in it. Christianity is no longer spreading. Islam is. Look at the Islamic nations. There's no room for a different religion in any of them. People might have pointed to Indonesia not too long back but that's changing to the point where Christians there are in actual physical danger. If we are too squeamish to stand up and say what's what and do what we need to do protect our culture- we're going to lose it and we won't ever get it back.
Picture one world of Islam- except for Israel. It gets Biblical when you think about it like that. If we follow the European example, that's exactly how it'll turn out. Israel is the only country that is really and truly willing to fight the Islamic world. They do it with most of the world screaming bloody murder the entire time and with their own trusty ally (US) constantly urging restraint, yet they fight just the same. And our culture is too afraid to even stand up and acknowledge that there is a battle to be fought. Our time of decision is coming and we need to be ready.
It depends on how they define "loyalty". In a conflict between Britain and Argentina, the Muslims would of course support Britain. But in a conflict between Britain and a Muslim state? I think most of the Muslims would say they support the Muslim state. And most of the rest would be lying
Please don't tar all Muslims with the same brush. Most Muslims in Germany are Turks. Their integration is difficult but not impossible.
The Arabs in France, on the other hand...
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