Europe’s reluctance to confront the Middle East has its roots in the policy of Charles De Gaulle in the 1960’s. That’s when De Gaulle, the ever petulant French President, saw French and European power in decline and made the strategic decision to turn away from America and toward the Arab World. Historian Bat Ye’or produced a comprehensive history of what followed in Eurabia, the Euro-Arab Axis. To understand the current climate in Europe, especially in England and Northern Europe, Ye’or’s history is required reading, particularly as regards the demographics.
The initial “dialogue” began in 1973 and resulted in the evolution of a significant political force with its own transnational legal superstructure. One appeasement-oriented agreement followed another; however, the fundamental underpinning of the process was oil and protections from terrorism for Europe, in return for nearly unlimited immigration, and, eventually, automatic government benefits for Arab immigrants. Those policies saw no substantial reform until 2003.
The (then) European Economic Community (ECC) created a massive fiction of cultural relativity between Europe and Islam, the details of which, in hindsight, are nearly incomprehensible. The predicted assimilation and acceptance of Western ways never occurred in the immigrant Arab population. The dynamic led to Gadhafi’s well known quote:
There are signs that Allah will grant victor to Islam in Europe without swords, without guns, and without conquest, we don’t need terrorists, we don’t need homicide bombers. The fifty million Muslims in Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.
He had a point. Short of radical changes in policies and attitudes in Europe, his prediction has a better than excellent chance to come to fruition, beginning with England, Spain and Northern Europe.
Mark Steyn in America Alone points us to the numbers and mega-trends being driven by demographics. In 1970, developed nations had twice the share of the global population as the Muslim World; by 2000, they were at parity. A society requires a birth rate of 2.1 live births per woman to maintain itself. In the developed world, only one nation maintains that relationship: the United States. Canada maintains only 1.48; Europe as a whole 1.38, Japan 1.32, Russia 1.14. Steyn points out that these nations are slowly “going out of business.” The low birth rates also guarantee an aging population as compared to the average age in the Gaza Strip of 16. Historically a society with a birthrate of 1.9 or lower guarantees the decline of that society. A birth rate of 1.3 guarantees its disappearance as a culture or society.
Population under the age of 15 is also an indicator of where the global demographic trends are going: Spain and Germany, 14%, the U.K, 18%, Saudi Arabia, 39%, Pakistan, 40%, Yemen, 47%. Sensing a trend? Steyn demonstrates that “the developed world’s population is shrinking faster than any human society not in the grip of war or disease.” There are no indications that the trend will change in foreseeable future; seventeen European nations are at “lowest-low fertility,” 1.3 births per woman, and by 2050, indigenous European populations will be 30% lower than they are today and on the brink.
In England, the Muslim population has gone from 82,000 to somewhere between 2,000,000 and 2,500,000 in thirty years. The German Federal Statistics Office was the first to address the dynamic publicly, when Walter Radermacher, Vice President of the office, lamented: “The fall in The German population can no longer be stopped. Its downward spiral is no longer reversible.”
Said Norwegian imam Mullah Krekar, in the Oslo newspaper Dagbladet, in 2006:
[J]ust look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes; every Western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children every Muslim woman, in the same countries, is producing 3.5 children, our way of thinking will prove more powerful than yours.
All of this, in large measure, is a function of the agreements associated with the Euro-Arab Dialogue and the open immigration policies that resulted.
What does that mean for us? We have in front of us a living laboratory of what political correctness, appeasement, cultural relativity, open immigration, and weak foreign policy can produce: what the slow yet inexorable devolution of cultural and societal self-confidence leads to. Little remembered from the OPEC oil embargo of 1973, which ensued on the Yom Kippur war, was that the crisis, for the Europeans, was short lived. Within days, the ECC recognized the “rights” of the Palestinians and Palestinian demands against Israel – and the oil flowed again. U.N. Resolution 242 was passed shortly thereafter and to this day is touted as a basis for a negotiated peace. It was that 1973 embargo that drew Europe to finally and fully accept Arab political positions as their own, and to reject Israel, and by extension America and American support for Israel. That dynamic remains visible today, with the most recent Israeli-Palestinian clash as the exclamation point.
The structure and intent of the Euro-Arab Dialogue continues, with its latest iteration established in 2012: the Euro-Arab Institute for Dialogue residing at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels.