Spectre of Eurabia haunts Europeans as Islamization of Europe Conspiracy Theory Gains Popularity
On July 11, 2011 At 3:15 am
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The term Eurabia was popularized by European writers who were concerned with the pattern of Muslim immigration and the resistance of Muslim immigrants to assimilation into European societies. There has in the last few years been a lively debate in the European mass media with many writers arguing that increased Muslim immigration into Europe in combination with high birth rates and resistance to assimilation into European culture by Arab Muslims would make Arab Islamic people the dominant political force in Europe in a few generations.The argument is that Europe is undergoing demographic changes would could lead to it evolving to a post-Judeo-Christian era of its civilization and final takeover by the Islamic civilization.
The idea of Muslim takeover of Europe seemed a wild conspiracy theory idea to most Europeans at first but according to Niall Ferguson, 2004, the idea began to be taken seriously after 9/11 and the claims of "creeping demographic changes" in Europe in favor of the Muslim population began to be debated in European mass media, and gained more momentum after the British-Egyptian writer Bat Ye'or published her 2005 book Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis in which she argued that there was a French led European foreign policy thrust designed to augment Europe's global political influence in competition with the United States by aligning with the Arab countries. She used the term Eurabia in reference to this European policy which she claims explains the European Union's pattern of foreign policy hostility to Israel.
However, the popular press took over the term from her and began to use it in the context of the questionable argument that if Muslim immigration into Europe is not controlled in time a "critical mass" of Muslim population would soon be attained which could lead to the total "Islamization of Europe."
Statements by notorious Arab Muslim leaders have only helped to increase fears and have popularized among Europeans Islamification-of-Europe conspiracy theories. The Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, said in a speech broadcast by Al-Jazeera TV on April 10, 2006:
We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe – without swords, without guns, without conquests. The 50 million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades…There will be 100 million Muslims in Europe. Albania, which is a Muslim country, has already entered the E.U…Bosnia, which is a Muslim country, has already entered the E.U. Fifty percent of its citizens are Muslims…Europe is in a predicament, and so is America. They should agree to become Islamic in the course of time, or else declare war on the Muslims.
Stories of Muslim conspiracy to takeover Europe by immigration recieved further boost when in 2009 a YouTube video which scored over 10 million views in two months, titled Muslim Demographics suggested that the fear of Muslim takeover of Europe in a few generations was real. BBC did a investigation of the demographic data presented in the video and concluded:
how reliable are the statistics in the Muslim Demographics video? The short answer is: not very. But the long answer is more interesting, because the video is mix of the right, the wrong and the unknowable.
But what exactly do demographers say?
The Central Institute Islam Archive estimated the population of Muslims in Europe in 2007 at about 53 million, amounting to a percentage of 7.2%. Within the European Union, however, the total population of Muslims is estimated at 16 million, about 3.2% of the entire population. Some demographers (Don Melvin) have estimated that at the current immigration and birth rates the population of Muslims will double by 2020 . Phillip Jenkins estimated that by the beginning of the twenty-second century the total population of Europe will be 25% Muslim. But other demographers including Richard Hokenson reject these projections as unrealistic on the grounds that they do not factor in the falling birth rates among Muslim women.
Current data on the population strengths of Muslims in Europe is presented below :
below 1% (Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia)
1%-2% (Belarus, Croatia, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Ukraine)
2%-4% (Andorra, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain)
4%-5% (Germany, Greece, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, United Kingdom)
5%-10% (Austria, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Georgia)