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9978-1594037641-January 2015

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The theme of The Great Divide is that the populations of the democratic world, from Boston to Berlin, Vancouver to Venice, are becoming increasingly divided from within, due to a growing ideological incompatibility between modern liberalism and conservatism. This is partly due to a complex mutation in the concept of liberal democracy itself, and the resulting divide is now so wide that those holding to either philosophy on a whole range of topics: on democracy, on reason, on abortion, on human nature, on homosexuality and gay marriage, on freedom, on the role of courts … and much more, can barely speak with each other without outrage (the favorite emotional response from all sides). Clearly, civil conversation at the surface has been failing -- and that could mean democracy is failing.

This book is an effort to deepen the conversation. It is written for the non-specialist, and aims to reveal the less obvious underlying ideological forces and misconceptions that cause the conflict and outrage at the surface -- not with any expectation the clash of values will evaporate, but rather that a deeper understanding will generate a more intelligent and civil conversation.

As an aid to understanding, the book contains a handful of Tables directly comparing modern liberal and conservative views across a range of fundamental moral and political “issues” so that curious readers can answer the book’s main question: “Where Do You Stand?” An interesting result in testing this exercise has been the number of people who find they “think” one way, but “live” another.    

 

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Essays (37)
« What Kind of Islam Is It? | Main | The West Against Itself: Our "Civil War of Values" »
Tuesday
Mar142017

Islam in the West: Some Demographic Facts

 

            In the space of a mere half century, as the West has divided against itself in this fashion, it has imploded demographically even as the Islamic world has exploded. Western women (except for Americans) have been reproducing at a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) far below the Population Replacement Rate of 2.1 children per women since the 1970s.  Canadian women have averaged around 1.5 children each. But Islamic women everywhere are still averaging 3.4 children each (though their fertility seems decline rapidly once they are westernized).  At 1.8, a country will be at 80% of its current size in a century; at 1.3 it will be at one quarter. Canada has close to a half million Muslim females. Demography is the future, and we are witnessing what the French call “la revanche des berceaux” – the revenge of the cradles. French Canadians were aware that the long-term demographic victory over their British masters had to begin between the sheets (a program since defeated by abortion and the pill). In exactly this way, the victory for Islam, as Muslims say, “will be won in the wombs of our women.” The West is in the throes of fornicating to death within a regime of contraceptive (and abortive) sterility, while Islam is breeding new life. 

       In mid twentieth-century there were almost no Muslims in Western Europe. By the end of the century there were about 16 million – of which, 5 million in France, 4 in Germany, 2 in Britain.  Canada’s 1981 Census listed 98,000 Muslims in Canada – a third the number of Jews. By 2006 we had 783,700 (over 2.2% of Canadians), and Statistics Canada released estimates in March of 2010, that at current immigration rates, Canada will have 2,870,000 Muslims by 2031 – seven times the expected size of the Jewish community.  America currently has about 2 million Muslims (excluding Black Muslims). But this type of immigration, as Christopher Caldwell puts it, “is not enhancing or validating European culture ; it is supplanting it.” [1] This supplanting is taking place in racial ghettos all over Europe. And in Canadian cities, too. The City of Vaughan already has one dedicated Muslim housing development – “Peace Village” - with Islamic schools, mosque, shopping and bank.[2] Accordingly, sociologists remark that many new immigrant groups have no more than a material and pragmatic connection to their new country; they are internal colonists who express only “neighbourhood nationalism.”  Some immigrant-overwhelmed nations (really, their cities), at a loss for solutions to this ghetto-ization are beginning to use the weak argument that this is normal “integration.”  The Mayor of Gothenburg Sweden says: “I don’t care if you respect our culture; you just have to obey the law.” But, as Caldwell observes, this was to demand nothing at all from newcomers, for their notions of excellence and virtue had nothing whatsoever to do with European notions.

           Result? Only half of British Muslims see Britain as “my country” (they identify most strongly with Muslims elsewhere); only five percent of Germany’s Turkish immigrants say they want to be buried in Germany. Meanwhile, an estimated 50,000 Italian have converted to Islam, and Germany has perhaps 4,000 converts a year. And … 37 percent of British Muslims favour executing all Muslims who convert to Christianity. Integration? … 90 percent of Europe’s Muslims choose spouses from their home countries. As Caldwell puts it, their marriages alone “are evidence of a collective choice against assimilation.” Some 53 percent of Turkish women would not consider marrying a German “under any circumstances” – and … Germans felt the same.  In Britain, only one percent of Pakistanis have white partners. Observers say today’s immigrants want “a Third World life at a European standard of living.” 

          How are Western secular liberals fighting back? With “compulsory liberation:” Holland requires new immigrants to watch a video of Dutch life that includes homosexuals embracing, and bare-breasted women on Dutch beaches. All of which is a bizarre turn of events because (Caldwell again):  what today’s secular European’s call “Islamic values” are clearly “a set of values that Dante and Erasmus would recognize as their own” Whereas the “core principles” of the modern secular West, whether of the European Union or Canada, they would not recognize.  Islam is filling a spiritual vacuum we have created ourselves.

 


[1] For this, and many of the other facts, insights, and quotes of this segment I am indebted to Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe (New York: Doubleday, 2009).

[2] Here is a paragraph describing Peace Village, “Canada's first Islamic subdivision, where all 260 homes belong to members the Ahmadiyya sect, which flooded to Canada in the 1980s after persecution in Pakistan. It looks ordinary, with basketball nets and minivans in the driveways, until you notice the street signs: Mahmood Crescent, Ahmadiyya Avenue and Noor-Ud-Din Court.” You can google “Peace Village” in Vaughan, Ontario, to read more.

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