Monday, November 13, 2006

Mark Steyn at Right Wing News

If you'll notice on the right-hand column, there is a link to Mark Steyn's book America Alone. I haven't done a book report on it, but it is excellent and I highly recommend it. He essentially believes that Europe's current demographics indicate a Muslim majority down the road. Already due to age differences (Europe is aging and the Muslims are young), society is changing significantly.

Over at Right Wing News, John Hawkins interviews Steyn. To give you a taste:

John Hawkins: Let me ask you a related question, something you've touched on before. Europeans, from what I've seen, have a generally more dim view of the Middle East than Americans - like they think it's futile to try to build democracy in Iraq. You know, everywhere that you talk about -- well, democracy in the Muslim world just won't work. Yet, they're bringing in all the Muslims you could possibly imagine into their own home countries, and they're building them up to such a percentage that....if you get up to where 20%, 30%, 40% of your population is Muslim and you don't think Islam is compatible with democracy, that's kind of a weird combination. How's that happening?

Mark Steyn: I think that is the contradiction. If Islam is incompatible with democracy, that's not a problem for Iraq, it's a problem for Belgium, you know, because Iraq until, you know, a few months back had no democracy to lose. They can easily adjust to the way it's always been.

For Belgium or for Denmark or for the Netherlands, they've got real democracies and they are likely to lose and as you see, I think that is really the issue here, that when these contradictions are pointed out, Europeans essentially refuse to acknowledge them. Yet at the same time they're making capitulations to the most naked form of political bullying --and that's when Islam is officially a minority of, you know, 10% or so. In those cities it's a lot higher already. What happens when it's 30%? I mean, this is a question they never, ever ask themselves and you're right, they do take a dim view. I think at some level there's something else going on there, too, that a lot of these countries, you know, -- we talk about the Middle East, democratize the Middle East - we forget Spain was a dictatorship 30 years ago, Portugal, a little over 30 years ago, Greece, same 30 years ago.
This contradiction strikes me, too. While in Europe multiculturalism is preached, it is hardly practiced--at least not American-style. When in Paris, the native driver, fluent in seven languages, cursed the Gypsies and Muslims--Moroccans, at the time, I think. He was very smart, educated and urbane and totally shameless about dismissing this lower social class.

Most Americans, even after 9/11, would not dismiss Muslims in this way. Muslim people are our doctors, they own businesses, etc. That tolerance could change, I suppose, if Americans believed that the majority of American Muslims hated America, but I don't think that's where our country is. Europe is attempting to straddle this psychological divide and not doing too well with it.

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