A new report released on January 28, 2011 predicts that the worldwide Muslim population is set to increase by 35 per cent in the next couple of decades. Produced by the respected Pew Research Centre, the study gives a comprehensive analysis of religious change and its impact on societies around the world. I wish to sum up its research on Islam and look at the implications for Europe and Britain in particular.
By 2030, the world’s Muslim inhabitants are expected to increase from 1.6 billion at present to 2.2 billion. This growth is twice the rate of the non-Muslim population, i.e., an average annual growth rate of 1.5 per cent for Muslims compared with 0.7 per cent for non-Muslims. If the current trend continues, Muslims will make up 26.4 per cent of the world’s total projected population of 8.3 billion in 2030, up from 23.4 per cent of the estimated 2010 world population of 6.9 billion.
About 60 per cent of the world’s Muslims will continue to live in the Asia-Pacific region, while 20 per cent will live in the Middle East and North Africa, as at present. Pakistan is expected to surpass Indonesia as the country with the largest Muslim population. Although Muslims may remain as minorities in Europe and the Americas (large or small, depending on the country), they are expected to constitute a growing share of the total population, with increasing influences in all regions.
The Muslim share of Europe’s population is expected to grow by nearly a third, rising from 44.1 million (six per cent of Europe’s total population) in 2010 to 58.2 million (eight per cent) in 2030. The greatest increases—driven mainly by a high birth rate—are likely to occur in Western and Northern Europe. In the United Kingdom itself, Muslims are expected to comprise 8.2 per cent of the population in 2030, up from an estimated 4.6 per cent today. There are many areas in Britain (as well as France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany) where Muslim children constitute the majority of the school population.
The above statistics should not really surprise us, for it is part of the Muslim psyche to increase and spread their ummah
(community) in order for Islam to dominate and triumph. This is being done through the channels of a high birth rate, continued migration and aggressive proselytising. In 1900 there were about 50,000 Muslims in Western Europe, but by 1970 the number grew to 3-4 million, and by 2008 it exceeded 25 million. The U.K. net inflow of Muslim immigrants in 2010 (about 65,000) was forecast to be nearly as large as France’s. Around 30 per cent of all new immigrants to the U.K. in 2010 were Muslims.
As regards proselytising, Muslims make no apologies for it, and they regard it as the real goal of any inter-faith “dialogue”. In Britain now there are many more converting to Islam rather than from Islam. An obvious reason is that if a Muslim (anywhere in the world, for that matter) abandons Islam, he or she is liable to be killed, not least by their own family. Other reasons for conversion include the weakening of Christianity in the West, the effects of living in a secular culture, the confusion resulting from multiculturalism and political correctness, and the very confident nature of Islam.
Two thirds of converts to Islam are surprisingly women, given that women are not valued as complete persons, whether by the Shari’a or in public life. A Muslim man can divorce his wife simply by saying “You are divorced” three times in front of two male witnesses, and he can marry up to four wives. A woman can only inherit half of what a man can and her testimony in court is worth only half of a man’s. Furthermore, if a woman accuses a man of rape, she must produce four male witnesses or else she may be accused of adultery and be liable to be stoned to death. In Saudi Arabia women are forbidden to leave the house alone or even drive a car. The Qur’an (4:34) states that “men are in charge to women” and they can even “beat up” their wives in order to make them obey. The Hadith is full of the sayings of Muhammad, one of which states that most of hell is inhabited by women and that a woman must never object to obeying her husband’s sexual demands. In fact the Islamic paradise is full of “pure virgins” who give sexual pleasure to men (Qur’an: 2:25, etc.).
In another study, conducted by the organisation Faith Matters, researchers (surveying various sources, including 250 mosques) estimate that there could be as many as 100,000 converts (of all ethnic backgrounds) to Islam in the U.K. More than 5000 convert every year, with the typical British convert being in their late twenties, and the majority of women adopting the hijab (headscarf) as a way of demonstrating their newly-found identity. Books, Muslim contacts and the Internet are cited as the main sources of conversion.
For years numerous Muslim leaders have been bragging openly about an Islamic takeover of Europe. Back in 1974, Algerian President Boumedienne announced at the U.N. General Assembly: “Millions of (Muslim) men are leaving the southern hemisphere to burst into the northern one…not as friends, but as conquerors,, for they will conquer by populating it with children.” Similarly, in 2006, Libya’s Qaddafi stated: “We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe—without swords, guns or battles. Europe will turn into an Islamic continent within a few decades.”
History tells us that, for a thousand years, Muslim armies tried repeatedly to conquer Europe. The Arabs ruled Spain (711-1492) and the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople (1452) and parts of the Balkans, until they were finally defeated at the gates of Vienna in 1683. Today, no battles are needed, for British and European politicians have opened the doors to millions of Muslims, while either ignoring or not realising the serious implications involved.
We are not denying that many were needed as workers for manual jobs, that some of them were genuine refugees, and that the majority wish to live in peace. But the problem lies with the nature of Islam itself. It is not just a religion, but a theological and political ideology at the heart of which lies the belief that Islam is not only superior to other religions but the only one acceptable to Allah (Qur’an 3:85). Muslims are repeatedly urged to fight and subjugate all non-Muslims until they convert (Qur’an 2:216, 3:169, 4:74-76, 9:29, etc.).
That is why Muslims find it so difficult to live as a minority and to integrate into the majority. That is also why radical Muslims, who follow literally the injunctions of the Qur’an, have such a hold over the rest of the “moderate” Muslims who are too frightened to stand up to them. Young Muslims are being increasingly radicalised and pose an obvious source of danger to Europe and the European way of life. The goal of Muslim radicals is nothing short of establishing Islamic societies everywhere and applying the Shari’a fully.
It is within this context, therefore, that all the above statistics are genuinely worrying. Apart from the radicalisation, and on basis of demography alone, the famous historian Bernard Lewis has predicted several times the islamisation of Europe by the end of the 21st century. But even if Muslims do not form the great majority by then, their power will be too huge to ignore. Islamic Shari’a makes no distinction between mosque and state, religion and politics, or public and private lives, for all are one in an Islamic society. If the Shari’a is allowed to infiltrate the laws of the land, even if just for the sake of Muslims, it will act as the thin end of the wedge, and will gradually lead to all non-Muslims being affected by it in every way.
The biggest threat for us will be the future loss of our cherished freedoms, particularly our Judeao-Christian heritage which was responsible, in the first place, for the European way of life (as Pope Benedict keeps reminding us) and for the rise of the concepts of equality, liberty, tolerance and the human rights of every individual. Muslims in Europe are now enjoying these freedoms and rights, which are actually denied to the inhabitants of their countries of origin, particularly the Christian minorities. Some hope that Muslims in the West will eventually integrate and help eliminate the threats of radical Islam. Unfortunately, the signs are not encouraging for the foreseeable future, and it is no good being naïve and say that Islamic radicalism is the product of poverty, for most of the perpetrators of 9/11, 7/7 and other atrocities were not deprived individuals but university educated. Unless a real reformation takes place within Islam, we shall have serious reasons to worry for the future of Britain and Europe.
© JS, 2012