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Discussion Point VIII

Which Western country will be the first to become an Islamic state?

58 comments to Discussion Point VIII

  • guy herbert

    None of them, unless you are counting Iraq as a Western country.

    Contrary to the propaganda of both the Islamists and their countersupporters on the rabid right, the appeal of the Islamic state is limited even in the Arab world, or there would be loads of them by now, and ‘demographic conquest’ is just ‘pollution of the race by dirty immigrants’ dressed up in a burka for the new century.

  • Paul Marks

    If I remember correctly it was the area known as Syria – in the early 7th century.

    An area that had been Western since at least the time of Alexander the Great – i.e. about a thousand years. However, the area known as Syria was also part of the old Hittite Empire – and the Hittites were very a Western civilization.

    “No we do not count areas once controlled by the Hittites or the Mitanni or the Hurrians or even the Greeks” (yes I know that most Syrians did not speak Greek – but they did not use to speak Arabic either).

    O.K. – the first Latin speaking area (I hope Latin Roman counts as Western) was North Africa (Roman Cathage, the city of Saint Augustine, and so on) in the late 7th century.

    North Africa (or parts of it) were recovered from time to timem (by many Christian powers) after the 7th century (indeed Algeria was only recaptured by the Muslims as recently as 1962). And Islamic raiders based in North Africa not only attacked Rome but attacked as far north as Iceland (there were also slave raids against Europeans, both shipping and land, till the 19th century,) so the situation was fluid.

    The Christian kingdoms of the Sudan were at war with Islam from the 7th century to the 16th (when they were destroyed), although the nonMuslim inhabitants of the area have not yet been totally exterminated. Nor have moderate Muslims (although the Mahdi had a good go at exterminating moderate Muslims in the 19th century and there are similar movements now).

    The long struggle of Ethiopia is too well known to be worth extensive comment. Although Islam does seem to be on the rise there now (perhaps due to Marxist influence undermining Christian civilization in the 1970’s and 1980’s).

    I hope no one will make the mistake of confusing “Western” with white skin.

    As for the next Western place to be turned into an Islamic area.

    Hard to say. Many people say France, but the birth rate (among non Muslims) in Italy and Spain is very low indeed.

    It must be stressed that the low fertility rate means that Islam is (to some extent) expanding into a vacuum. The social changes that really gained steam in the 1960’s (of which a low fertility rate is only one sign) were not the fault of Islam and Islamic forces can not really be blamed for taking advantage of them.

    The present decline of Western civilization is really an internal affair. Old enemies can not reasonably be expected to ignore it, but they are not to blame for it either.

  • J

    I’m not quite sure what counts as an Islamic state. One in which Islam is clearly the majority religion, or one in which fundamental aspects of the state machinery are ‘islamic’ in some way?

    For the weaker formulation:
    France, Germany, UK, but none of them for at least 50 years, and very unlikely in any case

    Under the stronger formulation:

  • Freeman


  • Sigivald

    In a surprise upset, South Korea.

  • Ethan

    The Jihadwatch/Mark Steyn school would say that the Benelux then France would all go roughly about the same time. Then Sweden, Germany then Britain and Italy, Norway then Spain.

    This will all happen within the next 50 years or so.

    I have a feeling though that something between now and then will set off a major World War. One that Islam may.. hopefully.. lose decisively.

  • What kind of defeatist attitude is this?

    counter question: Which will be the next middle eastern country to become a liberal democracy?

    I think Iran.

  • WalterBoswell

    If by Islamic you mean ruled under Sharia law then I would say none. Perhaps a more realistic question would be which Western country will see the first mass deportation / slaughter of it’s Muslim inhabitants.

    counter question: Which will be the next middle eastern country to become a liberal democracy?

    If North Africa can be included in there I’d say Tunisia, if not then the part of Iraq which will become Kurdistan.

  • Paul Marks:

    I would love to have references for what you list. I am often at a loss when arguing with pro-islamic atheist-leftists about the true history of islam, its expansion, conquest and sublimation of other cultures and the crusades.

    Can you cite any titles or title any sites?

  • If a particular islamic cult were keen on the idea, Liechtenstein would be the one to go for.

    Vatican city could be funny.

  • J


    “The Crusades” by Mayer is good, although it’s at the serious end of things. It’s not popular history.

    “A History of the Arab Peoples” by A. Hourani I found too hard to get through, although it was recommended to me.

    I find history books rather hard. You have the popular sort, where some apparent expert writes an interesting narrative with no supporting references, or you have the terribly dry and academic sort, full of footnotes and glosses, but so turgid you can’t see the wood for trees.

    I suppose if you read the first to get a general picture, and then the second to find out all the bits the first had conveniently made up or left out, you’d be all set, but where’s the time for that….


  • The notion of the UK will ever be an Islamic state is preposterous. Intellectually Islam is on borrowed time and it has nothing to offer people in the west, so the only way it can spread in Europe is via immigration and non-assimilated immigrants giving birth.

    But the largest influx of immigrants to the UK is not Muslims, it is Christian Eastern Europeans, so demographics is not going to do it.

    Islam needs to be confronted as a political system (and it is a political system, the fact it also just happens to be a religion is not that important), but I reckon thirty years from now, people will wonder what all the fuss was about.

  • The largest immigrant demographic is Eastern European Christians?
    Why is that?(Answers on a postage stamp please).

  • The idea of a slow Muslim take-over via demographics, by “immigration and non-assimilated immigrants giving birth”, has one fatal flaw: the time it would take.

    It requires that a large percentage of Muslims in Europe remain unassimilated and manage to out-breed other social groups for a period of decades, with the Islamists among them biding their time and gradually consolidating their control.

    But the fanatical Islamists are driven by rage, and they aren’t willing to wait. They want an apocalyptic battle right now. So they are forcing a decisive confrontation with the rest of society, including all the Muslims who don’t share their views, before they have the means to win it. Their unbridled rage is actually a major strategic weakness.

  • Giles

    More interesting – which Asian country will be first to become a Christian State –
    Chritianity is 26% of Korea (largest religion)
    between 5 and 10% in China
    10% of Vietnam
    15% of Singapore

    – all from around 0% 40 years ago

    Islam is generally successful in failing states but Christianity blooms in the prosperous and growing Asian states. Could there be a connection?

  • emil

    Sweden or Norway

    I bet you five camels that by 2015 we’ll see at least one city or city district in either of these two countries declaring Sharia as sole official law, with all consequences that follow.

  • If I am not mistaken The Netherlands has seen the writing on the wall and already has the measure of the threat. Sweden is in denial, but I think that even if a Sharia authority makes a grab, the Swedes will switch mode with frightening calm and accuracy and move in to remove the boil on their collective backsides. Anyone who saw “Pathfinder” will know how steely the Nordics can be under the right circumstances.

    We might see a brief grab in the UK too, especially if the idea of “elected Sheriffs” occurs, e.g. Bradford might then vote in an Islamist Sheriff who will then let Sharia courts in as defacto supreme authority.

    As for the reverse, next democracy, I think Kurdistan-in-waiting. Alas, with Turkey edging towards Islamism, it it is likely to be immediately threatened.

  • Dave

    Well Fjordman reckons Norway and Sweden are in trouble with very low birthrates and extreme levels of immigration.
    Fjordman suggests that although Islam wont have an outright majority for a long time it will control many capitals throughout Europe and other big cities, therefore greatly affecting culture. And that does seem to be happening, only today Tony Blair announces ‘public’ money to teach UK Imams.

  • The largest immigrant demographic is Eastern European Christians?

    Why is that?(Answers on a postage stamp please).

    Simple… UK is a bigger, more developed economy and (very importantly) does not impose any restrictions on new EU members ability to work. I think the current influx of Eastern Europeans is one of the great immigration success stories from the UK perspective… probably not such good news for Poland etc.. It is one of the best things Blair ever did (not often you will see me write that!)

  • RAB

    I agree with Perry.
    Another reason is that the same economic pressures,
    i.e. it is bloody expensive to live in the West will affect our Muslim immigrants, same as it has us, thereby slowing their birthrate to the same level as the indiginous population.
    Norway ? Do they have much immigration from anywhere? They do seem happy to glad hand the Palistinians right now though!
    Italy?? I’ve recently come back and that is the whitest country I’ve been in for years.
    Sorry Paul, I know what you mean, and feel the same, but it is.
    The only African and asian faces I saw were hawking crap necklaces and fake designer tat in the streets .

  • The Dude

    My bet would be that you see the election of Le Pen type character or a mass backlash against Islam before you see a Western country, in the modern sense, become Islamic.

  • Paul Marks

    First of all my favourate reply has to be Rich Paul’s “none ever” – ignoring not only threats in Western socieities today (such as Kosovo and Bosnia) but all the places that have fallen in the past. Still I hope he is right – at least that no other areas fall.

    Perry is right about the people from Eastern Europe. Whatever the tensions there may be I rather doubt that the English in towns like Blackburn would be moving out if large numbers of Poles (or other Slavs) were moving in. Indeed as Slavs tend to be better looking than most English people and (at least in the case of the Poles and some others) rather stronger Christians than the English, their immigration to this country can only be good. It is a pity that more Eastern Europeans are not having babies though.

    In Norway their is a female Muslim comic who mocks radical Islam (I can not remember her name), she is rather good – and has certainly added something to Norway (which was not known for its humour).

    Mark Steyn mentions that Malmo as city in Sweden where the Muslims are getting very strong (although Malmo and so on were Danish till the Swedes took them a few centuries ago).

    The countries in this area seem to go from one extreme to the other.

    Only a few years ago having brown eyes could get you sterilized in Sweden, now other leftists (and it was leftists who were behind the eugenics policy) insist on welcoming hostile people from round the world – and the children of these people tend to be even more hostile than they are.

    As always it is the ideas in someone’s head not the colour of their skin (or their eyes) that matter.

    Which Asian country will become Christian first – apart from the Philippines?

    South Korea does seem like a good bet – again shame they are not breeding (same problem in Taiwan and Japan, still perhaps the biotech people will come up with a way to produce humans, or other intelligent beings, without women going through nine months of horror).

    Perry is also right about Islam having problems with it. For example, its predestination of events is absurd (as is all determinism).

    The trouble is that such philosophical problems do not destroy a society.

    True some aspects of Islam do handicap economic growth (for example the ban on lending money for interest), but such restrictions are not fatal to an economy.

    And, after all even a totally demented system of thought, Marxism, dominated about a third of the population of the world not so long ago and is still a serious threat in many places – not just Latin America, but in most Western universities.

    If Marxism (a system of thought that makes no sense whatever, in terms of the study of history, philosophy or economics) almost took over the world (and is still a serious pest), how much better might Islam do?

    After all it is NOT up against Western Civilization in top form – it is up against a lot of degenerate credit bubble Welfare States.

    Still I think they will lose – although, oddly enough, not because of their Islam.

    They have “internalized” a lot of the worst ideas of the modern world.

    For example, where are the gold and silver coins of the Islamic Republic of Iran? All I see are fiat money notes (and inflation and price controls and …..) the founder of Islam would not be pleased.

    In fact, for all the down with usury talk, the Iranian regime plays the fiat money credit bubble game.

    And it plays the “public services” game (rather than just the set taxes for the poor laid down in Islamic scripture).

    And it plays the endless regulations game (in violation of the words of Islamic scripture).

    In fact it is even worse than Britain.

    And the Sunni extremists are no better.

    They follow “strict Islam” when it suits them (for example in tormenting women), but the do not follow the words of the founder of their religion when it come to economic matters (they only follow his words when they are a reason for state action – not when they are a limitation on state action).

    We are told that although they may have evil principles at least they are men of principle. However, close observation shows that (for all their bombings and beheadings) they are not even that.

  • Gabriel

    To add to Paul’s remarks, not only does Iran play the statism game worse than us in the sense that they do it more, they also do it worse in the sense that they are preposterously crap at it. Recently Achmerdinnerjacket set a maximum rate of lending appreciably lower than the current rate of inflation. That is to say he gave Iranian banks a clear ultimatum: ‘subvert the law or go out of business”.

    It’s really depressing that we have to deal with these sort of morons, I sometimes wonder how they manage to dress themselves without major injury.

    I’m not sure whether any respectable newspapers ran the story.

  • Which Western country will be the first to become an Islamic state?

    Why Turkey of course, thanks to the kick start that Kemel Attaturk gave the process of becoming a Western state with an Islamic majority. Maybe Kosovo, and hopefully Kurdistan.

    As for Islamism taking over a western state? Here I am with Perry and Guy. Islamism does not produce wealth, it will take a while but I have no doubt that the obvious advantages of western civilization will win the Muslims that live here into assimilation in due course.

    Were the Islamist funding sources of western Welfare States (allowing them to remain unassimilated and therefore unemployable) and eastern oil wealth (training up Islamist Imams and shipping them over here because there is nothing else an education system hobbled by the political constraints of Islamism is going to produce) to disappear this process would speed up considerably. I guess I’m an optimist but I don’t feel that Islamism can win. The only thing is that Western civilisation could give up and loose, as so many Lefties would love after seeing their preferred social structure disintegrated and be shown as being as bad as righties always said it was.

    While we wait for the collapse of the Welfare State and thence Muslim integration the UK is being bolstered with another dose of hybrid vigor from the Eastern Europeans. It will be the countries that have big welfare states and a bad attitude to Eastern Europeans that could have more of problem. Maybe France, Holland or Sweden.

  • Well, there is Albania.

    Did Albania ever rejoin the West when it broke from the Ottomoan yoke?

  • Russia.
    The low birth rate plus high alcoholism death rate plus high AIDS rate equal a below replacement level population. Combined with a Muslim (Chechyn war and spreading of refugees) population that does not drink or is sexually promisous will find fertile ground in culure already enamored with authoritarian rules and limitations. The anti-US, anti-West stance would bring financial support from ME countries. The size, scope or the miliary arsenal will be irresistible…

    France and Scandanavia are suggestions basd only on population figures but they lack the fertile ground for the religion to flourish and attract converts.

    A fundamentalistic religion that offers safety and prosperity for its members will be an attractive refuge from the political and economic chaos in the surrounding society…

    Timeline-20-30 years. WWII and Post-war generations are dying off faster than in the west due to lack of comparable medical care…

    Where will Europe stand when all the fuel is in Muslim hands?

  • David Waterson

    Posted by pietr at June 4, 2007 09:32 PM – jobs

  • What happens when a major uban center in Europe, say Malmo or Rotterdam, Mulhouse or Leeds becomes overwhelmingly Muslim and drives out most of the ‘ Christians” ?

    They will have access to arms via the local police force which they will more or less control (maybe not in the UK) and they could perhaps find a way to clandestinly build up a fighting force that could fight for thier independence the way Slovenia did in 1990-1991.

    Would a European state have the cojones to do to such a place what Russia did to Grozny ?

  • the Swedes will switch mode with frightening calm and accuracy and move in to remove the boil on their collective backsides

    This will happen everywhere. I would argue it’s already happening everywhere, certainly everywhere in the Anglosphere. The hysterical cries that “we’re all doomed” are just part of the steady, and growing, backlash against anti-democratic subcultures which have grown up in western states.

    Some of you seem to have an extremely dim view of the strength of the west and western culture. Just because it is no longer homogenous does not mean it is non-existent – dad may no longer be smoking a pipe by the fire while mum prepares dinner for the 2.3 kids, but western culture, and freedom, is extraordinarily powerful and virulently resistant. Add to that our incredible wealth and supreme military strength and we will unquestionably be ok.

    Now if we can just extend the backlash to fundamentalsm of all kinds, we’ll finally be getting somewhere.

    Meanwhile, I wish some of you would start worrying about China and Russia instead of Islam – two countries where increasing prosperity is disturbingly enough not being accompanied by any kind of political liberalisation whatsoever, contrary to traditional theories on such matters.

  • guy herbert

    The hysterical cries that “we’re all doomed” are just part of the steady, and growing, backlash against anti-democratic subcultures which have grown up in western states.

    No, they are less and more than that. Anti-democratic has nothing to do with it: foreign is what fuels the backlash. Such cries of “Eurabia is coming” are generally offered by authoritarian traditionalists who wish to pray-in-aid racial fears to promote their own ‘righteous’ social agenda.

    In another part of the forest, politicians in power are doing the same thing, usijng fear of foreigners to promote closer control of the population in general. While Islamoneurotics are hopping up and down about the pols appearing at an Islamic Studies do at Cambridge University, yesterday, seeing it as evidence of capitulation to the enemy, Blair is using “the threat of foreign imams” as an excuse for getting the government’s hands on the academic study, and of handing out subventions to government client organisations.

  • Nick M

    The fact that us lot are even discussing the possibility of a mass rising and violence being used by the populace of Western Europe* against Islamists if they get too bolshie (in every sense of that word) I think suggests that it will happen.

    The “demographic time-bomb” thing is nonsense for reasons already elaborated here. But there is something else. Whenever muslims have achieved unassimilated population levels sufficient to even pussy-foot around a power-grab there has been hell on. Not long ago in a Norwegian town during renovation to a mosque the muslims decided to hold prayers in the central town square. Protestors went absolutely bat-shit crazy. They threatened to disrupt the services by making pig noises… That’s pretty extreme, really.

    This sort of reaction is strongest in exactly the areas most “threatened”. If the Islamists were to ever really go for it in Scandinavia there would be a very big fight.

    AndyJ might be right about Russia though. Russia is only Orthodox because an early (first?) Czar decided they had to have a proper religion based upon literacy and not the various forms on animism commonplace at the time. They pretty much held a competition and Islam made the final. It was only rejected because it was felt not feasible to persuade the average Russian to abstain from booze and pork.

    Medium term… Islamism will go the way of Nasser’s pan-Arabism, Marxism and any number of other millennial, utopias. What will remain will essentially be cultural. Well, that’s my optimistic prediction. My pessimistic prediction is pretty dire but it doesn’t include an Islamic victory.

    Paul, a mini-essay on Muhammed and the gold standard! Is there any combination of subjects you can’t produce a few hundred words on?

    *And that will include a great many of fairly recent immigrant stock – Sikhs, Hindus, Afro-Carribeans etc…

  • It was only rejected because it was felt not feasible to persuade the average Russian to abstain from booze and pork. Luckily (?) it still isn’t:-)

  • Brendan Halfweeg

    Over a long time frame, South Africa. Islam is already the fastest growing religion there, but with an estimated 1.5% of the current population being Islamic (predominantly Sunni), they’ve got a long way to go. Although, in the last 13 years the Islamic population has grown 6 fold, giving it a growth rate of 15% per annum. If that rate is kept up, or even at a reduced rate, South Africa will have a Muslim majority in 25-50 years.

    I say South Africa, because they are Western in the sense of the democracy and history, and the potential for African Islamic forces to influence the African majority and South Asian minorities is there.

  • Gabriel

    Hey Guy, why don’t you tell the family of the Jewish kid tortured to death in france by this none existent Islamic threat to quit their bitching. Seeing as your so enlightened and all you can explain how at least one violent attack every day is nothing to worry about, especially given the Islamic community’s contributions in fields as diverse as… as… umm… help me out here Mr. Tolerant.

  • guy herbert


    If you are unable to distinguish between brutes who would be dangerous to others whatever their putative motivation and an existential threat to civilization, then there’s not a lot I can do for you. The extremely limited contribution of Islam to civilization in the last few hundred years, and the extreme backwardness of much of the Islamic world, are exactly my point when I say there is no danger whatsoever of any western country being dominated by Islam, let alone becoming an Islamic state.

    Your conception of “community contribution” is about as contemptible as Blair’s; and your idea of collective guilt considerably more so.

  • Midwesterner

    Nick, Alisa,

    Surprisingly, Judaism also made the final. The reason Vlad I rejected it is alleged that, as they had lost Jerusalem, God must have abandoned them.

    Hhmmm… A Jewish Russia? Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does …

  • guy herbert

    Nick M,

    The fact that us lot are even discussing the possibility of a mass rising and violence being used by the populace of Western Europe against Islamists if they get too bolshie (in every sense of that word) I think suggests that it will happen.

    Not necessarily. It may just suggest a revival of that strain of violent fantasy in the commentariat that emerges from time to time. “Rising” suggests reaction to oppression, which it is certainly how it would be characterised by participants. But I think the word you are looking for is ‘pogrom’.

    I’m more optimistic about the maintenance of liberal western culture than that.

  • Midwesterner

    Seriously, for those of you who think that ‘overnight’ conversions (less than one generation) don’t happen, consider people like St. Olaf and Vlad I.

    When a government has the totality of jurisdiction to enforce the rules of a religion and it does, mass conversion of its subjects is typically a given.

    If a modern western government was to become sympathetic to or controlled by Muslim (or Greens?) it is possible to institutionalize the practice of the religion and the rest follows.

    I’m afraid whatever the end of our dance with the intolerant is, it will look more like a scrum. Or worse. Western technology and its philosophical source will win. But it will be as messy as historical precedent suggests.

  • Paul Marks

    First of all I neglected to reply to the request of tomWright.

    Worthy works have been mentioned. But such works as “The Truth about Mohammed” and “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam: And the Crusades” are also worth reading. It must be kept in mind that such works are very much “the case for the prosecution” but the prosecution should be heard as well as the defence (basically that Islam is fluffy) of Mr Blair and Mr Bush.

    On Albania – before World War II Albania was mostly Christian (Orthodox and Roman Catholic), but the decline of Christianity there was nothing to do with the Muslims. The Marxists who took over Albania after World War II (thanks, in part, to Kim Philby betraying efforts to help noncommunists and sending many people to their deaths) banned religion, and Islam proved more robust than Christianity in surviving in this case.

    Guy Herbert has put in a few comments here (including one that now appears first, which was not here yesterday, – but the ways of computers are strange).

    No. Distrust of certain interpretations Islam (forms of thought that are not recent but, sadly, go back to the start of Islamic thought) is not based on hatred of aliens or racialism.

    White (or pinkish gray) skined people with blue eyes and blond hair who convert to Islam sometimes also adopt this interpretation of Islam (the interpretation that holds that nonMuslims, indeed also moderate Muslims, must be killed or enslaved).

    Sadly the argument is a complex one. With Christians who oppress or murder other people one can say “this is not what Jesus would do” and one can back that up with Holy Scripture, and whilst it is quite true that “the Devil can quote scripture” (i.e. the wicked can find justifcations for their wickedness in the New Testament if they twist it enough) in a fair debate a nonaggression principle upholding interpretation of Christianity should win out.

    As Gabriel could point out, the Jewish faith also utterly rejects world conquest. Such things as the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” are a fraud “you would say that with your family name” – actually Czar Nickolas II also held that “The Protocols” (a best selling work in the Islamic world – Arab and non Arab) were a fraud (they were really written by members of his own security police, although not by his order).

    But Islam is quite different.

    It is not so easy in Islam to prove that “you terrorists have interpreted Islam wrongly”. The deeds of Mohammed and the words of Islamic holy texts (the Koran and so on) give reasonable grounds for both Sunni and Shia Muslims to hold that the terrorist interpretation of Islam is correct. I am NOT saying that I hold that, but the argument is not a simple one.

    Guy is mistaken in thinking that the appeal of radical Islam is confined to the Arab world (indeed he even seems to be implying that it is not that dangerious even there), in fact it is a universal problem in Islam and can be found from the United States to Indonesia.

    To give one small example:

    The group from Trinidad and Tobago who were involved in the recent J.F.K. airport bomb plot are mostly black (not Arab). They also lauched a five day coup effort in Trinidad back in 1990.

    It would be difficult for anyone to blame “Bush-Hitler” or “Bush and Blair in Iraq” for a revolt in Trinidad and Tobago in 1990.

    Although, no doubt, clever “liberals” will find some way to blame the Jews.

  • Nick M

    I knew that. Holy Mother Russia a Jewish theocracy is just to weird an idea to comprehend. I reckon that there’s scope there for an alternative history novel.

    And yes, you’re right that mass conversions can happen overnight and in fact this is quite a Russian practice. Big place Russia so Vlad simply baptised the entire nation by fiat. Lenin did much the same. He sent people into the backwoods of Siberia to explain to the animist tribes about dialectic materialism – “You’re all communists now, the capitalist, imperialist oppressors have been overthrown”. It was a tough job because most of them hadn’t even heard of “capitalism or “imperialism”…

    They used to confiscate their totem poles, though.

    Vlad was more successful but in Lenin’s case it was like trying to fight jelly with a hammer. Which I suppose shows that the idea of a personal deity is a much easier sell than the macro-historical theorizing of C19th Krauts…

    I didn’t mean “pogroms”. I meant something more along the lines of the antics I described some Norwegians contemplating. I meant more a tendancy to get utterly pissed off with Islamic exceptionalism and tell them just to “fuck off”. I meant (optimistic end) that just possibly this might mean assimilation. Of course (pessimistic end) it could mean… Well, I dunno what but it won’t be pretty.

    If it does get really nasty I don’t know if there actually is an historical precedent. There has never been more than maybe 20 million Jews at any given point in time. There are over a billion muslims. This is not like the Catholic Monarchs expelling the Jews from Spain…

    I just don’t know where we’re headed. But, on the subject (again) of very rapid conversion when Germany and Japan were defeated in ’45 they just pretty much stopped. People just dropped the supremicist agenda. Is it possible that a truly devastating defeat for Islamists might have a similar effect. Gawd knows. Somehow I doubt it. Religion seems to bite deeper into folk than politics.

    Lordy, this could get really messy though I do think it’s still possible to drag the iron out of the fire. We just have to quit thinking in terms of “inter-faith dialogue”, “multi-culturalism” and if we do, and if we impose our standards, you never know, they might actually begin to like it. I mean, if we really do believe our culture is superior then surely they’ll like it. Surely?

    One of the leading idealogues of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, a bloke called Qutb, wrote about the loose morals of American women in a manner which was verging on the pornographic, “full breasts, shapely buttocks blatently displayed writhing in time to ungodly music” etc, etc you know the sort of thing. He wasn’t writing about “Debbie does Dallas” or even “Baywatch”. He was writing about a Colorado Methodist tea-dance c.1950. I have no idea what to make of that. I have no idea if that means hard-core muslims have no capacity to integrate or that they really wish to but…

    A methodist tea-dance in c. 1950! Fortunate he never lived to go down Newcastle Quayside in the 90s… I once saw…

  • Gabriel

    If you are unable to distinguish between brutes who would be dangerous to others whatever their putative motivation and an existential threat to civilization, then there’s not a lot I can do for you.

    Is your claim that Algerians and Moroccans are disproportionatley likely to beat up Jews because of some genotype thing or what? Does that seem more plausible to you than the counter-claim that they do it because the Koran tells them to?

    Like Communism, I suppose.
    As has been amply pointed out, Islam has been backward for centuries and yet, it just keeps on expanding. Not only that, but moderate muslims are continually pushed out in favour of fundamentalists, non-arabs in favour of arabs (both are currently happening in Darfur, but enlightened folk like you couldn’t care less).

    Muslims wouldn’t even have to be a minority to Islamicize the country any more than protestants had to be in the 1560s. They just have to be able to effectively monopolize force and, as the cartoon affair shows, they’re half way there already.

    In any case Britain has a clear choice
    1) Severely limit Islamic immigration.
    2) Lose all of its Jews by 2050.
    It really is that simple. Now I know that the second option makes your average Ron Paul supporter get a quivery feeling in his pants, but I didn’t think that was quite your style.

    But then by pointing out obvious statistical trends (more Muslims = more Jews getting beaten up= Jews run away = country with no Jews and millions of unemployed and unemployable muslims) I must be guilty of…

    Your conception of “community contribution” is about as contemptible as Blair’s; and your idea of collective guilt considerably more so.


    But I think the word you are looking for is ‘pogrom’.

    Yes, probably in North London some time around 2030. I hope then you’re happy.

    Anyway, I’m surprised no-one has given the obvious answer. Israel. It iwll happen by nightmarish violence, with the acquiescense of most of the western world and probably the active connivance of a large section, particularly those with Islamic electorates of >15%.

  • Nick M

    From my experience (and I’ve lived most of my adult life in inner city areas with a large muslim concentration) converts are frequently more radical.

    I think one of the most damning indictments that can be made against Blair, Bush and very many other governmental figures on both sides of the Atlantic is that they quite clearly know absolutely bugger-all about Islam.

    In the circumstances this is outrageous. Do Blair or Bush actually appreciate the difference between a “peace treaty” and a “hudna”? If not, what right do they have to fight a “War on Terror”?

    Example. Blair, not too long ago, claimed that he’d read the Koran and praised it for being “remarkably ‘progressive'”. He cited stuff about female property rights and whatnot. Yeah, right, whatever… What he failed to mention is that a great sin in Islam is “innovation in religion” so while the Koran is arguably “more progressive” than what us Anglo-Saxons were up to in the C7th century it is an absolutely fixed moral, economic and political code in every detail*. Quite how setting that all in stone by 632AD is “progressive” is beyond me.

    So either Blair actually has no idea about Islam or he’s lying. With Blair that’s also a possibility.

    *It has detailed rules on how to defecate. So does Dundee NHS trust. Oh hell!

  • RAB

    so while the Koran is arguably “more progressive” than what us Anglo-Saxons were up to in the C7th century …

    Well I dont know about you boyo,
    but us Celts had womens property rights and grants of divorce for such things as Inadequate lovemaking and bad breath.
    Way more progressive than even “Mental cruelty” dont you think?
    But then Wales was always a matriachal society 🙂

  • emil

    There are 3 possible future developments that would strengthen tremendously the Islamist camp.

    – the Vietnam debacle repeated in Irak
    – Turkey dilluting its secularism on the way to becoming an Islamic state
    – Russia becoming an ally of Islam out of necessity and geo-strategical calculations.

    All these 3 developments are currently underway and progressing at an uneven but unabated pace. If these trends become reality in a decade or so, the stage will be set for another world war.

  • Ethan

    I’ve found amongst the people that that I have met who have converted to Islam tend to be far more zealous than those whom have found Jesus again.

    They say that the convert has the greatest zeal.

    Islam feeds on this. By not only giving a new convert a new name, a new life, new friends, it also gives the convert’s bigotry religious cover. More often than not the convert was already disposed to hating capitalists and Israel anyway. By being Muslim, they join an echo chamber that is predisposed to that belief system.

    It’s not a large sample, but I know two people that converted to Islam – both were of the far left ‘revolutionary’ philosophy and both were (from what I heard) looking for something more ‘fulfilling’ than Marx.

    When the Salafis come recruiting, who are they going to target? Blond-haired blue-eyed converts who hate the west reflexively and can blend in without a question. On the other hand, do they have to try hard to recruit these people?

    It’s a short step from anarchist vandalism at a G8 meeting to violent Jihad against the non-believers; a very short step.

  • None, ever

    Well, on my original response, if Russia, Africa, Sweden, American, and S/E Asia are all defined as “Western”, which appears to be the definition we are using here, I retract my statement. Some country somewhere in the world may at some point go from non-Islamist to Islamist. In that case, I’d expect Turkey.

  • Interesting, guys (mostly, so far as I can tell, guys). Which country is the least…

    Ah, Britain, home of Sylvia Pankhurst, the mini-skirt and even Cherie Blair (I can’t stand her but she is a judge and therefore ruling over men), in which it is a norm for women to wear skirts up to their thighs and tops that come to rest below their armpits without suffering constant harassment from the rest of the public, in which we should go ape if expected to cover up or ‘suitable employment’ decreed us… I am familiar with the arguments against women in combat. I don’t think they apply faced with survival as autonomous human beings. We are not a minority.

    2. There are at least 10 million atheists in the country.
    We too should fight. The December 2004 YouGov poll found 35% of the nation to be atheist.. The FT/Harris poll of 2006 found more than half the country to be atheist or agnostic. The 2001 Census identified 9 million atheists (National Statistics Online – Religion in Britain). 6.3% of Britons attend church on Sunday. The Government hypes the Census finding that 71% of us identify ourselves as Christians. Whatever the respondents meant, clearly they did not mean formal observance.

    3. That’s apart from having an army.

    Conclusion: wannabe theocrats would be wiped out.
    It ain’t gonna happen. Ever. Demographic trends have no significance if those in the Muslim community who want an Islamic state have left for more fertile soil or are, er, not to put too fine a point on it, dead.

    What is much more interesting, don’t you think, is a political caste that is apparently determined to pave the way for theocracy, that hugs (literally – yeutch) conservative religious elements, that harps constantly on ‘faith initiatives’ and ‘faith communities’, cold-shoulders atheists, agnostics, secularists, as though the bulk of the nation were devout. The political classes have apparently decided that the future is holy.
    They, in my view, are the real enemy. No religious group would have undue political influence were it not for official backing and no religious group would even think it could get anywhere were it not for official capitulation.

  • Paul Marks

    First Rich Paul.

    I misinterpreted your original reply – I apologize.

    Nick M. and others. Yes coverts often take up the worst interpretations of Islam.

    An interesting example is what happens with people in prison. People who convert to Christianity or find their Jewish roots tend to turn against their life of crime. People who convert to Islam often find new reasons for the criminal actions – although only a minorty end up in places like “Islamburg” a few hours from New York City trying on Port Authority uniforms and learning how to shoot weapons.

    RAB – Saxon law was fairly pro women as well (upholding property holding and so on) although Angle law was not so good.

    The Saxons may have started out as pagan robbers (after all the very name “Saxon” comes from a sword that is little more than a dagger used for backstabbing and other such criminal activities), but they were an interesting folk. For example, the 12 man (sorry no women) councils that governed Saxon villages (yes the number goes back before Norman juries) and the resistance of the Saxons (like the Fresians) to both over powerful Kings and to serfdom.

    Of course tribal divisions between Angles, Saxons and Jutes broke down on this island (due to the conditions of new settlement) which may have given the “English” an advantage over the Britons (who still seem to have been divided into their various tribes, in spite of four centuries of Roman rule). But there were still clearly tribal traditions influencing law.

    For example, the tradition of the Jutes (as well as among the Saxons) that if a man died without expressing wishes to the contrary (either in a written will, or in words before sworn witnesses) his land was to be divided up among all his children, was held to be law in Kent till the 1920’s

    Yes the 1920’s – somehow the Norman conquest had not overwhelmed Kentish law.

    On Russia:

    Well the Russians were great enemies of the Jewish Khazars (who they conquered in a long war in the late 10th and early 11th century), so the Russian hatred of Jews is ancient (something that Comrade Putin uses today – in various ways it is put about that the businessmen he robs are Jews [which Russians do not care about], which some of them are but not all of them).

    As for Islam.

    Sadly I doubt that booze and pork are enough to hold the rising Islamic population of Russia at bay (the “Economist” claims that these Muslims are fluffy, which I take to be a good indication that they are not fluffy).

    Although the persecution drove my forefathers from the Russian Empire I still hold Orthodox civilization to be one of the great civilizations in the history of the world. It was very badly wounded by the Marxists, and it is this damage that has left it so vulnerable.

    It will be sad if Orthodox civilization finally falls. It survived so much (many centuries of war with the Muslims, almost a century of savage persecution by the Marxists, and so on).

  • Nick M

    Ysabel, Paul,

    We shall fight them with our hot-pants, we shall fight them during happy hour, we shall fight them in crop tops, we shall fight them with our thong visible above our combat pants.

    We shall never surrender.

    Simply put, suppression never works long term. When you get mass action towards “I wanna bit of that” it becomes unstoppable. That is why radical Islam is retrogressive. The salafis want to go back to the C7th because in the days of the prophet “urges” could be controlled. They can’t in C21st. A while back one of the “muslim” lads in the corner-shop made a pass at my girlfriend (now my wife). He invited her to drink beer with him when he got off duty*. It was easily deflected and no big deal. What was weird about it was that he thought that she was my sister. We weren’t married then and so she wore no ring. He’d seen us in the shop together often enough and concluded that. On this occasion she was alone.

    He, perfectly reasonably**, asked for a date with a woman he thought single and although having a can of Stella in the back-room of a South Manchester corner shop is not exactly tea at the Ritz followed by a West End show… Well, fair enough. What’s weird is he couldn’t conceive of us co-habiting. There is a conflict there. I mean, it’s the first thing I thought people would assume.

    I’m coming round to the idea that many muslims are dragging themselves kicking and screaming through a reformation of sorts and that terrorism is the external spitting. They are utterly on their arse. There is absolutely no way that Raquel Welsh in her haram fur bikini isn’t more attractive to the vast majority of young men of any race or creed than inhabitant of burkha #3593.

    The imams, mullahs and ayatollahs know this. They try and suppress it but…

    Meanwhile we have to deal with the death throes of a wounded but large and vicious beast.

    There is a remarkable kernal of truth to the idea that we wouldn’t have suicide bombers if people just had a couple of beers and got laid instead.

    I’m not exactly saying that our modern hedonism and license is our innoculate against Islamism. It’s not exactly modern either. I seem to recall learning that the Anglo-Saxons were well up for carousing and wenching. And the Vikings are best not mentioned in this regard. RAB’s Celts surely deserve an honourable mention as well.

    After 9/11 the big question on many lips was, “Why do they hate us?” They envy us. We have beer and bikinis and they have furious rhetoric. They see their power structure crumbling because they can’t offer what we can. They simply cannot figure how at the Key West Fantasy Fest it is possible for a woman naked but for paint to walk down the street in perfect safety. They don’t get that Western Society has developed over a couple of thousand years to the extent that that is possible. They don’t get that it is based upon individual morality. They don’t get that I could go up to such women and (with their permission) photograph them because my wife thought the body-paint looked “nice”.

    A pleasant civil interaction with no threat.

    Imagine that in Riyadh? The imams imagine it and it scares the Allah out of them.

    I confidently expect to live to see the Mecca gay pride march with men in tutus.

    Much blood and treasure will be expended in this war but we won’t win it with JDAMs and tomahawks.

    We’ll win it because we’re more fun.

    *And that corner shop has a lot of beer. I swear one of these days the fall will give out and they’ll end up in part of Manchester’s Victorian sewers.

    **I take a civilised punt at my wife to be a compliment.

  • emil

    The original question was posted on the 3rd of June, 2007. I would like to ask the Samizdata staff to come back to this thread every year, on the 3rd of June. It will be interesting to see how things will have evolved.
    And I wish Samizdata were still around 20 years from now on.

  • Owinok

    Brendan, I see no reason for the “growth rate” in the republic of Soouth Africa to maintain at 15%. As you may know, Islam has been at the East African coast since the 10th Century and even that part is not entirely converted. Tell me what special ingredient would account for maintenance of that conversion rate in a largely secular South Africa today.

  • Paul Marks

    Nick M. I hope you are right about getting laid and drinking a can of beer being the way that young people of a Muslim background will reject Islam.

    However, I doubt the power of decadence – not its temptations, just its power to defeat a system of belief (however bad the system of belief). It is difficult to beat something with nothing – and (however pleasant it may be) getting laid and drinking a can of beer is not a system of belief.

    By the way I missed your question.

    Is there any (economic, historical, political) topic I can not speak or write a few hundred words on?

    Of course not, I am a rent-a-quote politician.

    The key thing is to be utterly shameless – to make the points one wants to make, regardless of what one has been asked.

    There is no need to lie, and the person who is asking the question can never even really say “you have not replied to the question” (because one has, sort of). By the time they have said “you have gone off the point” one has made the points one wanted to make.

    Look them in the eye and tell a story (they will look bad if they try and stop a story), this is the way to go.

  • Midwesterner

    To add to Paul’s comment something he left unsaid (perhaps as “too obvious to say”), the questioner is a foil on which to make a point to the audience.

    This is readily apparent in all of the “town hall debates” broadcast during elections.

  • Nick M

    I was not exactly suggesting decadence. Well, not “last days of the Roman Empire” stuff anyway…

    It’s actually very easy to replace something with nothing. Western Europe has replaced Christian observance with practically nothing over the last century. As Wilde put it, “I can resist anything but temptation”.

    There has been the New-Age/Green/Anti-Globalisation/Whatever gambit but none of those are coherent or really mean much. They’re not really things people die or kill for. To all intents and purposes I would suggest that a majority of the EU is atheist or agnostic or frankly doesn’t know or care. And I’d further suggest that this is number is growing.

    You don’t have to believe anything to be happy. I once dated a girl who was CoE and a theology student at one of our better universities. She told me she simply couldn’t “be doing with church at the moment”. She never went. She was quite happy.

    People quite simply are generally more interested in their material pleasures and comforts than the rather tougher route that is spiritual contentment.

    My point is that unless there is a spectacular surge in Islamic immigration into Western Europe they’ll become as venal as the rest of us. It’ll take time and it will happen with much wailing and gnashing of teeth but it’ll happen.

    Not being religious is just easier. D’oh!

    I’m really not sure if this is a good development. I hate a lack of curiosity about deep things. I hate that a lot of people are coming round to something like my line of thought out of intellectual idleness rather than through inquiry. I hate that perhaps they’re just being base and that their lack of faith is merely laziness rather than my profound “Wow” at the beauty of the cold, hard wonder of science. And yes, I sometimes wonder if I’m doing exactly the same thing but dressing it in fancy clothes.

    BTW. I was actually complimenting you on your erudition and capacity to link things together in unexpected ways.


  • Paul is priceless.

  • t-o-m

    While I tend to agree that Islam is a threat to the West, I would consider the following:

    1. Does anyone really know how many “Muslims” in Europe are really Muslim? Just because someone is from Middle East or other Muslim-majority countries, doesn’t make them necessarily Muslim. I really wouldn’t be looking at something as superficial as hijabs on the street. Are there statistics available on religious affiliation in all EU countries? From what I’ve seen most are estimates that are based on assumptions (yes, I know… sometimes these can be accurate).

    For example, few years ago I thought anyone from Iran is Muslim, but then I was surprised to learn that the Iranians that I’ve met were actually Bahai.

    2. It seems that Muslims who convert from Islam, are often prevented from being recognized as Christian or whatever their new religion may be (example of a Muslim woman in Malaysia who converted to Christianity but was prevented from being officially recognized as such http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6703155.stm ). I also heard of such cases in Marocco and Egypt, where the person is Muslim on paper only. If Islamic cultures tend to keep a stanglehold on many of it’s “followers” (through family pressure or other forms of coersion and control), how is it really possible to gauge the sentiments of many “Muslims”. I don’t dispute that many Muslims are Muslim because they want to be.

    3. On the point on converts… does anyone know how long these converts stay Muslim? Are they really Muslim for life? I suspect if it’s someone younger, they finally grow up and are done with the experiment. I tend to think that with age people do envolve spiritually, and don’t always continue with the choices they made. Obviously this is not always the case (especially in cases of marriages).

    4. As for the demographics, this is cyclical. High natural growth does not occur forever. This applies to Muslims too.