By Pavel Kohout Published 10/07/2004
In a few decades, radical Islam will ultimately dominate the European Union, and perhaps most of the world. It has already become a dominant force in the UN, which is reflected in the results of voting against Israel's anti-terrorist barrier. In this respect, we should note that the widespread usage of the word "wall" is itself a small victory of anti-Israeli propaganda, since 93 percent of the barrier consists of a fence that can be quickly removed once the Palestinian authorities manage to restrain the terrorists' activity.
The first reason extreme Islam will prevail is the intellectual
advantage that al-Qaeda leaders have over western European politicians. The latter want to believe that there is no clash of civilizations; that terrorism is just a product of misery and lack of education; that the solution lies in a multicultural, tolerant society; and that the stubbornness of the Americans and Israelis is to blame for all the problems.
What naïveté. An editorial in the March issue of Mu'askar al-Battar (an al-Qaeda newsletter) sets these fantasies right: "The war of cultures had begun long before the 9/11 attacks, before Huntington and Fukuyama. This war has been going on since there first were the faithful and the unfaithful." We might cite dozens of similar statements. The European leaders who still doubt the validity of Huntington's "clash of civilizations" theory are kidding themselves. The leaders of Islamic radicals are fanatics, but they are intelligent fanatics.
The second reason is the unification of foreign policy in the EU.
In the UN, all member states of the European Union dutifully voted against Israel as a flock of sheep under the leadership of France. France is home to millions of Muslims, who are a decisive factor in its domestic politics. Their opinions, strongly influenced by radical Islamic propaganda, shape the French, and consequently also European foreign policy. The growth in the Muslim population makes French policy visibly more and more pro-Arab, pro-Islam, and anti-Israel. Also weighing heavily in European (not just French) politics is oil. The corrupt relationships between governments and oil companies are awell-known fact. Take the story of Elf Aquitaine, for instance. This is why European leaders literally lick the boots of Arab dictators. Just remember Romano Prodi kowtowing before Muammar Quadafi. But only the common foreign policy together with the adoption of the European Constitution will allow radical Islamists to pull the strings of all European foreign ministers at once.
France is capable of arranging a new 1938 Munich Agreement not just for Israel but also for itself. Its policy is a combination of servility towards the strong and ruthlessness towards the weak. Franceis capable of leading a brave attack against schoolgirls wearing headscarves, but never against Hamas or the Islamic Jihad. The Palais d'Elysée probably judges that it is better to be on friendly terms with those movements. But a perverse tolerance of terrorists can be traced elsewhere. Belgium, for instance, offered a generous asylum to Khalil al-Nawawreh, the murderer of several Israelis who was a member of the gang occupying the Nativity Church in the spring 2002. The terrorist received a monthly payment of €4,000, free housing and a complete liberty. He paid Belgium back by robbing a post office using an explosive.
The third reason is an advantage of the Islamic society in terms of evolution: a high birthrate.
This is typical for all Islamic territories from Albania to Zanzibar. The Darwinian advantage lies in the absence of feminism and respect for family values. One of the incontestable Islamic virtues is the duty to take care of the old and sick in the family. Muslims hold the Europeans -- who send their elderly to institutions -- in contempt.
The welfare state in the EU nourishes the illusion in people that the state will take care of them when they retire. Thus, people do not try to have children to look after them in the old age. The European welfare state is immensely expensive. Europeans are now obliged to pay higher taxes than they have ever had in the past 1,500 years or so. And where does the collected money go? In some European countries, the amount of farming subsidies per calf exceeds the amount of social benefits distributed per child. What are the chances of survival of a civilization which values calves more than children?
This particular clash of two civilizations -- the West and radical Islam -- cannot be resolved the "European" way: through negotiations, efforts to reach consensus, and tolerance. The only consensus acceptable for radical Islam is its dominance in Europe. The word" Islam" means "surrender", literally translated. Any tolerance towards terrorism actually means surrender. The best option for a peaceful co-existence of civilizations is mutual respect. But if the respect cannot be mutual, is it respect or surrender?
The author is an associate of the
Center for Economics and Politics (CEP), Prague.
[NOTE: See other articles in Islam Library on Islam and Europe.]
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