Having read the aritcles, I have to say -- perhaps predictably -- that I'm just not catching the Islamophobia here. It's incredible to me that, not content with fearing change in our own country, we're now reaching to fear change in Europe.
What is really funny to me is that Freund is making his point at least in part addressing Europe's attitude towards both Israel and Jews.
It's true that since destroying the majority of the Jews who live
there, the peoples of Europe have been on-again off-again allies of Israel and "philosemites." It is, however, enormously ironic for a Jew to be waxing presciently nostalgic, for a time when pogroms and genocides were conducted by Christians rather than Muslims.
In a narrow, myopic way, I understand Freund's point: he wants to frighten people about Islam, and this is one more way for him to achieve that goal.
For the national socialists among us, the need to keep France "French" and keep Germany "German", may take the old formula of "Ein Volk, Ein Gott..." even if they don't have "Ein Fuhrer" anymore. For those relying on homogeneity to define Europe indeed have something to worry about. And Freund's prescient nostalgia for the Eiffel Tower -- sans minaret -- has a certain sentimental twinge to it for anyone who's ever visited Paris or King's Dominion. However, the original assertion in Patsfans13's post, that France will be a majority Muslim country in 30-40 years, is just plain out of whack. Even the alarmist projections in his own post don't see "Islamification" in that time frame. Beyond that, there is
the possibility that, as possibilities increase for immigrants, they take the usual route toward lower birth rate in an industrial society. Allocating resources for a dozen kids get them exactly where families with a dozen kids most frequently dwell in the social order. Allocating those same resources for two kids, gets them further.
Of course, the challenge for Europe, even more so than for the U.S., is to absorb new immigrants in a way that America has learned to do (in fits and starts) over hundreds of years.
The problem Europe really faces is that European nationalities define themselves by their ethnic identities -- and that includes religion. Now, some decades into finger-wagging at Israel for doing exactly the same thing, it's time for Europe to put up or shut up.
Is Europe really a collection of liberal democracies, leaving rights to their citizens except when the state MUST intervene... or is Europe just a little tribal in its interpretation of nationalism?
I know Israel is. But I've long made the argument that there must be, somewhere on Earth, a single Jewish state. Israel is it. If it's okay for a Czech to want a Czech state, it's okay for a Jew to want a Jewish state.
But without Jewish experience in Europe, I would never have come to that conclusion... so it's funny to see Freund up in arms about the loss of a culture which sought to destroy his own.
In any event, it strikes me that the "Islamification of Europe" is simply a demographic trend, one not likely to yield a majority Muslim Europe in our lifetimes. And the trend line, even without scare pieces like these, is not likely to continue. What will be most effective in countering the trend, by the way, is the possibility of upward mobility and acceptance for immigrants in Europe. Once you have something to shoot for for Mohammad and Fatima, you have a little less of an urge to breed them a few brothers and sisters (especially if you have a sorbonne education in mind.)
Awareness of the necessity of the "carrot" seems to be lacking on the native French side of the equation, at least as much as it is lacking on the immigrant side. But it would seem to be an optimal mindset for all concerned.
Getting back to the the math:
The New York Pats guy has "an additional 140,000" partially foreign babies in France per year.
We have a country of 45 million Catholics, and 5-7 million Muslims (plus "others" of various sorts.)
So, to be the single largest religion in France, let's pretend "others" don't exist, and do it the easy way. We'll say there are 7 million muslims out of 52 million Muslims and Catholics. To be the plurality in France, there must be over 45 million within the Muslim community, and we'll just hold the Catholics steady for now at 45 million. Mind you, the "biggest pool of souls" means little to nothing, since the secularists and Catholics are the "Frenchmen" in the French bigot's mind. Still, we'll stick with the Catholic/Muslim comparison, and consider all "partially foreign" babies born in France to be Muslims.
So: To get to 45 million Muslims (equaling the present number of Catholics), at a rate of 140,000 excess souls per year, you need 38 million more than you have now. 38 million divided by 140,000 equals about 271.4 years. So if we start this experiment today, by dint of excess birth alone, Muslims will be the PLURALITY (not the majority) in France, counting by confessional group, by about December 2278.
And by the way, I would suspect that the "others" (secularists and protestants) in France have a lower birth rate than the Catholics, so if my numbers are skewed, the skewing is toward alarmism.
By the way, some study said the last natural blonde is supposed be born in Finland in the year 2202 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/sc...0/2285090.stm)
, causing Europhiles yet more anxiety. But don't panic. Blondness reoccurs by mutation in every generation. (Disclaimer: this link has it wrong; it says they'll all be gone by 2202 -- the study actually says the last will be BORN in 2202. Just google it yourself... it's a primarily facetious point.)
I personally am more concerned about not having blondes in the world than Muslims being more populous than Catholics in France, but that's just me.
Is the face of Europe changing? Yes. Is it changing in some scary, take-action-or-die way, as Freund seems to suggest? No. Am I alarmed? Not really.