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Friday, January 16, 2015

Just How Many Muslims Have Immigrated To Europe, Anyway?

Link A. Immigration To France, Wikipedia
         B. Immigration to Germany, Wikipedia
         C. Immigration In Europe From A U.S. Perspective
         D. Islam in Europe, Wikipedia

The issue of Islamic Immigration to Europe is both difficult and complicated.  When I decide to educate myself on a particular subject, my first task is to collect as much information as possible.  With regards to Muslim Immigration, what should be the starting point of my research?  Post World War One, when the dissolution of monarchies in Germany, Turkey, Austria-Hungary and Russia, encouraged people to relocate in search of better opportunities?  Or possibly just after World War Two, when Europe, which had been bled dry of healthy young men, needed immigrants to work in both the fields and in the factories?  Or should we start our conversation in the late 1960's, when Paris was fresh with revolution, and terrorists were beginning to make their presence felt?  Actually, I think it's better to start with the present and work our way back.  A number of prominent European nations have a Muslim population that is eight percent or greater.  The growing number of Muslims in Europe is a relatively new development, something that began in earnest within the last sixty years.  Three times in the last fifteen hundred years, Christian armies were fortunate to defeat much larger and better equipped Muslim forces that were intent on invading the heart of Europe.  For our history lesson today, take note of the Battle of Tours in 732 (against the Moors from Spain), the 1529 Battle of Vienna I (against the Ottoman Empire), and the Battle of Vienna II in 1683 (the Ottoman Empire's last foray this far into Europe).  During the years of Moor control on the Iberian peninsula, and Ottoman administration in the Balkans, no doubt the number of Muslims in Europe increased.  But the Moors were sent packing by Isabella and Ferdinand, and rebellions by Bulgaria, Romania, and Montenegro in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century all but ended the reality of "Turkey in Europe".  Muslims still exist in the Balkans, but basically only in the Albanian community, which is about as close to secular as you can get (I would guess that a mosque exists for every three houses in Kosovo, but I never saw one in use).

The increase in the number of Muslims in Europe was driven by two factors: economics and post-colonial paternalism.  Whenever Europe was in need of an influx of young men to work in the factories and on the farms, the people of North Africa and the Middle East were happy to oblige (no surprise; European wars had decimated the economies of those areas as well).  North Africans came to work in France, and Turks came to Germany and Scandinavia.  In most instances, they put down roots and had children.  In the 1960's, as France and England (and to lesser and later extent, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Portugal), granted independence to their African colonies.  For numerous reasons, guilt and a sense of paternalism being at the top of the list, Europe opened its doors to citizens of its former colonies.  England was probably more affected by post-colonial immigration from India and Pakistan than Africa, but France welcomed hundreds of thousands of new immigrants from recently independent Algeria, Morocco, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal and Guinea.  Belgium was obliged to welcome Congolese.  Later, following the Biafran War, England did open its doors to thousands of displaced Ibo, although white Rhodesians weren't nearly as welcome.  As for the number of Turks in Germany and Scandinavia, I don't really have an explanation.  Historically, Germany has always had close relations with Turkey, which may be part of the answer.  Also, following the Civil Rights marches in the United States and the televised horrors of the Algerian conflict and the Vietnam War, European societies were determined to avoid the appearance of racism.  And the Immigration Statutes written into law during that time are still in effect today.  In less delicate terms, once it was turned on, the faucet was never turned off.  Europe continued to accept immigrants long-past the ability of its economies to comfortably provide jobs and housing.  This fact, along with other socio-economic and cultural issues, is responsible for the high percentage of minorities needing government support to survive.

In 2015, roughly ten percent of the population of France self-identifies as Muslim.  Austria, Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Switzerland are not far behind.  Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo all have a substantial Muslim population because of the historic legacy of the Ottoman Turks, but rarely do you see an observant Muslim community in the Balkans (I understand that recently, a number of really nasty extremists have popped up, who were raised in these areas, so things may be changing).  As of late, politics in western Europe have definitely swung in the direction of anti-immigration, and the events of last week will only increase that statistic.  Sweden, Holland, France, and even Switzerland have taken steps to tighten up their immigration controls.  Given the twenty-five thousand anti-Islamic demonstrators that marched in Leipzig last week, I'm guessing Angela Merkel has something in the works as well.  No doubt, the high percentage of Muslims living in European countries is connected to the rise in extremist activity.  But the increased police presence and the tightening of immigration laws is a knee-jerk reaction to attack the problem at the perceived source.  Why are children of Algerian immigrants, who came to France, assimilated and worked their asses off, sympathetic to Islamic extremism?  Since the symptom is the same in every country, then the problem must be the same as well.  These young men and women have no distraction.  They don't feel as if they belong anywhere, and once the European school systems, which are bedrocked to favor the native population, spit these kids out, they had nowhere to go.  And the media and entertainment industry that our generation has allowed to take over the minds of young people today, tells these kids (and the inner-city youths in the United States as well), that there is something WRONG with working in a fast food joint, or on a farm, and there is something wrong with working for an hourly wage and taking college classes at night.  The television and the MP3 players are constantly reminding these young, impressionable minds, that the life of a gangster is the life to be admired, and that money and sex should come easy.  If it doesn't come easy, then someone is denying you your due, and you are entitled to take it.

Remember the riots in the urban, ethnic communities of France just a few years ago?  Those kids had nothing to do.  Their parents were at work, sometimes holding down two jobs, and unable to battle the message coming from the entertainment industry, and when I say entertainment industry, I point the finger directly back at the United States.  The hip-hop and rap music that glorifies the selling of narcotics for easy money, and killing of rivals and anyone in authority.  And sex?  It is in no way connected to responsibility; it's all about the act, and the sense of domination.  What is occurring in our inner cities in the United States, is replicated in Europe.  We don't have many children of Muslim immigrants (in comparison), but our young people are latching on to a message just as theirs are.  The message they are hearing is that the easy riches come with their ideology.  That women are subservient, and should always be available for sex, and that the Jew has stolen everything from you, including your heritage.  These young people, in the suburbs of Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, and Stockholm, are looking for an easy, quick answer and a place to belong as well.  We will give you a gun, which will make you a man, and we will teach you to kill your enemy (who is the reason you can't have that Porsche you want, or those new three-hundred euro sneakers).  Has it been so long since we were at that age?  The mind is much like jello, waiting to be molded into the adult brain it is to become.  You will rarely find a terrorist (at least a dead one) who is over the age of thirty-five.  There is a reason for that.

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