EUROPE’S NEW CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS

The growing immigrant Islamic population in the West has failed to blend with the mainstream society of the nations it has voluntarily made its home

This May, while Stockholm burnt, London seethed and Paris was reminded of the radical activism of Islamist extremists, the politically correct European media was busy looking for the social causes of these unsettling manifestations. Blinding themselves to the effects of a failed policy of multi-culturalism and to the greater spectre of an increasingly belligerent Islam in Europe, most European intellectuals, ostrich-like, are comfortable in burying their heads in the sands of secular jargon. Emulating their Indian counterparts, European secularists are occupied in drawing a curtain over Europe’s new ‘Weimar moment’.

The English media was quick to blame Lee Rigby’s hacking on some misguided  youth with no definite religious inspiration while the rioting in Stockholm, where masked Muslim immigrants went on a rampage, was entirely under-reported. And reports which did come through, blamed the Swedish system and the Swedes for the neglect and segregation of Muslim immigrants who, of course, had once escaped their own countries — Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Yemen, Iraq — unable to survive in those religious hell holes.

Interestingly, the relatively poorer districts of Stockholm that saw the heaviest rioting were the ones which were cushioned by the Swedish welfare system, one of the best in the world. The rioting which had parallels to the Paris riots of 2005 has turned the spotlight on the liberal Swedish immigration policy which, many argue, has allowed the “establishment of a parallel Muslim society in Sweden”. Aggressively espoused multi-cultural policies seemed to have backfired with the creation of an un-assimilable and increasingly violent minority. In Sweden, as in other countries of Europe, that minority is now definitively expanding.

A majority of Europeans refuse to recognise the reality of a growing Islamic population that is unable to blend and coalesce with the civilisational identity and expressions of the asylum-giving country and culture. The phenomenon that Bruce Bawer described in his book While Europe Slept has now come to dominate much of the European landscape, “Across the Continent, Islam was a huge and growing presence…in metropolis after metropolis, the city centres were virtually 100 per cent European; the outskirts were increasingly Muslim”.

The immigrant communities that Bawer described in Amsterdam have now rapidly replicated themselves in most major European cities. Inhabiting these communities “were not only immigrants but the adult children and grandchildren of immigrants. Though born in the Netherlands… their cultural values… were still those of the Islamic world, and the people whom they thought of as their leaders were not the elected members of Parliament but the imams and the elders who ruled their communities like tribal chieftains, enforcing traditional practices with uncompromising authority and relentlessly reminding them of the evils of the West”.

A 2011 report by a French think-tank which surveyed the Paris suburbs that had seen rioting in 2005, revealed that the proud concept of the ‘République’ was absent from these areas. Instead, the binding, driving and dominant force, regulating quotidian life here was Islam. The best social security and social welfare systems and immigration policies have largely failed to integrate Muslims in Europe. Having endured civilisational clashes in the past, the present European mentality, however, refuses to examine the effects and expressions of a world-view that is never at peace with itself and with others. This non-understanding remains at the core of the civilisational challenge facing Europe in the years ahead.

In November 2004, on the Linnaeusstraat in Amsterdam, a fatally attacked Theo Van Gogh had cried to his attacker, the Muslim immigrant Muhammed Bouyeri, “Can’t we talk about this?” Van Gogh had not realised that for the mindset which Bouyeri symbolised, there just was no space for dialogue; he was shot four more times and eventually sawed over by a butcher’s knife. What had then seemed an aberration is now turning into the norm — the question is: Will Europe realise the coming of the clash?

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