Is Steyn Right?

I recently finished reading Mark Steyn’s America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It and decided to do a little follow-up research on just how bad (or good, if you’re a Muslim) the situation in Europe is right now. Steyn’s premise is that Europe is rapidly becoming Islamic and that the sheer demographics of the situation are such that there is no stopping it. Since “youths” have once again been rampaging across France, I think it’s fair to ask, Are Muslims going to dominate the world’s future? Granted, Syten is focused on Europe, but note Steyn’s title, America Alone. America, according to Steyn, will be isolated in a sea of Muslim domination.

There are two very divergent viewpoints on this question. Jenkins, in his book, “The Next Christendom,” has written about this next century being the “Christian Century.” Here in the USA, all we seem to hear about is the rise of Islam. Which is correct? First, let’s look at some authors who have written on the rise of Islam and then we will turn our attention to the Christian Century.

Spengler, writing for the Asia Times, has a three part article on this topic,
The Demographics of Radical Islam. He makes some pretty startling comments, including this one: Islam has one generation in which to establish a global theocracy before hitting a demographic barrier. Islam has enough young men – the pool of unemployed Arabs is expected to reach 25 million by 2010 – to fight a war during the next 30 years. Because of mass migration to Western Europe, the worst of the war might be fought on European soil.

Spengler writes “…the demographic position of the Islamic world has set a catastrophe in motion. It is hard enough for rich nations to care for a growing elderly population, but impossible for poor nations to do so. Iran, along with most of the Muslim world, faces a population bust that will raise the proportion of dependent elderly in the population to 28% in 2050, from just 7% today.”

In the second part of this series of articles Spengler goes on to say, “A vast army of young unemployed Muslims, estimated to reach 25 million in the Arab countries alone by 2010, stands at the disposal of the would-be Napoleons and Wallensteins of radical Islam, and they have no choice but to lead it. The outcome well might be a new Algerian War fought on French soil, with all the horrors that attended that conflict just half a century ago.”

Another point he makes is that the current demographic trend enables Muslims to take over Europe but this trend will not be indefinite. …the Muslim birth rate today is the world’s second highest (after sub-Saharan Africa), [but] it is falling faster than the birth rate of any other culture. He argues that the rising Muslim population in Europe has a predictable end which will propel Muslims to act sooner to control Europe before they lose “demographic steam.”

The race is on to answer these questions:

  1. Will Muslims integrate into European society or seek to significantly change it?
  2. Can European population “hold on” until the Muslim population bubble bursts?
  3. Will Europeans wait to see the outcome or simply emigrate to other places?

In my view there are few clear answers to any of these questions. Miller writes “Most indications suggest that Muslims in Europe are integrating, albeit slowly and painfully, like previous waves of immigrants to democratic settings in Europe and elsewhere. There is no reason to believe that there is something unique or intrinsic to Islam that will prevent this outcome. The passage of time and succession of generations are key. Guestworker-style public policies helped create an enormous integration deficit, but it can, indeed must, be overcome.” That is very optimistic if not naive.

In such places as the Netherlands the Europeans are emigrating. A 2005 article states, “This small nation is a magnet for immigrants, but statistics suggest there is a quickening flight of the white middle class. Dutch people pulling up roots said they felt a general pessimism about their small and crowded country and about the social tensions that had grown along with the waves of newcomers, most of them Muslims.”

Now returning to our original question, “Will the next century be the Christian century?” The answer lies in Asia and Africa. Jenkins argues that rising Christian poplulations on both of these continents will outweigh the growth among Muslims. So, while we might see Europe slide into a new caliphate, we will simultaneously see Africa and Asia grow into Christian population powerhouses.

Steyn discounts China’s rise as a future work leading nation. According to Steyn, rapid urbanization, an uneducated working class, and other problems beset China’s advances. Africa is rife with its own problems (poverty, corruption, and aids). I think the jury is still out on whether Steyn’s view or Jenkin’s view is the correct one.

There is no doubt that Europe looks forward to an increasingly Islamic population base. At the same time, Christianity will not be dormant. From our current historic vantage point I would suggest that the next 100 years will give way to a Muslim dominated Europe which will operate within a Christian dominated world. It is a recipe for conflict.

Other resources you might find interesting on this topic:

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