§ Jihadists seem to be leading an assault against freedom and against secular democracies.
§ Sunni Islam's most prominent preacher, Yusuf al Qaradawi, declared that the day will come when, like Constantinople, Rome will be Islamized.
§ It is Islam, not Christianity, that now saturates Europe's landscape and imagination.
According to US President Trump's strategic advisor Steve Bannon, the "Judeo-Christian West is collapsing, it is imploding. And it's imploding on our watch. And the blowback of that is going to be tremendous".
The impotence and the fragility of our civilization is haunting many Europeans as well.
Europe, according to the historian David Engels will face the fate of the ancient Roman Republic: a civil war. Everywhere, Europeans see signs of fracture. Jihadists seem to be leading an assault against freedom and against secular democracies. Fears occupy the collective imagination of Europeans. A survey of more than 10,000 people from ten different European countries has revealed increasing public opposition to Muslim immigration. The Chatham House Royal Institute of International Affairs carried out
a survey, asking online respondents their views on the
statement that "all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should
be stopped". In the 10 European countries surveyed, an average of 55% agreed
with the statement.
Mainstream media are now questioning if "Europe fears Muslims more than the United States". The photograph used in the article was a recent Muslim mass prayer in front of Italy's monument, the Coliseum. In echoes of the capture of the great Christian civilization of Byzantium in Constantinople, Sunni Islam's most prominent preacher, Yusuf al Qaradawi, declared that the day will come when Rome will be Islamized.
Do civilizations die from outside or inside? Is their disappearance the result of external aggression (war, natural disasters, epidemics) or of an internal erosion (decay, incompetence, disastrous choices)? Arnold Toynbee, in the last century, was adamant: "Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder".
"The contemporary historian of ancient Greece and ancient Rome saw their civilisations begin their decline and fall, both the Greeks and the Romans attributed it to falling birth rates because nobody wanted the responsibilities of bringing up children," said Britain's former chief rabbi, Lord Sacks.
Everywhere in Europe there are signs of a takeover. Muslim students now outnumber Christian students in more than 30 British church schools. One Anglican primary school has a "100 percent Muslim population". The Church of England estimated that about 20 of its schools have more Muslim students than Christian ones, and 15 Roman Catholic schools have majority Muslim students. In Germany as well, there are fears of a massive Muslim influx into the school system, and German teachers are openly denouncing the threat of a "ghettoization".
France saw 34,000 fewer babies born last year than in 2014, a new report just found. The number of French women having children has reached its lowest level in 40 years. A low fertility rate has become a plague all over Europe: "In 1995 only one country, Italy, had more people over 65 than under 15; today there are 30 and by 2020 that number will hit 35." Welcome to the "Greying of Europe".
Additionally, if it were not for Muslim women, France would have an even lower birth rate: "With a fertility rate of 3.5 children per woman, the Algerians contribute significantly to the growth of the population in France", wrote the well-known demographer Gérard-François Dumont.
In Milan, Italy's financial center, Mohammed is the top name among newborn babies. The same is true in London, in the four biggest Dutch cities and elsewhere in Europe, from Brussels to Marseille. It is Islam, not Christianity, that now saturates Europe's landscape and imagination.
Meanwhile, Europe's leaders are almost all childless. In Germany, Angela Merkel has no children, as British prime minister Theresa May and one of France's leading presidential candidates, Emmanuel Macron. As Europe's leaders have no children and no reason to worry about the future (everything ends with them), they are now opening Europe's borders to keep the continent in a demographic equilibrium. "I believe Europeans should understand that we need migration for our economies and for our welfare systems, with the current demographic trend we have to be sustainable", said Federica Mogherini, the European Union representative for foreign affairs.
The Battle of Tours in 732 was the high-water point of the Muslim tide in Western Europe. If Christians had not won, "perhaps," wrote Edward Gibbon, "the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet". Does that sound familiar these days?
Islamists take culture and history more seriously than the Westerners do. Recently, in Paris, an Egyptian terrorist tried to strike the great museum, the Louvre. He planned to deface the museum's artwork, he said, because "it is a powerful symbol of French culture". Think about an Islamic extremist shouting "Allahu Akbar" while slashing the Mona Lisa. This is the trend we need to start reversing.
Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.