In the Middle East the clamor for change is governmental. “How shall we live?” means “under which form of government?” Tyranny abounds; turning the ships of state toward democratic waters is a long, slow process. Think HMS Queen Mary.
In Europe, democracy is a fact. The problem is the number of Muslim immigrants who refuse to partake in the process. Europe, caught in the white water of PC thinking, has to find a way to include those who do not wish to be included. On the one hand, Europeans have to praise Tolerance, the über-virtue for all right-thinking (actually, left-thinking) intellectuals. On the other hand, how do you ‘tolerate’ casual gang-rapes, forced marriage, and the systemic misogyny of a sullen and suspicious Islam in your midst?
Bat Ye’or looks at this dismal picture and predicts dhimmitude as the final outcome for Europe. Based on the imperialism inherent in Koran, and the history of Islam’s bloody invasions and annihilation of whole cultures, she makes a good case for the eventual outcome: Eurabia. Backing this up is Europe’s (particularly France’s) willing cooperation with Arab states in her own undoing.
There are forces in play in Europe that have large consequences for the US and subsequently for the rest of the West. Do not be fooled: just because Europe appears to be on the decline does not mean that her going under would not affect the rest of us. Think HMS Queen Mary sinking. Think of those survivors floating nearby who would be sucked under with her.
Some European states have awakened to the danger, Denmark in particular. In 2002, despite the criticism of Muslims and the European intelligentsia, new laws on immigration were passed. The controversial legislation was designed in part to stop a particularly malign kind of influx: marriage partners for the under-aged and immigration of those who have an antipathy toward assimilation. Previous to the passage of these laws, Muslims returned to the old country to procure a spouse and then returned to Denmark to apply for entry to the country of their partner. We’re talking arranged marriages, usually involving underage girls and without their consent. Now, in order to bring in a spouse, both must be at least twenty-four years old and they have to prove that the marriage is consensual. They must have sufficient income and a separate residence which they own. They must also demonstrate that their primary allegiance is to Denmark. How non-PC can you get, demanding that immigrants learn your language?
These laws are working. Since their passage the number of people from outside the European Union who have come into Denmark has fallen by two thirds. There are EU restrictions also. And now immigrant parents are saying that the law has given their children more freedom. No longer fearful of being married off to strangers, of living in a parallel — separate and desperately unequal — society which crushes their freedom and opportunities, Muslim girls in Denmark have a chance to continue their education. Think HMS Queen Mary slowly righting herself.
Maybe the passengers won’t have to jump ship after all.
Meanwhile, here’s a barometer: let’s see what kind of reception George Bush gets when he travels to Denmark in July.