“Islam is a political project and a supremacist movement,” said Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an ex-Muslim, a former member of the Dutch parliament and author of “Infidel.” “In order to expand, you need an enemy.”
Author and filmmaker Greg Davis, who produced the documentary “Islam: What the West Needs to Know,” compared Islam to the Cold War threat of communism.
Several panelists also noted the Shariah law of Islam, as far as most Muslims are concerned, trumps all civic laws. Some conference participants expressed concern that Islamic leaders intend to eventually take over Europe.
They noted, for example, that Muhammad is the second most common name for newborns in Britain, and that Muslim leaders are demanding that large mosques be built in the middle of major cities.
“The greatest factor in this equation is what Europe wants to do,” Mr. Davis said. “What will its people fight and die and kill for? … If Europe will not fight for its Christian heritage, will it fight for its secular heritage?”
Several panelists noted a so-called “white flight,” saying Europeans are moving to places such as Canada and Florida to avoid problems in their homeland.
“The talented folks want to get out,” Mr. Steyn said, adding that these are the future bankers, politicians and business leaders.
Several Europeans at the conference weren’t ready to concede Europe is doomed, or that its residents have given up all hope.
“We allow [Muslim immigrants] to go very far, and that is the problem,” said Henryk Broder, a German journalist and author of “Hurray — We Surrender,” which deals with European appeasement toward Islam. “What can we do? The number of people asking that question is rising.”
His colleague, Dutch writer, filmmaker and producer Leon de Winter, agreed.
“There is a vast undercurrent among the general public of the feeling that we have had enough of it, we’re fed up,” said Mr. de Winter, a critic of what he calls Europe’s appeasement of Muslim militancy.
Ms. Ali said Europe’s strength and hope lie in its freedom and civil society.
She said Muslims who move to Europe may become aware of the opportunities afforded by a free and progressive society and turn their backs on what she describes as an oppressive religion. She and others already have, she said, but she is also the target of death threats.
Ms. Ali is quick to point out her concerns about Islam in Europe, noting that Islamic leaders are abusing Europe’s welfare state and “justify bigoted sermons as freedom of religion.”
“Muslim leadership understands it is more effective to exploit a system from within than to attack it from the outside,” she said. “But it’s not so much what a relatively small minority do or don’t do; it’s the Europeans who allow it.”