- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 3, 2007

“Anti-Europeanism” is one thing. Concern for the future of Europe is quite another. This week, our friends at the venerable British magazine the Economist confused the two.

It’s not anti-European, nor is it alarmism, to worry about radicalism in Europe’s Muslim populations. It’s not anti-European to ask whether Shariah will take hold there. Nor is it anti-European to wonder whether our European cousins are flinching in the face of intimidation like the Danish cartoon controversy or the Madrid train bombings. Indeed, it would be anti-European not to worry about such things.

We understand that “anti-Europeanism” is real. There are elements on the American right convinced that there exists some unstoppable European tendency of political and cultural debilitation, just as elements in Europe are convinced of America’s inherent war-mongering and degeneration. We ask our European friends to endure “Freedom fries” and “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” as readily as we endure anti-American charges of “cabals,” neocon or capitalist or what have you, as the echo-chamber nonsense that it is.

Only the willfully blind fail to see the problem of radicalism among Western Europe’s rapidly growing Muslim populations. Those growing numbers, still small compared to the whole, harbor an unknown but burgeoning number of virulent, anti-Western radicals who, in many cases, are supported implicitly or explicitly by their nonviolent coreligionists. Meanwhile, the rest of society greys and shrinks amid troublingly low birth rates. Westerners who dismiss this observation as bigotry simply aren’t up on the numbers.

More than a few British Muslims have told pollsters that they approve of the 7/7 subway attacks in the United Kingdom in 2005. The notion that only Allah may create law — not civilian authorities, not democracies — is widespread. Some projections figure upon Muslim majorities in Amsterdam and Rotterdam by 2015. Every demographer foresees rapid population growth of Muslim minorities in Britain, France and elsewhere. With good reason are U.S. security experts worried that the radicalism common to swaths of Muslims in Western Europe makes for a volatile future, given the openness of U.S. commerce and migration with the region. Some believe that Western European radicals are our single greatest vulnerability.

The real “anti-Europeanism” is found among the radicals who mean to throw out Europe’s laws and social customs to make way for a kind of Eurabia. Cue charges of alarmism at Eurabia, but the trends point in that direction, and we would be poor friends to Europe were we to ignore it.

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