- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 3, 2004

One hundred boats bearing 1 million desperate uninvited immigrants set sail from the Ganges for the fabled coast of the French Riviera. They are totally destitute and have decided their only chance of survival is in a country with a conscience that traditionally welcomes refugees from the Third World. Their journey will take 50 days.

In France, the news is trumpeted with pride by the liberal media, churchmen and leftwing activists. Favorable media echoes are heard all over Europe. Political leaders and the armed forces fumble for common policies. Publicly, French authorities praise the intrepid voyagers. Privately, they exchange ideas on how to divert 1 million hungry souls to other shores.

Trendy French radio journalist Albert Dufort sees the makings of a historical redistribution of wealth between the First and Third Worlds. “We’re all from the Ganges now,” he proclaims. Schoolchildren write essays eulogizing latter-day “sans culottes.” The theme is picked up and sweeps the Continent.

As the armada passes through the Straits of Gibraltar, panic sets in. French Riviera inhabitants begin fleeing north. The French president deploys armed forces along the coast. They are told to defend the country against the now imminent invasion of the poverty-stricken 1million from the Ganges. But their with ears glued to transistor radios, they heed Dufort’s call not to oppose the landings. They desert en masse. Police open jail cells before shedding their uniforms and hotfooting it home to take care of their families.

Terrified by what he has wrought, Dufort heads for Switzerland in his expensive sports car, but is recognized en route and murdered. As hundreds of thousands of inhabitants of coastal towns and the surrounding Provence country move north, tens of thousands of revolutionary students travel south to greet their Ganges brothers.

Unbeknownst to the welcoming throngs of idealists, the Ganges multitudes are coming to settle scores with the wealthy West that has kept them subjugated without hope of a better life. They hate the West their leaders say robbed them of the higher standard of living to which they were entitled.

The 1 million Ganges folk are not alone. Millions of others monitor their progress from all over the Third World and plan to follow them to the Promised Land. Thus the Third World conquers modern industrialized societies, but not before much mayhem and unspeakable carnage and atrocities.

The story of the demise of Europe as a citadel of civilization is the scenario imagined by French author Jean Raspail in his 1973 runaway best-seller “The Camp of the Saints.” Much of it was drawn from the near revolution by French students in 1968, which fizzled when French workers turned down their appeals for solidarity and went on working, and because President Charles de Gaulle had journeyed to Germany to ensure the loyalty of his French army commanders.

But the novel/parable keeps selling several thousand copies a year, presumably because of fears Europe is being slowly Islamized by its estimated 20 million Muslims from North Africa, sub-Sahara Africa, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia.

Many European leaders oppose Turkey’s entry to the European Union, convinced it would allow 71 million Muslim Turks to settle anywhere and overrun Europe’s Christian civilization.

EU Commissioner Fritz Bolkestein, former leader of Dutch liberals, warned this week Europe would “implode” if Turkey becomes a Union member. In a speech at Leiden University in the Netherlands, Mr. Bolkestein said EU would be like the late Austrian-Hungarian Empire, which became ungovernable after taking on too many different ethnic groups.

Were Turkey kept out of EU, say those who favor its membership, the pent-up frustration would radicalize a huge country that sits astride Europe, the Middle East and Asia Minor. British author and Islam expert Bernard Lewis, quoted by Mr. Bolkestein, says an EU with Turkey as a member would turn Europe into an extension of North Africa and the Middle East by the end of the 21st century.

But this is a minority view inside the EU Commission ivory towers in Brussels. Eurocrats are putting the finishing touches on a recommendation, due Oct. 6, to begin membership negotiations with Turkey. An EU summit meeting in December is expected to give the whole laborious process — an anticipated 10 years when Turks will number 83 million — a final seal of approval.

Turkey almost scuttled its application by suggesting new penal legislation that would have criminalized adultery. “If that ever spread to EU,” said one Brussels wag, “at least half of some 400 million Europeans would become criminals.”

The proposed Turkish law was “momentarily” withdrawn to facilitate opening of EU membership negotiations. If Turkey is a land bridge between Asia and Europe, the adultery flap revealed a yawning cultural gap between urban Europe and rural Turkey.

Turkey waited patiently for its turn to negotiate EU entry as East European countries jumped the queue of applicants. So concluded a “wise men’s” report by a covey of European elder statesmen. But once Turkey becomes a full-fledged EU member, the Maghreb nations of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria will also knock on Europe’s door. So will Ukraine and Belarus. The collapse of the top-heavy Austrian-Hungarian Empire analogy then becomes plausible.

European public opinion surveys show a majority oppose Turkish accession. This is reflected in the Continent’s parliaments. Ratification would fail today. Ten years hence is unpredictable. But the “Camp of the Saints” syndrome grows rather than shrinks. Hundreds of illegal immigrants still arrive daily at the EU’s outer frontiers, known as the “Shengen space.” They are mostly Muslims. And the biggest security problem for Europe’s intelligence agencies is Islamist extremism. French security recently found some North African residents of France were recruited to fight the U.S. in Iraq.

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.

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