democracy, immigration multiculturalism ... pick any two .James C. Bennett
Eurabia describes a supposed Europe of the future which has been culturally absorbed into the Islamic world through demographic change.
The portmanteau originated in 1974 as the title of a journal published by the President of the Association for Franco-Arab Solidarity, Lucien Bitterlin. He posited the idea of an alliance between members of the (then) European Economic Community and the emerging oil-rich Arab world, believing that the two sides had an interest to counter the influence of the United States and the existence of Israel. The following year the European-Arab Dialogue started involving exchanges of views between the EEC and the Arab League. Several writers, including Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci and British-Egyptian writer Bat Ye'or, consider the forum was used to extract concessions advantageous to the Muslim world at the expense of the long term interests of the West, including changes to immigration and foreign policies. Two decades later, on a continent hit by terrorism and civil unrest, the name 'Eurabia' was resurrected in 2005 in the title of the book 'Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis'' written by Ye'or'.
Eurabia is a theme in the commentry of other writers like Claire Berlinski (Menace in Europe), Daniel Pipes, Melanie Phillips (Londonistan) and Bruce Bawer (While Europe Slept). Rather than endorsing the idea that some elaborate secret conspiracy conceived in smokey boardrooms is afoot, they instead highlight Europe's demographic transformation and bifurcated society. They note that a youthful and predominantly Islamic urban underclass is emerging in Europe, economically and socially disengaged from indigenous Europeans and other communities who have integrated more successfully. The writers blame their predictament on the legacy of various well-meaning policies based on inherently secular European values, and a timid, insular unwillingness by politicians and other elites to confront or acknowledge how these problems fail society. Favourite targets include the welfare state that hinders employment growth and encourages welfare dependence, nilhism which devalues the host country's culture and values in the eyes of immigrants, and multiculturalism which is seen to promote separatism. Potentially this can lead to a belligerent attitude and behaviour being directed against the host country, perhaps demonstrated by a survey that suggested forty percent of Britain's Muslims hold a favorable view of Osama bin Laden (ref: The Sunday Times; another poll conducted by NOP in August 2006 said Osama was respected by 19% of the Muslim population, high enough, but still dwarfed by Tony Blair (44%) and the Queen (69%))
Whereas earlier generations of Islamic migrants, such as Algerians and Moroccans in France, Pakistanis and Bengladeshis in Britain, and Turks in Germany moved to Europe when job opportunities were abundant, and they were prepared to work within the parameters to the local culture, their native-born children and grand-children feel they need not acquiesce the same way. Living in open societies in a globalised world both the ideas and the inhabitants of the developing world can be transplanted in Europe more quickly than ever before. Many immigrants who came to Europe in the 1980s were Islamists who were oppressed by more secular (albeit despotic) regimes in their homelands, and by living in a welfare state where their basic needs are guaranteed they will continue to champion fundamentalism. And furthermore, events in the Middle East have left many believing the world is against them, and in a culture that does not prize self-reflection they fight back by firebombing synagogues or joining terrorist cells.
The writers who talk about a future Eurabia make use of empirical data to demonstrate what is actually happening. Muslims comprise of 5% of the Danish population, yet consume 40% of welfare expenditure, quotes Bawer (although one wonders how this figure can be arrived at if recipients don't routinely cite their religion at the local dole office). More incontrovertible is the difference in the birth rates between Muslim and non-Muslim Europeans; statistics ranging from censuses to school attendance records show that Muslim Europeans are more fecund. With the majority of urban Dutch children under fourteen being Muslim many believe within a few decades the Netherlands will have an Islamic majority, or at least a minority powerful enough to profoundly alter the character of Dutch society.
Ye'or's cospiracy theory has however been criticised as a proto-Protocols of the Elders of Mecca. Countries and multilateral organisations have bilateral talks with each other, but there is no evidence beyond the circumstantial that the EEC ever endorsed a secret plan to usurp its own institutions. There are no publications with a respectable circulation or editorial quality that endorses the views. Christopher Hitchens described one of Fallaci's books as a primer in how not to write about Islam.
However Europe's demographic change is a fact, even if it is not yet a driving political issue in most countries (most of the writers referred to in this node are actually North American). While demography is the ultimate root cause and determiner of the future, human behavior can be both suprising and uncannily adaptive to changing circumstances, and receptive to the most mundane of incentives. The majority of Muslims in Europe seek to live humdrum lives, raising children (but not too many to prevent the wife having a semblence of a career) and paying off a mortgage, no different to non-Muslims. Once Europe makes the brave decision to fix structural unemployment and have a balanced sense of its own principles will the future appear less foreboding.
Alternatively, if Europe turns out to be a some kind of dystophia ruled by ex-gangbanging Imams in 2050, it will have no problems disuading migrants. And America will always be open.