January 9th, 2006


The secret life of Eurabia

They say: "Eurabia... is essentially a political project for a total demographic and cultural symbiosis between Europe and the Arab world, where Israel will eventually dissolve. America would be isolated and challenged by an emerging Euro-Arab continent that is linked to the whole Muslim world and invested with tremendous political and economic power in international affairs." (Interview with Bat Ye'or, who coined the phrase, in Front Page magazine)

I say: Eurabia is a silly, hysterical meme being broadcast by right wingers. But it's interesting to me insofar as it sums up right wing fears (of Islamic immigrants "swamping" Europe, etc etc) the same way my own meme "Angrael" sums up left wing fears (of Anglo-Saxon countries becoming Israel-style "security states", etc etc). They're both conspiracy theories, and lots of facts can be cited to "show" that the future belongs to one or other scenario. Mainly, though, they're political scare stories designed to shift policy in ways we want to see it shifted.

They say: "It's the demography, stupid... the West is in danger of extinction... Much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most Western European countries... the EU's population will be 40 percent Muslim by 2025." (Mark Steyn in The New Criterion)

I say: Jesus God, what neo-Spenglerian crap! Steyn's stats on demographics are refuted usefully here by Pearsal Helms. Nevertheless, it's fascinating to tie this in with my Fashion Muslim action. In the view of these anti-Muslim Paul Reveres I am already one of the fallen, the corrupted! Look at the facts: I'm a white European, but I've already been married to a muslim, I wear muslim clothes, and my favourite record is "Musique Arabo-Andalouse" by the Atrium Musicae de Madrid, a reconstruction of the utterly lovely sounds resulting from the cultural fusion that happened when large parts of southern Europe really were under the control of the moors! And it's funny to imagine Hajj preparations as the lead story on the BBC News website in 2025!

They say: "Dhimmi was the name applied by the Arab-Muslim conquerors to indigenous non-Muslim populations who surrendered by a treaty (dhimma) to Muslim domination. Islamic conquests expanded over vast territories in Africa, Europe and Asia, for over a millennium (638-1683)... Dhimmitude is not exclusively concerned with Muslim history and civilization. Rather it investigates the history of those non-Muslim peoples conquered and colonized by jihad. (Dhimmitude.org) "Dhimmis, 'protected people,' are free to practice their religion in a Sharia regime, but are made subject to a number of humiliating regulations designed to enforce the Qur'an's command that they "feel themselves subdued" (Sura 9:29). This denial of equality of rights and dignity remains part of the Sharia, and, as such, are part of the law that global jihadists are laboring to impose everywhere, ultimately on the entire human race." Dhimmiwatch

I say: By a cunning act of sleight-of-hand -- by proposing a sci-fi future in which the present tables of dominance and subordination are turned -- muslim minorities are presented as the majority and today's majority suddenly become the enslaved minority, the dhimmis. We're supposed to recoil in horror from this image of future oppression by today's oppressed, and enact appropriate legislation and/or genocide to prevent it. But what if we like what Islamization does to European cities? What if we think that Kreuzberg's Turkish markets actually contain the real spirit of medieval Europe (they're the closest thing you'll find to a Brueghel painting in Berlin)? What if we enjoy the very vitality that fills rightists with apprehension, the sex drive that puts the birth rate in Islamic countries bordering the EU at twice the rate of EU nations?

They say: Dhimmitude in Britain: Muslim women exempt from ID card photos!

I say: This "Boo hoo, it's not fair!" attitude ("why are they allowed to cover their faces on ID cards, and we aren't?") leads to accusations of "asymmetrical multiculturalism", identified by right wingers as a weakness of the liberal position. Why do we encourage minorities to celebrate their ethnic specificity while making it taboo for the indigenous majority to do the same? Why are we tolerant even of the intolerance of others? The answer is that power changes everything. It is because we're the majority that we must indulge minorities but not indulge ourselves. Deconstruction theory tells us that every binary has a dominant and a repressed element. There can be no "fairness" in treating those elements as if they were equal, and even less in proposing, through sci-fi scenarios like "Eurabia" and "dhimmitude", that the repressed element is somehow about to become the dominant one. Multiculturalism needs to be asymmetrical because power imbalances make asymmetry the reality.

Some Norwegian fascists speculate: "Europe's fate is sealed when Turkey is allowed into the Union, and becomes its largest member. Freedom of speech will be shut down, and any criticism of Islam banned. Eurabia will become a global center for Jihad activities, as the dhimmi taxpayers and infidel Western technology give a boost to the Ummah. For this reason, the Americans, the Israelis, the Indians, the Russians and maybe even the Chinese will have to crush Eurabia by brute force, as it will represent a grave security threat for them. Muslims will be heavily concentrated in the major cities, and the dhimmi native population will retreat into the countryside. I believe something similar took place in the Balkans during Ottoman Turkish rule. The old nation states will thus slowly die, as their major cities, which constitute the brain and "head" of its culture, are cut off from the rest of the body. Europe's decline into Eurabia will be speeded up by the fact that millions of educated natives with the means to it will move to the USA or other nations. This trickle of Eurabian refugees wil eventually be slowed down by the authorities in the now totalitarian Europe, as it will erode the tax base. Native Europeans will simply be banned from leaving. There will be no war in Western Europe, as its civilization is already dead and very few will bother fighting for it." (From the blog of Fjordman, a fearsome fascist of the fjords.)

I say: Well, mostly I laugh with a laugh so huge it fills the fjords. But also I'm quite interested, because I like zany sci-fi. For instance, I also learn from one of Fjordman's guests that G.K. Chesterton outlined a similar scenario in a novel called The Flying Inn. "In this novel - written almost 100 years ago - Chesterton postulates a (then) future Britain where an attempt is made to impose Islam on the English by a mixture of da'wa, stealth invasion and collusion by a treacherous political and business elite." The theme also informs some contemporary art. Robert Gligorov's "Eurabia Place de l’Etoile" shows the Arc de Triomphe dressed up as the sacred black stone of Mecca, the kaaba. And Gregor Schneider's "Cube Venice" does the same for the Piazza San Marco in Venice.

They say: "Europe becomes more and more a province of Islam, a colony of Islam. And Italy is an outpost of that province, a stronghold of that colony. In each of our cities lies a second city: a Muslim city, a city run by the Quran. A stage in the Islamic expansionism." (Oriana Fallaci in her new book "The Strength of Reason," "La Forza della Ragione" in Italian.)

I say: Okay, shut up, you fascists, I'm bored now!