Friday, March 27, 2009

New Dispatches From the European Front Lines: Brussels Looking like Muslim North Africa and the European Union Under Stress

Fox News this past week posted an interesting report from Brussels, on the front line of the cultural battle between the beleaguered and retreating remnants of Western civilization and the insurgent “Unholy Alliance” of pacifistic socialists and muslims. Interesting not in its portrayal of non-assimilating muslims – that’s an old story – but interesting in its portrayal of the socialists’ continued self-delusion that once victorious they’ll get along just fine with their muslim partners. It’s remarkable to witness how hatred of Western culture and pacifism blinds them to reality.

In a report (link) titled “Politicians Fret as Muslim Population Swells in Europe Amid Little Integration,” Greg Burke of Fox news reports from Brussels:
A clash of civilizations may be taking place on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, but it's also happening a lot more quietly in European cities. Old Europe's population is dwindling even as immigration and high birth rates among Muslim groups are swelling in cities all over the continent. And in Belgium, it is no different. Filip Dewinter, a leader of the far-right party Vlaams Belang, predicts there will eventually be a kind of civil war when the longtime residents of Brussels — the nation's capital and administrative seat of the European Union — realize their city is about to be taken over by Muslim immigrants…. Dewinter, who opposes immigration and has called Islamophobia a "duty," claims three of the 19 sections of Brussels, each with its own mayor, now have Muslim majorities. "In those neighborhoods it's not our government that's in power," he said, "but the Muslim authorities — the mosques, the imams — who are in charge."
FOX News visited one of those neighborhoods, called Molenbeek, which looks more like North Africa than the heart of Europe. For some Belgians, that's not a problem. The mayor of Molenbeek, Socialist Philippe Moureaux, … believes multiculturalism is a good thing: "Be realistic. They're here. They're relatively numerous and they're growing."
[A] real test will come when a major European city has a Muslim majority. The first could be Marseilles, in France, or Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. But don't count out Brussels, the heart and capital of Europe.
A part of Brussels looks like North Africa? Not a problem for its socialist political leader. Just a second front in the fight against Western civilization.

Meanwhile, storm clouds are gathering over the European Union of those starry-eyed socialists. The current cover story of The Weekly Standard is “Tough Times in EUtopia -- the continent's politicians think the undemocratic character of the European Union is a virtue; They have miscalculated” by Andrew Stuttaford (link). He writes:

The EU's insultingly undemocratic nature is not news (indeed, it is part of its rationale), but it remains the key to grasping how those who run the EU have, for better and worse, had so much success in ramming their agenda through. Not having to bother too much about national electorates has been a great boon to Brussels. As the continent's economies slide ever deeper into the mire, however, that once handy feature could end up crashing the entire system…. [T]he EU's persistent recourse to a form of soft authoritarianism has left it peculiarly ill suited to weather the [economic] storm to come. After decades of routinely bypassing its voters the union may well no longer have what it takes to secure their approval for the harsh medicine and painful sacrifices necessary to bring the EU through this ordeal in one piece….
[I]f, as appears disturbingly likely, the economic situation grows far darker, it's easy to draw an alternative picture in which both euro and union come under previously unimaginable stress, stress with unpredictable and potentially ominous consequences, stress that will be echoed and intensified by mounting political and social disorder in a Europe that discovers, too late, that there was something to be said for democracy after all.
It seems to me that most people in the States are either unaware of the situation in Europe or view concerns as overblown.

John M Greco