30 Sep

Eurabia by 2100?

Category: Sound Thinking
By: Amy L. Graeser
Published: 09/30/04

Was the liberation of Vienna from the Turks in 1683 merely a delay of the inevitable? Bernard Lewis thinks so.

Historian Bernard Lewis set the course for vigorous political discussion in Europe this fall with an assertion he made in an interview in July published in the Hamburg-based daily paper Die Welt. Lewis, a guest on Volume 59 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, was asked if the European Union could serve as a global counterweight to the United States in the future and he answered that, no, it could not serve as such because it would be a part of the Arabic west by the end of this century. His comment in the interview—which was actually an interview about the war in Iraq, not about Europe and the European Union—sparked debate about the probability and desirability of an Islamic Europe. Outgoing European Union competition commissioner Frits Bolkestein mentioned Lewis's remarks in a speech he gave in September when he compared the current situation of an increasingly Islamic Europe to that of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, of which the majority population was Austrian but became Hungarian. Bolkestein suggested that Europe consider whether or not it desires to become further Islamicized before forging ahead with plans to open negotiations for European Union membership with nations with large Islamic populations. Details about Bolkestein's speech are available on-line; see Christopher Caldwell's "Islamic Europe?" in the October 4, 2004, issue of The Weekly Standard.

Journalist Robert Spencer details the current extent of Muslim influence in European countries in his September 16 article posted on Human Events On-Line. In the article Spencer, who appropriates Lewis's quote for his title, "'Europe Will Be Islamic by the End of the Century,'" comments on Lewis's statement and chronicles the growing presence of Muslims in Sweden and Denmark, along with Islamic terrorist activity in the Netherlands and Spain. Spencer wrote an earlier article—published on-line in the March 18, 2004, issue of—which sheds light on why Europe began to be Islamicized.