refers to the synthesis of Arab and European culture, a grand cultural project
undertaken by European and Arab elites to create an open Mediterranean zone of
economic, demographic and cultural symbiosis between
Bat Ye’or traces the
creation of the Euro-Arab dialogue in the 1970s that created a journal by that
name and orchestrated the growing symbiosis of
In addition to these diplomatic trends, she identifies a demographic and cultural level where an anemic European culture that has ceased to reproduce itself, whose increasingly aged population demands full social services, and whose youth refuses to do manual labor, import Arab laborers to avoid facing its own heavily mortgaged future.
Current demographic trends suggest that a significant number of European countries will be a majority Muslim by mid-century. As Bernard Lewis commented in a controversial interview with a German newspaper, and Robert Spencer then took for the title of an article, “Europe will be Islamic by the end of the Century." And however the initial immigrants may have felt about the Western countries to which they moved and in which they accepted state support, recent years have seen the spread of a particularly powerful strain of Jihadi Islamism among many, especially an alienated youth.
represents an extreme version and alarming update of Samuel Huntington’s 1996
thesis about the Clash of Civilizations. Eurabia anticipates a militarily weaker tribal population
taking over and transforming a larger but declining “greater civilization,” a
process that has not occurred since the fall of the Roman Empire
If this indeed is taking place it seems to represent a situation where the
European political elites, stricken with what Kenneth Minoque
calls an “Olympian complex,”
fall prey to their own hubris. They
seem to think that this bargain, in which they compete with their natural ally
The reactions to Eurabia
have been either to ignore it (Borders and Barnes and Noble do not carry it on
their bookshelves), or to dismiss it as paranoid conspiracism or racism on the one hand, and an attempt
to ally neo-conservative thinking
with Christian fundamentalism on the other. The thesis, critics
claim, is at once absurd – an Islamic Europe? What nonsense! – and demonizing – viewing all Muslims in
Any description of large societal movements orchestrated by cultural and diplomatic programs will strike most readers as conspiratorial, to say the least. And it will be to each person to decide what degree of credence to accord these cries of alarm. In considering the case, however, it seems worth noting several observations:
- Cognitive egocentrism can blind people to significant elements in the thrash of cultures. The danger here is that European elites, confident of their moral and cultural superiority are being duped by demopaths.
issue is not just whether Islamists can take over
- Large cultural and social programs that serve to destroy civil society and restore an elite to decisive power are not wild conspiracy theories, but the stuff of history. In some senses, all prime divider societies are the successful conspiracy of the elite to dominate the commoners.
- Not everyone who engages in behavior supporting a "conspiracy" like Eurabia need be either conspirators or malevolent. For reasons ranging from idealism to resentment, Muslims, Jews, European Christians and post-Christians can support and advance an agenda that they neither understand, nor approve of.
- There is heavy pressure not to denounce Eurabia, both from the politically correct progressive camp, and from the Islamists, some of whom do not hesitate to use violence to silence criticism.
If we decide to reject the thesis because we want to feel morally good, and refuse to believe such nasty things about others, or in order to find favor with progressive friends and colleagues who heap scorn on the thesis, or because we truly believe in the transformative power of multiculturalism to create a world of peace and understanding, we may be tempted to reject Eurabia as conspiracist racism. But if we are wrong, there are consequences. Unlike UFOs and the Loch Ness monster to whom some readers compare Eurabia, Jihadis have committed notable and highly visible acts of violence that reflect values profoundly opposed to civil society.
If, on the other hand, we decide to accept the theses because we feel threatened and angry, and morally offended by such wanton religious violence, theological intolerance, and patriarchal domination of women so characteristic of the Arab culture with which the symbiosis is taking place, and paint every Muslim an enemy and Islam a religion of terror, we close off avenues towards a real resolution to the problem. Identifying demopaths needs to be selective. When we allow no exceptions for the many people who will side with (those they think will be) the winners, we strengthen the conditions for apocalyptic warfare. Given the tens of millions of dead that such ultimate wars to exterminate the enemy have caused in the last century that does seem like something worth avoiding.