This week's column mentions a conversation I had with a conservative British MEP (Member of European Parliament) who took issue with my concern about the Islamization of Europe for two basic reasons:
(One) For roughly the first 12 or 13 centuries of Islam until 1979, as he explained it, everything was effectively hunky dory with Islam; then that wascally wadical Ayatollah Khomeini showed up, ruining everything. In other words, Islam, which includes Islamic law (my concern), is fine; it's just those wascally wadicals who are a problem. And (two): My MEP told me he knows a perfectly lovely man who is Muslim--prays five times a day and everything--so, well then. At one point in the conversation, he rather abuptly said that if my reading of Islam's intrinsic incompatibility with Western-style liberty was correct, Europe had only two choices: Conversion to Islam or deportation of Muslims. Rather than face up to the hard-eyed task of shoring up the bulwarks against Islamic law, for instance, it was, for him, presumbaly, far better--far easier--to believe my reading of jihad and dhimmitude was just plain wrong.
Perfectly in keeping with these beliefs, he expressed doubt about the existence of de facto Islamic-ruled "no-go zones" in his own Britain--despite the writings on the subject by the Bishop of Rochester. He also told me, when asked, that he had never, in all of his years in Brussels, visited the neighborhood of Molenbeek, an Islamic enclave a very short drive from the EU environs in which we sat.
Well, I went to Molenbeek earlier this month and brought back this slide show of snaps. What you will see may call to mind something more like Little Marrakesh or Istanbultown than the so-called capital of Europe. To some, it will be possible to see in Molenbeek a fairly bustling display of non-indigenous culture certainly not unfamiliar to Americans who have both lived through and been a part of historic immigration waves. (To return to this website after viewing, push the back button on your browser.)
What is different here, of course--and I say "of course" given the voluminous reporting that has already been done on the subject by historians and writers from Bat Ye'or to Bruce Bawer, from Robert Spencer to Mark Steyn to Oriana Falacci and on--is that what is going here is not a traditional process of assimilation to the host (European) culture, but a quietly revolutionary procedure best described as reverse colonization: Europe is being colonized by Islam. As Bernard Lewis has written, given current patterns of immigration and non-assimilation, Europe will be an Islamic continent before the end of this century, whether my British MEP notices or not.
I will be continuing to write and post about my travels, which include conversations with some very brave politicians in Europe who are actually working both to stop and to reverse this Islamization process.