Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2005 21:02:31 -0400
From: David Virtue
Subject: As Eye See It : THE ISLAMIZATION OF EUROPE - by Patrick Sookhdeo


by Patrick Sookhdeo

11 August 2005

On Friday 20th May 2005 a crowd of some 300 Muslims burned a wooden
cross outside the American embassy in London. This was part of a protest
against the rumoured desecration of a Qur'an by American soldiers in
Guantanamo Bay, during which British and American flags were also
burned. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this event was that it was
not deemed to be newsworthy, receiving little attention in the national

The whole scenario is reminiscent of what happens in so many
Muslim-majority countries: a rumour of an insult to Islam, a violent and
blasphemous anti-Christian reaction, police watching idly, and a
complete lack of public interest let alone outrage. It could have been
Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia or Northern Nigeria. But it was the UK.

Europe is undergoing a rapid process of change as Muslims make their
presence felt in politics, economics, law, education and the media.
While there is a wide range of attitudes amongst Muslims in Europe, with
many who are broadly content with the status quo and just want to live
their lives peacefully, others are striving deliberately to drive
forward the changes.

As a result of the efforts of the latter, Europe is gradually being
transformed into a society in which Islam takes its place, not just as
an equal alongside the many other faith communities, but often as the
dominant player. This is not purely, or even primarily, a matter of
numbers, but is more a matter of control of the structures of society.
It is not happening by chance but is the result of a careful and
deliberate strategy by certain Muslim leaders.

Though the effects are only now becoming noticeable, the planning was
done decades ago. In 1980 the Islamic Council of Europe published a book
called Muslim Communities in Non-Muslim States which clearly explained
the Islamic agenda in Europe. When Muslims live as a minority they face
theological problems, because classical Islamic teaching always
presupposed a context of Islamic dominance; hence the need for guidance
on how to live in non-Muslim states. The instructions given in the book
told Muslims to get together and organise themselves with the aim of
establishing a viable Muslim community based on Islamic principles. This
is the duty of every individual Muslim living within a non-Muslim
political entity. They should set up mosques, community centres and
Islamic schools. At all costs they must avoid being assimilated by the
majority. In order to resist assimilation, they must group themselves
geographically, forming areas of high Muslim concentration within the
population as a whole. Yet they must also interact with non-Muslims so
as to share the message of Islam with them. Every Muslim individual is
required to participate in the plan; it is not allowed for anyone simply
to live as a "good Muslim" without assisting the overall strategy. The
ultimate goal of this strategy is that the Muslims should become a
majority and the entire nation be governed according to Islam. (M. Ali
Kettani "The Problems of Muslim Minorities and their Solutions" in
Muslim Communities in Non-Muslim States (London: Islamic Council of
Europe, 1980) pp.96-105) Not all Muslims would support this action plan.
The more secularized are happy to become integrated within the majority
society. Even amongst those who agree on the ultimate goal of creating
an Islamic state, there are differences about methodology i.e. whether
this should be a slow and peaceful transition, or whether it should be
hastened by means of political dominance or even - say some - by

Despite the variety of opinion amongst Muslims, it is not hard to
recognize the different stages of the Islamic Council of Europe's
strategy being put into practice within today's Europe. Muslims do tend
to live in tightly concentrated areas, and show little sign of
integrating into wider society. Saudi funding is paying for the erection
of large and beautiful mosques, staffed by imams brought over to Europe
from the "home countries". Sweden's third largest city, Malm=F8, is
effectively ruled by violent gangs of Muslims, and some of the Muslim
residents of the city still cannot read or write Swedish though they
have lived there for 20 years. Denmark has recently seen the
Nordg=E5rdsskolen in Aarhus become the first school in the country to have
100% Muslim pupils. Britain's Muslim population (variously estimated at
between 1.6 and 3 million) is concentrated in three areas: north-west
England, the midlands and London. In some of these areas Muslims are now
targeting the remaining Christian presence, arsoning churches,
physically attacking church leaders and their property; the aim seems to
be to "cleanse" these areas of non-Muslims.

European Muslims are Islamizing many aspects of life that also affect
non-Muslims. Spanish Muslims have expressed their desire to "regain" the
mosque of Cordoba. This building was originally a church, then turned
into a mosque, and then turned back into a place of Christian worship.
Halal meat is now routinely served in many British prisons, schools and
hospitals, sometimes to Muslim and non-Muslim alike, and the hijab
[Islamic headscarf] is worn in British schools. Muslims in the London
borough of Tower Hamlets have forced name-changes for districts and
local amenities if the existing name sounds too Christian for their

In the UK, where Islam is making its most rapid advance, Islamic law
(shari'a) is already practised unofficially, with shari'a councils and
shari'a courts giving judgments on Muslim family matters. In education
numerous concessions are being made to British Muslims, Islam often
being given more prominence and respect than other faiths at state
schools. An increasing number of university posts are being funded from
Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries on condition that a certain line
of thinking is promoted.

The ultimate goal of taking control of society, as depicted by the
Islamic Council of Europe in 1980, is clearly in the minds of at least
some Muslim leaders. A Dutch Imam has stated that Islamic law is
superior to other forms of legislation so there is no need to obey other
laws. Some Finnish imams preach on the Islamic duty to kill a Muslim who
converts to another faith, adding that it is difficult to carry this out
in Finland at present because Muslims do not yet "own the state".
Furthermore, the freedoms of European society are being exploited by
Islamic militants and their supporters to plan terrorist activities
around the world. London - or "Londonistan" as it is becoming known - is
one of the most important bases for Islamic terrorism worldwide. This
has been illustrated by the July bombings in London itself.

Despite all these advances, Muslims still tend to portray themselves as
victims in European society, while the majority society in turn
struggles to affirm them and to avoid giving any accidental offence.

But this kind of reaction by non-Muslims can be seen as the typical
behaviour of dhimmi. In classical Islam, Christian and Jewish minorities
within an Islamic state were called dhimmi. They were free to worship
and live out their faith, but had to submit to a raft of discriminatory
and humiliating laws. They learned to be subservient, and to consider
the dominance of Muslims as normal as the Muslims themselves did.

It is typical of dhimmi not to protest if a Christian cross is burned by
an angry crowd, nor even to feel that anything outrageous has occurred.
Likewise the Muslim scheme to turn the cathedral of Cordoba back into a
mosque has the backing of some Spanish government leaders in the city.

At a political level, European countries are responding in different
ways to the challenge of Islam. France is determinedly protecting its
secularism, and has banned the hijab in school. The Netherlands have
recently swung from one extreme to the other, following the ritualized
killing of Dutch film director Theo van Gogh by a young Muslim in
November 2004; they are turning against multiculturalism and becoming
concerned to control immigration. The UK seems to be seeking to
replicate the segregation and communalism of the British Raj in India,
whereby the various religious communities were each given their own
laws. This policy would certainly mesh well with some Muslim leaders'
own plans for Britain. If Britain is to be sub-divided in this way,
perhaps geographically as well as legally, it raises the question of how
the Church would survive in areas of Islamic rule. What form would
Christian ministry be able to take in these areas?

Muslims are still a minority in numerical terms in Europe, with an
estimated 20 million living in the European Union. No country apart from
Albania has a Muslim community amounting to more than about 10% of the
population. However, demographic studies indicate that Muslim
populations are growing far faster than the non-Muslim populations. This
is due partly to continued immigration, partly to conversion, but mainly
to the larger number of children which Muslim families typically have.
The growing Muslim community is a mosaic of different ethnic,
linguistic, cultural, sectarian and geographical backgrounds, and
characterized by increasing internal tensions particularly over how to
relate to the host society.

Some Christians have decried as faithless pessimism those who predict
the Islamization of Europe before the end of the century. But it must be
remembered that the region which is now Pakistan and Afghanistan was
once Christian, as was North Africa. The Church was completely
eradicated from these areas by the advance of Islam. It would surely be
arrogant to think that this could never happen to the Church in Europe.

As individual Christians we must love our Muslim neighbours and forgive
any wrongs done to us. But as a community the Church must defend
herself, as well as the Judaeo-Christian heritage with which Europe is
blessed. For this her leaders need great wisdom and courage.

--Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of the Barnabas Fund
and the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity. He holds a
PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University
and was awarded a Doctor of Divinity by Western Seminary, Portland,
Oregon for his work in the field of pluralism. He has written and
lectures widely in the field of other faiths. Both Patrick and his wife
Rosemary hold dual New Zealand and British citizenship.

The Barnabas Fund seeks to support suffering Christian minorities by
making known their need to other Christians, facilitating prayer on
their behalf, and channelling funds to small-scale projects run by
national Christians in the countries concerned. It has supported
projects in 39 different countries. The Institute for the Study of Islam
and Christianity does research on the status of the church in the Muslim

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