THE ISLAMIC POPULATION BOMB
The role of demographics in relation to the Islamic-Western relations
(RIEAS Junior Analyst and Editor at Southeast Europe, World Security Foundation)
Traditionally- or at least in the past 5 centuries- the West enjoyed an unparalleled superiority in technological, economic and military sphere versus the East. Nowadays the Western and in particular European power is facing a dramatic decline due to an old but very effective weapon, their own population decline and the population explosion by the Muslim states. In the previous decades since the end of WWII a tremendous demographic expansion of the Islamic population worldwide has occurred and the trends are for continuation well into the 21st century.
The Balkans in the 90�s, were the first areas in Europe where the population explosion of Muslims resulted in a virtual takeover in areas such as central Bosnia and Kosovo. Even Montenegro, a traditional Eastern Orthodox nation, has a sizeable Muslim minority that will eventually became a majority within the coming decades should the upward projection trends prevail.
Demographics are a sensitive issue in discussion of worldwide events such as regional conflicts or terrorism. The politically correct modus that dominates the Western political system combined with an absence of historical research, has laid the foundations of ignorance on how macro-historical population alterations can and do change history and remake a civilization and the way of life.
In our age the Muslim world has at its disposal the ultimate weapon to remake the European future. The weapon is not nuclear nor chemical, but simply the population bomb, or as one might state it as the �P-Bomb�!
Islam: The unparallel growth
For centuries the Islamic world was suffering from a weakness in replacing its human resources. The territory traditionally inhabited by Muslims was an area inflicted by various invasions (Mongols, Crusaders, internal conflicts), as well as covered with large segments of non-arable land and desert. Therefore the population growth was weakened by environmental and human factors, resulting into a more or less stable demographic outlook.
In the era of the great Arabic expansion-8th-12th Century A.C- Islam was the religion and way of life for around 40-50 million people that was not more than 10% of world�s then population.
In order to support their continuous invasion plans towards Europe and India, Muslims assimilated foreign elements in their communities like Christians and Jews, and such assimilation was done by proselytism, often forced and sometimes not, to convert them into Islam. Most of these faith-turnarounds were committed by the use of brute force, mass kidnappings of mostly young aged Christians, slavery and alike.
Later as a result of the Turkish Ottoman occupation of the Balkans in the 15th century AD expansion of the Islam penetrated well into the European territory, as far as Southern Hungary.
The decaying nature of the Ottoman Empire that viewed industry with dismay, resulted in the 19th century national rebirth of nations such as Serbs, Greek, Bulgars and a subsequent expulsion of many Islamic communities in South Eastern Europe that were settled there by force in the first place.
At that time, West was viewed victorious: British and French colonialism stretched across most of North Africa and the Middle East and the triumph of the West was self-evident.
The encounter of the Western capitalistic states with the underdeveloped Muslim world in the early 20th century was beneficial for the Muslims as introduction of new agricultural methods, sanitation and industrial production, resulted in the dramatic uplifting of the way of life for millions of Muslims that began to reverse the demographic trends that up to then were characterized by high death rate. A French historian, Fernard Braudel, was the lone voice in 1957 that alerted Europe of the ticking Muslim population bomb. Braudel predicted that the then 75 million Muslims of the Middle East will reach 110 million by the early 21st century, a very low prediction of today's actual of 300 million.
Incredible predictions and possible outcomes
An average woman in the Muslim world is the mother of more than 4 children on average, well more than twice than the European level. This sums up into an annual population increase in the Middle East of around 2%.
In the midst of the Europe's victorious 19th century the population growth rate was not more than 1.5%. One has to remember that such lower European growth did enabled the colonization of most of the America and Australia and the creation of quasi European states such as USA, Australia, Canada that actually dominate the world scene today.
In 1960 the percentage of Muslims worldwide was around 13% while in 2001 it reached just above 20%. If the trends continue -- all thing equal -- in 2050 around 35% of world�s population will be Muslim, by far the largest percentage in Islam�s history.
Another element associated directly with the population growth is the high percentage of young people in Muslim countries that cannot be absorbed into the job markets and have great difficulties in upward social mobility. In combination with the autarchic regimes that govern quite a few Muslim states; a breeding ground for rebellion, terrorism and civil unrest has been unraveled. As the reach in the world shrinks due to improved telecommunications and transport, so do the social ramifications of the Middle East become globally widespread.
In the recent European history the state of Bosnia illustrates the dynamics of demographics in internal politics. In 1948 the Muslim population of that Yugoslav republic was less than 30%. In 1991 when Yugoslavia disintegrated Muslims comprised 44% and became the religious denominators of that new state. In Kosovo, today's Muslim Albanian population in the early 50�s was around 60% and 40 years later reached an overwhelming 90%. Both of these regions became theatres of conflict involving Muslims against Christians.
Of course population growth is not the only explanatory factor of a series of regional conflicts, but is an important element when one wants to predict future peripheral shifts of power that may eventually lead to wars and uprisings.
Europe- Middle East demography
If it is to examine European and Middle Eastern states and their historical demographic projection, interesting notes could be taken, that reveal wider trends and imbalance of power.
In the 50�s the population of Greece was 7 million people, while the one of Turkey was 21 million, a 1:3 analogy. Nowadays Greece encompasses 11.1 million citizens and Turkey 70 million. Therefore the analogy is 1:7 and that may explain to an extent the roots of the current Greek-Turkish rivalry and brinkmanship.
Continuing in the early 70�s the Magreb states of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt had population of 70 million. In the same period the Mediterranean European states, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece, were populated in total by 160 million people. Today the numbers are 150 million for North Africa and 180 million for Southern Europe.
The trajectory for the year 2050 will be 250 million for North Africa and just 150 million for Southern Europe. In essence a population gap in Mediterranean Europe will be in stark contrast with an incredible increase in states just a few nautical miles from their shores.
The European Union already has drafted plans for a pan-European coast Guard force, in order to control the inevitable mass immigration from South to the North. Future will tell if that will be an effective measure.
Already, sizable Muslim minorities inhabit European metropolis such as Berlin, Paris and London. In France 75 of the populous cities have Muslims and around 4% in Germany and UK.
The American campaign War on terror coupled with terrorist attacks in Europe over the past few years, has increased European suspicion in their Muslim neighbors and at the same time it has increased the assertiveness of the Muslim communities that view themselves as persecuted and discriminated against.
As Islam precludes assimilating into a new society and teaches that the new society should be assimilated into Islam, coupled with widespread proselytism that has already begun in certain states, the population gap between two communities should further increase the size of Muslim presence in Europe.
Historically, population shifts are a recurring phenomenon and Europe was already witnessed the Barbarian Invasions from the North in the late centuries of the Roman Empire. Later on the infamous Vikings populated areas in the European periphery leaving their marks up to date. From the Eastern territory nations such as the Hungarians, Huns, Tatars and Mongols had populated parts of Eastern Europe and played a significant role in the shaping Europe�s civilization. All of these new nations, however, exhibited cultural tendency to assimilate with one another and accept cultural ways of their neighbors, something not happening with the Muslims.
The Yugoslav conflicts over the past 15 years have revealed the first appearance of militant Muslim posture in a European territory, not previously seen since the Balkan wars of 1912-13. Meanwhile, the illegal immigration of Muslims from North Africa, Middle East and the Hindu Subcontinent into Europe has sharply increased, finding itself safe havens of communication, logistic and transport support in places like Pristina, Sarajevo and Tetovo.
These cities are that green corridor that is now controlled by the Western peacekeeping forces, but many project they will not be there for ever. US has already announced a total withdrawal from Bosnia.
Political correctness is handicapping Europe to use of logic in dealing with the emerging death of its Greco-Roman European civilization - and the outcome quite reasonably would be for Europe to view developments with awe and distress not willing to comprehend the simple facts of life that without rebirth there is only death.