Cologne’s mayor, Henriette Reker, has been lambasted this week for her “keep an arm’s length” advice to German women, in the wake of New Year’s apparently coordinated mass sexual assaults, when, according to The Guardian, “Scores of women say they were sexually assaulted and mugged by groups of men largely of Arab and North African appearance.” Ms. Reker’s comment that women should “stick together in groups, don’t get split up, even if you’re in a party mood,” spurred outrage and a fierce debate in Germany concerning Merkel’s open-door policy toward migrants.
Germany’s immigration policy is not an exception. Europe has officially adopted a policy of helping migrants resettle in Europe. Without noticing it, a revolution has begun in Europe. Ten years ago, establishing an official policy for integrating immigrants from the Levant and Africa into Europe was unthinkable simply because Europe could not imagine allowing mass immigration into its borders. However, since the beginning of the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009, Europe has officially recognized its need to address the flow of migrants unfamiliar with its customs, culture, and faith. Since then, immigration regulations have grown increasingly lenient, to a point where immigrants feel more at home in their new countries than their baffled hosts.
The influx of such culturally different people into Europe is instigating a de-facto education process of the European community. The Old Continent is at the forefront of a global process of migration and integration.
In today’s humanity, borders are no longer barriers. The nation state is an idea that seems almost obsolete. People move where they believe they will have the best life, and solidarity with the homeland is hardly existent. In fact, Europe itself seems to be perishing along with the demise of the Europeans’ pride in their countries. Just like every other great civilization of the past, it seems that Europe’s time has come.
But this demise is not mandatory. Contrary to past great civilizations, today we have the knowledge that can revive the continent. We have awareness of global processes that are shaping our lives, and Europe can align itself with them and reemerge as a world leader.
Today’s humanity is a global mesh whose elements are fully interdependent. In such a mesh, isolationism is disruptive to the global process, and hazardous to any state that adopts it. The new civilization that’s being “pumped” into Europe is its chance to regain vitality. It is perhaps Europe’s last chance to truly create a European union, rather than a loosely held confederation whose goal is to counterweight the economic power of the US and China. But with 2-3 dominating countries, the EU is anything but united.
If Europe wants to find a way to handle mass immigration of a foreign culture, it must establish true union among its member states, abolish exploitation of countries by countries, and nurture each country’s unique contribution to the union.
As an aggregate of nationalities and ethnicities, Europe is like a modern-day Babylon. Like most, if not all great ancient civilizations, Babylon disintegrated due to lack of unity among its numerous peoples. Therefore, Europe’s most urgent task is to enhance cohesion among European member states and ethnicities. Unless they do this, the influx of young and vibrant Muslims whose conduct contradicts Western values is bound to tear it apart. If this happens, sooner, rather than later, we will see elements of Sharia Law installed as law in European countries, and values such as freedom of speech and democracy increasingly marginalized.
The situation is not beyond repair, but time is running out. If Europe wakes up and establishes social and cultural unity, it will align itself with the global flow of human evolution toward cohesion and interdependence. In such a case the immigrants will blend into the prevailing culture and will be a welcome and constructive addition to the aging population in Europe. If Europe does not embrace the challenge to find a way to unite, the new immigrants will become the dominant entity in Europe and will impose the values and traditions they have brought with them from their homelands.