Michael Jackson

False Fears of Muslim Europe

I have heard and read many times over the past quarter-century how Muslims are going to take over Europe.  One recent responder to a TOI blog wanted to move the Gazans out of Gaza but thought that sending them to Europe was not a good idea.  I quote:

However, importing hostile Muslims into Western nations is also not the solution. France and the UK have 1-2 decades left on the current trajectory, as with the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Scotland, etc.  The US has more time but there’s only so much Trump that will have an impermanent impact

These words imply that within 20 years the UK and France will be taken over by Muslims or, perhaps, because of the Muslims these countries will be ruined.

I decided to do some research on this issue since I thought the idea was both incorrect and paranoid.  So let’s start with a map showing the percentage of Muslims in Europe 7 years ago.

The map below (from Pew Research) shows the percentages of Muslims in Europe by country in 2017.

This hardly seems to be a current takeover of Europe by Muslims.  But the TOI response projected this disaster one or two decades in the future.   The year 2050 is over two and a half decades in the future.   The chart below shows the projected Muslim population in 2050 under a zero migration, a medium migration, and a high migration scenario.  Even the high migration scenario or projection shows Muslims being only about 14% of the population.  So Muslims will not dominate Europe demographically even in 25 years.

Projected Muslim population in millions of Europe from 2010 to 2050 by scenario

FROM TEXT OF GRAPH:  “In 2010 the proportion of Muslims in the population of Germany was 4.1 percent, compared with 6.3 percent in the UK and 7.5 percent in France. Depending on the different migration scenarios estimated here, Germany’s share of Muslims in the population could rise up to 19.7 percent of its population by 2050, higher than both the UK and France, with projected Muslim populations of 17.2 and 18 percent respectively.”  These “up to” projections are based on the highest migration scenarios.  The other scenarios yield lower percentages.

Let us continue and explore the reasons for this assertion.  It is based on the idea that Muslims in any country and even across Europe as a whole are a unified mass of people having the same ideology and beliefs, namely, an anti-Western civilization belief.  This idea is patently untrue for at least two basic reasons.  1. Most Second-, third-, and fourth-generation Muslim immigrants generally are more integrated into their societies and have discarded much of the immigrant generation’s culture.   2.  The European Muslims are from different backgrounds:  mainly North African Arabs in France, Turks in Germany, and Pakistanis in the UK with major differences on many cultural and political issues. 

This unrealistic belief about Muslims taking over Europe is analogous to beliefs about the Jews from a century ago and even today i.e. “Jews are all capitalists”, “Jews are all communists”, and “Jews control our country”.  Such beliefs encourage discrimination, persecution, racism, and racial violence.  It is rather ironic that Jews with such anti-Muslim beliefs are aligned with far-right and fascistic parties in both Europe and America who espouse similar ideas.

About the Author
Born in London in 1949. Studied Maths at Warwick University. Came to Israel (WUJS program at Arad) in 1971. I became a citizen and served in the army in 1973. Returned to the UK in 1974. Worked in Information Systems. Married an American Orthodox woman in 1977 and moved to America. For a few years I have led a retiree philosophy class.
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