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Uncontrolled Muslim influx a threat

A FEW weeks ago in London, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told me that 75 per cent of the terrorist plots aimed at Britain originated in the federally administered tribal areas of Pakistan. Some 800,000 Pakistanis live in Britain.

The vast majority, it goes without saying, are law-abiding citizens. But there is a link between uncontrolled Muslim immigration and terrorism.

The real historic significance of the illegal immigration crisis in our northern waters is that this could, if things go wrong, be the moment Australia loses control of our immigration program, and that would be a disaster.

It is extremely difficult to talk honestly about Muslim immigration. All generalisations about it are subject to countless exceptions. Muslims are very different from each other. Most are reasonably successful.

But a much bigger minority end up with social, political, extremist or other problems resulting from a lack of integration than is the case with any other cohort of immigrants in Western societies. A lack of honest discussion about this results in bad policy.

The most enlightening book you could possibly read on this is by US journalist Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West. It is by far the best book on public policy of any kind I have read for a long time. It is wittily written but attempts to be neither provocative nor politically correct. It is dense with data but its greatest strength lies in laying bare the intellectual, political and social dynamics that have led to the mess in Europe. The way the Australian debate is reprising what were profoundly destructive and misguided European debates, dominated by moral sanctimony and a failure to grasp reality, is eerie.

Caldwell is enlightening on the way asylum assessment processes are so easily scammed, and the sophisticated, intense exchange of information that means the slightest change in attitude by a receiving country is instantly relayed throughout illegal immigrant networks. He writes: "An easily game-able system was in place that made admissions automatic to prospective immigrants who understood it. Various immigrant advocacy NGOs in Europe made sure they understood it... migrants knew the best countries to claim to come from. They also knew the best countries to go to ... (There was an) incredible sensitivity of prospective migrants to shifts in immigration law, and to countries' moods towards immigrants."

Caldwell also shows that once an illegal immigrant route is established as reliable it becomes immensely popular. This is what the struggle in the waters to Australia's north now is really all about. He further demonstrates how completely subjective and plastic the asylum-seeker assessment procedures are. In 2001 Denmark approved a majority of asylum applicants. By 2004, when the mood had changed, it approved only one in 10, though of course in Europe rejected applicants basically don't go home.

At times Caldwell seems to be arguing against immigration in principle, although all the problems he adduces relate specifically to Muslim immigration, and he acknowledges the success of other immigrants in Europe.

He frequently acknowledges the success of immigration in Canada, the US and Australia. In Canada and Australia, the governments choose the immigrants. In the US, most illegal immigrants come from Latin America and don't have the Muslim problems.

But in so far as he makes a general case against immigration, I strongly disagree with Caldwell.

What he is really concerned with is uncontrolled Muslim immigration. The facts he produces are very disturbing. No European majority ever wanted this to happen. There are 20 million Muslims in western Europe and this number will double by 2025.

How did this mass immigration of people with few relevant job or language skills, and a culture deeply alien to Europe, come about? Caldwell argues that the post-World War II period saw a radical disjuncture in European attitudes. Europe had just been wrecked by an enemy, the Nazis, who were avowedly racist. The unimaginable disaster of the Holocaust haunted every discussion of morality or policy. Europe was in the throes of decolonisation and felt guilty about its relations with non-white people.

This made an ideology of anti-racism - which itself became extreme and distorted, detached from reality and in many cases downright intolerant - the more or less official state religion of Europe. This had little to do with really combating racism.

In one of history's countless ironies, Muslim immigrants benefited from the legacy of the Jewish Holocaust. The determination initially to extirpate anti-Semitism didn't help many European Jews because they were almost all gone, but it offered a template for Muslim immigrants to find and exploit an ethnic victim status. This set up profoundly destructive dynamics and, in another irony, reintroduced serious anti-Semitism to Europe, carried with the Muslim arrivals.

Caldwell suggests a welfare state makes a bad marriage with mass, unskilled immigration. Welfare rather than opportunity becomes the attraction. More importantly, welfare becomes a lethal poverty trap.

At the same time, satellite television, the internet and mass immigration from a few countries means the old culture is always on hand for Muslim migrants. They don't need to integrate if they don't want to or find it difficult.

In many cases Caldwell cites, the second-generation of Muslim immigrants is less integrated than the first, and the third less than the second.

The demographic figures he cites are familiar but still shocking. Native Europeans won't have babies at anything like replacement level while the fertility of Muslim immigrants does not decline through time, as is the case with other immigrants.

Religion is the strongest predictor of fertility in Europe.

By mid-century Islam will be the majority religion of Austrians under the age of 15. In Brussels, most births are to Muslims and have been since 2006. In France, one in 10 people are Muslims, but they are one in three of those entering their child-bearing years, and Muslims have three times as many children as other French.

Caldwell writes: "Europe finds itself in a contest with Islam for the allegiance of its newcomers. For now, Islam is the stronger party in that contest ... when an insecure, malleable, relativistic culture meets a culture that is anchored, confident and strengthened by common doctrines, it is generally the former that changes to suit the latter."

Uncontrolled Muslim immigration is a change to Europe so great it makes all the treaties and bureaucratic falderol of the EU look footling and transitory by comparison.

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I know a lawyer who is perfectly fluent in Arabic. As a lawyer, he also deals with liars (of all sorts) regularly. He says that Arabs lie completely naturally and it is very hard to recognize when they are telling the truth or not. They can pass lie detector tests easily, irrespective of what they say. This is very much a part of the culture that has surrounded the religion. Westerners, who have different standards and who don\"t understand this, get fooled all the time. The Media are some of the main victims, and consequently, so is everyone else...

Posted by Jake in Jerusalem on 2009-11-03 21:11:58 GMT

Ymr is correct in stating that fanatics kill indiscriminately; a case in point is the recent murder of an imam who spoke out against terrorists. But another point must also be kept in mind, a propos Meyer Mussry\"s post. Muslims may be as enlightened as anyone in a civilised society, but as Phyllis Chester discovered to her distress, within their own societies (or in closed in-groups) their attitudes are more subject to group pressure than our own individualistic ones. Lying being no great shame in their societies complicates the situation.

Posted by Paul2 on 2009-11-03 21:10:43 GMT

Ymr"s point about fanatics being non-discriminating murderers is substantiated by the recent killing of an anti-terrorist imam in Pakistan. Like Meyer Mussry, I too have worked with and taught tolerant Muslims. However, we must bear in mind two things. Muslims in their own societies or in-groups are more influenced by social norms than we individualistic Westerners; Phyllis Chessler discovered that to her distress in her husband"s Afghan home. The other matter is that in Muslim societies lying is no shame. Teqqiya gives it religious sanction and the need not to give anything away or to show superiority by fooling the other, makes deception a social trait. Distiguishing the honest from the liar is impossible.

Posted by paul2 on 2009-11-03 12:09:44 GMT

I grew up in Singapore, a melting pot of cultures. At school, we all got on with each other, regardless of race, religion, or whatever. I never experienced a Moslem there who didn"t accept me as I was and who discriminated against me because I wasn"t Moslem. I think that the same would be said of Indonesia, a majority Moslem country, and a country with more Moslems than any other. Most Moslems are the same as everyone else: strong family ties, and a desire to live in peace, worship G-d in their way and make a living. Unfortunately, the Moslem fringe is also the most radical in the world today, and has grown stronger over the years because the average Moslem leader has been afraid to criticise them for fear of reprisal against self or family. I would venture to say that most Moslems in Australia would not want Sharia law imposed here, the same as most Moslem Indonesians wouldn"t. However, as the extremists have grown stronger their influence has increased, they have influenced more and more of the "middle ground Moslems", especially the impressionable youth. This is a source of real danger. The last thing we would want is for the extremists to control and exploit the local Moslem population as the Taliban and Mullahs have overseas. The result so far of their growth in strength has been the changes in laws to accommodate them that we have seen in places like England, and their activism which has seen violent demonstrations with murderous slogans pass without crackdown or censure. Zero tolerance of these behaviours is required in these situations, and regular and hate laws are well suited to this purpose. The problem is not Moslems as such, it is the lunatic fringe of the Moslem population. How do we keep them in check? First of all through screening of potential immigrants. Other ways would be to impose a quota on immigration from different groups to give them time to integrate (I didn"t say assimilate) into Australian society and imbibe our values of tolerance and justice. Our values should also be the subject of mandatory teaching in all local schools. Perhaps we could also revoke citizenship and deport people who through their words and actions show that they are against what Australia represents? This is a tricky issue, though, because then you might start to be intolerant to Communists and others with different philosophies. It should be aimed at those who express or promote sexual, racial or religious hatred or intolerance, violence or terrorism. Basically, we need leadership and planning, and the courage to make controversial decisions - a lot to ask pollies who work to four year cycles. Perhaps if they understand that the right approach would even win them Moslem votes they might do it? I think a lot of Moslems here are afraid of the growth in influence of the extremists, and would be grateful to anyone who would remove or contain this threat. Greg Sheridan has acknowledged the moderacy of the majority body of Moslems, but I think he has missed what the real mistake made by the Europeans has been - weakness in confronting expressions of hate and violence by Moslems, and insufficient teaching of the fundamental values and virtues of European societies (freedom, equality, justice, tolerance, etc) in their schools. We should attack the cancer so that the rest of the body can be healthy. That"s the key.

Posted by Meyer Mussry on 2009-11-03 02:59:54 GMT

Paul2 makes a fascinating point. "Mohammedans falsely accuse Jews of dual loyalty when in fact they themselves are loyal to Islam rather than to their countries of residence..." In decades of observing events in the Middle East, I have noticed that Arabs (and many Muslims) frequently accuse others of precisely those sins that they themselves are most guilty of. Look at recent or historic events and the Arab claims of who did what and you will find this time and again. (Consider: disproportionate response, rape, economic warfare, trauma, collective punishment - all things that the Arab world accuses Israel of when the Arab world itself is so very guilty of these). This is a very valuable tool in understanding the Middle East.

Posted by Jake in Jerusalem on 2009-11-02 16:22:20 GMT

Ymr makes a vald point regarding the word "race". Sadly though, we have adopted the Nazi concept of race, where for example Jew haters are called racists and people concerned about Islamist terrorists are denounced as racists. Ymr"s other point valid that even a tiny minority can cause devastation needs to be expanded. That tiny minority is supported or disowned by the majority of "peaceful" correligionists. In essence, Islam must cease to be regarded as a religion and so respected and should instead be treated as a fascist movement which seeks to defeat other groups with the most extreme pre-medievalists winning out.

Posted by paul2 on 2009-11-02 13:15:02 GMT

It is almost certain that the very important issue that Sheridan raised will be ignored. Those with influence are too frightened of the racist label, so quickly applied by the gatekeepers of political correctness and by racist mohammedans applying classical fact inversion. The claim that most mohammedans are peaceful is nonsense. Pipes has documented that as mohammedan minorities increace they become more aggressive in demanding special privileges and the adjustment of society to meet their ideals. While there are many enlightened mohammedans, they are an uninfluential minority and they fail to organise to counter the violent and murderous element among them. Even the apparently moderate are intimidated into supporting the Islamist in their midst. Mohammedans falsely accuse Jews of dual loyalty when in fact they themselves are loyal to Islam rather than to their countries of residence and moderate nations as Turkey used to be, still display solidarity with others of their religion and in the game of religious upmanship, the extremists win. Mohammedans must be excluded from Western societies unless they give a written undertaking that they support liberal Western values and if they lie, they must be deported. What is most galling is that a gentile needs to point out the mohammedan danger to Australia, the West and especially to Jews, while Jewish leaders persist in bleating for the most liberal approach to be taken to our enemies.

Posted by paul2 on 2009-11-02 11:22:37 GMT

Sheridan quotes Caldwell saying "that once an illegal immigrant route is established as reliable it becomes immensely popular." He also notes the support of NGOs for this mass immigration. It was reported a week ago in Israel that 1,500 illegal immigrants arrive in Israel every month - close to 20,000 / year. Most are Africans from Somalia, Sudan and some other countries like Nigeria - and many (most?) are Muslims. Israel has been taking them in in vast numbers. (Is this larger than Jewish Aliya???) Liberal/Anarchist attitudes are undermining the established society, encouraging even more of this illegal migration. The Israeli Left has been promoting the "rights" of these new arrivals (most of whom are not Humanitarian refugees but are looking for work). South Tel Aviv looks and feels like central Africa now, not the Middle East at all. Last week Jewish residents of South Tel Aviv, overwhelmingly poor and forgotten, demonstrated for THEIR OWN rights, proposing that the Africans move to North Tel Aviv to be with the wealthy North Tel Aviv liberals who so strongly support this illegal migration. People refuse to learn from history...

Posted by Jake in Jerusalem on 2009-10-31 17:50:58 GMT

I"m not an expert on the matter but I can ell you that both those signing DAN and BEMUSED are either Muslims or so full of you-know-what, the whites of their eyes must be brown and show such an ignorance of facts, that can only be attributed to the same history rewritting Muslims are famous for... Isn"t it true that Muslims, save for very rare instances,do not integrate into the guest country society and those that do are under their own agenda ? DAN dares compare Muslims to Jews and BEMUSED makes such an analysis, one feels like converting. What I maintain is that Muslims are a threat to the free world and any country that falls under their power, can kiss its freedoms goodbye... Yes : not all Muslims are fanatics and believe that ISLAM must dominate the world but, does anybobody want or dares to sort them out ??? NO ???? Then I rest my case.... Because when they will get in the neck, I don"t know what are they going yo do, expect to curse their own stupidity...

Posted by J. Mandelblum on 2009-10-31 00:27:15 GMT

Correction: Christians who have fled Israel have fled their Muslim neighbors, not Israel, per se. Same in Lebanon. I was speaking recently to an Armenian Christian storeowner in Jerusalem who I have known for a long time. He noted that all the Armenian stores are now owned by Muslims; he"s one of the last survivors. Incidentally, he"s very angry over Israel"s friendliness to Turkey, as his grandfather was one of those murdered in the genocide that Islamic Turkey perpetrated against Christian Armenians - and which everyone still pretends didn"t happen. Re-write history, thus saith Mohammed.

Posted by Jake in Jerusalem on 2009-10-30 13:54:01 GMT

Greg Sheridan reminds me here of one of my favorite all-time politicians, US Senator for NY State Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Moynihan was very good with the facts and figures and was never afraid to speak the truth - even though people called him a racist for simply delivering the message before everyone else. (He was a liberal Democrat, by the way, not neocon at all.) I reckon that France might be the first Euro country to become majority Muslim, perhaps within 20 years or so. After that, it will only take another 15 years or less for a majority of Muslim voters and then a democratic revolution is straightforward. That French language might be outlawed in France by the end of the century is not inconceivable. Same for the others. The rest of you can take an example from Israel. Israel did NOT ethnically cleanse anyone when it became independent. The minority Arab (Christian and Muslim) population that was allowed to remain in Israel has turned into a very real demographic threat. That is what is really behind Oslo. The Christians have largely fled and Muslims pretty much rule, already. The Temple Mount has been ceded by Israel to the Islamic Waqf. A week ago, a new survey found that between the Jordan River and the Med Sea, Jews comprise only 49% of the population. Jews are ALREADY TODAY a minority in the Land of Israel. In the Galil and Negev, it is worse and has been for years. Mark my words. In a few decades, Muslims will claim that Europe really belongs to them and always has been theirs. Sheik Hilaly already said this about Australia! History is happily rewritten by Islamists - and they even believe their own stories. Being nice or politically correct is sheer suicide when facing a culture of brutal conquest. Anyone who denies this ignores the 1,400 years of history that demonstrates this abundantly. This century will bring about even greater changes than the last. I just hope that it will resolve peacefully, somehow.

Posted by Jake in Jerusalem on 2009-10-30 13:47:54 GMT

I"m hoping that the walls of silence and useful idiocy are starting to crumble. This topic must be debated. Certain areas in Europe are already in a dreadful way. We sure don"t want a hostile entity growing in our (usually)tolerant and welcoming society.

Posted by Gabrielle on 2009-10-30 02:44:51 GMT

Great article and good to see the robust discussion that follows. Raises questions many of us have tried to have with Muslims here but hit that wall of silence.

Posted by on 2009-10-30 02:35:37 GMT

Thanks again, Greg Sheridan, for stating what is obvious to so many of us, despite the unending p.c of most others in the media who are either too ignorant or too worried about stupidly offending to be straight.

Posted by Anna on 2009-10-30 01:52:42 GMT

Greg Sheridan is spot on. If one knows about Islam"s real agenda, one can truly understand how impossible it is for Muslims who hold to their religion to fit into a modern secular democracy, for their religion is the diammetric opposite! Ideologies can kill as we have seen throughout history, and Islam may prove to be the worst yet. It is a rotten ideology to the core, repressive, hateful and murderous. It must be blocked in the West if our freedoms are to survive.

Posted by MT on 2009-10-29 12:33:10 GMT