The above video – from an American evangelical Christian source – presents a vision of the future based on an interpretation of projected population figures. In the video the Islamic nature of the population increase is stressed. The word conjures up different visions in different minds. This raises a fundamentally important question: what will be the nature of Europe’s Islamic society in two or three decades time when today’s babes in arms are the young adults of that day ? It will of course consist of a spectrum ranging from the western orientated Muslim to the highly conservative. What will be important will be where the “centre of gravity” will lie in that community. This is important as this community will have to exist alongside the present western secular/Christian society. There are worrying signs that these two societies are remaining apart in terms of the way they see the world.
Of course, the most familiar of the Muslim extremists we hear about these days are the Afghan Taliban. To get an understanding of the perception of the Taliban, consider the following hypothetical scenario;
That this present real world and universe did not exist and instead there existed a quite different world within a different universe where one could travel through time from present day Britain to a Britain of the past – 446 years past in fact and vice versa – that this time travel was available to all who could afford to purchase one ounce of gold to put in the slot of a magical machine that transported one from one time to another. Why you may ask is the writer asking we readers to imagine such a piece of nonsense ?
To contrive an imaginary situation where present day British society would be judged by members of the England of 1555 AD in the reign of Queen Mary Tudor. Consider the England of that period. Racked by religious dissent and turmoil. A harsh and intolerant society that burned those they saw as heretics. A society where capital punishment was dispensed for what could be called political crimes (of holding the wrong views and advocating them) in a sadistic and brutal manner known as hanging, drawing and quartering. This disgusting and hideously barbaric practise involved hanging him – in a manner to partially asphyxiate him and not to break his neck, cutting him down and then castrating the victim, forcing him to swallow his severed genitals, disembowelling him and then quartering him severing the arms and legs of what now mercifully was a corpse and finally decapitating said corpse.
One could well imagine the righteous anger of those in our own time who would wish to change these things – but imagine how someone from 1555 would view today’s secular society, total lack of respect (in their eyes) and deference to authority. Of a society where plurality of religion is encouraged and lauded. Where one fifth of babies born are illegitimate. A society where young women are empowered and fully emancipated ?
There are those of our forebears who would regard (would have regarded) our society as heretical and probably a work of the Devil. There could be those who might even attempt to hijack (armed with 16th century daggers – highly effective against an unarmed air stewardess) an airliner and fly it into Canary Wharf.
Now to return to the real world. Let us consider how modern secular western society appears to those whose world view is that of the Taliban ? Whilst the world remembers New York, consider another American city; San Francisco. Not for nothing is San Francisco sometimes referred to as the “Gay capital of the world”. Here we see a society that those in the Taliban regard as blasphemous, heretical and probably a work of the Devil.
Getting nearer home, we have in our country a growing Islamic community. This community seems to hold onto much of the views and the culture of their Asian homeland whilst the indigenous and now largely secular European community is developing in its own ways with the continuing process of women’s emancipation, increase in vegetarianism, a different way of looking at animals and their rights and a progressively more tolerant attitude of those of a sexual orientation other than heterosexual. There is in the future a significant danger of a culture clash.
There are those who may lay this at the door of Islam. That would be incorrect. This paradoxically is not a religious issue. It is a cultural and sociological issue. Consider another hypothetical scenario. That instead of Christianity moving west and Islam moving east from the Levant – it had been the other way round. That instead of a Europe of Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Protestants there was a Europe of Sunni and Shia Moslems and that the Middle East and Asia comprised not Sunni and Shia Moslems but Orthodox and Catholic Christians. Given that other things in this impossible hypothetical scenario remained more or less equal we would have fundamentalist Christians (as there were in Puritan England for instance) and a now largely secular Islamic Europe. There would still be the tension and the conflict.
The reason for the tension is this; Present day western society is the product of its history which includes the industrial revolution, urbanisation, the emancipation of women following two world wars and the secularisation due to a combination of public education, the welfare state, television, scientific discovery, decrease in deference to authority figures, social mobility and reduced infant mortality. Afghanistan and other countries in the region have not undergone these social revolutions and thus their citizens see the world very differently.
So far as the domestic situation is concerned, unless something is done, the future is going to be very dangerous and unstable, for what we have is two communities growing progressively further apart;
- the indigenous British community is developing along a secular libertarian lines.
- the Islamic community is becoming increasingly self confident and assertive of its own culture and values.
The problem here is a clash of basic beliefs and values. This is demonstrated in the way Islamic fundamentalists openly despise Western lifestyle values in the present conflict.
The growing problem back home is not helped by a stultifying and all pervasive political correctness where commentaries such as this one will be declared as Islamophobic, xenophobic and racist. In fact this only makes the problem worse for if one is not prepared to defend one’s culture and/or values against one who is attacking them it will give succour to the attacker who will not unreasonably be of the opinion that the argument has already been conceded. Examples are legion;
An example is where the NUT has declared that the words to Elgar’s magnificent, “Land of Hope and Glory” are politically unacceptable and new politically correct words have to be written.
The politically correct white liberal establishment are fond of talking about tolerance. Yet this tolerance is very much one way;
It is for example perfectly acceptable in the minds of the politically correct for Islamic women to wear the Veil and the Burkha in public – notwithstanding the fact that these articles of clothing can be seen as being oppressive. These individuals would not dream of criticising the culture that demands that women cover themselves so.
It is not that they approve, but that they feel constrained that they are not entitled to disapprove. Why ? You may ask. A feeling of guilt is the answer.
At the heart of this problem is the basic belief that this country and this culture are in the wrong. Our Imperialist and Colonialist past they maintain was a deplorable period in our history where this country and these peoples went forth to other parts of the world and systematically exploited, abused and enslaved other peoples for their own materialistic gain, that our present wealth and prosperity are built on these foundations and that in effect the sins of the grandfathers have to be visited on the grandchildren.
We are wrong to feel this way. That is not to say that people from this country did no wrong. Of course they did. But one cannot have successive generations feeling guilty and filled with a need to continually perform some form of collective penance.
Why do so many of our liberal and politically correct citizens feel this way ? You may ask.
The answer lies in the theology of the Protestant reformed churches – both Church of England and the non conformist churches. It can be demonstrated by the difference in the way the Roman Catholic country Spain has come to terms with her Colonialist history (more bloody and more repressive that Britain’s) and Britain’s guilt ridden example. The difference is in fact illustrated in the aspect of Confession and Absolution. Confession – i.e.; visiting the Priest, confessing their sins, undertaking to do penance and obtaining absolution – is a basic aspect of a Roman Catholic’s life. It can be for some a very healthy course of action.
The Protestant church does not deal with this aspect in the same way. Thus there is an aspect to Protestant Anglo-Saxon culture that causes well intentioned and concerned individuals to feel the need to continually do penance for assumed or imagined sins.
Let us however review the history of our country since the Second World War. 1945 left this country in a parlous state. Britain had won the war – but at a huge cost in both human life and money. In 1945 the British people demonstrated their freedom by voting in the reforming Labour government of Clement Atlee and ousting the wartime leader Winston Churchill. The U.S.A. by this time was rapidly entering the McCarthy era of anti-communist witch hunts. Marshall Aid – the post war investment by the U.S. largely bypassed Britain and went instead to her former enemies as well as France.
By the 1950’s British industry was losing its competitiveness against its European competitors. Industrialists – thinking no further ahead than the next A.G.M. of their shareholders – opted for a novel solution. Import cheap labour from the Asian sub-continent. This then was the start of Asian immigration into Britain. British people who objected to this form of undercutting their trades union negotiated pay and conditions were roundly condemned as being racially prejudiced – by people who did not live anywhere near these new arrivals to our shores. In fact the relative lack of racial incidents and negative reaction is in fact remarkable and the British people can be truly congratulated on their tolerance and maturity. Over the years the growth of the multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-faith society that has arisen in Britain has been the subject of clumsy and dishonest attempts to put this development into a false historical perspective – attempts that Joseph Goebells would have been proud – were it not to be precisely opposite to his own racist prejudices!
These authorities have sought to compare the post war influx of New Commonwealth immigrants with historical migrations of such as the Huguenots and more recently Jews in the 19th century. The scale and the ethnic, cultural and religious differences were on an altogether different scale. Statements along the lines of the indigenous population was historically multi-racial being a mix of Angles, Saxons, Vikings and Celts are fundamentally dishonest. The fact is that since the “swinging sixties” the British people have been fed a consistent diet of propaganda in an attempt to intimidate any who might have objected.
The British people now have as part of their country a community which may have some of its members with loyalties that may lie outside this country. With the spread of Islamic fundamentalism across the globe the Asian chickens may well and truly becoming to start coming home to roost in the lofts of those enthusiasts for our multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-faith society. However it must be said that many of those originally responsible to creating this disaster are themselves now contributing again to the misery of ALL those who live in these British Isles – namely, the capitalists who encouraged and arranged the immigration from the Asian sub continent in the first place – for the capitalists in their never ending quest to increase profits by lowering workers wages are now relocating such as telephone call centres in cities such as Bombay. Thus the sons and daughters of those who were brought to these shores are now themselves made redundant with their jobs exported back to the lands of their forefathers.