In recent weeks, the European Commission and the UK have made apparent concessions to Islamic law, and with confrontations in Cologne over a proposed mosque, the role of Muslims in a future Europe is again in the spotlight, writes Simon Roughneen for ISN Security Watch.
By Simon Roughneen for ISN Security Watch
Princeton University historian Bernard Lewis made his famous prediction in 2004: “Current trends show that Europe will have a Muslim majority by the end of the 21st century at the latest […]. Europe will be part of the Arab West-the Maghreb.”
Similar claims have been made by other authors, with European countries featuring below-replacement birth rates, while Muslim immigrants and their descendants predicted, in some quarters, to reach over 20 percent of the population of Europe by 2020.
A low fertility rate of 1.47 babies per woman, according to the 2005 estimates for the EU as a whole, is far below the 2.1 needed to keep a population constant, and with newspapers reporting “Muhammed” as the most popular baby’s name in London, the swing toward Mecca has some popular culture branding to match the statistics. Europe’s Muslim population has tripled in the past 30 years, fuelled by immigration from North Africa, Turkey, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
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