from National Review
Since I became National Review's in-house Demography Bore, I get a gazillion e-mails a day saying: "Well, if the death of Europe is really happening, how come no-one else is talking about it except you and a few other fringe whackos?" Actually, quite a few folks are talking about it. For example:
The expected global upheaval is without parallel in human history.
An extravagant bit of scaremongering from page 173 of my book? The late Oriana Fallaci with the swear words cut out? No, it's the United Nations Population Division discussing the latest official figures, and anticipating in the next four decades population transformation of a scale and speed never before seen. There will be a vast emptying out of Central and Eastern Europe: Germany's population down 10.3%, Poland down 20.5%, the Russian Federation 24.3%, Bulgaria down 35.2%. And in western Europe the only population increase will be almost entirely due to the great migration from Africa and Asia.
To repeat: that's not me, that's the UN numbers. Since I turned into the Al Gore of the maternity ward (albeit with fewer celebrity groupies), I've been slightly bewildered by the opposing arguments. For example, several critics claim my figures are exaggerated: why, everybody knows Italy's fertility rate isn't 1.2, it's 1.25; it's absurd to suggest the Islamification of Europe will happen by 2025 or 2040, when it'll only start to kick in around... Well, they don't often go into that.
It's a curious line of reasoning: yes, we're heading for the falls but not as fast as Steyn says; the Niagara's running pretty slowly so there's nothing to worry about. As it happens, I'll stick with my timeline, because demographic change does, indeed, kick in pretty quickly. Take a population of 10 million. Let's say 90 per cent have 1.25 children per couple (which is the Italian fertility rate), and 10 per cent have 3.5 children per couple (which is the estimated European Muslim fertility rate). Those nine million "Italians" will have 5.6 million children and 3.5 million grandchildren. The one million "Muslims" will have 1.75 million children and 3.1 million grandchildren. In other words, they'll have pretty much evened up the score within two generations. And that's before you add in continuing immigration, and, indeed, emigration (which is already becoming a factor in Dutch, German and British demographic calculations) â€“ not to mention accelerating rates of conversion.
In the shrewdest observation to mark the EU's 50th anniversary jamboree, Pope Benedict said: "One must unfortunately note that Europe seems to be going down a road which could lead it to take its leave from history." It may be that an Islamified Belgium or Sweden will be a very pleasant place. Who knows? But that's the crux of the matter: If you outsource your future, it will be determined by the fellows you give the contract to.
I wonder if His Holiness gets the e-mails I get: the shriller ones denounce me as "racist"; the calmer voices point out that Muslim countries such as Tunisia are already seeing birth rates fall to near-European levels. To deal with the "racist" charge first: Islam, of course, is not a race, and, as is already clear, there are plenty of takers for it among pasty-faced white blokes. But what I find odd is the idea that merely drawing attention to Europe's self-extinction is "racist". If he had a tail and hung from a tree in the rain forest or was shivering on that ice floe instead of Al Gore's polar bear, we'd all be chipping in donations to the Save The Italian campaign. But, because he doesn't, it's "racist" even to discuss it.
So let's clarify matters by looking at demography without any complicating White Anglo-Saxon Post-Protestants clogging up the picture. For a year or more now, there's been a steady drip of "Who lost Turkey?" stories. The modern secular Muslim state â€“ a country that gave women the vote before Britain did and was Israel's best friend in an otherwise hostile region â€“ certainly, that Turkey seems to be being de-boned by the hour: it now has an Islamist government whose Prime Minister has canceled trade deals with Israel, denounced the Iraqi elections, and frosted out the US Ambassador because he was Jewish; a new edition of Mein Kampf is prominently displayed at the airport bookstore. In other words, the Zionist Entity's best pal is starting to look like just another cookie-cutter death-to-the-Great-Satan stan-of-the-month.
But among all the lamentations only Michel Gurfinkiel's recent analysis in Commentary got to the underlying reality: Since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, there have been two Turkeys: the Turks of Rumelia, or European Turkey, and the Turks of Anatolia, or Asia Minor. Kemal Ataturk was from Rumelia and so were most of his supporters, and they imposed the modern Turkish Republic on a somewhat relunctant Anatolia, where Ataturk's distinction between the state and Islam was never accepted. In its 80-year history, the population has increased from 14 million in 1923 to 70 million today, but the vast bulk of that population growth has come from Anatolia, whose population has migrated from the rural hinterland to overwhelm the once solidly Kemalist cities. Ataturk's modern secular Turkey has simply been outbred by fiercely Islamic Turkey. That's a lesson in demography from an all-Muslim sample: no pasty white blokes were involved. So the fact that Muslim fertility is declining in Tunisia is no consolation: all that will do, as in Turkey, is remove moderate Muslims from the equation too early in the game.
The UN Population Division says the demographic transformation underway is historically unprecedented. The Pope thinks that Germans and Poles and Italians have opted en masse for the express check-out. I don't pretend to have all the answers, but when complaceniks assure us there aren't even any questions they're either frauds or fools.