The most important statistic in the headlines is not the number shot dead in Paris in yet another jihadist attack, but the number of Muslims in Paris itself, and in the entire of France.
When I read the numbers, I had that deep foreboding feeling in the pit of the soul that goes with the recognition of an ominous historical pattern once again unfolding—like the one I have with the eerie similarity between the condition of the falling Roman empire and our own.
France has more Muslims than any Western European nation, and by some accounts, Paris more than any other city.
According to various sources—and the sources are scarce and outdated—the percentage of Muslims in Paris is over 15% and growing. Some areas of the city have been given over entirely to Islamization, meaning self-governance by Sharia Law.
In all of France, Muslims account for about 10% of the population (i.e., about 6.5 million Muslims in a total French population of 66 million).
Those last numbers sounded immediately familiar to me when I read them.
Such were about the percentages of Christians dominating the dying Roman Empire at the beginning of the 300s. In fact, almost the very same numbers. By 300 AD Christians numbered about 6 million, that is, about 10% of the approximately 65 million people of the Roman Empire.
But in cities of the Empire, the percentage of Christians was much greater. In Rome itself, the very center of the Empire, Christians were well over half the population. The great concentration of Christians in Roman cities created the demographic, and hence cultural, turning point, from pagan to Christianized civilization.
Take the cities, and change the culture—the laws, the morality, the understanding of God, the view of marriage, art, architecture, literature. Everything.
At the great historical pivot three centuries after the birth of Christ it became clear that a vital, expanding, evangelizing Christianity was displacing the rudderless, soul-weary, and morally (not to mention economically) bankrupt Roman Empire.
The Muslim population is now fast approaching that pivotal point in European cities, and this for two related reasons: (1) the fertility rate of secularized Europeans has dropped well below the level of replacement, and (2) the population of Muslims is increasing, in great part because of their higher fertility rate—much higher than mere replacement—in part because of immigration.
Taking numbers from the Pew Forum, (putting Turkey aside) the Muslim population in Europe was about 30 million in 1990, and 44 million in 2010, and is estimated to exceed 58 million by 2030. Again, this is caused by immigration andby the Muslim affirmation of large families—and, we must also add,by evangelization.
Another eerie connection. Roman pagans had smaller and smaller families, dropping below replacement value for “cultured” Romans even before the birth of Christ. But Christians took seriously both the command to evangelize and to be fruitful and multiply. While the pagans embraced pleasure-filled sex of any and all startling varieties, Christians constrained sex to the confines of marriage and procreation.
One doesn’t need to be either a pagan or a Christian to realize the demographic advantage for Christians.
One doesn’t need to be a prophet to see the historical parallel between the sexual suicide of the Romans and present-day secularists, or between family dynamics of the 4th century Christians and present-day Muslims, and then to predict that one hundred years from now Europe will be Muslim for the same reasons that seventeen centuries ago the Roman Empire became Christian.
And France will be the first Islamized Western European nation, with an entirely different understanding of law, morality, God, marriage, art, architecture, literature. Everything. France will then have moved, historically, over the last three thousand years from pre-Christian pagan, to Christian, to secular, and finally to Islam as the center of its civilization.
Now what about this historical parallel between the growth and culture defining power of Christianity and Islam? Is it merely the case of two revealed religions devouring predecessor cultures that had largely spent their forces? Am I therefore equating Christianity and Islam?
The most devoted of secularists would certainly think this way—”One’s as bad as the other!”
Or perhaps they are beginning to think otherwise. After the most recent attacks, the devout secularist, atheist Richard Dawkins, tweeted “No, all religions are NOT equally violent. Some have never been violent, some gave it up centuries ago. One religion conspicuously didn’t.”
Dawkins, at least, displays a profound grasp of the obvious. He’s better off living amidst Christians than amidst Muslims.
But there is more to be grasped beyond what is obvious. On a much deeper level, there is a great difference between the kind of culture (in the full sense of the word) created by Christianity, and the culture created by Islam.
If you don’t believe that, then you should take a stroll through some of the neighborhoods in European cities—and some American cities as well. You will have the feeling, I’ll wager, of entering a different world, an unfamiliar world, and a very dangerous one for those who don’t know its rules. That’s why police cede power to the local Muslim leaders, as they did in some areas of Paris.
One very clear rule is that if you criticize the prophet Mohammed, you must die. If you convert from Islam to Christianity, you die. If you do not accept Islam, then you either pay the tax or you die.
These are, of course, the rules of the so-called Islamists or radical Muslims who wish to impose Sharia Law full force, not the moderate Muslims who distance themselves from the harshness of Sharia and (at least sometimes) make bold to criticize the Islamists.
The problem is that the Islamists are gaining a greater and greater defining hold on Islam, and so it is they who will define the culture when France, and then Europe, is Islamized. And the secularists who so happily equated all religions, deeming them equally bad, will then understand that a culture defined by Christianity is a very different culture than one defined by Islam.
Europe developed as a culture defined by Christianity—indeed, historically, Europe was a creation of Christianity. Europe is what happened as Christianity displaced the dying Roman Empire.
Now Europe is dying, just as the Roman Empire was dying, and Eurabia is taking its place, a civilization founded on Islam, historically defined, not by the historical-cultural patrimony of Athens, Jerusalem, and Rome, and but by the very different patrimony of Mecca and North Africa.
I have spoken all throughout this article as if this were all inevitable. Is it?
Yes, if the heart of Europe remains the worn-out heart of secularism, which cannot withstand (as they said of the worn-out Romans) either its vices or their cure. Secularism by itself has no hope of withstanding Islamization.
But there is hope. A revitalized Christianity could very well revitalize Europe, not by war or by turning away of refugees or by political force or by xenophobia, but by evangelization of the kind that created Europe to begin with.