Whenever I write about Europe and demography, I get a lot of mail on the general line of, “Oh, yeah, Steyn? When will Muslims be 50.01 per cent of the population then? 2020? 2030? C’mon, you scaremonger…”
And I usually reply that it’s not about hitting 50 per cent. It’s about the point at which mediating between the Muslim population and the broader population becomes a central and then the dominant feature of the culture. In Northern Ireland, the Loyalists outnumbered the Republicans by two to one more or less, but an arithmetical majority didn’t prevent 30 years of, to put it at its mildest, profound destabilization. And once you’re in that situation the question becomes: What are you prepared to trade away in an attempt to re-stabilize?
Ezra Levant, my comrade in Canada’s free speech wars, was hauled in for interrogation by the Alberta “Human Rights” Commission for publishing the famous Danish cartoons of Mohammed. After three years of harassment by a malign alliance of radical Islamists and the multicultural state, he’s come to the conclusion that the cartoon crisis has done more damage to North America’s “culture of liberty” than 9/11. You can see what he means. In the long run, the ostensibly trivial matter of some undistinguished drawings in an obscure provincial newspaper in a nation way out on the periphery of the horizon may yet prove to be more significant than a direct violent assault on the citadels of American power. September 11th was a bloody provocation that was met with a vigorous display of will: Within a few weeks al-Qaeda’s training camps were smashed to smithereens, and its patrons in Kabul had hitched up their robes and fled. The cartoon crisis was a minor, albeit murderous, affair that rippled across the globe to be met by a dismal lack of will by almost every panjandrum of western civilization, from European Union commissioners to Canada’s ghastly “human rights” regime. As the years go by, that seems the more relevant template.