Thursday, December 24, 2009

Two Thirds of Imams in France on Welfare, Says Author

Two-thirds of all Muslim imams in France are on welfare which means that the French taxpayers are effectively subsidising the propagation of Islam in that country, author Christopher Caldwell has said.

In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, Mr Caldwell, a Financial Times journalist and author of the book Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, said that he doubted the French voters were “too happy” about subsidising Islam in this way.

Asked about the recent referendum in Switzerland banning the building of minarets, Mr Caldwell said the most striking thing was the “gap between the clear rejection of the ban in public opinion polls and the clear approval given in the actual vote.

“It means there is an official discussion of Islam and that there is a subterranean discussion. That should worry Europeans,” he said.

“In countries like France there are laws against all sorts of speech. That has a very chilling effect. Many people are frightened about negative consequences if they say how they really feel. Sometimes even to the pollsters, as the Swiss example shows.”

Mr Caldwell pointed out that “Islam poses difficulties that other immigrant groups do not. Part of it is the growth of political Islam in the world in the last half-century. A large minority of European Muslims feel solidarity with the Muslim community abroad, and they feel at the same time that the West is at war with this world.

“That makes the transition into a European identity more difficult. But I think the problems at the cultural level are more important. A lot of overly optimistic people expect Muslims to give up, or to modify, their religion over time. They’re going to change in some way, but we don’t really know how. And attitudes around religion provide a lot of potential for conflict — the attitudes towards women, towards family relations, sexual freedom or gay rights.”

He went on to point out that the Muslim and immigrant population is increasing exponentially. “There are two things that will cause the immigrant descended population in Europe to grow in the coming years,” Mr Caldwell said.

“One is that immigrants are still coming and the other is that birth rates, although they are falling, are still higher.

“Their culture needs to be accommodated within Europe in a way that requires Europe to change its structures. During the past 20 years, mainstream society has accommodated the immigrants on a number of issues. Sometimes the issues are small, like prayer rooms or work spaces. And sometimes the issues are major, as illustrated by the ruling of a court in Lille, France, which in 2008 annulled the marriage of a Muslim woman because the bride was not a virgin.

“As I say in my book: When an insecure, malleable, relativistic culture meets a culture that is anchored, confident and strengthened by common doctrines, it is generally the former that changes to suit the latter.

“Islam is the second biggest religion in Europe. But that is true only if you’re thinking statistically. If you’re thinking culturally and spiritually, it looks like the first religion of Europe.

“There are many, many more articles on the front pages of newspapers about what Islam says about this and what the Koran says about that than there are articles about Christian theology. They are full of debates between Muslims and non-Muslims addressing question about what the Koran says about honour killings and the headscarf.

“What Christianity says is not really a matter of much importance to anyone,” Mr Caldwell said.

Recommended reading: Reflections on the Revolution in Europe – Can Europe be the Same with Different People in it? by Christopher Caldwell.

The title of this amazing book says it all and it deals with immigration, Islam and the West. Here we have, possibly for the first time, a sensible book written by a mainstream journalist (the author is a columnist for the Financial Times) which deals honestly with the origins, conditions and consequences of immigration into Europe. He does face the facts.
The headings to the various chapters give one an idea of the issues. Some of the headings are: The rights and wrongs of Enoch Powell, Civilization and decadence, Diversity is overrated, How postwar immigration came about, Is immigration for natives or immigrants? Welfare and white flight, Asylum and democracy, Fear masquerading as Tolerance. Softcover, 384 pp. £14.99.

Click here to order online.