Some places in Europe—Parisian suburbs, areas of Brussels, all of Sweden—are well on their way to Islamization. But the possibility that this could happen in America may seem remote. Our Muslim population is small, the Middle East is oceans away, our military is powerful, and our police are well-trained. Terrorist groups and lone wolves might make life very uncomfortable for us, but the thought of America turning into an Islamic society is difficult to entertain.
Still, it’s worth contemplating the unthinkable if for no other reason than that the same thought was also unthinkable in Europe a couple of decades ago. But a lot of Europeans are contemplating an Islamic Europe now. Some of the hottest-selling books on the continent are focused on just that prospect: Thilo Sarrizan’s Germany is Abolishing Itself, Elena Chudinova’s The Mosque of Notre Dame, and Michel Houellebecq’s Submission, to name a few.
Europe’s path to submission is paved with large-scale Muslim immigration, high birthrates for Muslims, and conversions. Seven years ago, Mark Steyn provided a glimpse of how that last factor might play out:
Let’s say you work in an office in those cities: One day they install a Muslim prayer room, and a few folks head off at the designated time, while the rest of you get on with what passes for work in the EU. A couple of years go by, and it’s now a few more folks scooting off to the prayer room. Then it’s a majority. And the ones who don’t are beginning to feel a bit awkward about being left behind.
What do you do? The future showed up a lot sooner than you thought…If you’re the average post-Christian Eurosecularist, what’s the big deal? Who wants to be the last guy sitting in the office sharpening his pencil during morning prayers?
Houellebecq’s novel also deals with conversion. It’s 2022 and a coalition of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Socialist Party leads to the election of a Muslim Prime Minister in France. Given a choice of government ministries, the Muslim Brotherhood choose Education. Within a short time, they begin to exert considerable control over French schools. The protagonist of the novel is a university professor and a prime example of Steyn’s “post-Christian Eurosecularist.” He finds that professors who are willing to convert to Islam are offered offices, honors, higher salaries, and the prospect of multiple wives. In such circumstances, submission to Islam seems the reasonable thing to do.
Is submission a possibility in the U.S.? In Houellebecq’s novel, a Muslim Prime Minister takes office in 2022. While America has not elected a Muslim President, about one-third of Americans think that Barack Obama is a closet Muslim. You need not believe that Obama is the secret offspring of an Arab prince or that he wears a special Islamic decoder ring to notice his sympathy with Islam is not a wild conjecture, it’s simply a matter of record. A small sampling of that record includes the following:
• His demand that the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood be given preferred seating at his 2009 Cairo speech
• His touting of (largely nonexistent) Muslim contributions to American society
• His odd statement before the UN that the future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam
• His appointment of Muslims to influential government positions
• His unwillingness to utter the words “radical Islam”
• His nothing-to-do-with-Islam response to every terror attack
• His friendship with Erdogan, the radical president of Turkey
• His many overtures to the revolutionary government of Iran
• His purging of any reference to Islam from military and intelligence training manuals
• His pro-Islam immigration policies
• His freeing of top terror operatives from Guantanamo prison
The most recent demonstration of his solidarity with Islam was last week’s visit to a mosque run by the Islamic Society of Baltimore. In the course of his talk, he managed to portray Muslim-Americans as victims who, nevertheless, “keep us safe”; insisted that a mosque is just like a church, even though the audience he was addressing was segregated by gender; and created the impression that Islam is as American as apple pie because “Jefferson and John Adams had their own copies of the Qur’an” (Obama neglected to mention that they consulted their copies in order to better understand the radical ideology of the barbarous Barbary Pirates).
Just as telling as his talk was his choice of venue. The Islamic Society of Baltimore has a long record of support for radical Islamic causes. For several years it was under FBI surveillance after a member of the mosque was arrested for plotting to blow up a federal building. Its former imam was instrumental in setting up the American branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and its past invited speakers have included master terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki. Obama chose the mosque despite evidence presented by the FBI pointing to its radical politics and its ties to terror (see here, here, and here). In other words, the visit was an in-your-face gesture equivalent to lighting up the White House in rainbow colors following the court’s Obergefell decision. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the moderate American-Islamic Forum for Democracy, called the mosque visit “disgraceful.”
Add to all of this his barely disguised antipathy toward Israel and his almost complete indifference to the fate of Christians persecuted by Muslims, and you still have only the tip of an iceberg of evidence suggesting that Obama is more committed to furthering the interests of Islam than those of America. So, although America has a smaller Muslim population than France, that advantage is offset to some extent by the fact that America has been governed for eight years by a Chief Executive openly sympathetic to Islam.
Another factor that shrinks the Islamization gap between Europe and the U.S. is the commitment of our educators to the same multicultural goals prized by European academics. American universities have long been staffed by post-Christian secularists of the type described in Submission. They are relativists and anti-imperialists, and they believe that Western civilization is the root of all evil. Like the professors in Houellebecq’s novel, they are, given the right circumstances, easily converted. Being relativists at heart, it will be easy for them to convince themselves that conversion is no big deal and that it is, after all, simply the logical conclusion of their commitment to diversity and their solidarity with the “other.” Postmodern professors have become rather adept at finding self-satisfying rationales for doing whatever seems most expedient.
If professors are good candidates for conversion, so too are their students. Their indoctrination in multicultural relativism begins in kindergarten, and college is merely the finishing school in which their sensitivity to otherness is fine-tuned. It used to be that college was a place for developing the intellect, but in recent years it’s become a hothouse for cultivating emotions. In olden days, if you were looking to whip up a mob, you’d target uneducated peasants and laborers. Nowadays, the local university is the go-to place if you need a crowd of hysterics ready to march in lockstep for whatever the cause of the month happens to be.
The Muslim Brotherhood figured out early on that universities were the ideal places from which to launch their culture war campaign. The very first Muslim Brotherhood organization to establish itself in America was the Muslim Student Association. That was in 1963, and since then, the MSA has set up branches in just about every large and mid-size American university. Together with Students for Justice in Palestine and with the help of compliant professors, they have done a remarkable job of convincing American students that Islam is a religion of peace and that Muslims are a misunderstood and persecuted minority whose only wish is to be protected from hateful speech and dirty looks.
How suggestible are today’s students? A September poll of college students revealed that of all presidential candidates, Democrat or Republican, the one with the highest favorability rating was Bernie Sanders. Now, if students are enamored of a man who subscribes to more or less the same economic theories as Lenin, Stalin, and Mao Tse-tung, it’s not much of a stretch to think that they would someday willingly vote for a Muslim Brotherhood candidate, provided he promised universal peace and justice and a sharia guarantee of free tuition for all.
Despite the relatively small number of Muslims in the U.S., there is a large potential pool of converts among the ranks of college students and recent grads. Who else might prove susceptible to the charms of Islam? Three other groups come to mind: celebrities, fatherless boys, and prisoners.
Celebrities are, of course, a relatively small group, but they are highly influential. Robert Ferrigno’s novel Prayers for the Assassin pictures an America that, sometime in the not-too-distant future, has largely converted to Islam. The real breakthrough comes when a high-profile actress shares her newfound faith during her Oscar acceptance speech. She also announces “her betrothal to Assan Rachman, power forward and MVP of the world champion Los Angeles Lakers.” More celebrity conversions follow and lead, in turn, to a cascade of millions of conversions within a matter of weeks. The disconcerting thing about Ferrigno’s scenario is that it’s all too plausible. In a celebrity-conscious society, people want to live as the celebrities live. And while most people can’t afford to buy a Rolls or a mansion by the sea, they are quite capable of converting.
Boys who grow up without fathers are also vulnerable to the attractions of Islam. With its warrior ethos and its subordination of women, Islam has a natural appeal to masculine psychology (witness the ease with which ISIS recruits young men from all over the globe). The appeal is doubled for fatherless boys. They often have difficulty establishing a masculine identity and are, as a result, drawn to hyper-masculine ideologies and organizations.
Since over forty percent of all births in the U.S. are out-of-wedlock, the category “fatherless boys” is a sizeable one. It overlaps, of course, with another large grouping—prisoners and ex-prisoners. Any number of studies have shown that father absence is the factor that correlates most highly with juvenile and adult crime. According to various studies, about 70 percent of violent criminals grew up without a father.
Not surprisingly, prisons in both the U.S. and Europe have proven to be prime recruitment centers for Islam. As I wrote a few years ago:
In the United States, roughly 80 percent of inmates who find faith during their incarceration choose Islam. Many of these men are in prison in the first place because they were attracted to the masculine world of gangs. Now they’re being offered the chance to join the biggest, most powerful “gang” in the world. We’re seeing the beginning of a trend in the West: fatherless boys joining gangs, then ending up in prison, then coming out of prison as converts to Islam and the jihad.
Is America immune to Islamization? Maybe not as much as we assume. When you think about the combined numbers of all those prisoners, professors, pliable students, and parent-deprived youngsters, the outlook is anything but rosy. Add to this the groundwork laid by one pro-Islamic president and the future looks rather dicey.
If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!