Some interesting things have been happening in Europe. We don’t pay much attention, but when expatriates visit their European homelands, they see that the face of Europe has, quite literally, changed.
Mass-migration has created Muslim-only neighbourhoods and put mosques on the corners instead of churches. Head scarves and burkas are common. In 2005, the name Mohammed ranked fifth on Britain’s list of most popular baby names. Large cities such as Amsterdam and Marseille are one-quarter Muslim; Rotterdam is 40 per cent.
But what happens in Europe stays in Europe, right? Wrong. That’s why it’s important for Canadians to understand the rather alarming nationalistic turn in last week’s European Union Parliamentary elections.
The EU Parliament in Brussels consists of 785 members who supposedly represent the interests of one of the 27 member countries that comprise the EU. The voter turnout was a record low 43 per cent.
Note to Canadians: Those who did go to the polls inspired big changes. A strong rightward shift meant many socialist members were voted out. This is likely a reaction to the EU’s big government-model and its tendency to create bureaucracies and trivial laws. You know, like the size of bananas and cucumbers. The “demented banana straighteners of Brussels” passed a law requiring all bananas sold in the EU to be “free of abnormal curvature” and at least 14 cm in length. Another law proposed that cucumbers have a gradient of no more than 10 per cent. In 2008, a Bristol fruit wholesaler was banned from selling kiwis that were deemed one millimetre too small. Other arbitrary directives created safety regulations that forced fire halls to get rid of their big, scary fire poles.
Overly regulated fruit sizes may not be of great concern to Canadians, but the rise to political power of xenophobic parties should be. Ultranationalist parties that won up to five seats and 20 per cent of the vote gained ground in Britain (where both newly-elected members have criminal records), Denmark, Finland, Italy, Romania and Austria. These parties are linked by a common anti-Islamist platform. They may seem politically harmless on their own, but collectively they can create a significant coalition.
It doesn’t seem to make sense that intelligent people would vote such groups into political power. But, according to reports, working-class voters are fed up with competing with immigrants for increasingly scarce jobs and funding government services for unemployed immigrants and refugees. The current recession is the last straw and, when push comes to shove, they want someone to take care of the indigenous population first—and immigrants second.
It’s estimated that 25 per cent of Europe’s population will be Muslim by 2020, so the demographic trend is going one way only. There is no better explanation to this than Mark Steyn’s book, America Alone.
He describes the downward demographic shift in European countries and the numbers tell the story of how traditional Europe is dying and a young Muslim population is taking over. A fertility rate of 2.1 live births per woman is needed just to maintain a stable population. Europe has a birth rate of 1.38; while Muslims typically have birth rates that range from six to seven. The only European nation with a positive birth rate is Albania—which is also predominantly Muslim.
The lesson for Canada is clear: if we don’t safeguard our culture and values, we could easily lose them. Our birth rate is 1.48—far below replacement levels, and unless every Canadian woman starts having three or four babies, we need immigrants just to prop up what’s left of our aging and dying population.
Since we need immigration, we must ensure it serves our needs first. We should expect and require immigrants to fit in, to learn the language and to honour and contribute to Canadian values. They can still celebrate their culture, but we can’t afford to have parallel cultures based on ethnicity living in ghettos. Europe’s cultural powder keg is evidence of that.