Eurabia is a concept which portrays Europe as under the threat of being subsumed by Muslim/Arabic culture. Promoted by hardline zionists, neoconservatives and the far-right, the proponents of this view argue that the threat comes mainly in the form of high Muslim birthrates and unchecked immigration. The portmanteau Eurabia is a political neologism that has been popularized by ultra-Zionist polemicist Bat Ye'or to refer to an alleged 'transformation of Europe' into 'a cultural and political appendage of the Arab/Muslim world'. In Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, she writes that 'Eurabia'
- describes Europe’s evolution from a Judeo-Christian civilisation, with important post-Enlightenment secular elements, into a post-Judeo-Christian civilisation that is subservient to the ideology of jihad and the Islamic powers that propagate it. The new European civilisation in the making can be called a ‘civilisation of dhimmitude’. The term ‘dhimmitude’ comes from the Arabic word dhimmi. It refers to subjugated, non-Muslim individuals or people that accept a restrictive and humiliating subordination to an ascendant Islamic power to avoid enslavement or death.
The myth of Eurabia
In January 2007 the doyen of Orientalism Bernard Lewis told a gathering in Israel that Muslims 'seem to be about to take over Europe'. For good measure he also added: 'The outlook for the Jewish communities of Europe is dim.' Days earlier the Jerusalem Post had published Michael Freund proclaiming the end of Europe.
The claim that Muslims are taking over Europe are based on several dubious propositions.
In 2009 a YouTube video purporting to show the demographic threat posed by Europe's Muslim population became an online hit, attracting more than 10 million viewers. The claims made therein were subsequently debunked by a BBC Radio 4 investigation. BBC Radio 4 also produced its own video in response addressing each of claims, all of which it revealed to be false.
Muslim baby names
The 2009 report that 'Muhammad' (or variations thereof) was the most popular name for newborns in four major Dutch cities was used by Mark Steyn, a leading proponent of the Eurabia myth, as confirmation of his thesis. Conservative writer Alex Massie retorted that
- this sort of fear-mongering has become an annual tradition. Did you know, for instance, that Mohammed was already the second most popular boys' name in Britain? Clearly the Caliphate is on the march! Except, of course, that muslims are much more likely to name their sons Mohammed than Christians are to call their son any single name. That is, there's much greater variance amongst non-muslim families. In other words, unless you're wanting to stoke panic and resentment what kids are called is not a terribly useful metric.
The Veil Debate
In recent years, Eurabia has been propelled into the headlines most frequently by The Veil Debate. The ruckus over the veil began in France in 1989 when high school principal -- and later right-wing parliamentarian -- Ernest Chénière expelled three students for wearing the Hijab. The debate intensified in 2004, and has since moved to UK, and the rest of Europe. In 2009 it resulted in the tragic courtroom murder of an Egyptian scarf-wearing woman by a white Islamophobe. In France the kulturkampf is led most notably by the Jewish nouveau philosophes Bernard-Henri Lévy, Alain Finkielkraut and André Glucksmann.
Of the genre, Laila Lalami writes:
- European Muslims have unintentionally revived a whole genre of nonfiction--the alarmist tract, billed as a "searing" yet "necessary" exposé on Europe's impending demise now that it has allowed so many millions of Muslims to settle on its shores. The titles are each more ominous than the last... The authors rely mostly on tabloid or newspaper accounts; the arguments are simple, or, more accurately, simplistic, and the preferred method of inference is extrapolation.
- The Rage and the Pride, by Oriana Fallaci (2002);
- Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, by Bat Ye'Or (2005);
- Londonistan, by Melanie Phillips (2006);
- Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis Is America's Too, by Claire Berlinski (2006);
- While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West From Within, by Bruce Bawer (2006); and
- Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West, by Christopher Caldwell (2007)
- William Underhill, Why Fears Of A Muslim Takeover Are All Wrong, Newsweek, 11 July 2009.
- Laila Lalami, The New Inquisition, The Nation, 24 November 2009
- Justin Vaïsse, Eurabian Follies: The shoddy and just plain wrong genre that refuses to die, Foreign Policy, 4 January 2010.
- Simon Kuper, The end of Eurabia, FT.com, 9 September 2011.
- Bat Ye'or, Dhimmitude: Eurabia, accessed 18 August 2009
- Quoted in Thomas Jones, Short Cuts: How to concoct a conspiracy theory, London Review of Books, 20 October 2005
- David Machlis and Tovah Lazaroff, Muslims 'about to take over Europe', Jerusalem Post, 29 January 2007
- Michael Freund, Right on!: Say Goodbye to Europe, Jerusalem Post, 9 January 2007.
- Muslim Demographics Youtube, 30 March 2009.
- Richard Knight, Debunking a YouTube hit, BBC Magazine, 7 August 2009
- Oliver Hawkins, Disproving the Muslim Demographics sums, BBC Radio 4, 7 August 2009
- Mark Steyn, Embrace Me, My Sweet Embraceable Mo, National Review Online, 15 August 2009
- Alex Massie, Oh No! The Muslims Are Coming!, The Spectator (Blog), 17 August 2009
- Laila Lalami, Beyond the Veil, The Nation, 10 December 2007