What another guy said:
I recently saw a news article bemoaning the fact that an Islamic cleric in Britain seemed to have no trouble getting national exposure in prime time.  The complaint was that he spewed hate and vitriol, and that such things might be permitted but should not be showcased.  The article mentioned the idea of “rent a quote;” the man could be depended on to say inflammatory things. 

Highlighting the absurdity of his pronouncements was mention of his notion that Britain would become a caliphate and that sharia law – traditional Islamic law, which in fact varies from sect to sect – would be the law of the land.  Now I don’t know the man and see no reason to further offend those who would have him ignored, but let’s look at what he was said to have said.

First a bit of perspective: a friend of mine once said, and  doubt it was original with him, that the difference between Europe and America is that in Europe they think that a hundred miles is a pretty long ways while in America we think that a hundred years is a pretty long time.  Cute.  But compare that with the Middle East.  Even a European would say that a thousand years is a pretty long time while an American would concede that a thousand miles is a pretty long distance.  But these are nothing to the Middle Eastern mind, at least as I understand it.  They are still furious about Alexander the Great, and I think with good reason.  He did some awful things.  But it was long ago, more than two thousand years, at least a long time for us.  And Muslims face toward Mecca to pray, even if it’s multiple thousands of miles away. 

So let’s look at what the man said in terms of a hundred years, which is a mere twinkling even by European standards.  Suppose he had been looking at numbers.  Say there are 63 million people in the UK.  Say 3 million are Islamic.  Suppose his impression is that the fertility rate among the 60 million who are not Muslim is 1.5 children per woman.  At that rate in three generations the number drops to 25.7 million and with 20 years to go drops to about 23.5 million by century’s end.  That’s just considering what he may be thinking.  There is good reason of course to expect a much more precipitous drop.  Now if we take 3 million and decide his guess is that each Muslim woman has 4 children, the number doubles each generation.  That’s 12 million in three generations or roughly 16 million by the end of the century that starts today. Before the following generation is out we are looking at an absolute Muslim majority and even at the end of a hundred years the ratio of non-Islamic to Islamic is three to two. 

It may not get that far.  ISIS or Islamic State is currently fighting with credible effectiveness against both Syria and Iraq, neither of which is a minor power.  I don’t think there is anyone who thinks Islamic state comprises 40% of the two countries combined.  A government depends on a general consensus.  At the poles, yes a 60% victory is impressive; it is a mandate to the victor.  But that is far from saying that an uprising of 40% could be contained.

So it becomes credible that we are talking about a regime change.  Such are very ugly.  You remember the French Revolution.  The rest of Europe recoiled in horror at it.  Then there is the American Revolution, which was not a regime change for Britain, but it was a regime change in America.  There were Tories, who favored a continued connection with Britain and the Whigs who were secessionists.  The numbers were not all that different, but the Whigs won.  I have met descndants of Whigs.  I have met descendants of Tories, but never in this country, only a few who escaped our shores.  It can’t have been pretty here.  (If you are an American descendant of Tories, do let me know.  I would be delighted to learn that you are well.)

When the Nazi’s came to power the killings were unthinkable.  When the Nazi’s left Paris, the government they had set up – the Vichy government – was overthrown and they were all killed and tossed into the Marne.  I spoke with an eyewitness.  And of course when the Allies took over they started killing Nazi’s.  That’s not to say there is a moral or legal equivalence between what the Nazi’s did and what was done to them, but biologically speaking there was much in common.  Nay, there is much in common; we are still hunting Nazi’s down and killing them. 

Regime changes are nasty.  The Islamic State boasts of what they are doing and post atrocities on the internet.  But what they are up to is not far from the norm. 

So it will be a blessing if the British caliphate gets voted in.  And even if it comes violently, it’s not the end of the world.  Come back in two or three more centuries.  Things will be different.  Hideous as regime changes are, there is a period of recovery.  Things get better.  Despite my despair on a number of topics I think America is in many ways a better land than it was at my birth. 

Islam is no exception.  There were regrettable things about the Ottoman Empire, but under them the kind of extremism we see nowadays simply did not happen. 

And what’s to stop the caliphate?  I think it’s clear to all that the Muslim extremists are highly motivated.  The British?  They couldn’t even muster a plausible resistance at the end of WW II, when their politicians decided to throw open the gates of immigration and produce the situation they are in now.  And if some demagogue were to arise and unite the Brits against their impending doom, if they started deporting people or worse, and deporting them would mean sending them to places where they would be in mortal danger, it would mean Britain had abandoned all the civil liberties and rights of humans that came out of the Age of Enlightenment.  They would lose their souls.  And for all that, it wouldn’t get the babies back.  The regime change would just have to wait a bit until something worse came along.  Meanwhile, for reasons that escape me, the US seems addicted to promoting regime changes elsewhere. 

That’s all assuming that nothing changes, of course.  I think things are going to change. 

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