A man has been arrested for the stabbing of a French soldier last weekend. A native of France, Alexandre Dhaussy is a convert to Islam — like the two men who hacked Drummer Rigby to death in Woolwich, like the young wife of the Boston Marathon bomber, and the young Canadian jihadist the bomber hooked up with in Dagestan, and the Belgian teenagers who ran away from home to fight in Syria.
These young “reverts” (as Islam calls converts) have made a bet on where the future lies. These photographs from Cable Street in East London show how sound the bet is: Two churches each built to hold a thousand worshippers now have between them 32 graying parishioners; the mosque, meanwhile, overflows, so that each Friday the streets are full of the faithful on their knees pointed toward Mecca. I was in Spitalfields last year, and saw the scene for myself — and was almost overwhelmed by the sense of loss: In the nihilism of multiculturalism, the great imperial metropolis is now the colony.
Unless something changes, that last photograph is Europe’s future. And Europe’s past will be as abandoned as those churches. In the Nineties, in his famous and controversial book Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples, V. S. Naipaul wrote of the eastern lands conquered by Islam that “converted peoples have to strip themselves of their past.” In the West, in the nation states that built the modern world, that process is well under way. And Islam is Europe’s future. Which is to say, for Europe, there is no future.