Magazine | June 17, 2013, Issue

Acceptance, Silence, and Submission

Four years ago in this space, I was anticipating an increase in Islamic-conversion rates in the likes of Amsterdam and Rotterdam:

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 were a fundamentalist Christian like those wackjob Yanks, signing on to Islam might cause you some discomfort. But, 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?

Funny how quickly it all happened. There was the woman on reception, but she retired. And the guy in personnel who used to say, sotto voce, that Geert Wilders had a point. But he emigrated the year after Wilders did.

I didn’t know the half of it. The other day, Arnoud van Doorn, the producer of Wilders’s anti-Islamic film Fitna, announced that he’d converted to Islam — or “accepted Islam,” as they say — and made a pilgrimage to Medina to repent and ask for Allah’s forgiveness. There’s a lot of it about. Tony Blair’s sister-in-law has converted. So has Gitmo guard Terry Holdbrooks, who was touched by the way the detainees “wake up each day and smile,” and Katherine Russell, the “all-American girl” from Rhode Island who married Tamerlan Tsarnaev and whose parents were “very supportive” of their daughter’s decision to “accept Islam” and retreat beneath the veil and stayed “very supportive” right up until their son-in-law blew up the Boston Marathon. The two men who butchered Royal Fusilier Lee Rigby on the streets of London were also converts, British-born sons of Nigerian Christians. Captured by the cameras with, literally, blood on their hands, they reminded me of another convert, the British comedian Omar Brooks. Mr. Brooks’s best-known surefire side-splitting showstopping gag is that the attacks on the World Trade Center “changed many people’s lives.” Comic pause. “Especially those inside.” It brought the house down!

#page#A few years back, in a debate at Trinity College in Dublin, he was asked what Mohammed’s message to non-believers was and replied, with disarming honesty, “I come to slaughter all of you. . . . We are the Muslims. We drink the blood of the enemy.” I thought of Omar Brooks for the first time in years as I watched his two blood-soaked coreligionists stagger about Wellington Street bragging about what they had done in the name of “almighty Allah.” I wouldn’t have been surprised to see them drinking blood had the constabulary taken any longer and left them with another 20 minutes to show off for the cameras. On the other hand, the Medway Messenger in Kent reported a prompt police response to an outbreak of octogenarian Islamophobia:

“An 85-year-old woman has this afternoon been arrested after abuse was hurled at Muslims outside Gillingham Mosque. The pensioner was handcuffed and taken away in a van by officers attending the Canterbury Street mosque for Friday prayers.”

Oh. That’s helpful. If you yell at a mosque, the coppers are already inside. If you deface a London war memorial with Islamic slogans, there’s none in sight, and even the ubiquitous British CCTV cameras are apparently of no use in identifying the perpetrators. The day after Drummer Rigby’s murder, a march in support of the “Help for Heroes” military charity ended in a five-hour standoff between marchers and police, ending with the arrest of Lee Cousins for “mocking the Islamic prayer ritual” by getting down on his hands and knees outside the pub. He was fined 600 pounds — or just shy of a thousand bucks.

“Terrorism’s great achievement isn’t hijacking jetliners, but hijacking the debate,” wrote George Jonas in Canada’s National Post. “Successful terrorism persuades the terror-stricken that he’s conscience-stricken.” Which is why, in the decade after 9/11, Western governments ramped up Islamic immigration instead of slowing it to a trickle; and their citizens were “very supportive” of those who converted in record numbers, instead of mourning the wholesale abandonment of their inheritance; and their community-outreach enforcers dragged those who disrespected the Prophet into court for ever more footling infractions, instead of obliging Islam to adjust to core Western values like freedom of expression. Meanwhile, Islamic self-segregation intensified. The “War on Terror” was always an evasion, for “terror” doesn’t easily encompass, say, demands for segregated swimming sessions or even the nightly car burnings in Stockholm. It does, however, accurately capture the response of Sweden’s “center-right” government, bleating about doing more to alleviate “social exclusion.” We now expect European leaders to sound like battered wives — like Katherine Tsarnaev.

Sweden’s foreign-born (i.e., overwhelmingly Muslim) population has increased from 10 percent to 15 in the last decade. Where will it be a decade hence? The Canadian author Doug Saunders, refuting theories of a “Muslim tide,” says that Europe’s Islamic population will peak at about 10 percent, and more likely stabilize around 7. Right now, 10 percent of Britons under 25 are already Muslim, which means one day Britain will be 10 percent Muslim — at least. And the octogenarians who yell outside the mosque will be gone.

And then there will be silence, and submission.

– Mr. Steyn blogs at SteynOnline (www.steynonline.com).

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist. That’s to say, his latest book, After America (2011), is a top-five bestseller in ...

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