Observing the riots in the suburbs of Paris, an American is tempted to rejoice. Are not the French getting their just desserts for their arrogance, opposition and condescension toward the United States and for their observation that the predominantly poor victims of Hurricane Katrina revealed an ugly underside of America that they happily condemned?
Unfortunately, laughing at the French dilemma is a luxury we can only briefly afford, because what is happening in France among many of their Muslim immigrants is the immediate future for all of Europe and a probable future for the United States, if the West does not immediately and effectively confront this spreading threat.
France thought it could import millions of people who do not share its tolerant and laissez-faire philosophy and not pay a price. The Muslim population in France is now estimated at about 5 million (compared to a total French population of about 60 million).
This is only an estimate, because French law forbids census questions related to one's religion. It is believed that there could be as many as 8 million Muslims in France. This compares to estimates between 12 to 20 million in all of the European Union.
High fertility rates among France's Muslim population, coupled with low fertility rates among the native-born French (the government is offering cash incentives to middle-class French women to have more babies), and increasing Muslim immigration from North Africa, contribute to the undermining of French culture and social and political stability.
Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in France for years, as incidents ranging from graffiti to violence against Jews become almost daily occurrences.
France is experiencing what other Western nations are, or will soon, experience: millions of Muslim youth who identify with the larger and borderless "Muslim World" and less, or not at all, with their host countries. Mosques erected in these countries are growing as rapidly as Starbucks or McDonald's franchises. The same is true in the United States. According to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research's recent Faith Communities Today study, the total number of mosques in the United States increased 42 percent between 1990 and 2000, second only to the growth of Christian "mega churches." Many of these mosques are built with the help of Saudi Arabia, which adheres to the Wahhabi sect of Islam, the religion's most puritanical and violent wing. In some cases, the mosques are connected to schools that teach separation from American values and hatred of Jews and Christians.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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