Menus Subscribe Search

Eurabia, Eurabia

• June 16, 2010 • 3:00 AM

A nationalist refrain helps to win electoral gains in Europe.

The political climate this year in Europe was foreshadowed by an uproar in France over fast food. Months before burqa hysteria boiled over, a restaurant in the Quick burger chain decided to replace the bacon burger on its menu with an acceptably Islamic offering: smoked turkey on halal beef.

That was in November 2009. Four months later, the local mayor swung into action. (An American politician would have said he “hit the ground running.”) He criticized Quick for discriminating against non-Muslim customers and emphasized the importance of sharing France with the French. “Yes to diversity, no to exclusion,” said René Vandierendonck, Socialist mayor of Roubiaux in northern France. “I congratulate Quick for adapting its offer to consumers by providing halal, but it goes too far when they propose only that.”

Eight restaurants in the Quick chain, in fact — out of 362 — had decided to remove bacon from the menu and shift to halal beef for all their burgers because of the proportion of Muslims who lived in their neighborhoods. Quick argued that the restaurants hadn’t converted to Islamic standards as a whole because non-halal products, including fish and cheese and beer, were still available. But far-right populist Jean-Marie Le Pen pounced on the Roubiaux story, claiming that halal menu items amounted to an “Islamic tax” on the French people — because Quick is a nationalized chain controlled by a state investment arm.

“There are regional elections,” the UK’s Independent newspaper wrote helpfully at the time, “in France next month.”

The episode raised fears of “Eurabia” — that cherished fantasy of the European far right and branches of mainstream American conservatism — which predicts a cultural takeover of Europe by quick-breeding Muslims. “Islam is the Trojan Horse in Europe,” said Geert Wilders, a far-right Dutch politician, to the Dutch parliament in 2008. “If we do not stop Islamification now, Eurabia and Netherabia will just be a matter of time. One century ago, there were approximately 50 Muslims in the Netherlands. Today, there are about 1 million Muslims in this country [out of 16.5 million]. Where will it end?” [class name="dont_print_this"]

European Dispatch

EUROPEAN DISPATCH
Michael Scott Moore complements his standing feature in Miller-McCune magazine with frequent posts on the policy challenges and solutions popping up on the other side of the pond.

[/class]

Wilders called the Quran “the Islamic Mein Kampf” in the same speech. He’s a bottle-blond populist who dyes the dark hair he inherited from Indonesian ancestors. Last week he won three times the number of seats predicted by pre-election polls for his far-right Freedom Party, or PVV. He may join the new government as a junior minister, and if he does, he’ll be the highest-ranked Eurabist in the continent — the first European cabinet member to make a career of invoking an Islamic Europe by about 2050, with shuttered gay clubs in Amsterdam, white women in burqas and minarets over the Seine.

Eurabists predict a demographic time bomb because Muslim immigrants tend to have babies faster than educated, liberal Europeans. That much is true, and the U.S. National Intelligence Council says the Muslim population of Europe could (at the outside) double by 2025 — from about 4.5 percent today to somewhere under 10 percent.


For more, read our Islam and anti-Muslim fear in America article on Miller-McCune.com


These trends will change Europe, but they won’t make it Eurabian. The NIC also argues that “political Islam will continue to appeal to Muslim migrants who are attracted to the more prosperous West for employment opportunities but do not feel at home in what they perceive as an alien and hostile culture.”

In other words: Muslims are far from “mainstream” in Europe, far from accepted, as Wilders’ victory in the Netherlands makes clear. But immigration to Europe is a market force, like immigration to the United States, and if European societies fail to integrate their newcomers — that is, make them more European — then problems with racial violence and radical Islam will grow.

In that sense, a few halal restaurants here and there might help. Halal chicken nuggets at a McDonald’s in Dearborn, Mich., have been available for about 10 years. In 2006, they spread to Detroit. It’s like dim sum in Chinatown or a kosher deli in New York. They haven’t become a national scandal because no major politician has yet tried to exploit them — though maybe that time will come in America, too. I hope not.

 

“Like” Miller-McCune on Facebook.

Follow Miller-McCune on Twitter.

Add Miller-McCune.com news to your site.

Subscribe to Miller-McCune

Michael Scott Moore
Michael Scott Moore was a 2006-2007 Fulbright fellow for journalism in Germany, and The Economist named his surf travelogue, "Sweetness and Blood," a book of the year in 2010. His first novel, "Too Much of Nothing," was published by Carroll & Graf in 2003, and he’s written about politics and travel for The Atlantic Monthly, Slate, the Los Angeles Times, and Spiegel Online in Berlin, where he serves as editor-at-large.

More From Michael Scott Moore

A weekly roundup of the best of Pacific Standard and PSmag.com, delivered straight to your inbox.

Recent Posts

July 28 • 4:00 PM

Border Fences Make Unequal Neighbors and Enforce Social Inequality

What would it look like if you combined Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, demographically speaking? What about the United States and Guatemala?


July 28 • 2:00 PM

Are Patient Privacy Laws Being Misused to Protect Medical Centers?

A 1996 law known as HIPAA has been cited to scold a mom taking a picture of her son in a hospital, to keep information away from police investigating a possible rape at a nursing home, and to threaten VA whistleblowers.


July 28 • 12:00 PM

Does Internet Addiction Excuse the Death of an Infant?

In Love Child, documentary filmmaker Valerie Veatch explores how virtual worlds encourage us to erase the boundary between digital and real, no matter the consequences.


July 28 • 11:11 AM

NASA Could Build Entire Spacecrafts in Space Using 3-D Printers

This year NASA will experiment with 3-D printing small objects in space. That could mark the beginning of a gravity-free manufacturing revolution.


July 28 • 10:00 AM

Hell Isn’t for Real

You may have seen pictures of the massive crater in Siberia. It unfortunately—or fortunately—does not lead to the netherworld.


July 28 • 8:00 AM

Why Isn’t Obama More Popular?

It takes a while for people to notice that things are going well, particularly when they’ve been bad for so long.


July 28 • 7:45 AM

The Most Popular Ways to Share Good and Bad Personal News

Researchers rank the popularity of all of the different methods we have for telling people about our lives, from Facebook to face-to-face.


July 28 • 6:00 AM

Hams Without Ends and Cats Tied to Trees: How We Create Traditions With Dubious Origins

Does it really matter if the reason for why you give money to newlyweds is based on a skewed version of a story your parents once told you?


July 28 • 4:00 AM

A Belief in ‘Oneness’ Is Equated With Pro-Environment Behavior

New research finds a link between concern for the environment and belief in the concept of universal interconnectedness.


July 25 • 4:00 PM

Flying Blind: The View From 30,000 Feet Puts Everything in Perspective

Next time you find yourself in an airplane, consider keeping your phone turned off and the window open.


July 25 • 2:00 PM

Trophy Scarves: Race, Gender, and the Woman-as-Prop Trope

Social inequality unapologetically laid bare.


July 25 • 1:51 PM

Confusing Population Change With Migration

A lot of population change is baked into a region from migration that happened decades ago.


July 25 • 1:37 PM

Do Not Tell Your Kids That Eating Vegetables Will Make Them Stronger

Instead, hand them over in silence. Or, market them as the most delicious snack known to mankind.



July 25 • 11:07 AM

The West’s Groundwater Is Being Sucked Dry

Scientists were stunned to discover just how much groundwater has been lost from beneath the Colorado River over the past 10 years.


July 25 • 10:00 AM

Shelf Help: New Book Reviews in 100 Words or Less

What you need to know about Bad Feminist, XL Love, and The Birth of Korean Cool.



July 25 • 8:00 AM

The Consequences of Curing Childhood Cancer

The majority of American children with cancer will be cured, but it may leave them unable to have children of their own. Should preserving fertility in cancer survivors be a research priority?


July 25 • 6:00 AM

Men Find Caring, Understanding Responses Sexy. Women, Not So Much

For women looking to attract a man, there are advantages to being a caring conversationalist. But new research finds it doesn’t work the other way around.


July 25 • 4:00 AM

Arizona’s Double-Talk on Execution and Torture

The state is certain that Joseph Wood’s death was totally constitutional. But they’re looking into it.


July 24 • 4:00 PM

Overweight Americans Have the Lowest Risk of Premature Death

Why do we use the term “normal weight” when talking about BMI? What’s presented as normal certainly isn’t the norm, and it may not even be what’s most healthy.


July 24 • 2:00 PM

California’s Lax Policing of the Fracking Industry Has Put the Drought-Stricken State in a Terrible Situation

The state’s drought has forced farmers to rely on groundwater, even as aquifers have been intentionally polluted due to exemptions for the oil industry.


July 24 • 12:00 PM

What’s in a Name? The Problem With Washington’s Football Team

A senior advisor to the National Congress of American Indians once threw an embarrassing themed party that involved headdresses. He regrets that costume now, but knows his experience is one many others can relate to.


July 24 • 11:00 AM

How Wildlife Declines Are Leading to Slavery and Terrorism

As wildlife numbers dwindle, wildlife crimes are rising—and that’s fueling a raft of heinous crimes committed against humans.


July 24 • 10:58 AM

How the Supremes Pick Their Cases—and Why Obamacare Is Safe for Now

The opponents of Obamacare who went one for two in circuit court rulings earlier this week are unlikely to see their cases reach the Supreme Court.


Follow us


Subscribe Now

NASA Could Build Entire Spacecrafts in Space Using 3-D Printers

This year NASA will experiment with 3-D printing small objects in space. That could mark the beginning of a gravity-free manufacturing revolution.

The Most Popular Ways to Share Good and Bad Personal News

Researchers rank the popularity of all of the different methods we have for telling people about our lives, from Facebook to face-to-face.

Do Not Tell Your Kids That Eating Vegetables Will Make Them Stronger

Instead, hand them over in silence. Or, market them as the most delicious snack known to mankind.

The West’s Groundwater Is Being Sucked Dry

Scientists were stunned to discover just how much groundwater has been lost from beneath the Colorado River over the past 10 years.

How Wildlife Declines Are Leading to Slavery and Terrorism

As wildlife numbers dwindle, wildlife crimes are rising—and that's fueling a raft of heinous crimes committed against humans.

The Big One

One in two full-time American fast-food workers' families are enrolled in public assistance programs, at a cost of $7 billion per year. July/August 2014

Copyright © 2014 by Pacific Standard and The Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media, and Public Policy. All Rights Reserved.