A provocative new essay by Wolfgang Bruno. I'm not sure I agree with every point; for one thing, I'm sure I am not as sanguine as he is, given the oil billions that continue to stream into the Middle East, but he makes many points well worth considering:
Tariq Ramadan, the famed "moderate" Muslim who has made deception of non-Muslims into an art form, says the 21st century will see a second role reversal between Islam and the West: The West will begin its new decline, and the Arab-Islamic world its renewal and ascent to centuries of world domination. Princeton historian Bernard Lewis told Die Welt that Europe would be Islamic by the end of this century "at the very latest". Robert Spengler of the Asia Times agrees. What if they are all wrong? What if we state that Europe won't be Islamic at the end of the 21st century because Islam itself won't be a force of any significance a century from now?
There are few people of any stature who dare venture such a bold assertion. Ali Sina, the Iranian ex-Muslim and founder of faithfreedom.org, is one of the few who do. Sina has consistently claimed that Islam is "a house of cards that will collapse if sufficiently pushed", and that we may see the end of Islam within the next few decades. He has compared Islam both to Communism and Nazism, claiming that it will either collapse as the former or be crushed as the latter. These analogies are imperfect, and have rightly been criticized by some. Communism was a recent invention, and a European, materialist ideology not concerned with the hereafter. Islam carries 1400 years of history with it, and is deeply tied to the cultural identity of hundreds of millions of people in a way Communism or Nazism never were. However, Ali Sina may be on to something. I have earlier predicted that what we are witnessing now is an era no less crucial to Islam than the Protestant Reformation was to Christianity. The difference is that Islam may not be flexible enough to handle the challenge, and will disintegrate as a result. For instance, the entire foundation of Islam is based upon female subjugation and male dominance. The movement to grant equality to females will essentially destroy Islam. Islam is quite simply too rigid to survive in a modern world.
It is true that the West at the onset of the 21st century shows signs of weakness and lack of direction. However, it is likely that the USA in particular will retain its leading position for a very long time. Europe does have deeper lying problems, and considering its many Muslim immigrants may indeed face a turbulent and violent period. But even Europe is far from incapable of renewal in the longer run. Perhaps this Islamic threat is precisely the slap in the face we need to regenerate and regain our sense of purpose. It is also true that our status as the leading civilization is not given by nature. We will be challenged during this century, but not by Islam. Our contenders are not Muslims, but Asian non-Muslims, who display a dynamism far beyond anything the Ummah can produce. The total nonfossil fuel exports from the entire Arab world amount to less than the total exports of Finland, a tiny infidel country of only 5 million inhabitants. A United Nations report warns that a majority of Arab young people want to leave their homelands in favor of the West. Is that the hallmark of a culture at the brink of world dominance, Mr. Ramadan?
Besides oil, the only thing Islam has going for it is extremely high birth rates. This can be seen as an advantage as long as Muslims are allowed to dump this excess population in non-Muslim countries and dominate these through demographic jihad. If the non-Muslims should decide to curb Muslim immigration, even the high birth rates would turn into a curse. Islamic nations are already falling apart. At the time when the oil revenues run out for Muslims states, India and China may have had missions to the moon. The 21st century will not be an Islamic century. Most likely, it will continue with a Western lead. The alternative is some sort of power sharing between Western and Eastern infidels. The Islamic world, stripped of its oil revenues and no longer able to export its population growth to non-Muslims countries, will hardly be a blip on the radar screen.
Ohmyrus, a member of faithfreedom.org, has given a good description of the Islamic predicament in his essay "Once were warriors: Why Islam failed Muslims". Islam is a warrior's creed that served its early followers well. It prospered because its ethos makes it very successful as a medieval war machine when men fought with swords, bows and spears. From impoverished desert tribes, they rose to forge an empire in a short time that stretched from Spain to India. The ethos it engendered -- "brotherhood for believers, contempt and hatred for non-believers, belief in heavenly rewards for fallen warriors, a high fertility rate (which requires the subordination of women), blind obedience" -- created formidable warriors. But these same qualities are handicaps for Muslims in the age of the microchip. Islam's ritualistic practices inculcate blind obedience among its followers and not questioning inquisitive minds. The way the Koran is taught in traditional Madrassahs is by memorization. This leaves no room for asking questions. Asking questions risks the student of being accused of blasphemy or unbelief. Great scientists and philosophers do not come from such a passive environment. Islam is specialized and tailor-made for a society that no longer exists, and instinctively wants to drag the rest of the world back to these "glory days". It used to be excellent for breeding soldiers, to plunder the lands of non-Muslims. But even this gets increasingly difficult, in a world of advanced technology.
Of course, even if Islam is collapsing as we speak, that does not mean that it is nothing to worry about. On the contrary. There are few things more lethal than a wounded beast, trapped in a corner. And that is exactly what Islam is now. Worst case, it could be a very violent collapse, if Islamic radicals manage to ignite a global war. Islam is the Tyrannosaurus Rex of the 21st century. Once king and feared by all, now sidelined by smarter and faster-adapting creatures in a world it no longer understands. The old giant can still be dangerous, lashing out with a vengeance against the new breed. Mammals, they call them, these upstarters. It makes a lot of noise and may even succeed in killing some of the ones unlucky enough to be standing in its way. But terrifying as it may seem, it is destined to fail. This is the age for big brains, not big but slow limbs. It will end its days in museums, scaring kids of the future hearing tales about this big monster which ones roamed the earth. Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaida are but the last roar of a dying beast, a dinosaur in the age of mammals.
Wolfgang Bruno is a European author. He is writing a book about the Internet movement of ex-Muslims. All of Bruno's essays can be republished and reproduced for free by anybody who wants to, as long as credit is given to the author.