Will the call to prayer sound again from the Mosque of Cordoba?
Jihad is over, if you want it. Will the eventual reappearance of Al-Andalus be just the beginning? From the Asia Times (thanks to Jack DeLowe):
Radical Islam has scored its first unambiguous victory against the West, and it should have been visible at a long distance (Why radical Islam might defeat the West, July 8, 2003). Winston Churchill’s quip that the appeaser hopes the crocodile will eat him last does not apply when the prospective victim expects to be in another world before the crocodile comes around.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialist Party crushed Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar’s Popular Party in Spanish elections on Sunday. US commentators expressed consternation that Spanish voters would reject America’s ally in the Iraq war after al-Qaeda’s apparent act of retaliation last Thursday, March 11.
Spain’s death-knell sounded long before the train bombings in Madrid, however. No country in the world is more determined to disappear. The country’s fertility rate of 1.12 live births per female is the lowest in the world. As recently as 1975, at the death of strongman Francisco Franco, the fertility rate stood at 3 births per female in 1976. By 2050 Spain will have lost a quarter of its population. Germany and Italy, whose fertility rates fell earlier than Spain’s, will lose a third, according to economist Anthony Scholefield.
Half a millennium after the Reconquista, when Spanish Catholicism expelled the country’s Muslims and Jews, Spain has no choice but to ask the Muslims to return and take possession of its land by stages.
Every Spanish worker in 2050 will support one pensioner, which is to say that the pension system will be bankrupt. According to one academic study, 5 million additional immmigrants must be working in Spain in 2050 to save the pension system, out of a projected population of 37 million – and that assumes an immediate recovery in the fertility rate to 1.5. At this point, it hardly matters what future fertility rate Spanish demographers might project. The demographic catastrophe of the past 30 years puts the pension system on a crash course toward bankruptcy, unless Spain attracts an army of immigrants.
Except for a trickle of immigrants from Latin America, North Africa provides most of Spain’s immigrants at present. Two hundred thousand Muslims now reside in Spain, and they have built 100 new mosques in the past 10 years. Unless Spain were, most improbably, to attempt a recolonization from Latin America, it cannot do without more Muslims.
Socialist voters may not have worked out the arithmetic; Jose Zapatero’s supporter in the street simply does not want to be burdened with America’s distant wars, especially if they draw fire at home. It all amounts to the same thing. Countries too lazy to produce their next generation will not fight. Who will lay down his life for future generations when the future generations simply will not be there?
Like other former strongholds of Catholicism, Spain has made an abrupt and terrible shift away from traditional family life toward egregious hedonism. Alone among Europe’s great powers, Spain nipped Protestantism in the bud, avoiding the terrible religious wars that ravaged France during the 16th century, and killed off perhaps half the German population during the 17th century. By expelling its Jews, its Inquisition cut off access to the Hebrew language and Bible translation. By burning several thousand heretics in public, it offered a terrible object lesson to prospective dissenters. Not until 1936, when Catholic generals rose to overthrow the communist-tinged republic, did Spain finally have its religious war, with half a million deaths, of which one-quarter were from executions.
The victorious General Francisco Franco kept Spain firmly in the Catholic fold until his death in 1975, after which Catholicism shriveled in Spain like a vampire exposed to the light of day. Along with church attendance, the birthrate fell from one of the highest to one of the lowest in the world. That already has been the fate of other Catholic strongholds, such as Canada’s province of Quebec. There the fertility rate dropped from 4.95 children per woman in 1961 to 1.57 in 1996.
Old Europe’s people, religion, culture and fighting mettle have imploded together. The Europeans are not so much defeatist as resigned to extinction.