Blogs > Cliopatria > Wrong Side of the Pond

Jan 17, 2005 6:03 pm

Wrong Side of the Pond

Only slightly less vexing than the Why do they hate us? scholarship is the Why don't they like us? scholarship. Tackling the latter issue with regards to Europe is Niall Ferguson. Since 1989, says Ferguson in the latest Atlantic, Europe and America have drifted apart and are unlikely to unite anytime soon. The reason is that the end of Cold War finished off the impending (and unifying) threat of Communism. Europe sees no reason to continue to stand with America in the aftermath. However, for the Americans, the Green Menace has replaced the Red Menace. They would like the world to be"with us" but Europe cannot make that choice.

Why not? Because the Europeans have 2-5% Muslim population that is likely to grown leading to the eventuality of a Muslim Europe. Not only that, the Muslim population is allied to radical Islamicists who intimidate Europe. On top of the ageing population and mullahs in the piazza, is that Europeans are losing their religion:
So Europe is not only demographically vulnerable to Islamic penetration; it is also politically vulnerable. And perhaps even more important, Europe is religiously vulnerable too.

Europe is getting more secular while America is getting more vigorously Christian. Hence, Europe sees no common ground with an aggressive, Christian America, something unlikely to change. Ferguson hints that he would like to deny Turkey and stop all immigration from the 1slamic countries and that would stop the buildup of Islamic fifth columns inside Europe.

I find it hard to explain the rampant alarmism and Islamophobia in his short piece. I guess, he wanted to justify George W. Bush's"lower expectations of transatlantic relations" by trumpeting the Islamic menace (if Turkey enters in 2015,"there would be more Muslims than Protestants in Europe!" - no matter what brand of secular madness they bring with them).

First of all, why is it a rift whenever free countries disagree with American foreign policy? I don't see Germany condemning US in the UN or cancelling trade agreements. I don't see France denouncing Fallujah and proclaiming the evilness of US. They don't agree with what US is doing in one particular instance and under the guidance of one particular President. There is no indication that this will continue if there is a change in the tone and content of this administration's foreign policy.

Secondly, there must be some particularly nasty bacteria in Harvard waters which breeds paranoia. Just recently Sam Huntington came out with the screed against the brownization of America and now Ferguson is warning about the greenization of Europe. I would urge him to go read up about the perfidious Turks of the early 16th century and how immediate and supreme the menace of Islam has been to Europe - for five centuries.

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Nathanael D. Robinson - 1/17/2005

I would like to think that it is something wrong with the water, but maybe Ferguson hates paying high prices for English foodstuffs at Cardullo’s.

I have not read Ferguson’s new article. However, there seems to be a basic Europhobia at its root. “What will we do about the Muslims” tends to be rallying point for those who do not want to confront diversity of any kind. And yet, the exclusion of Turkey into the Union would not stop the immigration of Muslims, their demographic growth within Europe, or the demographic decline of the “white” population.

On the other hand, Ferguson’s opinion may not represent the extreme. Sarkozy, the new head of the UMP in France who would bend laws on secularization in order to accommodate Muslims, would support quotas on immigration as a condition to Turkey’s ascension. The “Single Europe” may never include Turkey.

Jeff Vanke - 1/17/2005

Ferguson & Huntington are not representative of the Harvard faculty's European Studies and IR politics, respectively. The gap is especially large in the former case.

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