In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, more than ever politicians, media and elites reiterate that only a small (indeed, tiny) minority of Muslims commit acts like the recent Paris attacks.
First of all, we must observe that this is not a statement of fact, but rather an expression of hope.
For we don’t know the number or percentage of would-be terrorists that the Muslim population in each Western country harbours.
Because to know how many they are would also mean knowing who they are — all of them. In which case, we would have solved the terrorist problem with closer surveillance or, much better, expulsion.
So, almost by definition, we haven’t got the faintest idea of their number.
We can’t even rely on the figure of aggressions actually carried out as a good indicator, because this is only a fraction of the total of terror attacks planned, most of which have been foiled by police and secret services: many of these we haven’t even gotten to hear about. And the total number of planned offensives, prevented or executed, doesn’t offer predictions about future ones in such uncertain circumstances.
What we do know is that in several countries Muslim immigrant populations tend to get more radicalised with each successive generation, so the threat is going to increase. This can explain the by-now thousands of jihadists travelling from Europe to fight in Syria and Iraq and often returning to Europe with terrorist training and intentions.
If what happens in the rest of the world, where Islamism and its violence are on the rise, the prospects are not happy.
But, even if the number of terrorists were indeed a tiny minority of the West’s Muslims, this wouldn’t alter the fact that there is a question to be answered: why? Why take the risk? Why deliberately expose innocent Westerners to the threat of being massacred?
We know — nobody disputes it — that Muslims periodically take up guns, explosives, airplanes or what have you to terrorise and slaughter people in buildings, cafes, trains, buses and stores in various Western countries.
We also know that no other group approaches the same level of public, direct physical menace.
Why shouldn’t Western nations remove this unnecessary peril?
We can’t even say that Muslims belong in Europe, that they have a traditional or cultural foothold on European soil. In fact, they have been our enemy throughout their history. Even Spain and Sicily were invaded and conquered by Muslims, but didn’t welcome them.
I know I’m stating the obvious here, but, from the way the talking heads and pundits speak and write, it appears that it needs to be stated.
Something else that public figures are pleased to repeat is that most Muslims condemn this act. In reality, there is no evidence for that either. I haven’t heard of any Muslim demonstration against it. 82% of French people think that Muslims are showing no condemnation of terrorism in France.
One fact of life we’ve learned by induction is that shouting ”Allahu Akbar” is a sure sign that every deed accompanying or following this utterance is of non-Islamic nature, as every time this sequence occurs we are guaranteed that the action is not just non-Islamic but — more strongly — un-Islamic. Such an episode occurred just before Christmas, still in France, when a man ploughed his white van into a Christmas market crowd in Nantes screaming ”Allahu Akbar”, injuring dozens of people — the third incident of its kind in the country in a few days. The man was not described in the newspaper report as Muslim, as indeed he was. He might have been anything.
So, if is there a benefit — it must be very, very secret as nobody has ever heard of it. What is it that Muslims bring to our lands that compensates for and outweighs the recurring nightmares that they produce — and could be even more tragic and numerous if it were not for the enormous expenditure on police and intelligence resources deployed to keep their threat at bay, public-purse money that our over-indebted countries cannot afford?
Not only there is no such benefit. There are indeed additional burdens. Mostly these are not typical of Muslims only but are also typical of Third-World immigrants generally. Indeed the problem of the former and the latter are related and difficult to separate. But, since Muslims represent a more specific threat to life and limb than other immigrant groups and there is widespread acceptance of Islam specifically as a negative presence in Europe, this could be a good starting point to tackle the seemingly-intractable immigration question.
A UK 2012 poll found that Britons are far more strongly opposed to immigration, particularly from Muslim countries, than they have been at any time in recent memory. An October 2014 survey showed that three out of four Londoners (74%) think that Britons who have travelled to Syria or Iraq to fight with extremist groups should be banned from returning to the UK.
Here are some issues:
- In Britain and other countries it has been calculated that Muslims and other immigrants from the Third World, who are disproportionately unemployed in comparison to the rest of the population and have much larger families, cost far more revenue in public services and social welfare than they put in.
What is preached by UK-based Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary is that benefits from the infidel state are a form of jizya, the tax that only non-Muslims have to pay as dhimmis, the condition of submission they are forced to live in under Islamic rule.
In Denmark, “Muslims make up 5% of the population but receive 40% of social-welfare outlays.”
In Germany, foreign nationals are consistently overrepresented in unemployment figures, with Turks being in the worst situation, with an unemployment rate of 23% and comprising one third of all unemployed foreigners.
In Sweden, a 15.1% immigrant population burden 60.5% of the entire nation’s welfare costs.
Despite all attempts to make immigration look good, in the UK we see that, while European immigrants bring a net economic benefit to the country, non-Europeans take in benefits and services £100 billion (or 14%) more than they put back. In 17 years they cost the public purse nearly £120 billion.
This differential, indeed opposite, effect of European versus non-European immigration on the British economy makes Nigel Farage, leader of the fast-rising populist, anti-EU and anti-immigration party UKIP, sound absurd when he concentrates his efforts on stopping Bulgarian and Romanian immigration instead of the much more ruinous Asian and African invasion. While preserving European national identities is certainly a worthy goal, his motive is obviously to avoid the deadly charge of racism.
- Muslims, like other immigrants, make the competition for limited resources — hospitals, doctor surgeries, school places, housing, jobs — much harder for the local Whites.
- Law and order. Muslims, as well as other Third-World immigrants, are also vastly overrepresented in other-than-terror crime statistics, from those particularly peculiar to them, like honour killings, sex-slavery paedophile rings and female genital mutilation, to more general ones including rioting, looting, wife beating and rape.
Yet for our leaders and commentators the possibility of a Muslim-free Europe is not even a remotely conceivable possibility. Listening to them is a surreal experience: they talk as if Muslim presence in our countries were an ineluctable fact of life, like death and taxes, and not a deliberate choice of corrupt politicians and self-serving elites.
They make you feel as if Muslims had profound roots on our soil and were part and parcel of Western civilisation, both of which are as far from the truth as they can be.
Maintaining the Islamic presence here is for them the Kantian categorical imperative. Nay it’s more than that: it’s a religious commandment. “Thou shalt welcome, feed, house and accept to be killed by Muslims, and never reject or deport them en masse.”
Whereas the sensible solution would be to stop Muslims from taking up residence here and expel those who have already done so.
In fact, credit should be given to Egyptian President Sisi for this remark, after the Charlie Hebdo attack:
He asked pious Muslims who cannot tolerate a word against Islam, “So why are you, of your own free will, moving to these godless nations [the West] in the first place.”
In short, this is not very far from collective madness, although I can spot a few signs that greater numbers of people, at every new atrocity, find it increasingly difficult to believe in the TV and newspapers interpretations more than in what their own eyes and ears tell them.
Enza Ferreri is an Italian-born, London-based Philosophy graduate, writer and journalist. She has been a London correspondent for several Italian magazines and newspapers, including Panorama, L’Espresso, La Repubblica.
She blogs at www.enzaferreri.blogspot.co.uk.