Face of Europe changing as many French, British convert to Islam

By DAN IZENBERG
January 23, 2007 03:46
2 minute read.

 
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As many as 100,000 French and British citizens have converted to Islam over the last decade, according to a new book by an Israeli historian. The figures cited by Hebrew University Prof. Raphael Israeli in his upcoming book The Third Islamic Invasion of Europe are representative of the fast-changing face of Europe, which the Islamic history professor says is in danger of becoming "Eurabia" within half a century. He noted that about 30 million Muslims currently live in Europe, out of a total population of 380 million., adding that with a high Muslim birthrate in Europe, the number of Muslims living in the continent is likely to double within 25 years. Israeli also cited massive immigration and Turkey's future inclusion in the EU as the primary reasons why the face of Europe will be indelibly changed within a generation. European concerns over a fast-growing Muslim population is at the center of opposition to Turkey's entry into the EU, he said, as the inclusion of Turkey into the EU will catapult the number of Muslims to 100 million out of a total population of 450 million. "The sheer weight of demography will produce a situation where no Frenchman or Dutchman could be elected to parliament without the support of the Muslim minority," he said Monday in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. "Muslims will have a more and more decisive voice in the makeup of European governments." "With Turkey as a member of the EU, the process will be accelerated, without [Turkey] it will be slower but it will still happen," he added. Turkey has strong relations with Israel. The historian, who has authored 19 previous books, said that Muslim political power in Europe would directly impact domestic politics, including Europe's immigration policy, with millions of additional Muslims waiting at the door to gain entry to the EU as part of "family reunification" programs. "Every European with a right mind has every reason to be frightened," Israeli said. The 50,000 French and 50,000 British who have converted to Islam over the last decade, including many from mixed marriages, did so for personal convictions, romanticized notions of Islam, as well as for business reasons, while others see Islam as the wave of the future at a time when Christianity is on the wane, Israeli said. He said that Muslims converting to Christianity existed but their numbers were significantly smaller. Israeli noted that conversions in mixed marriages worked only in one direction since a Muslim woman who marries a Christian is considered an apostate in her community, and faces physical danger. "It is time one should wake up and realize what is happening in Europe," he concluded. Israeli's book is due out in London in the coming months.•

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