|Vol. 22, No. 2||February 2011|
Out of Africa?
Races are more different than previously thought.
Researchers led by Prof. Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig have placed a very large question mark over the currently fashionable “out-of-Africa” theory of the origins of modern man. They have done this by producing a partial genome from three fossil bones belonging to female Neanderthals from Vindija Cave in Croatia, and comparing it with the genomes of modern humans.
|Neanderthal Man: Our ancestor after all.|
Their initial results show that Neanderthals interbred with anatomically modern humans, mainly with the ancestors of peoples now found in Europe and Asia. This discovery both underlines the genetic differences between African and non-African populations and contradicts the pure, “out-of-Africa” version of human evolution, according to which all non-Africans living today are descended exclusively from migrants that left Africa less than 100,000 years ago. These migrants are said to have out-competed and eventually driven to extinction all other forms of homo and to have done so without interbreeding.
The authors of the Max Planck study note that Neanderthals, who lived in Europe and western Asia, were the closest evolutionary relatives of current humans, but went extinct about 30,000 years ago. They go on to note:
“Comparisons of the Neanderthal genome to the genomes of five present-day humans from different parts of the world identify a number of genomic regions that may have been affected by positive selection in ancestral modern humans, including genes involved in metabolism and in cognitive and skeletal development. We show that Neanderthals shared more genetic variants with present-day humans in Eurasia than with present-day humans in sub-Saharan Africa, suggesting that gene flow from Neanderthals into the ancestors of non-Africans occurred before the divergence of Eurasian groups from each other.” (Richard E. Green, Johannes Krause, et. al., A Draft Sequence of the Neanderthal Genome, Science, May 7, 2010).
In other words, Neanderthal genes remained in the human genome because they were beneficial, and are mainly found in non-African groups.
The traditional alternative to the “out-of-Africa” theory has been that different races evolved from earlier forms of homo in different parts of the world. That theory allows for a far longer period for the evolution of races. The great obstacle to this multi-regional theory has been genetic evidence taken from modern humans that points to a common ancestor who left Africa about 100,000 years ago. However, this judgment is based on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) — the DNA outside the nucleus — which shows no evidence of interbreeding. The Max Planck team, however, was the first to do a large-scale comparative study of nuclear DNA which, as they point out, “is composed of tens of thousands of recombining, and hence independently evolving, DNA segments that provide an opportunity to obtain a clearer picture of the relationship between Neanderthals and present-day humans.”
|Chimpanzee: Our closest living relative.|
The researchers note that their conclusions are tentative because they were able to reconstruct only about 60 percent of the Neanderthal genome. Much of this had to be carefully sifted because of contamination, especially by bacterial DNA. Nonetheless, where the Neanderthal genome could be compared to that of modern humans, the researchers found an estimated 99.7 percent match. They also found that the Neanderthal and modern genomes shared exactly the same degree of genetic similarity — 98.8 percent — with chimpanzees.
Of particular significance, however, is the result of comparing the Neanderthal genome with representatives of different modern races: “one San from Southern Africa, one Yoruba from West Africa, one Papua New Guinean, one Han Chinese, and one French from Western Europe.”
Non-Africans got a far larger genetic contribution from Neanderthals than Africans did:
“[I]ndividuals in Eurasia today carry regions in their genome that are closely related to those in Neanderthals and distant from other present-day humans. The data suggest that between 1 and 4 percent of the genomes of people in Eurasia are derived from Neanderthals. Thus, while the Neanderthal genome presents a challenge to the simplest version of an ‘out-of-Africa’ model for modern human origins, it continues to support the view that the vast majority of genetic variants that exist at appreciable frequencies outside Africa came from Africa with the spread of anatomically modern humans.”
Although the Neanderthal contribution is small, the fact that it survived at all suggests that it conferred an evolutionary advantage. The Max Planck team notes that those contributions were “involved in cognitive abilities and cranial morphology.” Neanderthals passed on to non-Africans whatever genetic advantages they had in these important areas.
It is possible that Neanderthals contributed more than the 1 to 4 percent calculated by the Max Planck researchers. Their Neanderthal genome was incomplete and the missing 40 percent may contain more genes present in modern humans. Even if Neanderthal genes form only a very small part of the modern non-African genome, small genetic differences can have important consequences. We share almost all of our DNA with chimps, yet are very different from them. It has become clear since the mapping of the human genome that the central importance of genes lies not in their quantity but in the way they interact. Many scientists expected that sequencing or decoding the human genome would lead to an understanding of how it works, but that has not been the case. Many mysteries remain, but it is clear that small differences can have profound effects.
|Homo erectus: bred with modern humans?|
If modern humans bred with Neanderthals could there have been other mixtures of the varieties of homo throughout evolution? There was ample opportunity. Homo habilis is estimated to have existed from 2.3 to 1.4 million years ago, homo erectus to have lived between 1.9 million and 300,000 years ago (and possibly much later in isolated areas), Neanderthals from 400,000 years until 30,000 years ago, and homo sapiens from 250,000-150,000 years ago to the present. One promising candidate for interbreeding with modern humans is homo erectus. As the online encyclopedia science.jrank.org explains:
“Fossils of the species have been collected from South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Algeria, Morocco, Italy, Germany, Georgia, India, China, and Indonesia. The oldest specimens come from Africa, the Caucasus, and Java and are dated at about 1.8 million years. These very early dates outside of Africa indicate that H. erectus dispersed across the Old World almost instantaneously, as soon as the species arose in Africa … Homo erectus persisted very late in the Pleistocene epoch in Indonesia to possibly as late as 30,000 years ago, which suggests that the species survived in isolation while modern humans spread everywhere in the Old World.”
|National Geographic's Neanderthal woman.|
Just as this article was going to press, there were reports on the analysis of 30,000-year-old bones found by the Russians in a cave in Denisova in Siberia in 2008. The DNA, whose state of preservation has been called “miraculous,” proved to be distinct from both Neanderthals and modern humans, and researchers called the newly discovered hominids Denisovans. Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute studied this DNA as well, and determined that Denisovans also bred with modern humans — though not with those that remained in Africa.
The Denisovans were related to Neanderthals, and their common ancestors are thought to have left Africa some 400,000 or more years ago. One branch became Neanderthal in Western Eurasia and another became Denisovan in the East. Modern man appears to have encountered and bred with both groups, but only after leaving Africa. Specialists greeted the news about Denisovans with the expectation that yet more missing members of the human family tree could be rediscovered.
Indeed, the complexity and variety of the fossil record hints at what could have been considerable interbreeding. There has been a huge number of discoveries during the last century, but hominid remains are still very scarce and are often only a small fragment of a skeleton. Complete skeletons are like hens’ teeth. Moreover, when new fossils turn up, rather than clarify the record by filling in missing branches on the evolutionary tree, they tend to complicate matters. For example, they may show that a variety of homo was much older than previously thought or appeared in an unexpected place. Variability of fossils can also suggest intermediate forms that had not been anticipated, such as a specimen with traits characteristic of both homo erectus and Neanderthals. The difficulty in classifying human fossils and especially the existence of intermediate forms suggest interbreeding.
We are only now beginning to learn of some variants of homo that could have contributed genes to modern humans. In 2004, fossils of a dwarf species of homo — “Flores man,” who has been nicknamed “hobbit” — were found on the Indonesian island of Flores. Flores man is thought to have gone extinct about 12,000 years ago, so he certainly coexisted with modern humans.
Interbreeding between related varieties of homo would be more likely than that between related animals because even primitive homo had a large brain, which suggests self-consciousness, and, most probably, language. Animals mate in a largely automatic process prompted by various triggers: aural, chemical, condition of feathers and so on. Man, although not entirely without such triggers, adds conscious thought to mate selection. This allows humans to overcome the barriers of behavior and biology, and mate outside their subspecies or even species.
| The Vindija cave in Croatia. The bones that
yielded the Max Planck Institute’s first
Neanderthal genome were found here.
Even today, tribal peoples may take women by force from other groups, often by organized raiding. Prehistoric man may have done the same, raising the possibility that interbreeding took place without the willing participation of the females.
At some point, of course, separate evolution would have produced separate species that were not mutually fertile. However, the social nature of homo and his probable ability to speak would tend to counteract the tendency to remain isolated from others for so long that breeding became impossible. It is worth adding that judging from the rapid spread of homo throughout Eurasia, man has been a very mobile animal. Such mobility would also make isolation difficult because even in a very sparsely populated world, the likelihood of encountering other bands of homo would be reasonably high.
How would different varieties of archaic humans have appeared to one another? Probably not so strange. There are certainly combinations of current-day racial types that appear more alien to each other than that would have Neanderthals and modern men.
In 2008, National Geographic released a likeness of a Neanderthal woman based on DNA from 43,000-year-old bones. The findings suggested that at least some Neanderthals had red hair, pale skin, and possibly freckles. These are particularly interesting traits because these were commonly noted by Romans who wrote about the inhabitants of Northern Europe. Today, many scientists would argue that if a Neanderthal were dressed in modern clothes he could walk down a busy street without attracting much attention.
If interbreeding did occur within the homo genus over several million years or even over hundreds of thousands of years, it would help explain the evolution of the group differences that now distinguish the different races. The purest “out-of-Africa” theory has always been implausible to those who think it does not allow enough time for races to emerge. There are differences of opinion among experts about time scales but the consensus is that modern man emerged from Africa at most 200,000 years ago. At 20 years per generation, this allows for only 10,000 generations to produce the enormous human variety that includes everything from Pygmies to Danes. Is that enough? Whites are supposed to have begun evolving independently for only 2,000 generations. Again, is that enough?
Realistic depictions of human beings go back to at least 3000 BC, and mummies, created deliberately or naturally, are often preserved well enough to determine racial type. The oldest North American mummy, for example, is of a 45-year-old male found in Churchill County, Nevada, and estimated to date from 7420 BC. These artifacts show that racial types have been stable for 5,000 to 10,000 years. If they have not changed in this time, it is reasonable to doubt that evolution could have changed migrants from Africa rapidly enough to produce today’s races.
The Max Planck Institute’s findings clearly show that the “out of Africa with no interbreeding” theory is incorrect. However, that does not necessarily mean that the ultimate origins of man do not lie in Africa or that the modern humans whose origins lie outside of Africa do not have a predominantly African heritage. What the Neanderthal and Denisovan genome research does confirm is that the human story is complicated.
The distribution of hominid fossil finds to date, the paleontological evidence, and the growing knowledge acquired through DNA analysis suggest that a plausible scenario for evolution is this: The story probably began in Africa, because this is the continent with the largest number of the most ancient fossils. Africans also show the greatest genetic variety, which suggests human evolution has been taking place there longer than anywhere else. However, early versions of homo moved out of Africa, perhaps as much as several million years ago. Some of these early versions evolved into creatures that approximated modern man, while at the same time evolution among African populations also brought them closer to modern man. At various points, African migrants emerged into Eurasia and interbred with forms of homo already there. There was no equivalent migration of Eurasians into Africa, or at least none that resulted in known interbreeding. The fossil record of mixtures of features from different hominids also suggests interbreeding.
Why was the rigid “out-of-Africa” theory so widely believed? Probably because it gave rise to the claim that “we are all Africans,” and because it suggested there were few biological differences between races. At the same time, the emphasis until recently on mtDNA rather than nuclear DNA, gave rise to dogmatic statements about distinct lineages and leant scientific backing to the idea.
“Out of Africa” supported the modern liberal view that race is a social construct and that the physical differences between races are trivial. In fact, racial differences are more dramatic than the differences between many closely related species of animals. There are objective racial differences in physiology, such as testosterone level, as well as differences in behavior and in average IQ. When we add to these differences the mix of genetic contributions from extinct or absorbed forms of homo, the liberal argument becomes even weaker. If homo sapiens were viewed as any other organism is viewed, it would no doubt be classified as several species rather than as a single species.
The group at the Max Planck Institute hopes to have decoded the entire Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes soon, and similar work is being done on other forms of ancient homo such as the “hobbits” from Flores. Decoding ancient DNA is difficult, but it is probable that the genomes of other early hominids, particularly that of homo erectus — the longest surviving and most widely dispersed ancient form of homo — will be decoded in the foreseeable future.
If such research shows that interbreeding was present throughout hominid evolution, or at least for substantial periods, then the multiregional theory is true to the extent that different races received genetic contributions from populations that developed outside of Africa for immense periods of time. If the genotypes of such ancient varieties such as homo erectus and homo heidelbergensis are mapped successfully, it may be found that Eurasians have a substantial selection of genes that are distant from those of Africans.
Even if that is not the case, a better understanding of genetics increasingly shows that small genetic differences cause significant physical differences. Whatever the case, the claim that “we are all Africans” has been significantly weakened, and a potent propaganda tool has been taken from the hands of the politically correct.
Life After the Collapse
How whites will emerge from the rubble.
Guillaume Faye, Archeofuturism, Arktos Media, 2010, 249 pp., $22.95,
available from arktos.com, soft cover, (originally written in 1998)
Guillaume Faye is one of the most brilliant and provocative writers to emerge from the French New Right. He has written a great deal in his long and varied career, but Archeofuturism is his best-known and probably most important book. Written in 1998, only now has it been translated into English, thanks to the Arktos Media publishing group, which has made a number of New Right classics available to English-speakers.
Archeofuturism is hard to place on an American political spectrum. It is openly race-realist — “The ethnic question today is taboo, and hence crucial” — but has a revolutionary fervor that we associate with the left. Dr. Faye is passionately attached to the people and culture of Europe but wants completely to overthrow the current civilization. “The only strategy is all-out war,” he writes. “Compromise must be abolished.”
Archeofuturism is Dr. Faye’s blueprint for the future age that will succeed the cataclysms we are foolishly bringing upon ourselves. Much of it is fanciful, but Dr. Faye’s guesses about the future are never dull, and are based in a far more realistic understanding of history and human nature than the babblings of conventional “futurologists.”
The importance of race
Dr. Faye takes it for granted that race is real. “I insist on the importance of biological kinship to define peoples, and particularly the family of European peoples,” he writes. “The inherited characteristics of a people shape its culture and outlook.” This is why he so opposes “the current demographic colonization of Europe by Afro-Asiatic peoples, which is prudishly called ‘immigration’.” He asserts that Third-Worlders have none of the notions of brotherhood or “multi-culturalism” that hypnotize whites; they come with the intent to dominate. “One land, one people: this is what human nature requires,” he writes, noting that only whites pretend otherwise.
For Dr. Faye, the notion of the West is disappearing, eventually to be replaced by a northern coalition of whites facing waves of invasion: “The twenty-first century will witness global ethnic warfare and the legions of immigrants in Europe will serve as the ‘fifth column’ of an aggressive South.” He points out that all non-whites think in terms of race, “unlike Parisian intellectuals,” and that our rulers are digging their own graves just as surely as they are digging ours: “We shall be submerged by more vital, more youthful and less well-meaning peoples with the complicity of a delinquent bourgeoisie that — whatever it may do — will itself be swept away by the tide it has so heedlessly caused.”
Dr. Faye has nothing but contempt for the present era. The central dogma of the age is egalitarianism, he writes, and it survives only because of a blind faith in miracles. The dogma’s failures are evident everywhere; just as individuals vary enormously in their talents and abilities, so do the races and nations. Forcible equality is tyranny.
|Dr. Faye is passionately attached to the people and culture of Europe but wants completely to overthrow the current civilization.|
Dr. Faye also denounces what he calls “pathological altruism,” or the perpetual propping up of failed people and failed societies. Our rulers ignore the dysgenic effects of welfare and — even worse — tax their own people to feed Third-Worlders who long to dispossess the North. “Pathological altruism” is partly explained by what Dr. Faye calls “pathological individualism.” Because our rulers think only about the individual — and not about nation or race — they promote dysgenic policies at home and raise armies of overseas enemies who will march against their own children.
“Pathological individualism” is also behind such modern distractions as homosexual marriage. The government should not recognize unions that are by definition barren and have no role in perpetuating society. As Napoleon explained, concubines take no notice of the law and the law takes no notice of them. Dr. Faye thinks homosexuality should likewise be a private matter, of no interest to the pubic or the state.
Homosexual marriage, however, is typical of the interests of Western governments because our rulers are incapable of grasping the questions that really matter. In Dr. Faye’s view, Western democracy is so cut off from reality, so amputated that he calls it “democtomy.” Only “pseudo dissent” is permitted, and Europeans prefer to ban political parties that actually challenge orthodoxy. In France, for example, the authorities call Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front “intolerant” because they want to ban it.
Dr. Faye argues that one of the goals of modern society is “to abolish thought in favor of spectacle” by promoting such things as professional sports. He can think of nothing more idiotic than paying money to watch people play games, and believes it is perverse to build up passionate attachments to outcomes that haven’t the slightest meaning or importance. Tennis champions or soccer players are nothing but performers, and their position in society should be no different from that of circus acrobats. Video games likewise clog the brain and prevent thought, which pleases our rulers because thought is dangerous. Dr. Faye also decries the disintegration of the family, the decline of education, and the replacement of culture with audio-visual pap.
Only radical, revolutionary acts, writes Dr. Faye, can destroy modernity. Unfortunately, Europeans are so domesticated they will never abolish egalitarianism and build a vigorous, self-conscious Europe. Instead, their infantilized world will be pulled down around them by “convergent catastrophes” that Dr. Faye predicted (writing in 1998) would strike between the years 2010 and 2020.
Disaster upon disaster
Among these, of course, are colonization by the South, which will lead to the collapse of multi-racial societies (which only whites have encouraged to take root in their midst). As Christianity continues to disintegrate in the face of Islam, Europe will face the prospect of “imperial theocratic totalitarianism.” At the same time, the West will be saddled with millions of old people with only a few young workers — or hostile Third-World immigrants — to support them.
The South is creating disasters of its own as non-whites try to mimic whites. Any Third-World attempt at democracy, for example, “leads to tragic consequences because of intellectual incompatibilities when it is forcefully imposed upon the cultures of the South.” Africans, for example, have lost their traditional societies and are incapable of replacing them with anything that is not squalid and cruel.
|Illegal immigrants in France.|
Dr. Faye laughs at anyone who thinks science will save us. He predicts plagues of drug-resistant diseases and, most catastrophically, exhaustion of the planet. The earth will run out of energy, he writes, adding that the notion that people would constantly get richer was a delusional spasm that lasted only 100 years. Dr. Faye roundly dismisses the fantasy of 7 billion people, all living like 20th-century Americans.
Cascading catastrophes will mean financial panic, global recession, plummeting world GNP, race war, and mass die offs. Europeans who survive will live by different principles: the principles of archeofuturism. Dr. Faye believes that what emerges from the rubble is the society Europeans would build deliberately if they were sane, but it will instead be forced on them by catastrophes of their own making. He hopes his book will guide the thinking of those who survive to lay the foundations.
Archaic, not conservative
|Something the French would love to ban.|
After the crash, “most of humanity would revert to a pre-technological subsistence economy based on agriculture and the crafts.” An overexploited earth will permit no higher level of material existence. How will society be ordered? Dr. Faye rejects “conservatism,” or nostalgia for an older order: “We should avoid being backward-looking, concerned with restoration and reaction, for it is the last few centuries that have spawned the pox that is now devouring us.” Instead, he predicts the emergence of “archaic” values, that is to say, “answers that stretch back into the mists of time.”
People will live in hierarchical, inegalitarian communities that bind members to a common destiny. Atomized individualism will be impossible because there will be no government handouts, and people will depend on each other for survival. There will be distinct castes, in which the warrior caste will have great prestige. Duties will come before rights, infractions will be severely punished, sex roles will be clearly defined, and marriages will be unions of entire families rather than contracts between individuals. Dr. Faye conceives governance as something like that of the Germanic tribes, or Athens of the fourth century BC.
Unlike today’s system, which falsely promises that anyone can be “a scientist or a prince” — and which only causes envy and resentment — hierarchy will be ingrained but accepted. Free of “individualistic hubris,” even the humble will take pride in their limited contribution.
Dr. Faye insists that these societies will not be inferior to our own; just different. Dr. Faye imagines mystic initiations, rites of passage, and fervent forms of religion in what he calls “the new Middle Ages.” He sees most people as poorer but much more attached to their communities, and happier than people of today.
Not all people will live this way, however. Advanced technology will not have completely disappeared. A small elite will enjoy its benefits, and will live in material abundance. Just what the relations between the elite and the masses will be, Dr. Faye does not make clear, but he seems to think the elite will run things kindly through an aristocracy that renews itself through talent rather than heredity. The masses, in turn, will be satisfied with their lot, barely conscious of the gilded lives led by their betters.
The elites will, in fact, live in a world of “hyperscience” — the futurism of archeofuturism — unfettered by today’s “pseudo-ethical obstacles.” Nuclear power will proliferate, and Dr. Faye believes genetic science will unleash dramatic eugenic breakthroughs. He even imagines useful crossbreeds between humans and animals, and cloned organ banks. None of this will be available to the unscientific masses, so the gaps between the two worlds will grow ever larger.
A new world order
| Dr. Faye speaking at the 2006 American
Dr. Faye’s prescriptions for Europe are part of his post-catastrophe scenario, but could conceivably come about without a world-wide crash. He predicts the establishment of Eurosiberia or the United States of Europe, which would be home to the “folk whose natural and historical territory — whose fortress, I would say — extends from Brest to the Bering Strait.” He believes that in the face of Islam and Third-World immigration, whites are uniting within their common homeland and around their common culture, just as the Greeks did when the Persians invaded. He does not expect Eurosiberia to be entirely exclusive, however: “We can accommodate guests, but not invaders.”
Like many thinkers on the European right, Dr. Faye thinks the nation state is finished. Europeans will have deeper attachments to regions, which will have great autonomy in matters of culture, education, and language. In the meantime, he urges support for the European Union. Dr. Faye recognizes that this is a risky strategy, given the stifling, aggressively egalitarian nature of EU institutions. He nevertheless thinks they will become the framework of his beloved Eurosiberia when the collapse shatters egalitarianism and the belief in miracles on which it depends.
Eurosiberia will be just one of perhaps four or five autarkic blocs that Dr. Faye predicts will emerge. All will be racially more or less homogeneous, with the possible exception of the North American Union. Dr. Faye seems to believe that if anyone can make a success of multi-racialism, it is the Americans, but he is not sanguine about that either. The blocs — all with a large pre-technological populations and small elites — will not have much contact with each other, and there will certainly be no foreign aid.
Clearly, Dr. Faye does not hesitate to make bold predictions, and his speculations are always entertaining. Whether anything he predicts will actually happen is anyone’s guess, but he is unquestionably right about two things: the central role race will play and the impotence of today’s Western ideologies. Whether one accepts his conception of archaism or not, there is no doubt that Islam and the Third World have the spirit of conquest and absolutism that once characterized Christianity and the West. Muslims are famously willing to die for their faith, and non-whites are famously ready to riot for whatever they want. Whites are famously willing to make endless concessions in the name of “human rights” to people who have nothing but contempt for anyone else’s “human rights.” As the game is played today, it is an abysmally unequal contest.
Let us hope it will not take “convergent catastrophes” to jolt whites out of their suicidal softness, but if it does, let the catastrophes come soon. The longer that day is put off, the larger the Third-World “fifth column” will grow, and the more desperate will be the struggle for European survival.
The German Death Wish
Frank Ellis reviews German’s huge best seller.
Thilo Sarrazin, Germany Consigns Itself to Oblivion: How We Are Putting Our Country at Risk, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, München, 2010, 410 pp. (in German, with German title: Deutschland schafft sich ab: Wie wir unser Land aufs Spiel setzen) €22.99.
Like all Western nations, Germany suffers from waves of immigrants who clearly have no intention of integrating, and from a duplicitous political class that harries its citizens to accept what they instinctively know is wrong. At the same time, because of the Nazi period, the pressure on Germans to conform to the United Nations-sponsored ideology of multiculturalism has been immense. Many Germans themselves treat any assertion of national German pride as a manifestation of neo-Nazi tendencies, as something hideously offensive and shameful.
It is this specifically German context that makes the publication of Thilo Sarrazin’s book so remarkable. It is all the more remarkable for having been written by one of Germany’s top technocrats, a person at the very heart of the administrative establishment. Clearly, Mr. Sarrazin, who was until last September 30 on the executive board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, has had enough. He instinctively grasps the truth of Solzhenitsyn’s eleventh commandment: “Thou shall not live by the Lie.” The fact that Mr. Sarrazin’s book has become a best seller in Germany and attracted enormous support may well have prompted Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, publicly to admit in October that multiculturalism has utterly failed in Germany. Indeed, it has, and not just in Germany.
The title of Mr. Sarrazin’s book has generally been translated as Germany is Abolishing Itself or Germany is Doing Away With Itself. I believe a translation of the German verb abschaffen that does justice to the implications of the book’s themes would be Germany Consigns Itself to Oblivion, or even Germany Commits Suicide or Germany’s Death Wish.
Mr. Sarrazin’s avalanche of evidence and professional analyses left me in no doubt that the suicide diagnosis is accurate. The author underlines the rather obvious but easily forgotten point that Germany is Germany “by virtue of its inhabitants and their living intellectual as well as their cultural traditions. Without the people it would merely be a geographical term.” The same, of course, is true of England, Denmark, China, or Zimbabwe. Mr. Sarrazin notes that for decades it has not been possible to talk about the preservation of Germany, since the left-wing media denounce such talk as Nazi, racist, and xenophobic. Mr. Sarrazin destroys the silence.
Like the highly trained member of the German technocracy that he is, Mr. Sarrazin presents thoroughly researched arguments. Each chapter addresses some aspect of the immigrant problem — poverty, fertility, declining mean IQ and educational standards, spiralling welfare payments, left-wing and intellectual cowardice, the relentless Islamification of Germany — providing the reader with a series of brilliantly written mini-monographs. The whole leads inexorably to his synthesis and the work’s devastating conclusions. Germany Consigns itself to Oblivion is a masterly display of erudition and logical exposition.
|Thilo Sarrazin discussing his book.|
To begin with, Germans, especially high-IQ women, are not having enough children, and the population of indigenous Germans is dropping below replacement rate. This is not, however, a justification for immigration: “[T]he natural population decrease in one country or group of countries may not serve as the basis morally and politically to justify immigration or seizure of land. The territorial principle is an inviolable component of state sovereignty and respect for it serves to maintain peace.”
Mass immigration from the Third World, primarily Turkey, the Middle East and Africa, will not solve the problem of Germany’s aging population because the country’s economic future lies in its human and intellectual capital. Mr. Sarrazin cites studies by Richard Lynn, Tatu Vanhanen, and others that show the average intelligence of people from these areas is well below the European average. He goes on to note that “the three immigrant groups with the greatest lack of education and the highest social costs [Turks, Middle Easterners, and Africans] are also those who are reproducing themselves the most.”
Very few Turks who came to Germany as workers ever returned home. Instead, their families joined them from Turkey, and this has created a huge, hostile underclass. Mr. Sarrazin calls the entire guest worker program “a gigantic error.” He notes that some of the problems Muslims bring are: Below average employment, above average dependence on welfare and handouts, above average fertility, segregation with a tendency to create parallel societies, above average religious participation with an attraction to fundamentalist Islam, and above average criminality and participation in terrorism.
|One of the classic features of the black, white, or any underclass is addiction to television. It is the international underclass’s narcotic.|
Mr. Sarrazin notes that Germany’s generous, typically European welfare state is cracking under the strain of millions of jobless Third-World immigrants. He nevertheless insists that those who cannot feed themselves and their progeny “should and must be helped.” But what happens when their numbers rise to the point that the means to clothe and feed the poor can no longer be found? The honest answer is that human beings who engage in reckless personal breeding experiments should be free to suffer the consequences, but this is farther than Mr. Sarrazin is prepared to go.
In any case, immigrants who live in parallel societies, courtesy of German and European taxpayers, and who have no intention of integrating cannot be considered fellow citizens. They are aliens who, in my view, do not meet the conditions laid down by Mr. Sarrazin for taxpayer charity. Furthermore, Mr. Sarrazin’s arguments in favor of welfare for foreigners living in Germany are the moral basis for massive transfers of German and European wealth to the Third World. It is common to claim that the starving and diseased in Somalia or Haiti — or wherever the latest Third-World disaster happens to be — are fellow citizens of the world and thus entitled to our money. This is what prompts the demented do-goodery of multimillionaire celebrities and pop stars who want other people’s taxes to subsidize reckless breeding everywhere.
|“German” Turks wave their flag.|
In any case, as Mr. Sarrazin points out, attitudes towards poverty are driven by emotion rather than analysis. He notes that “the poverty risk threshold in Germany today is higher than the average net income of Germans at the high point of the economic miracle at the start of the sixties.” Mr. Sarrazin has even tested his theories about the largesse of the German welfare system. Before he wrote Germany Consigns Itself to Oblivion, he and his wife famously demonstrated that it is possible to live well and healthily on the money provided by the German welfare system. The publicity surrounding this experiment resulted in a television program, and a cameraman told Mr. Sarrazin he had been instructed not to film the apartments of welfare recipients because they were full of electronic gadgets.
Mr. Sarrazin identifies three reasons why any challenge to welfare provokes so much emotion. First, the recipients themselves like the system. Second, hordes of researchers and bureaucrats depend on it for their jobs. Third, if it is possible to live adequately on welfare but those on it do not, it is their own fault rather than some existential catastrophe. It is this last point that triggers the most rage and aggression.
Mr. Sarrazin describes the effects of Germany’s generous welfare, quoting one account of the chaos of life of an immigrant Turkish family that concludes with the observation, “And the flat screen television is always on, always.” It seems that one of the classic features of the black, white, or any underclass is addiction to television. It is the international underclass’s constant narcotic.
| Even Turks on welfare watch Turkish
TV with their dish antennas.
Mr. Sarrazin also writes about a small German town where the population of 300 Turks is derived from just two families. One of them boasts, “We don’t need the Germans.” Mr. Sarrazin also mentions Neukölln, one of the boroughs of Berlin, which is just one of many areas where immigrants have displaced the indigenous population. “A German going through these districts would feel like a foreigner in his own country,” he notes, an experience now available to the citizens of virtually any white country.
As in other European countries, the mainstream media ignore immigrant crime or fail to name or describe the criminals, because to do so would show that the perpetrators are immigrants. “Who is actually helped when facts in the public domain are suppressed …?” asks Mr. Sarrizin. “Certainly neither the truth nor clear analysis or integration.”
Mr. Sarrazin concludes his book with two scenarios: nightmare and salvation. In the nightmare scenario he looks ahead to the end of the 21st century. He sees a Germany that is no longer German. Rampant welfare spending and the failure to control Third-World immigration have effectively turned Germany into a Muslim state. Germany’s famous churches, including Cologne cathedral, have been converted into mosques. There are demands for a new German flag, one with a crescent and star.
Salvation, if it is still possible, comes from the populist right-wing parties all across Europe. Immigration controls are tightened, educational standards rise, and high-IQ women start having more children. The migrant quarters in the big cities shrink and far less Turkish and Arabic is heard on the streets. Germany has been brought back from the brink.
What makes Germany Consigns itself to Oblivion so valuable is Mr. Sarrazin’s fearless, rational honesty. Germans reading this book must experience something similar to that of a Russian reading a samizdat version of Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago during the Cold War: an exhilarating experience that only the honest search for truth can deliver. I salute Mr. Sarrazin for his moral courage and intellectual acumen; and God bless his great nation in the struggle to save itself from oblivion.
Editor’s note: Germany Consigns itself to Oblivion was published in Germany in August 2010. It immediately shot to the top of the sales chart at Amazon.de, and dropped to number two only in late December. At that time it had 441 reader reviews, of which 73 percent were five stars, and 13 percent were four stars. Let us hope its enormous success will be the first step back from the brink.
Frank Ellis is an expert in Russian and Slavonic studies who took early retirement from Leeds University in 2006 after publicly stating he believed there is a substantial genetic contribution to racial differences in average intelligence.
The Galton Report
Britain: The Future is Brown.
Readers of this column are likely to know that because of the increase in the number of racial minorities, the US Bureau of the Census estimates that whites will become a minority in 2042.
It is less well known that Britain is not far behind the United States in the increase in the numbers of non-Europeans. The population was almost entirely European until the middle of the 20th century, but that changed because of two developments. The first was the British Nationality Act of 1948, which conferred citizenship and the right to live in Britain on all members of the Commonwealth and Empire. The Commonwealth comprised Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa, while the Empire consisted of the Indian sub-continent, Hong Kong, Malaysia, most of the Caribbean islands, about one third of sub-Saharan Africa, and a number of smaller territories. This act meant that huge numbers of non-Europeans — some 800 million — had the right to live and work in Britain. Curiously, the probable consequences of this act were not much debated in the House of Commons. Clement Atlee’s Labour government simply assumed very few British subjects would take advantage of this opportunity. It was, of course, wrong.
The second development was Britain’s adherence to the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which allowed entry of a large number of asylum seekers. The number of non-Europeans (of all races) living in Britain recorded in the census of 1951 was 138,000. By 1971, that number had increased to 751,000, and in 2001 it was a staggering 3,450,000.
Professor David Coleman, an Oxford demographer, has recently published an estimate of the future increase of non-Europeans. From 2001 census information he calculated the 2006 percentages of whites and racial minorities, and made estimates for 2031 and 2056. He calls his estimates “the standard scenario,” that is to say, they are based on current estimates of net migration, mortality, and fertility.
|The first boatload of blacks: the Empire Windrush, 1948.|
Over time, fertility counts for a lot. The 2001 census found that indigenous Britons had below-replacement fertility of 1.6 children per woman. Blacks and Indians had about 30 percent more children, and at 2.2 and 2.3 were almost exactly at replacement level. The Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, and Somalis had a fertility of 5.0, more than three times the white rate. The higher fertility of non-Europeans tends to decline in the second and third generations but not to the low level of whites. Professor Coleman assumes that fertility of the racial minorities will eventually fall to about the same level as that of whites, but this may be unrealistic. He also assumes that immigration of non-Europeans will continue at about the same rate as in the past decade.
Prof. Coleman therefore calculates that indigenous white British, who were 87 percent of the population in 2006, will decline to 72 percent in 2031, and to 56 percent in 2056. As their numbers continue to decline, they will become a minority by about the year 2066 (the thousandth anniversary of the last successful invasion of England in 1066), and an increasingly small one in the later decades of the 21st century. The decline will accelerate because whites will be older than immigrants, and therefore less likely to be of child-bearing age. Although Professor Coleman does not spell this out, if the percentage of whites continues to drop at the same rate as from 2006-2056, indigenous whites would be only about 25 percent of the population by 2106.
|Women and children first.|
Of course, current trends may not continue. The native British have become increasingly annoyed by large numbers of immigrants, and all political parties have proposed policies designed to reduce the flow. The present Conservative government has pledged to bring net migration from approximately 200,000 a year to under 100,000 by 2015. Last December, as part of this program, it announced a cut in the number of student visas. It is estimated that in 2009 around 38,000 “students” registered at colleges they did not attend. They came to Britain with the intention of working as illegal immigrants.
These and other measures will reduce but not stop the increase of non-Europeans, which will continue through higher fertility and further immigration. There will continue to be many asylum seekers, illegal entrants, marriages to British or European citizens, and arranged marriages to spouses from the Indian sub-continent. There will also be family unification which, like immigration by marriage, is virtually impossible to stop.
Professor Coleman notes that one of the problems in attempting to control non-European immigration is that “important sections of the political class and of educated opinion have tended to dismiss opposition to immigration and to its consequences as ‘nasty, stupid or backward,’ if not racist, reflecting not real problems but the need for the public to be re-educated as to their true interests.” He says that according to elite opinion:
[E]thnic change would improve a society described as provincial, insular, oppressive, and racist, and would be a natural and beneficial development of a modern, more globalized society. A more diverse population would be more creative, innovative, stimulating, open-minded, and tolerant, a view that has become orthodox. In such discourse ‘vibrancy’ is an indispensable adjective. Evidence unfavorable to the implications of large-scale immigration can have a hard time making itself heard.
He observes drily that “one of the ironies of living in a more plural society seems to be that the preservation of diversity requires us to leave less room for a diversity of views.” For these reasons, he believes it is unlikely that the growth in the numbers of non-Europeans in Britain will be checked. “The future is brown,” he concludes pessimistically.
Coleman, D. Projections of the ethnic minority populations of the United Kingdom 2006–2056. Population and Development Review, 2010, 36, 441–486.
IN THE NEWS
O Tempora, O Mores!
Race, Rape, and Cheerleading
In September 2008, Hillaire (her last name has been withheld to protect her identity) was a cheerleader at Silsbee High School in Silsbee, Texas, a town of 7,431 people 80 miles northeast of Houston. She went to a party at a student’s house, got drunk, and went into the game room with four boys, including two black football players, Rakheem Bolton and Christian Rountree. After a few minutes, others at the party heard shouts of “Stop! Seriously, stop it. No!” They tried to open the door, but it was locked. They kicked down the door and found Hillaire under a pool table sobbing, naked from the waist down.
A window in a bathroom attached to the game room had been broken out, and Mr. Bolton and Mr. Rountree were outside. When asked what had happened, Mr. Bolton shouted, “I didn’t rape no white girl. I wouldn’t use anyone else’s d**k to f***k her. I don’t know if she has AIDS. I don’t even know that girl.” As he was about to drive away, he gestured with his hand as if he held a gun and screamed, “All you m****r f****rs better be locked and loaded. None of you better sleep tonight.” Later, half a dozen students reported to police that Mr. Bolton threatened to shoot them if they talked about the incident. The police prepared a rape kit for DNA testing, but Hillaire was told that there was such a backlog that it would take more than a year to test the samples.
Unaccountably, two grand juries heard the case and indicted no one — perhaps to avoid embarrassing a star athlete. Mr. Bolton played basketball as well as football, and during basketball season, Hillaire had to cheer for him. She cheered for the team as a whole, but when Mr. Bolton went to the free-throw line, she refused to chant the name of the boy she said had raped her. Despite orders to cheer with the others, she folded her arms in silence. The school kicked her off the cheerleading squad, and students began calling her a slut. When she complained of chanting and taunts when she walked into the cafeteria, school officials advised her to stay out of the cafeteria. The school made no investigation of its own and took no action because Mr. Bolton had been cleared of criminal charges. The local NAACP pronounced itself pleased.
Hillaire’s father was furious. “Hillaire was collateral damage,” he said. “It was easier to fight one family than the NAACP and the entire [black] community.” He tried to get the District Attorney to prepare another case for the grand jury and he also sued Silsbee High School for cutting his daughter from the squad, arguing that she had been exercising her right of free speech. He spent thousands of dollars, lost, and lost again on appeal. A three-judge panel ruled that Hillaire’s refusal to cheer “constituted a substantial interference with the work of the school,” and that since she had become a cheerleader voluntarily she had a duty to do as she was told.
In November 2009, more than a year after the incident at the party, a third grand jury reinstated the charges against Mr. Bolton and Mr. Rountree. The NAACP protested the indictments, insisting that the boys had done nothing wrong. Mr. Rountree’s case is still pending, but Mr. Bolton, who had so loudly and vulgarly proclaimed his innocence, promptly pled guilty to a charge of misdemeanor assault. He got a one-year suspended sentence, two years’ probation, a $2,500 fine, 150 hours community service, and mandatory anger-management classes. Mr. Bolton was happy with the sentence. “I do feel like it was very fair,” he said.
Hillaire is still fighting her school. After the Fifth District Appeals Court in New Orleans agreed with the lower court that her rights had not been violated and ordered her to reimburse the school’s $45,000 in legal fees, she appealed to the US Supreme Court. As for Mr. Bolton, he has been offered several football scholarships and is making up his mind which one to accept. [Sarah Netter, High School Rape Victim Spends Two Years in Court Fighting Ouster From Squad, ABC News, Oct. 27, 2010. David Whitley, Texas Town, Courts Fail Cheerleader, AOL Sports, Nov. 22, 2010. Jennifer Heathcock & Scott Lawrence, NAACP Protests Indictments in Cheerleader Case, KFDM-TV (Beaumont, Texas), Nov. 30, 2010. Nina Mandell, Texas Cheerleader Who Refused to Cheer for Her Alleged Rapist Taking Case to Supreme Court: Lawyer, New York Daily News, Dec. 23, 2010.]
Is Your Town Next?
Prichard, Alabama, is a town of 27,000 on the outskirts of Mobile. In the 1960s, it was a boom town, with a peak population of 45,000. Whites began to move out in the 1970s, and Prichard became 84 percent black. The mayor, every city council member, and virtually all other city employees are now black. The city has declared bankruptcy, but managed to pay off its creditors in 2007. At that time, the bankruptcy court ordered the mayor, Ronald Davis, to start putting more money into the city’s grossly underfunded pension fund, which was predicted to run out of money in 2009. He refused, and in 2009, right on schedule, the money ran out. Although Alabama state law requires cities to pay pension obligations, Prichard just stopped writing checks, plunging its 150 retired workers into desperate poverty. Perhaps one of the reasons Prichard does not care about paying pensions is that many former workers were active before Prichard became overwhelmingly black. That is to say, they are white.
| Prichard High drum majorettes, 1954. Are any of them
among the whites who are now cut off?
The workers who got the shaft have sued the city, which tried to get off the hook by declaring bankruptcy, but a judge stopped that maneuver. Prichard has now become a test case for the laws that govern municipal obligations. Some observers see the city as only the first of many local governments that are likely to welsh on their pensions. “Prichard is the future,” says Michael Aguirre, a former San Diego city attorney, who wants San Diego to declare bankruptcy and restructure its own pension payments. “We’re all on the same conveyor belt. Prichard is just a little further down the road.” [Michael Cooper and Mary Williams Walsh, Alabama Town’s Failed Pension Is a Warning, New York Times, Dec. 22, 2010.]
Mr. Aguirre did not, of course, mention the racial aspect of the default. Aging whites who expect blacks and Hispanics to keep the retirement checks coming could be in for a shock — not just in Prichard but in the entire country.
The Latest in Whiteness ‘Studies’
Ethnicities is a peer-reviewed journal that claims it “provides the very best critical, interdisciplinary dialogue on questions of ethnicity, nationalism and related issues such as identity politics and minority rights.” The September 2010 issue is heralded as the “Whiteness Special Issue” and, according to the editors, it “develops the intersections between whiteness and gender, queer studies, migration, nationalism and militarization.”
Here are some of the article titles, with excerpts from their abstracts.
“The Visa Whiteness Machine: Transnational Motility in Post-Apartheid South Africa,” by Max J. Andrucki:
“Drawing on a series of in-depth interviews with white South African return migrants in Durban, largest city in the province formerly known as Natal — commonly called the ‘last outpost of the British Empire’ — I argue that, through what I call the ‘visa whiteness machine’, whiteness as a racial formation — neither a natural fact nor simply a discourse — emerges not discursively but materially as certain bodies with European ancestry and phenotype come to stick together through their motility — their immanent ability to move in particular circuits through transnational space.”
“On Accountability: Towards a White Middle-Class Queer ‘Post Identity Politics Identity Politics’,” by Damien W. Riggs:
“Drawing on the work of Jodi Dean, I elaborate what I term a ‘white middle-class queer post-identity politics identity politics’ that centres issues of reciprocity and accountability by considering the role of others in the constitution of the self.”
“Whiteness in the Glare of War: Soldiers, Migrants and Citizenship,” by Vron Ware:
“The article draws on an understanding of whiteness as a fundamental component of historical and gendered notions of citizenship that feed the ‘hypnotic ideals’ of national identity.”
“Prosthetic White Hyper-Masculinities and ‘Disaster Education’,” by John Preston:
“In this article I consider the ways in which whiteness may be best understood as a prosthetic that can situationally be attached/detached from white bodies. Paradoxically, this flexibility of whiteness increases white people’s powers of symbolic and material control over environments and the bodies of people of colour.”
Fun With Akbar and Fatimah
Now that there are more and more Muslim children in schools, librarians worry that there are not enough books about them. There are plenty of books on Islam per se, they note, but there is almost a total lack of juvenile fiction about Muslims growing up in America.
“It is extremely important for young people to read stories reflecting their ethnicity and/or religion in order to feel like worthwhile human beings,” says Freda Shamma, of the Foundation for the Advancement and Development of Education and Learning, based in Cincinnati. “The absence of such stories leads to poor grades in school, feelings of loneliness and alienation, and low self-esteem,” she explains.
|We must have stories with Hmong characters too.|
Lori Saroya, president of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), says that it is possible to find fiction for elementary school children — about the Ramadan fast, for example — but that there is nothing for middle-school and up. She complains that when she was growing up, all the books were about “the blue-eyed, blond-haired girl who was into cheerleading,” adding, “There really wasn’t much I could relate to in terms of my Muslim identity.” [Norman Draper, Missing Character in Kids’ Literature: Muslims, Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul), Dec. 28, 2010.]
The Obama/Holder Justice Department is meddling to an unprecedented degree in local elections to help blacks win office, but one of its latest targets of persecution is fighting back.
Kinston is a North Carolina city with a population of 23,000. In November 2008, it voted nearly 2-1 in a citizen’s initiative to make city elections non-partisan. As a result, ballot papers were not to indicate the party affiliations of candidates but were simply to list names. Voters supported the move because most know their mayor and councilmen personally, and because the elections are hardly partisan anyway. Only old-timers can remember when a Republican last won an election. In voting the change, Kinston joined the vast majority of North Carolina’s 551 cities and towns; only nine have partisan elections.
Kinston, however, is not allowed to make changes of this kind unless the US Justice Department lets it. Kinston is one of more than 12,000 voting districts, mostly in the South, that are singled out for direct supervision by the federal government in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The thinking 45 years ago was that the South was so viciously racist that every elections-related move it made, right down to where polling places were located, was probably a ruse to disfranchise blacks, and the feds have had veto power ever since.
After Kinston’s 2008 vote, Loretta King, the same black woman who called off the Justice Department voter intimidation case against the New Black Panthers, wrote to the city government saying she was invalidating the election. She claimed its sole effect was to make it harder for blacks to win elections.
How could that be? Miss King argued that elections in Kinston were really about race, not about party affiliation, with whites voting for whites and blacks voting for blacks. She claimed that the only exception to this was a small number of white Democrats who sometimes set race aside and vote for black candidates so long as they know the candidates are Democrats. By removing party affiliation from the ballot, Kinston would be concealing this essential fact from white Democrats, therefore making it harder for black candidates to win.
|They have lots of justice up their sleeves.|
None of this appears to have crossed anyone’s mind in Kinston. A majority of blacks, just like whites, voted to take party affiliation off the ballot. What makes the Justice Department action even more incomprehensible is that fact that 63 percent of the voters in Kinston are black. Blacks therefore already have a built-in advantage if, as the feds say, voting runs along racial lines.
At first, Kinston was going to submit without a fight, but even blacks were annoyed at being pushed around by the feds. The city took the matter to district court, but a federal judge upheld the Justice Department’s intervention. Kinston now has the bit between its teeth, and has appealed, and there is a chance the case could go before the US Supreme Court.
Justice Clarence Thomas has already written that he thinks the provisions of the Voting Rights Act that single out only certain jurisdictions for federal oversight are unconstitutional, and several other justices have hinted they think so, too. It would be a great victory if Kinston were able to help the South throw off its shackles.
In the meantime, the case — like the one against the New Black Panthers that was withdrawn — shows how biased the Obama/Holder Justice Department is in favor of blacks. [Ben Conery, Justice Concludes Black Voters Need Democratic Party, Washington Times, Oct. 20, 2009. Anthony Tsontakis, Change in Election Becomes Black-And-White Controversy, WorldNetDaily.com, Jan. 2, 2011.]
‘They’re Taking Over’
Costa Rica is poorer than Mexico, Venezuela, or Turkey, but with a per capita income of $10,900 a year it is a lot better off than neighboring Nicaragua, where annual per capita income is only $2,800. Costa Rica therefore has an illegal immigrant problem, just as we do. It now has about 350,000 immigrants out of a population of 4.5 million, the highest percentage in any Latin American country. “People start to think they’re everywhere, that the country is being overrun,” says Salvador Gutiérrez, an expert at the International Organization for Migration based in Geneva.
Part of the problem is that many Nicaraguans who used to go all the way up through Mexico and enter the United States are now staying in Costa Rica. They have heard that jobs are hard to get in el Norte, that US border control is tight, and that Mexican drug gangs prey on transient illegals.
|What the Nicaraguans come for.|
The government is cracking down: It has criminalized immigrant smuggling, raised the financial requirements for legal residency, and made it harder to get residency by marrying a local.
Costa Ricans are beginning to sound like Americans. “We catch them and deport them, and a few days later, you see the same people again,” says federal police officer Dagoberto Briceño. In one high-traffic area, the authorities have even built a mile-long, eight-foot-high wall to keep out Nicaraguans. [Chris Hawley, Costa Rica Copes With Its Own Immigration Ills, USA Today, Dec. 30, 2010.]
Crescent and Cross
Islam is going from strength to strength in Spain. First, thanks to massive immigration, the Muslim population has soared from just 100,000 in 1990 to an estimated 1.5 million in 2010. The result has been a huge mosque-building boom and increasingly truculent demands.
Spain now has 13 “mega-mosques,” beginning with the 130,000-square-foot Islamic Cultural Center in Madrid, which was paid for by the Saudis and opened in 1992. There are more than 1,000 smaller mosques and prayer centers elsewhere in the country. Now Barcelona is to get a huge mosque that will accommodate thousands of worshippers, and city tax-payers will help pay to build it. A spokesman for the mayor explains that “although religion pertains to the private realm, this does not mean it does not have a public role,” and that the mosque will promote the “common values between Islam and Europe.”
Barcelona has officially adopted the view of a Moroccan imam named Noureddine Ziani, now based in Barcelona, who says “mega-mosques” are the best way to fight Islamic extremism: “It is easier to disseminate fundamentalist ideas in small mosques set up in garages where only the members of the congregation attend, than in large mosques that are open to everyone.” He also says that if European governments pay to train imams that will be “a useful formula to avoid radical positions.”
Imam Ziani, sounds suspiciously radical himself. He insists on the compatibility of Islam with European values, and says that Europeans should describe their heritage as Islamo-Christian rather than Judeo-Christian. He appears to share the Salafist view that any territory that was ever under Muslim rule must still be considered Muslim. In 2008 there was only one Salafist conferences in Spain; in 2010 there were ten. Salafist and irredentist thinking is behind demands that Muslims be allowed to worship in the main cathedral of Cordoba, which was a mosque before Christians expelled the Muslims. Their hope is to reestablish Cordoba as the Mecca of the West.
| The cathedral of Cordoba. Muslims think that because
it was once a mosque it must always be a mosque.
In Lleida, in northeastern Spain, Muslims are a fifth of the population. They have received financing from Morocco to build a mosque, but are furious that the city gave them free land for construction only on the outskirts of town rather than in the center. For three years, they have refused to build, insisting on a more “dignified location for the Muslim community to worship.”
The Islamic Community of Bilbao is going straight to townspeople, distributing flyers asking for contributions to build a mosque. The group’s website reminds readers that the Moriscos (Muslims who converted to Christianity under threat of exile) were finally expelled from Spain only in 1609, “really not that long ago,” adding, “We are back to stay, Insha’Allah.” Islamic leaders say that Spain could atone for the sin of expelling the Moriscos by offering their descendents Spanish citizenship.
The rise of Islam comes just as many municipalities run by the anti-clerical Socialist Party have been using new zoning laws to shut down little-used churches. [Soeren Kern, Spain Goes on Mosque-Building Spree, Hudson Institute, Dec. 30, 2010.]
What’s in a Name?
Although Muslims are just 3 percent of the population of Britain, Mohammed is now the most popular name for newborn boys in England and Wales. Including alternate spellings, 7,549 Mohammeds were born in England and Wales last year. Second place went to Oliver, at 7,364. Jack, a perennial favorite which had been the most popular boys name for 14 straight years, fell to third place in 2009, followed by Harry.
Mohammed means “praise” in Arabic. There are 14 different spellings, though scholars aren’t sure why. Some think it is because of different phonetic transliterations while others say parents just have different preferences. [Mohammed is Now the Most Popular Name for Baby Boys Ahead of Jack and Harry, Daily Mail (London), Oct. 27, 2010.]
Meanwhile, the British Red Cross banned all signs of Christmas at its 430 fund-raising shops so as not to offend Muslims. [Steve Doughty, The Red Cross Bans Christmas, Daily Mail (London), Jan. 6, 2011.]
LETTERS FROM READERS
Sir — In his January article, “The Great White Wave,” Stephen Webster is right to point out that the Republicans did well in the last election because the economy was doing poorly. He is also right when he says it was wrong for President Obama to push through an unpopular health plan. Before Franklin Roosevelt passed the signature reforms of the New Deal, such as Social Security, he succeeded in cutting unemployment with popular programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps. This gave FDR credibility on the economy Mr. Obama has not yet earned.
Nevertheless, it might be too soon to count Mr. Obama out for a second term. When Ronald Reagan had been in office an equal number of months the unemployment rate was one percentage point higher than now, and his approval rating was several percentage points lower.
Mr. Webster notes that the Republican Party has become the party of the white majority at all income levels. Unfortunately, it cannot be said that white blue collar workers have benefited economically from their support for the GOP. Increasingly, economic growth goes to profits, rather than pay raises. This is an issue the Democrats could exploit in 2012.
John Engelman, Wilmington, Del.
Sir — In Stephen Webster’s political analysis I believe AR has found a worthy successor to the great Sam Francis. I always enjoyed Sam’s incisive commentary on politics, and I enjoyed Mr. Webster’s just as much.
I would like to add a bit about my state’s new black Republican congressman, Tim Scott. He has repeatedly said he wants to “make strict immigration reform a top priority in Congress.” He points out that our state spends “more than $186 million to educate, provide medical care, and incarcerate illegal aliens,” and that that’s got to stop. When he was in the state house, Mr. Scott sponsored immigration legislation modeled on that of Arizona, and called for stiff penalties for anyone who knowingly hires an illegal.
Nor will be join the Congressional Black Caucus. He says his campaign “was never about race.” In a statement after he was elected, he said he would concentrate on cutting taxes, reducing government, and lowering the debt, adding, “I don’t think those ideals are advanced by focusing on one group of people.”
I don’t live in Mr. Scott’s district, but if I did I would have voted for him over his clownish white opponent, Ben Frasier.
Paul Curran, Greenville, S.C.
Sir — In your January 2011 issue, you review The Perils Of Diversity by Byron M. Roth. The book is clearly right on the money with the bulk of its observations. However, I take exception to one statement. Prof. Roth suggests that a proliferation of high-IQ Chinese will lead to a widening gap in innovation between the US and China. This seems to ignore the fact that Asians throughout history tend to innovate very little. They had gunpowder for 100 years and did virtually nothing with it. If the Western economies collapse, all the other countries that have been feeding off them will stagnate.
Paul Jones, Australia
Sir — I am replying to the two letters in AR of January 2011 about my review of Ayaan Ali’s Infidel. Mr. Lodge wrote, “The extent of her praise of the West is to note that we have a higher standard of living than the Third World and to celebrate liberal views of homosexuality and feminism.” But a higher standard of living is what differentiates human from animal existence. The West’s standard of living is a wonderful achievement, which has freed nearly all its inhabitants from having to worry about food, shelter, and other concerns of animal/physical survival. “Standard of living” includes anesthetics and antibiotics. It also includes more mundane achievements, which Miss Ali reminds us we should not take for granted, such as efficient garbage disposal and menstrual tampons. She is correct to regard the West’s standard of living as a marvelous creation. She also points out, as I quote in my review, that it is a superior value system that has enabled the West to create it.
Miss Ali understands that this value system includes “liberal views on homosexuality and feminism” because these views emanate from a basic concept of the nature of society, which is most powerfully expressed by the American Declaration of Independence: the purpose of governments is to ensure individual rights, including the pursuit of happiness; governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed; etc. These concepts are purely Western in origin; and, like many other Western innovations, the rest of the world — with the significant exception of Muslim countries — is recognizing their superiority over non-Western concepts of society. Miss Ali has done us a service by reminding us of these magnificent Western contributions to the world.
Mr. Sharp, in his letter, points out that one of the reasons that Osama bin Laden gave for the 9/11 attacks was American support for Israel. However, Miss Ali’s essential point is that the Koran and Sharia contain categorical, unequivocal commands to destroy with violence any person, country, or idea that is perceived as hostile to Islam. I ask Mr. Sharp to reread Miss Ali’s quotations (in Chapter 14 of Infidel) from Mr. bin Laden’s justifications of his attacks.
Steven Farron, Johannesburg, South Africa