Islam strikes at the heart of Europe again. It doesn't matter how frequent or how devastating they are, we know this for certain: Islamic terror attacks do not have the power to awaken Europe from its suicidal slumber. Or at least not Europe's elites. The rumblings of a revitalized nativist right-wing are fueled largely by anti-immigration and anti-Islam sentiment among the masses.
Responses to the statement 'All immigration from Muslim countries should be halted' in a recent Chatham House survey.
As heartening as data like that can be, are these "antis" enough? Does the populist, nativist right-wing need something more substantial to mobilize around and motivate action? I think so. While the Left frets about Marine Le Pen due to her being staunchly anti-Islam, she's also devoutly secularist to the point of nearly abhoring explicit Christianity in politics. In this way, she's emblematic of much of the rising Right in both Europe and America: largely secularist and post-Christian.
Watching the Islamicization of Europe often brings to mind Michel Houllebecq's haunting novel Submission, which so perceptively sees both the problem of an aggressive Islam and the lack of any answer in the West, where liberalism reigns and Christianity is culturally exhausted.
Liberal individualism triumphed as long as it undermined intermediate structures such as nations, corporations, castes, but when it attacked that ultimate social structure, the family, and thus the birthrate, it signed its own death warrant; Muslim dominance was a foregone conclusion.
The frequency of Islamic terrorism in the West can't be separated from the large increase of its presence there. Through immigration but also by an insular culture that often resists assimilation, assisted by politically correct pieties that refuse to impose any cultural or religious norms on the new arrivals. Not that there are many to impose. Liberalism is an anti-culture and Christianity is a specter.
Christopher Caldwell, in his book Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West, articulates the problem well:
The Islam professed by roughly half of Europe’s new arrivals sits uneasily with European traditions of secularism. In the struggle between the two, it would be arrogant to assume secularism has the stronger hand. The spiritual tawdriness Islamic immigrants perceive in the modern West is not imaginary. It may be Europe’s biggest liability in preserving its culture.
In the clash between the liberal, modern West and Islam, Islam simply has the upper hand. All the scientific advancement, technological sophistication, and warfare capability in the known universe is meaningless if a civilization refuses to reproduce or mobilize in its own defense. The writing is on the wall we refuse to build.
The task at hand for the Right is to grasp that at the heart of the West's inability to defend itself is secular liberalism. Anti-Islamic nativism, while certainly preferable to the globalist Left alternative, is doomed to fail if it retains everything else about the secular liberal order. Mass Islamic migration, and the invitation extended to it by the unctuous Mother Merkels of the globe is largely a response to the shifting demographic profile of aging western European nations with low birthrates. Which is a very genuine and not imagined problem that will remain even if the Right takes power throughout Europe, immigration is stalled, and Islam's advance is stymied.
Nativism is necessary but incomplete without natalism. Getting people in the West to marry, form families, and develop virtue in themselves to model for their children, when our culture is besotted with the vulgar trivialities of late capitalism and Cultural Marxism, is no small feat. A ressourcement, a return to Europe's Christian roots, is the only tack that has any hope of succeeding. People will vote to stop immigration; they may take to the streets to protest Islam; but to alter their lives in uncomfortable ways and take on the blessed burdens of family life and religious adherence requires more. Only genuine faith has this power. To quote French historian Rémi Brague:
Faith produces its effects only so long as it remains faith and not calculation. We owe European civilization to people who believed in Christ, not to people who believed in Christianity.