Patrick J Buchanan
For the 30
years since “The McLaughlin Group” began to run on network television, the
Christmas and New Year’s shows have been devoted to the conferring of annual
award on the Christmas show is “Biggest Winner.”
clearly, one of the world’s big winner was — Islam.
was the year when what Catholic apologist Hilaire Belloc predicted in 1938
would be the “second period of Islamic power” became manifest to all mankind.
Morocco to Pakistan, a great awakening is occurring. And perhaps the most
dramatic example of Islam rising again came in Egypt, with the fall of the
60-year-old military dictatorship.
ouster of Hosni Mubarak after weeks of demonstrations in Tahrir Square, the
West hailed the coming of democracy.
democracy delivered a rude shock. In the first round of voting, over 60 percent
of all Egyptians cast their ballots for either the Muslim Brotherhood or the
radical Islamist Nour Party of the Salafis. In the second round last week, 75
percent voted Islamist.
and Tripoli, too, the overthrow of autocrats revealed a silent majority
sympathetic to Islamism.
Erdogan, the most important Turkish ruler since Kemal Ataturk, was a candidate
for Time’s Man of the Year as he turned his nation’s back on a century of
secularism and embraced a form of Islamism.
Uighurs seek to rip China’s largest province away from Beijing and establish an
East Turkestan. Muslims in the North Caucasus seek to strip Dagestan and
Ingushetia out of Russia. In Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans are in retreat and
Islamists are celebrating our eviction.
the world has heard of the atrocity against Muslims in Srebrenica, that world
ignores the desecration and destruction of Orthodox churches and cathedrals in
Kosovo and the ethnic cleansing of Serbs by the Muslim Albanians that President
Clinton brought to power.
the Muslim population has surpassed Catholicism as the world’s largest
religion, with 48 members of the U.N. General Assembly now boasting a Muslim
plurality or majority.
150 million Muslims, has more than both Egypt and Iraq. Russia, with 25
million, has more Muslims than Libya and Jordan combined. China has more than
Syria. Five percent of Europe is Muslim, and the numbers continue to rise.
And as with
Christianity when it was surging in the 16th and 17th centuries, Islam is
marked today by militancy and intolerance. From Nigeria to Ethiopia, Egypt,
Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Christians are being made the victims of Muslim
pogroms. And as with Christianity in the 16th and 17th centuries, Islam is a
house divided, between Shia and Sunni.
demography is destiny, the future would seem to belong to Islam.
The six most populous Muslim nations — Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan,
Nigeria and Turkey — had a total population of 242 million in 1950. By 2050,
that 242 million will have quintupled to 1.36 billion people.
Europe’s fertility rate has been below zero population growth since the 1970s.
Old Europe is dying, and its indigenous peoples are being replaced by Third
World immigrants, millions of them Muslim.
is another side to the Islamic story.
international test scores of high school students in reading, math and science,
not one Muslim nation places in the top 30. Take away oil and gas, and from
Algeria to Iran these nations would have little to offer the world. Iran would
have to fall back on exports of carpets, caviar and pistachio nuts.
Muslim nation is a member of the G-8 economic powers or the BRIC-four emerging
powers — Brazil, Russia, India, China.
In the 20th
century, the world saw the rise of the Asian “tigers” — South Korea, Taiwan,
Singapore, Hong Kong. Where are the Muslim tigers?
A few years
back, the gross domestic product of the entire Arab world was only equal to
Spain’s. Take away oil and gas, and its exports were equal to Finland’s.
manufacturing power, the Islamic world, though more populous, cannot hold a
candle to China. And while Islam was a civilization superior in some ways to
the West from the 7th to 17th century, somewhere that world began to stagnate
question arises: If Islamism is capturing Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, and will
capture other Muslim nations as the Arab Spring advances, where is the historic
evidence that these Islamic regimes can convert their states into manufacturing
and military powers?
the evidence that Islamist regimes, such as Sudan and Iran, can deliver what
their peoples demanded when they brought down the dictators?
like the communist regimes of the 20th century, they cannot deliver the good
life that the rebels sought when they dumped the tyrants, what will follow
Islamism, when Islamism inevitably fails?
In the long
run, does Islamism really own the future of the Islamic world? Or has the clock
begun to run on the fundamentalists as well?