Muslim Migration into Europe: Eurabia Come True?
David Horowitz Freedom Center
Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes took part in the panel discussion "Muslim Migration into Europe: Eurabia come True?" at the David Horowitz Freedom Center's 2015 Restoration Weekend, held November 5-8 at the Belmond Charleston Place Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina. The transcript below has been lightly edited.
Erick Stakelbeck: Our next speaker is, to my mind, one of the most brilliant voices of thinkers, analysts on all of these issues we're talking about, and he has been before anyone else was doing it. Dr. Daniel Pipes is president of the Middle East Forum and a columnist at National Review, The Jerusalem Post. You read his stuff everywhere and many other publications. He's the author of several books on the Middle East and Islam. He is a true authority. Dr. Daniel Pipes.
Daniel Pipes: Thank you, Erick, and good morning, ladies and gentlemen. My topic is the European response to the wave of migration that took place, that is still taking place. Indeed, the largest number of migrants to Europe was in October; far more than September or July or August. And the number this October was nine times more than last October.
"The recent surge of migration is having an impact on European attitudes ... we've just begun to see the implications."My assumption is that people respond to realities on the ground and that the recent surge of migration is having an impact on European attitudes. I expect that this will have a profound impact, that we've just begun to see the implications. The first significant implication is the election in Poland, which was directly influenced by fear of large numbers of migrants coming into the country. I expect the impact will be especially acute in countries like Austria, Germany and Sweden, where the governments have been the most enthusiastic about bringing in large numbers of migrants. The question I cannot answer for you is how quickly this is going to take place but it's clearly under way.
One important factor in this context is the existing institutions. In some countries, there are political parties, intellectual associations, and volunteer organizations which are available to be joined by someone concerned with immigration. In particular, there are political parties, most especially, for example, the PVV of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands. But in other countries, such as Germany, there's no such party. There are possibilities. Maybe in the future, they will take up this issue, but they have not yet.
The ruling ideas of these institutions are very important. At one extreme stands the neo-Nazi movement in Greece, the Golden Dawn. At the other extreme stands a very acceptable party such as the United Kingdom Independence Party, or UKIP, which consists up of people you'd be happy to invite to dinner. There's also a range in between.
These parties have a range of commonalities. They're all worried about Islam, immigration, they tend to be populist, and, to a certain extent, nativist. They are not generally right-wing parties. They usually combine a strong sense of nationalism and a left-wing economic program. Wilders is a perfect example of that mix, as is Marine Le Pen in France.
Marine Le Pen is also very important in another way. Her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, founded the National Front Party in 1972; he is a very cranky man full of Holocaust denial theories, bizarre economic notions and the like. His daughter has recently thrown him out of the party because he's baggage she doesn't need as she moves to the center to be electable. I see this and its equivalent in other countries as a positive step. In other words, if you want to grow your party, if you want to get to 50 percent, then you have to slough off all those eccentric, nasty habits and attitudes that many parties once indulged in. If you're serious about dealing with this penumbra of issues concerning Islam and immigration, you have to do so in a moderate and serious way, without strange and ugly theories. This shift is taking place in country after country.