A former CIA analyst says that Muslims are taking over parts of the world into which they move simply by outnumbering the previous residents. The analyst makes the conclusion in a conversation about a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
The study coordinator, Pew Forum scholar Brian Grim, says that of the estimated 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, most are South Asian, largely in India and Indonesia. The second largest Muslim group comes from the Middle East.
The former CIA analyst says that in places like Western Europe and America, Muslims are wielding increasing influence.
Grim says any increasing influence is the simple result of one group’s population growing and eventually outnumbering other ethnic and religious groups.
“Western Europe hasn’t traditionally been home to a large number of Muslims, but the new entry of Muslims in Europe create new issues to be dealt with socially. You have immigration and religious freedom issues,” Grim stated.
Listen to the interview with Grim:
However, International Christian Concern Islam watcher Jonathan Racho says that the increasingly large Western European Muslim community is growing in militancy as well as in numbers.
“If you go to places like the U. K. and France, some cities in Sweden and Holland, you can already see some cities where Muslims are very significant because of their numbers,” Racho began.
“In the U. K. there are some places where there are so many Muslims [that] non-Muslims can’t go there. They are called ‘no-go’ areas for non-Muslims,” he explained.
“Because of this, human rights violations are happening. We have reported attacks on Christians in a neighborhood in the U. K. Evangelists were stopped by the police for preaching the Gospel. The Muslim policeman stopped them and said they couldn’t preach in that area,” Racho said.
“There’s been some scary situations. I’m not trying to be alarmist, but I’m just stating the facts. The situation is really bad for Christians in some areas where Muslims are now in the majority in Europe,” Racho added.
Listen to the interview with Racho:
“In some places in Europe there are already instances of the application of
Shariah law [Islamic religious law) among the Muslims. It has become a significant problem because the Muslim population in some Western European countries has become very vocal,” Racho continued.
Racho adds that after Shariah law, the next step is an increased pressure on the non-Muslim population.
“In some places in Europe, the Muslims are calling for violence,” Racho stated.
“There are now instances of terrorism attacks in the U. K. Some of the British Muslims have gone to Afghanistan and Pakistan to get training.”
The Press Trust of India reported this week that 20 Muslim British citizens are reported to have gone to a Pakistani training camp to prepare for Mumbai, India-like attacks in Great Britain.
Grim hesitated to suggest a growing militancy in Europe’s Muslim population, saying that the Pew study didn’t really address those issues.
“A recent study that we did called Muslim Networks and Movements in Western Europe … was not a representative study of Muslims and their attitudes but a profile of different Muslim groups,” Grim explained.
“Indeed, you do find some groups that have more militant perspectives and then you have many groups that are very moderate in their views,” Grim stated.
Grim believes that most of Western Europe’s Muslims came for economic reasons.
“In Western Europe, the Muslims have recently arrived and they came for jobs in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Immigration has continued in search of work where there are growing economies, where there is sort of an open market. That’s where you have seen the most noticeable growth in the size and the visibility of the Muslim population in Western Europe,” Grim asserted.
The American Enterprise Institute’s terrorism analyst Michael Rubin disagrees, saying that economic reasons are way down the list.
“Ideology means more than poverty when it comes to radicalism and terrorism. Most suicide bombers, for example, are educated and many come from middle class families,” Rubin observed.
The impact on Western Europe has been documented. A
2006 BBC report reported on the six-month controversy over Denmark’s Jyllands Posten newspaper publishing a cartoon of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban.
In the Netherlands, Dutch Parliament member Geert Wilders went on trial for hate crimes as a result of his strong anti-Muslim stand.
Grim continues to paint a less threatening picture of Muslims in general.
“Muslims are multiple races, multiple ethnicities and multiple languages. Then in the report itself we talked about the two main identities, the religious identities Muslims cluster under, so to speak, Shia and Sunni Muslim,” Grim described.
“The intent of the report was to show that Muslims are diverse and they are spread through many different countries, different nationalities, languages. In no way does the report classify Muslims as one category,” Grim stated.
“The picture in Europe is one of diversity where you have groups that are moderate and then you have groups that are less moderate,” Grim continued.
The number of Muslims in the United States is growing, and Grim says by the sheer weight of the numbers, they are going to gain in influence. He says they’re certainly gaining a bigger share of the media attention.
“Without a doubt there has been a growth in the amount of news coverage especially related to the mosque in New York City and then the issue in Florida with the pastor wanting to burn the Quran,” Grim observed.
The Pew Forum analyst believes that the mosque building controversy is a natural byproduct of the increasing attention and increase in numbers.
“The size of the Muslim population, the size of any religious group usually coincides with the demand or the desire to have places of worship. Since it’s a large number, but not a large percentage,” Grim said.
“There would be an interest in these people having a place to worship that would be a very natural thing. It’s not a function of trying spread mosques as much as it is a natural outcome of people of faith wanting to have a place to worship,” Grim continued.
However, Racho says that Americans need to be wary because there is a relationship between mosque construction and the spread of an ideology.
“Some Muslim groups use the religious freedom of the United States to import a radical Islamic ideology,” Racho explained.
“This is a very radical ideology that is a threat to the national security of the United States. U. S policy makers should continue to be vigilant about Islamic groups in this country which come in the name of Islam and in the name of religion and exploit the system,” Racho continued.
Rubin agrees saying, “I don’t think the U. S. government gets it. Why should they be sending Yahya Hindi or Feisal Abdul Rauf on trips to talk about Islam in America?”
Racho says that the reality of increased Islamic influence cannot be ignored. One way to keep an eye on the threat is to follow the money.
“We have to make sure the money for the mosques comes from forces who have no allegiance to radical Islam. That is very important. We have seen reports that many mosques that are built by Saudis teach very violent forms of Islam,” Racho also explained.
“There has to be a sense of accountability because if we leave them free to spew their hateful ideologies, we’re going to pay the price. And the price is very costly,” Racho said.