Germany’s Coming Demographic Revolution

Germany recently declared that it would take 800,000 refugees this year

Even as Germany has introduced “temporary” border controls in the past few days, the estimates for the actual number of migrants expected continues to grow. Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel now tells his party that, “There are many indications that in this year we will not see 800,000 refugees, as predicted, but a million.”

 

They still haven’t got it.

European media and policymakers have correctly realized that the present refugee crisis is an enormous challenge to the assumptions that have guided the continent for decades, to the point of potentially breaking the European Union. But apparently they still are not prepared to confront the specifically religious revolution now under way.

This issue places me in a strange and unprecedented position. Over the past decade, I have written about the presence of Islam in Europe, arguing repeatedly that the threat of “Islamization” is overblown. Overall, I have argued, Europe’s Muslim population is presently around 4.5 percent of the whole, which by U.S. standards is in no sense a massive minority presence. It might rise to 10 or 15 percent later in the century, but the change will be gradual, allowing plenty of time for assimilation.

My moderate position on this has been heavily criticized by various right-wing outlets such as FrontPage Magazine, a publication with which I agree on basically nothing. On most issues, I find FrontPage’s tone hysterical and alarmist. Now, suddenly, I myself have to criticize that magazine for being insufficiently concerned about Islam. These are strange times.

Here is the problem. Germany recently declared that it would take 800,000 refugees this year. That is a very large figure, but as the government points out, that is only one percent of the population of 80 million. In FrontPage, Daniel Greenfield stresses that the issue is much graver than it appears, since the refugees are mainly young men, who will massively raise the Muslim presence among that section of Germany’s population. Other writers like Christopher Caldwell also raise alarms about the massive security threats posed by the present crisis. He warns that European politicians “are trying to pass off a migration crisis as a humanitarian crisis. It may be on the verge of turning into a military crisis.”

Both Greenfield and Caldwell are right, but they are still missing large parts of the story, which are available to anyone who has followed German media over the past two weeks. The first point made repeatedly by German officials and journalists is that no sane person really believes in that 800,000 figure for this present year. Even as Germany has introduced “temporary” border controls in the past few days, the estimates for the actual number of migrants expected continues to grow. Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel now tells his party that, “There are many indications that in this year we will not see 800,000 refugees, as predicted, but a million.”

Also, such officials are explicitly saying that something like this influx will continue more or less indefinitely. Sigmar Gabriel has also said that “we could certainly deal with something in the order of a half a million for several years.” If the present experience is anything to go by, that is likely to mean something like a million a year for how long? Five years? Ten?

However obvious this may be to say, there is no logical end to this process, even if the Syrian crisis ended tomorrow. As it becomes known that Germany is so open to migrants, that fact offers an irresistible invitation to anyone living in a country roiled by violence or economic crisis, which basically means most lands from Libya to Pakistan. There is no terminal point at which the nations sending migrants would ever run out of candidates seeking refuge and asylum. And even that projection takes no account of the likely spread of open warfare and terrorism into Turkey and Egypt in the coming decade.

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