The invaluable Daniel Pipes has written an article on what he sees as the three most likely possible futures for Europe:
Europe may constitute a mere 7 per cent of the world's landmass but for 500 years, 1450-1950, for good and ill, it was the global engine of change.
How it develops in the future will affect all humanity, especially daughter countries such as Australia that still retain close and important ties to the old continent. I foresee potentially one of three paths for Europe: Muslims dominating, Muslims rejected or harmonious integration.
The first scenario, Muslims dominating, is most famously articulated in Mark Steyn's America Alone. In this possible future, Europe does not wake from its current cultural and demographic stupor. Native Europeans are currently at nowhere near population replacement levels. Liberal guilt, coupled with Socialist economics and moral relativism (highlighted by a rejection of religion) has lulled the continent into a suicidal stupor from which it doesn't wake. Islam, though lacking in the inner dynamism of Western civilization retains its religious fervor coupled with a resentment of the West and a fecundity that leads it to swamping the continent.
The second scenario, Muslims rejected, posits a future in which Europe , at the 11th hour, rouses itself from its stupor and pushes back against the Muslim influx. The result is likely to be bloody and difficult, requiring not just the likely expulsion of large numbers of Muslims but a reconfiguration of dead-end European Socialist economies and a muscular reclamation of European culture.
The final scenario is favored by "most politicians, journalists, and academics, but it has little basis in fact." It basically posits a future in which the idea of either the old style conception of the "melting pot" or the current in-vogue multicultural idea takes hold and Muslims and Europeans mingle happily, happily reveling in the gorgeous mosaic Jesse Jackson likes to bleat about.
Looking around at the current social landscape of Europe it is depressingly easy to assume that the first scenario in which Muslims eventually become ascendant while shunting aside Western culture in the process, is even now taking place. Pipes however, while hardly being an optimist in this matter is a realist first and makes this final point:
Forecasting is difficult because the crisis has not yet struck. But it may not be far off. Within a decade, perhaps, the continent's evolution will become clear as the Europe-Muslim relationship takes shape.Whatever the outcome, it will have tremendous ramifications for the US, either pointing the way to our own future or acting as a cautionary tale that might cause us to develop strategies that might yet save the ideals of the West, the best of which have have yet to be equalled by any other culture.
The unprecedented nature of Europe's situation also renders a forecast exceedingly difficult. Never in history has a civilisation peaceably dissolved, nor has a people risen to reclaim its patrimony. Europe's unique circumstances make the outcome difficult to comprehend, tempting to overlook and virtually impossible to predict. With Europe, we all enter into terra incognita.
Cross-Posted at Liberty Pundit