In an article published in Newsweek last week, William Underhill tells the magazine’s readers that “fears of a Muslim takeover [in Europe] are all wrong.”

The article was published in the same week that Muslim youths, during consecutive nights of rioting, torched hundreds of cars and burnt the entire business district of the French town of Firminy to the ground.

Perhaps Mr. Underhill was unaware of the events in Firminy, as are many Europeans and even Frenchmen, because the media are loath to report facts like these. In the Fall of 2005, a wave of nightly rioting by young Muslim thugs suddenly disappeared from the news when the press, at the request of the French authorities, stopped reporting about it.

In France, over 750 territorial enclaves have been given up by the state and are no longer controlled by the French authorities. These are the so-called "zones urbaines sensibles" (ZUS, sensitive urban areas). They have even been listed as such on an official website. The ZUS are run by Muslim gangs, while the inhabitants live under a combination of Shariah law and mafia rule.

Warnings concerning the loss of Europe to Islam is referred to by Mr. Underhill as “rabble-rousing stuff” and “alarming and highly speculative projections.” While conceding that “about half of respondents in Spain and Germany [hold] negative views of Muslims,” Newsweek pretends to know better than the 50 percent of the Europeans, who feel uneasy about their daily confrontations with men in djellabahs and women in hijabs (if not niqabs and burkas), and with the construction of huge mosques in their home towns.

Mr. Underhill, writing from his ivory tower at Newsweek, cites Jytte Klausen, “an authority on Islam in Europe at Boston’s Brandeis University,” and Grace Davie, “an expert on Europe and Islam at the University of Exeter in Britain,” to prove that those who warn about a Muslim take-over in Europe are “scaremongering.”

Ms. Klausen gained some notoriety when, in a March 2006 article in Prospect Magazine, she said the Danish cartoon affair was the result of “a provincial newspaper’s prank.”

As a result of this “prank,” Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist of the newspaper Jyllands Posten, based in the European provincial backwater of Aarhus, Denmark, lives in a house which, as I could witness there last month, the Danish authorities have had to transform into a fortress, with surveillance cameras, bullet-proof windows and a panic room. Every day, the Aarhus police drive Mr. Westergaard to work. Such is the situation facing a simple cartoonist of a European provincial newspaper and his wife, four years after he drew a cartoon depicting Mohammed with a bomb in his turban. One wonders why Mr. Underhill did not consult Mr. and Mrs. Westergaard for their views on the effects of Islam in early 21st century Europe. Surely, he is as much an expert on the issue as Ms. Klausen in her cosy office at Brandeis University, another of America’s ivory towers.

Prof. Davie is a British sociologist who studies “pluralism, tolerance and democracy in contemporary Europe.” It is unclear what makes her an “authority on Islam in Europe.” However, like Mr. Underhill, Mrs. Davie is convinced that democracy in Europe is threatened by “far-right” politicians such as Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party. Mr. Wilders figures prominently in Mr. Underhill’s article, but it is clear that the Newsweek reporter did not pay him a visit in his office in the Dutch Parliament or he would have seen the sorry state of pluralism, tolerance and democracy in contemporary Europe with his own eyes. Is it normal that a democratically elected politician, even if he is considered a “far-right polemist,” is forced to live under permanent death threats, needs constant protection by guards who drive him around in blinded, armored cars and never allow him to go out in public, unless he is wearing a bulletproof vest, and even then only to places where the police have first stationed snipers on the surrounding rooftops?

It is not Barack Obama who is being protected in this way; it is an ordinary European politician from a small European country. He has to be protected because he voices the fears of his voters who dread a Muslim takeover of their native land. While Newsweek proclaims that “the fears of Muslim takeover in Europe are all wrong,” just spending a few hours with Mr. Wilders or Mr. Westergaard brings home the realization that the takeover has already taken place. As soon as the police protection of Messrs. Wilders and Westergaard is lifted, both men will be dead within a week. The first man’s throat will be slit for the opinions he expresses in Parliament; the second man’s, for a drawing he made four years ago. Such is life in Europe’s “pluralistic, tolerant and democratic societies” for those who criticize Islam or its prophet. Politicians or journalists who do not want to endanger themselves and their families do not address the topic of Islamization, or take cover under a pseudonym.

The Newsweek article tries to refute what it considers to be exaggerated figures and assumptions of the Muslim presence, and its future presence, in Europe. “The rise of a Eurabia is predicated on limited and dubious evidence,” William Underhill writes. He has the fairness, however, to concede that even “coming up with a reasonable estimate for the percentage of Muslims now living in Europe … is a virtually impossible task” because “the number of illegal immigrants is unknown.”

Much can be said about numbers. As it is “virtually impossible” to say something not speculative about the number of Muslims in Europe, suffice it to say that the highest figures do not come from “far-right scaremongerers,” as Mr. Underhill implies. The highest estimate of Muslims in France is 12 million on a population of 61 million. That figure of 20 per cent comes from the spokesman of a Muslim organization, not from French equivalents of Mr. Wilders.

One must, however, also realize that societies can be completely disrupted by Muslim extremists without having become predominantly Muslim. If but one percent of the 20 million Muslims presently in Europe (the figure of 20 million European Muslims is provided by Mr. Underhill in Newsweek) are prepared to wage violent jihad against their host countries in an attempt to replace their governments with an Islamic caliphate, this means that Europe has potentially 200,000 terrorists within its borders.

These figures worry Western intelligence officers, who are also worried about radical Muslims in the Western armies.

Further, they are worried about the possible establishment of territorial enclaves controlled by Jihadists, which can be used as launching pads for terrorist attacks. Last January, European security analysts were closely watching the Gaza War to see how Israel dealt with the situation of a hostile territorial enclave from which rocket attacks are launched on Israeli territory within a 25 mile radius of Gaza. The center of Paris is within this radius from several of the ZUS surrounding the French capital. The Muslim-dominated district of Rosengard in the Swedish city of Malmo is just 21 miles from the Danish capital of Copenhagen, with only the narrow Oresund Strait in between.

Denmark does not exclude the possibility that in the coming decades it may be compelled to raid Rosengard, as the Israeli army was raiding Gaza earlier this year. However, do not expect Western media to write about such topics - topics which they do not want their readers to contemplate.

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