Catholic Cardinal Blames Islamization of Europe on Atheists

A leading Catholic cardinal blames secular thinking, and atheists in particular, for the rapid increase in Europe’s Muslim population. Immigration policies apparently have nothing to do with it.

Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, marked his retirement after 19 years of leading Czech Catholics with a blistering condemnation of Europe’s secular mindset, singling out atheists as the cause of a growing Islamic population.

Among Vlk’s comments:

The Muslims . . . have a religious [reason to move to Europe ] – to bring the spiritual values of faith in God to the pagan environment of Europe, to its atheistic style of life.

Unless the Christians wake up, life may be Islamised and Christianity will not have the strength to imprint its character on the life of people, not to say society.

Europe has denied its Christian roots from which it has risen and which could give it the strength to fend off the danger that it will be conquered by Muslims, which is actually happening gradually.

Likening the demographic shift to a religious war, Vlk continued:

At the end of the Middle Ages and in the early modern age, Islam failed to conquer Europe with arms. The Christians beat them then.

Today, when the fighting is done with spiritual weapons which Europe lacks while Muslims are perfectly armed, the fall of Europe is looming.

I could respond to this with a snarky comment, asking just how many Christians are deciding that the idea of the Biblical god is ridiculous, becoming atheists, and then realizing that the idea of the same god with a different name is Truth . . .

I could ask why it is that Vlk thinks that teaching children critical thought instead of belief in deities will help them to eventually believe in Muslims’ deity instead of the Vatican’s deity . . .

I could also ask why it is that Vlk thinks that the alternative to Christianity is Islam, and the alternative to Islam is Christianity . . .

But I’d rather debunk Vlk’s statements.

Do Vlk’s comments have a basis in reality? I see three assertions in his words:

  • Europe is becoming “Islamized”.
  • Christians are converting to Islam, as Islam “fills the spiritual void”.
  • Atheists and secular thought in general are causing people to abandon one faith and join another.

Let’s examine each.

  • Europe is becoming “Islamized”.

Europe’s Muslim population is, indeed, expanding. Rapidly. Many people are concerned that this will lead to the formation of Islamic states in Europe, and the rapid decline of Western civilization. Others believe that the secular influence in Europe, over the next few generations, will lead to European Muslims taking a route similar to European Christians — many (if not a majority) of whom are Christian by heritage and tradition, more than by all-consuming belief in and worship of a particular deity.

Some fear-mongers have gone so far as to falsify or exaggerate statistics to promote fear among Westerners:

The bulk of the bunk in that video is debunked by Tiny Frog.

If you prefer to listen to analysis rather than read through statistics, BBC Radio 4′s More or Less program reviews the Muslim Demographics video here:

But the fact does remain that Muslims are immigrating into Europe, in many cases are asserting a separate culture rather than assimilating, and are reproducing at a somewhat higher rate than native Europeans. This is understandably disturbing to many Europeans.

Americans (our primary audience here) may tend to forget that most countries in Europe are smaller than many states in the United States. Each of these geographically-small nations has a centuries-old tradition including language, architecture, religion, dress, etc. They have for centuries been generally homogeneous racially. The differences between neighboring countries are often far greater than the cultural differences between the neighboring states of New York and Connecticut, for example.

A visible minority which dresses differently, builds different-looking buildings, speaks a different language, and is of a different race can be very threatening, particularly when some of those people wish to bring the traditions of their former nation with them rather than following the customs of their adopted home.

The visibility of these “different” people, and their increasing population and desire for a role in shaping their adopted nations in recent years, gives the impression that the continent is being “Islamized”. While it seems there is a kernel of truth in this, the circumstance does not appear nearly so dire as that suggested by Vlk and others.

Is Europe becoming “Islamized”? Yes and no. Its demographics are changing, primarily due to immigration. But it will not likely be a series of Islamic Republics by 2050, as the first video asserts.

  • Christians are converting to Islam, as Islam “fills the spiritual void”.

The total number of converts from [something else] to Islam in Europe is statistically quite small. A Reuters story reports:

GERMANY

The number of Muslims in Germany is estimated at 3.3 million. Around 4,000 Germans converted to Islam last year, according to German media reports quoting figures from the Central Institute Islam Archive. In 2005 there were around 1,000 German converts to Islam.

BRITAIN

The Muslim Council of Britain estimates that there are around 2 million Muslims in Britain.

There are no precise figures for converts but based on the 2001 census figure, researcher Yahya Birt estimated that around 14,000-16,000 Muslims in total in Britain were converts.

ITALY

Italy’s Muslim community estimates a population of 1.2 to 1.4 million Muslims. A spokesman for the Rome mosque, one of Europe’s largest, gave an estimate of a total of about 15,000 to 20,000 Muslim converts in Italy.

FRANCE The Union of Islamic Organisations (UOIF) estimates there are between 5 and 6 million Muslims in France. Le Parisien newspaper, citing UOIF estimates, said there were 4,000 converts to Islam in the year 2006.

SPAIN Spain’s main Islamic organisation has said there are more than 1 million Muslims in Spain of which a small proportion are converts.

According to what I will trust to be an accurate translation of this original source, a huge number of Norwegians converted in 2009:

More than 100 Norwegians converted to Islam this year. The Catholic church is also seeing a similar demand from people seeking a new faith.

Yusuf Estes, a Muslim speaker from the US was in Norway for a visit this past June. After his speech at Oslo University College, five Norwegians converted to Islam.

They did this by reading the Muslim creed in front of hundreds of students.

There are no official statistics on how many convert to Islam. But TV2 received data from most central mosques and Muslims organizations across the country. Just this year, more than 100 Norwegians became Muslim.

But it’s not just Islam which is experiencing demand from seeking Norwegian. The Catholic Church has also gotten about 100 new converts in 2009.

In contrast to Islam, a sentence is not enough to convert. Pål Bratbak says that one must go to Sunday Mass, the most central of Catholic Church practices, learn for about a year’s time and then write a letter to the bishop asking to be accepted into the Catholic Church.

The data suggest that very few Europeans are converting from [something else] to Islam. Are Christians converting to Islam, which fills the “spiritual void”? Apparently not. Quite the contrary, according to this 2007 article:

Muslims are converting to Christianity in their thousands in France but face exclusion from their families and even death threats.

Most Muslims hide their conversion and Protestant ministers do their utmost to protect new converts. It is estimated that every year in the world some six million Muslims convert to Christianity.

Around 15,000 Muslims each year are converting to Christianity [in France alone - JD] – around 10,000 to Catholicism and 5,000 to Protestantism.

So, 4,000 converts from [something else] to Islam, and 15,000 converts from Islam to Christianity per year in France. That’d be a net of 11,000 converts to Christianity.

Finally,

  • Atheists and secular thought in general are causing people to abandon one faith and join another.

We’ve already seen that the number of Europeans converting to Islam from [something else] is very small. Do atheists and people who think along secular lines encourage this behavior?

There aren’t any statistics to jump on here, so I’ll use logic.

A secular mindset demands separation between religion and government. Europeans have a long history of fighting the control of their government by religion; their cultural memory includes centuries of oppressive rule — direct or indirect — by the Catholic church.

How do people who value secular government, and who teach their children to value the same, encourage the growth of a new theocracy? Would such people not be just as inclined to fight the establishment of an Islamic theocracy as a Christian?

How do atheists encourage conversion to Islam? Atheists don’t believe in any gods. They don’t say, “Christianity is ridiculous, and oppressive, and can’t stand up to critical thought . . . but that other religion with the invisible man who knows all and can do anything but never shows himself or acts in a measurable manner, well that’s OK with us”!

So no, atheists are not causing Europe to become “Islamized”. The primary contributor to the increasing number of Muslims in Europe is immigration, not atheism.

Some recommended reading on this issue: Muslims in Europe: A Report on 11 EU Cities, December 2009, Open Society Institute.

16 Responses to Catholic Cardinal Blames Islamization of Europe on Atheists

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  2. And here I thought it was the Hitler Youth Pope that takes money for the poor then wears silk, gold & Prada while covering up for a conga line of homosexual child rapist priests that was turning people away from their cult…. Besides, only atheists can be real patriots because religious cult members will always put their religion before their country.

    • “Besides, only atheists can be real patriots because religious cult members will always put their religion before their country.” I can’t believe I’ve never seen that one before. I’m gonna mark that one down. It seems that David Barton and his posse of Christian Revisionists are aware of that contradiction, thus their rabid attempts to change the history books in school classrooms to indicate that the US was founded by Jesus, and only “True Believers” are welcome.

      • Athiests being true patriots? BS! Can you give me a few examples of that, was George Washington a athiest? No! Well if hitler was a real patriot then I guess your right.

    • >Besides, only atheists can be real patriots because religious cult members will always put their religion before their country. You must be kidding. So if I love God and love my country I cannot be a true patriot? Too many exceptions are to that.

      • I have to agree that many christians aren't really as patriotic as they claim. Anytime you have to push a religion onto others to be patriotic you are putting religion first. Since all religions I know of are based on what man created then you are putting a lie above truth.

  3. As Western govts. blithely allow mass Muslim immigration, remaining an Islam history ignoramus gets more dangerous daily. Never fear, you can learn all the key facts of Islam’s history free online with the Historyscoper, to get started click http://go.to/islamhistory

  4. Since there is no data to support the Cardinal’s claim, one cannot simply use “logic” to address his point without having a proper understanding of Islam (as is the case for “PastorMike” and the rest of the arrogant posters). You cannot use logic without the necessary knowledge of that which you are to apply logic…(i.e., islam). Ignorance of Islamic scripture, multiculturalism and political correctness… these are the things which fuel Islamic Global Supremacy (and it is a “secular nation” that best provides these attributes than any other nation). This is why Islam is growing; because of christianity-bashing, atheist-appeasing agendas of secularized governments. The UN, secular in theory, has recently made it a crime to criticize Islam. The Cardinal is correct…..and yet, atheists rely on “data” (manipulated or not) before they can begin to use their minds. Pathetic. Al Gore gave us “data” as well, and I bet many atheists believed him. Simply pathetic. -.-

  5. The cardinal is correct, but for different reason. Atheistic states in general are weak, and will die out unless they get strength from immigration. Exception are states which have historically moral but not religious beliefs linke China or Ceylon. So yes, in Europe atheism is destroying the society, reduces the number of births, and increases imigration countries with more faith.

    • So, you’re saying that atheists have fewer children because they’re atheist? And that they allow Islamics to immigrate in huge numbers because they’re atheist? I’d suggest they have fewer children because they are educated (demonstrated in all cultures, birth rates decline as women gain education). And they allow more Islamists to immigrate because they are suckers for political correctness and are afraid someone will think them “intolerant” if they fail to tolerate the abusive cults of others. THAT is the weakness.

      • >So, you're saying that atheists have fewer children because they're atheist? What I say that in general atheism, or lack of religion, have side effects that produces fewer children. Yes higher education reduces children count, but it is not the only reason. Do you think that people in Poland or Ireland or in the USA are uneducated. Show me one society, where turning away from religion did not put that nation on the way of extinction without immigration. Yes I assume that if you stick to a moral code, like Confucianism, which is a kind of moral code without God, the nation will be alright, but in general, atheism for whatever reason put a society in the danger of extinction.

        • Overpopulation puts humanity at risk of extinction. Europe's population is not presently at a sustainable level. The fact that Europeans have cut back on childbearing is good. The fact that they put political correctness above commen sense is not so good.

        • Do you actually have evidence that atheism leads to the decline of a country or are you just speculating? If you look at the USA you see it is on the decline but it isn't because of atheism but the attempt of religious groups to put power into the hands of a small number of people. When religion has controlled governments only a small number of people actually prospered while most suffered. Religion is simply evil.

  6. That video mentions 'total fertility rates' … THAT INCLUDES MUSLIM IMMIGRANTS! … Race suicide continues, Europeans take note before it too late!

  7. Mr. Cardinale, I would never kiss your diamond ring, because your hands are full of innocent blood (Isaiah 1:15), your face is a lie and you are wearing a purple robe. We abandon our faith because people like you, who talk nonsense, because we believe in ourself and because we know the truth: God did not create man, man created god. God is the invention of primitive people as a way of explaining the un-explained. And on a more serious note, I left the church so that I can masturbate in peace without guilt, something that YOU will never be able to do, you lying bastard.

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