Washington, DC—One hundred boats bearing one million desperate uninvited immigrants set sail from the Ganges for the fabled coast of the French Riviera. They are totally destitute and have decided their only chance of survival is in a country with a conscience that traditionally welcomes refugees from the Third World. Their journey will take 50 days.
In France, the news is trumpeted with pride by the liberal media, churchmen and left-wing activists. Favorable media echoes are heard all over Europe. Political leaders and the armed forces fumble for common policies. Publicly, French authorities praise the intrepid voyagers. Privately, they exchange ideas on how they can divert one million hungry souls to other shores.
A trendy French radio journalist, Albert Dufort, sees the makings of a historical redistribution of wealth between the First and Third Worlds. “We’re all from the Ganges now,” he proclaims. Schoolchildren write essays eulogizing latter day “sans culottes.” The theme is picked up and sweeps across the continent.
As the armada makes it through the Straits of Gibraltar, panic sets in. The inhabitants of the French Riviera begin to flee north. The president of France orders the armed forces deployed along the coast. They are told their mission is to defend the country against the now imminent invasion of one million poverty-stricken people from the Ganges. But with ears glued to their transistor radios, they heed Dufort’s call not to oppose the landings. They desert en masse. Police open jail cells before shedding their uniforms and hotfooting it home to take care of their families.
Terrified by what he has wrought, Dufort heads for Switzerland in his expensive sports car, but he is recognized en route and murdered. As hundreds of thousands of inhabitants of coastal towns and the surrounding Provence country move north, tens of thousands of revolutionary students travel south to greet their Ganges brothers.
Unbeknownst to the welcoming throngs of idealists, the Ganges multitudes are coming to settle scores with the wealthy West that has kept them subjugated without hope of a better life. They hate the West their leaders said had robbed them of the higher standard of living they are entitled to.
The one million Ganges folk are not alone. Millions of others are monitoring their progress from all over the Third World and plan to follow them to the Promised Land. Thus the Third World conquers modern industrialized societies, but not before much mayhem and unspeakable carnage and atrocities.
The story of the demise of Europe as a citadel of civilization is the scenario imagined by French author Jean Raspail in his 1973 runaway bestseller “The Camp of the Saints.” Much of it was drawn from the near revolution by French students in 1968, which fizzled when French workers turned down their appeals for solidarity and went on working, and because President Charles De Gaulle had journeyed to Germany to ensure the loyalty of his French army commanders. But the novel/parable keeps selling several thousand copies a year, presumably based on fears of the slow Islamization of Europe by some 20 million Muslim Europeans from North Africa, sub-Sahara Africa, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia.
Many European political leaders oppose Turkey’s application to join the European Union, convinced this would allow 71 million Muslim Turks to settle anywhere and overrun Europe’s Christian civilization.
EU Commissioner Fritz Bolkestein, former leader of Dutch liberals, warned this week Europe would “implode” if Turkey became a member of the Union. In a speech at Leiden University in the Netherlands, Bolkestein said the EU would be like the late Austrian-Hungarian empire, which became ungovernable after taking on too many different ethnic groups.
If Turkey were kept out of the EU, say those who favor Turkish membership, the pent-up frustration would radicalize this huge country that sits astride Europe, the Middle East and Asia Minor. British author and Islam expert Bernard Lewis, quoted by Bolkestein, says that an EU with Turkey as a member would turn Europe into an extension of North Africa and the Middle East by the end of the 21st century.
But this is a minority view inside the ivory towers of the EU Commission in Brussels. Eurocrats are putting the finishing touches on a recommendation, due out Oct. 6, to begin membership negotiations with Turkey. An EU summit meeting in December is expected to give the whole laborious process—an anticipated 10 years, when Turks will number 83 million—a final seal of approval.
Turkey almost scuttled its own application for membership by suggesting new penal legislation that would have criminalized adultery. “If that ever spread to EU,” said one Brussels wag, “at least half of some 400 million Europeans would become criminals.”
The proposed Turkish law was “momentarily” withdrawn to facilitate the opening phase of EU membership negotiations. If Turkey is a land bridge between Asia and Europe, the adultery flap revealed a yawning cultural gap between urban Europe and rural Turkey.
Turkey waited patiently for its turn to negotiate EU entry as East European countries jumped the queue of applicants. So concluded a “wise men’s” report by a covey of European elder statesmen. But once Turkey becomes a full-fledged member of the EU, the Maghreb nations of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria will also be knocking on Europe’s door. So will Ukraine and Belarus. The collapse of the top heavy Austrian-Hungarian empire analogy then becomes plausible.
European public opinion surveys show a majority anti-Turkish accession. This is reflected in the continent’s parliaments. Ratification would fail today. Ten years hence is unpredictable. But the “Camp of the Saints” syndrome grows rather than shrinks. Hundreds of illegal immigrants still arrive daily at EU’s outer frontiers, known as the “‘Schengen’ space.” They are mostly Muslims. And the biggest security problem for Europe’s intelligence agencies is Islamist extremism. French security recently detected some of North African residents had been recruited to fight the United States in Iraq.