A Conversation with George Weigel and Philip Jenkins
Commenting on low birth rates and the increase in Muslim population, no less an authority than Bernard Lewis has said, "Current trends show that Europe will have a Muslim majority by the end of the twenty-first century at the latest. . . . Europe will be part of the Arab West-the Maghreb."
In his book The Cube and the Cathedral George Weigel invites us to envision a "Europe in which the muezzin summons the faithful to prayer from the central loggia of St. Peter's in Rome, while Notre Dame has been transformed into Hagia Sophia on the Seine-a great Christian church become an Islamic museum." Weigel, Lewis and others, including Daniel Pipes, Hirsi Ali, Bat Y'eor and Mark Steyn, believe we should be profoundly alarmed at the consequences for the West.
In God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis, Philip Jenkins offers a more sanguine prognosis of the future of Europe, and seeks to counter what he takes to be unduly alarmist understandings of the future of Europe. While admitting that Europe will probably be in for a "bumpy ride," Jenkins believes we have reason to be less pessimistic. Secularization and other factors will likely encourage Muslim assimilation to Western norms in the twenty-first century, just as they have had similar effects of Christians in the twentieth-century.