The far-right Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, is campaigning in the Dutch elections on an anti-Islam platform, and Republican US Congressman Steve King of Iowa ‘tweeted’ support for his racist agenda on the 12th of March: “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” His tweet was condemned by members of the opposing Democratic Party, such as House of Representatives minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who called King’s remarks “vile racism” that have “no place in decent society, much less in the U.S. Congress.” Some members of his own party also criticized King’s remarks, but many supported him, and the ‘vile racism’ of King’s remarks represent the foundation upon which Donald Trump rose to power as US president.
When a US lawmaker says that “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies”, he is first of all admitting that his civilization is declining, as otherwise, there would be no need to ‘restore’ it. Demographic studies of European populations have shown a falling birthrate, which is predicted to lead to economic stagnation and decline in the decades ahead unless continued immigration can boost the population. The dilemma for Wilders in Holland, King and the conservatives with Trump in the US, Marine Le Pen in France and the growing far right movements in the western world is that they do not believe that their culture is strong enough to survive the diluting effect of people of other races, and especially the Muslims. King has previously urged the “need to get our birth rates up” so that the Western world does not become “entirely transformed.”
During the Republican National Convention, King said: “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about? Where did any other sub-group of people contribute more to civilization?”, which he said is “rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world.” According to King, Western civilization is the only true civilization and Christianity is the essence of Western civilization, and yet Christianity is in decline, while Islam is on the rise in terms of both demographics and ideological vigor.
Despite King’s insistence upon the importance of Christianity, and that such views are shared widely by conservative politicians in the US, there is no general consensus in the west about what a return to greatness would be based upon. This is why US President Trump’s campaign slogan of ‘making America great again’ has resulted in nothing but confusion for US policy at home and abroad. The secular creed that relegated religion to the arena of personal opinion and separated it from political affairs has not established a solid foundation for the long-term survival of capitalism and the resultant lack of confidence has led to calls and enactment of new laws for the removal of immigrants and the banning of Muslims from entering some western countries, and in the US even the Mexicans have been considered a great threat to the Western culture despite that they have a Christian and European heritage akin to that of the people of the US. In Europe, the UK is breaking away, and the UK is at risk of breaking apart with calls for Scottish independence, and some of the remaining countries in the European Union are debating their own future in the union, while far-right parties are promising a return to former glory by ridding their countries of Muslims. King’s remark that: “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies” highlights a weakness and fear of foreign babies that was only once before seen, and that was when an Egyptian Pharaoh sought to have all the male babies of the Israelites killed. It did not end well for the Pharaoh, and it will not end well for the far-right movements fearing that “demographics are our destiny.”
Dr. Abdullah Robin