The future isn’t over yet

There is a large and growing defection, worldwide, of Muslims to the Christian religion. This we know from many sources; I’ve been aware of the phenomenon for more than twenty years. It does not make the news because it is not “newsworthy.” That is to say, it does not fit with anyone’s agenda in the West, and is anyway a dangerous story to cover, for subjects and journalists alike. Oddly enough, it gets most play in Islamic media, where “we are losing the battle of conversions” has become almost an obsession. By “worldwide” I mean in Europe and the Americas, in Asia and in Africa, and also throughout the Dar al-Islam. It is of great historical significance, for it has been practically a truism that Muslims don’t convert. “Death for apostasy” is only the beginning of the disincentives, built into any society in the process of Islamicization.

But times have changed, and through “globalization” and mass emigration, especially to Europe, opportunities for defecting have grown. Along with this have come huge incentives for abandoning Islam. We may thank the “Islamist” terrorists for providing most of them. We have, among lapsing Muslims themselves, a very human disgust with religious fanatics whose “outreach” consists of blowing people up in the largest possible numbers. The more they succeed in establishing their own authority within Islam, the more their natural targets (i.e. the “mystically” as opposed to “politically” religious) flee the religion.

Western missionary attempts to convert Muslims were a multi-generational, abject failure. They worked against the seed of the Christian religion within the Muslim world itself, associating it with something foreign and “imperialist.” While the missionary enterprise in sub-Saharan Africa was more successful, little was achieved there, either. It was when Africans themselves took up the cause, that the Christian religion began to spread like wildfire: from less than a million to hundreds of millions in a few brief generations. And as Muslim loyalists decry, this wave keeps pushing northwards.

I make this comparison because it explains so much. Muslims, as immigrant Africans in Europe and America, are unimpressed with Western religious and family life. How could they have any respect for us? We have mostly abandoned both. Yet those of spiritual calling are drawn to the very Christian religion that we have rejected. It provides answers to questions that are still asked; it replies to the very objections that Islamic propagandists circulate. The chief passage is through Our Lady, “Mariam,” who points not to the later Prophet of the Hejaz, but to her own divine Son.

Oddly, a reader of Hilaire Belloc’s The Great Heresies (noted here) may see this by reading his arguments, backwards. For from its beginnings, Islam did actually provide an heretical parody of Judaeo-Christian beliefs. The more deeply spiritual one’s entry into Islam (through Sufism and other beleaguered strains), the closer one comes to the Christian depiction of an insuperable Divine Love.

The Word travels home, person to person, from émigrés who escape the ghetto pressures abroad. Along with this goes the very Western idea of religious freedom. Men and women subtly pass from what is unthinkable to what is thinkable. There are consequences when that tipping point is reached. Too, there are consequences to the reverse immigration, where oil-rich countries such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, from which Christians were once excluded, fill with labourers from the Philippines and other Christian milieux. For just as the Arab presence in Europe is normalized, so is the Christian presence in Arabia. “This changes everything,” as our Leftists (the natural allies of the Islamists in their pathological hatred of Christian symbols) like to say. It leads to a curious host of paradoxes and semi-paradoxes:

The future of Christianity is not European. We have perhaps forgotten that Christ did not rise in the West, but in the East; or for geographical punctilio, at the interchange of the three vast continents of the Old World. Arabs, as all Africans and Asians, are capable of noticing this.

Moreover, the future of Christianity, within “The West,” is also not European.

It will prove too “traditional” for that. For the appeal of a lukewarm, compromised, corrupted, “progressive” and “secularized” Christianity — to sincere Christian converts — is zero.