By Georgie Anne Geyer
WASHINGTON -- If you're wondering about what 2015 will bring, look at these recent stories from "across the pond" in Europe:
In Dresden, some 18,000 people protested against the "Islamization" of Europe. Aware of the potential for dramatic photos and backgrounds for the rallies there, authorities in Cologne and Berlin switched off illumination on the most famous landmarks -- the Cologne cathedral, the Brandenburg Gate and the TV tower at Alexanderplatz -- lest it make the protesters look heroic.
The German government seems more and more to have lost the capacity to deal with Pegida, the German acronym for the group Patriotic Europeans Against Islamization of the West, which criticizes and fears some Islamists for their treatment of women and anti-Semitism, the immigrants' use of the generous West German welfare system and their contacts with Middle Eastern terrorist groups.
In the French port of Calais, migrants mostly from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan have more than doubled in number this winter to several thousand as they wait uneasily, and sometimes violently, to cross the channel to England in search of jobs. There is no French government program to deal with them, and they have become something like free-floating particles in a sea already too full.
The would-be migrants themselves respond as do particles pushed to the side in that sea: They spin off and try to find another watery way to their destination. The most recent detour has been through Hungary, where more than 26,000 people of 61 nationalities were prosecuted in 2014 for illegal border crossings and another 35,000 sought asylum. Many now come from Syria and Afghanistan.
And amazingly, even far-north, open-minded Sweden is now suffering the pain of trying to absorb and adapt to increasing numbers of would-be immigrants and refugees.
The situation came to a head in late December when a fire broke out in a mosque just outside of Stockholm. There, as elsewhere, claims were made of anti-Semitism on the part of Muslims, reminding many Europeans of the dark days of World War II and its heinous anti-Semitism.
Some informed observers have even gone so far as to say privately that they fear a showdown of violence could erupt between the odd brand of Putin communism coming from Russia and the new rightist, anti-Islamic groups that are gaining votes as European governments refuse to give citizens the protection from radical change that they want.
While that type of apocalyptic thinking is certainly of the extreme, there are already grave warning signs that broadcast how these new Muslim immigrants differ from the old ones. The old came -- or were forced -- to assimilate into European society, while the new Islamic immigrants, particularly in England, too often show they have come to change the country.
In the north of England last year was the appalling -- indeed, almost unbelievable -- case of Pakistani immigrants who had taken 1,400 young English girls, "groomed" them for a year or so to become prostitutes and then put them up for sale. The police, afraid to look anti-Muslim, did nothing for more than a year.
The most recent and disturbing example of the intentions of some immigrants occurred in Birmingham, where a liberal-minded Sikh principal, Balwant Bains, was forced out of his position at the Saltley School and Specialist Science College by Muslims on the school board who demanded he replace some science courses with Arabic studies, segregate female students and drop a citizenship class on tolerance and democracy in Britain.
There are simply too many cases on the books now not to believe that there is a powerful current among these Islamic immigrants that abhors belonging and demands ruling. And it is not only in Europe, but it is also in Canada and the United States, where anti-Semitism and the subjugation of women in particular are present in the minds and manners of too many Muslims.
Indeed, in America itself, we need only to look critically at the trial now starting in Boston of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, accused in the Boston marathon terrorist attack. He comes from quite a family. Not only are young Dzhokhar and his late older brother suspected in the bombing, but his mother and two sisters were earlier accused of shoplifting and various other crimes.
So the question then comes down to one word: Why?
Why was this family -- Muslims all, from the extraordinarily brutal Chechen ethnic region of Russia, with no means of support in this country and with no loyalty to American principles -- allowed to migrate here? The odds that they would succeed, given their background and the rage they HAD to have in their hearts against the world, were virtually nil. And they have fulfilled that promise with flying colors.
So it is time to ask the unspoken (and unspeakable?) question: Why should the U.S. and Europe take as immigrants people who are 99.9 percent allied against the Western way of life? Why are we not protecting ourselves? Why are we singing infantile songs about how all have the right to be "free" when "freedom" for them is becoming radicalized and joining a murderous group like ISIS.
Stay tuned. The story has only begun.
(Georgie Anne Geyer has been a foreign correspondent and commentator on international affairs for more than 40 years. She can be reached at gigi_geyer(at)juno.com.)
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