Scruton gives me an image of the European collapse: the end of Brussels. “Brussels is the capital of Flanders, but thanks largely to the European Union the Flemish have been forbidden to have a nation of their own. The Allies spared the city from bombardment in the War, since it was to be the site of a Victory Parade, and a symbol of the rebirth of Europe. However, the European institutions have colonized the place, destroyed much that was beautiful and dignified, and defaced the remainder with their sterile blocks of concrete and glass – symbols of the moral emptiness within. When the European project collapses they will hand back to the people of Flanders a city without a soul. To rebuild it as a dignified capital will be expensive, and will require a great labour of demolition. But it could be done, provided the Flemings are allowed to exist as a nation state, and allowed to build as they wish.”
In twenty years or so, Brussels will have a Muslim majority. Sharia courts are already operating in the city. I asked Scrunton, will Islam fill the European desert?
“The vacuum that is growing in the heart of Europe is of course a spiritual phenomenon,” Scruton says. “There is no doubt that, demographically, Islam has the chance to fill this vacuum. However, we should remember that, despite the weakness of the Christian faith, the European peoples remain committed to secular government and the rule of law, and will not accept government by the kind of ‘holy law’ that is the foundation of the Muslim faith. I suspect, therefore, that Islam will not be able to impose itself in any clear and officially sanctioned way on Europe. And, at a certain point, the people of Europe will wake up to what is happening to them, and, in casting off the European Union and its shackles, will repossess themselves of their national identities and the cultural inheritance that goes with the national idea. That is my hope, at least.”
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