As Europeans wring their hands over the arrival of desperate boat people swarming from an Africa that seems to be in death throes, Italy is being shamed into rescuing them. How can they not? How can anybody in Europe not be shamed to relive the last time they created refugees when Yugoslavia was in meltdown? Or before that, when Jews had to flee, or when that savior of refugees, America, turned away ships, sending Jews back to the Nazis who then murdered them?
But as a historian, I want to look further back. Europe has been peopled from the start by hordes fleeing ecological disasters, mostly from Central Asia. The Romans were forever holding off "Barbarians" until finally they could not. These fierce tribes overran Rome and settled in Europe in the 4th century, their leaders marrying into Roman nobility, converting into Rome?s then religion, Christianity, along with their subjects.
They were rough, warlike, and savage, but they really wanted nothing more than to be new Romans. They certainly had no desire to replace Rome with their own cultures. As dark as the "Dark Ages" were, they never completely extinguished Rome. The Middle Ages ushered in the resurrection of Roman law, Roman values, and even Roman technologies, and thanks to pressure from the Muslim world, a complete revival of the ancient Greek and Roman learning that we call the Renaissance.
Huns invaded and became Hungarians, becoming European except for their language. Slavic tribes invaded, and they too became Christian, European, and settled in, alas, bringing with them hatred of each other (the unhappy history of the former Yugoslavia). But they were European.
Vikings were a barbaric group that overran northern Europe and gave much grief to the British, French, and Russians in the 8th century. They wound up as a ruling class of all three---but all three had cultures and languages that swallowed them up. The English made them British; French wives tamed the Normans; and the Vikings became the Romanovs. Viking culture didn?t stand a chance.
So what of today?s hordes descending upon Europe? The first wave is already there: Educated Muslims and Hindus from Pakistan and India as colonialism ended, elite Persians fleeing the Islamic Revolution, elite Afghans fleeing the Taliban, and elite Saudis and Gulf Arabs buying expensive property and educating their children in Europe. This wave mostly integrated and their children are European. We see their names as writers, actors, and university dons.
The second wave is something else. They are fleeing anarchy and chaos, civil wars and ecological disasters. Some are worthy of refuge, but others are not. When a boatload of Muslim men who reached Italian shores had thrown overboard fellow Christians, they were jailed. Such people cannot become Europeans! Others are eager Jihadis. Europe must make some harsh choices if it is not to founder. Sympathy must not become suicide. Africa?s death must not become Europe?s.
? Europe cannot take all these people in. It must do serious triage. It must ban militant Muslims, who cannot be assimilated. But they must admit Christian (Syrian, Egyptian, and Lebanese) families who will otherwise be murdered in the Middle East. These people can become European.
? The rest must be sent to Libya to refugee camps like those that housed the Palestinians 60 years ago. To avoid carnage, they must be separated: Syrians, Ethiopians, Somalis, Chadians, with the hope that these people can be repatriated after their national emergencies are eventually resolved. In the interim, they need to be fed, cared for, and their children educated and prepared for gainful employment. The money must come from Europe---the EU, which should be glad to pay it rather than have to pay for such settlement in their own countries!
? Those now living in European countries must be given immersion courses in the language, values, and cultural behaviors of their new countries. There must not be any acceptance of multiculturalism if Europe is to survive.
This invasion, if not handled right, could have disastrous consequences for the survival of 2,000 years of European civilization.
Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of God's Law or Man's Law. You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.