Giulio Meotti
Giulio Meottiצילום: עצמי
Guillaume Cuchet, who teaches at the Sorbonne and is the author of key books on religion including “How our world has ceased to be Christian” (Seuil), tells La Vie about the end of this world:

“The rise of Islam (from 8 to 11 per cent, plus 37 per cent in 12 years), the collapse of Catholicism (from 43 to 25 per cent) and the rise of atheists (from 45 to 53 per cent hundred). If we extend the curves, we can clearly see the landscape that will prevail. In these conditions, if nothing changes, it is not impossible that Catholicism will become, one day not so far off, the second, even the third religion. What yesterday was unimaginable or considered a school hypothesis has become possible, indeed probable, and tomorrow will be certain”.

It is truly a historic moment: there are more practicing Muslims than practicing Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 in France. Reading the latest report from Insee, the French Statistical Institute, helps us understand the change of civilization we are experiencing. "In forty years, France has become the nation in Western Europe where the population of Muslim origin is the most important", wrote Vatican Radio. "It is not difficult to hypothesize that we are now close to overtaking Islam over Catholicism (French)".

Macron's adviser on Islam at the Montaigne Institute, Hakim El Karoui, also reveals that Islam is the first religion practiced in France. "There are more practicing Muslims, between 2.5 and 3 million, than practicing Catholics, 1.65 million".

Cuchet portrays a France at the end of its history and culture, the twilight of a Christianity that becomes a prelude to the European one.

Over the centuries, Islam has made several attempts to conquer Europe, managing to conquer the western flank (Spain), all of the southern Mediterranean, the eastern flank (from Constantinople to the Balkans) to be stopped in the north. Here Islam failed because it faced Christians strong in faith and ready to resist. But this time things could be different.

Islam has numerous advantages which it lacked in the past. For one thing, the Islamic threat is less obvious today. The process of Islamization is hidden and operates with the power of demography and propaganda rather than force of arms. Furthermore, Islam, which sees its confrontation with the West as a spiritual struggle, is now facing a culture in which the influence of religion has been violently eradicated.

The other problem is the so-called "secular people". They demolish Christian symbols from the public space, which is increasingly submerged by those of Islam.

In the city of Bourbon-Lancy, the statue of King Louis IX and the cross that adorns the school will be removed. The building was purchased by the socialist-led municipality from the diocese to be transformed into a center for social and cultural activities. “On condition that the statue of St. Louis and the cross be removed”.

Who did the statue of the king and the cross annoy? The same people who vandalized a Paris church four times since the beginning of the year?

-Meanwhile in Rennes, the symbolic city of Brittany, a new Great Mosque to accommodate 4,000 faithful is under construction on land made available by the city.

-Meanwhile, the court of Rennes has decided that the statue of John Paul II, erected in a square, had to be removed for "violation of secularism". A Pope was treated like Lenin after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

-Meanwhile, the cathedral of Rennes has caught fire…

The monthly L'Incorrect tells us that "until recently, immigrants in Brittany were mainly... English! Brittany is now experiencing an accelerated version of colonization. Basically, everything that Seine-Saint-Denis has experienced in fifty years is happening in ten. Locminé, Auray, Châteaubriant, Pontivy, Loudéac, Redon, all these small villages famous for their fabrics and which used to be the charm of Brittany are now half African, half Afghan and half veiled enclaves”. Throughout Brittany, the number of mosques has doubled in just ten years.

The paradox is well expressed by the sociologist Mathieu Bock-Coté on Le Figaro: “Secularism will never survive the demographic change in France. They give the impression that in France the mythical battle between 'enlightenment' and 'obscurantism' is being reproduced, when in reality it is a question of the invasion of one civilization into the territory of another, which by the end of the century will have profoundly transformed the face culture of the country".

But the scenario described by Cuchet is also European.

We read in L'Echo, the main Belgian business newspaper, that "the first religion in Brussels today is Islam". Islam is the first religion in Amsterdam, where the Fatih Camii Mosque was once the Church of St. Ignatius. In a generation, Islam will be the first religion in all of England.

The same scenario in Sweden. We read from the Dagen of a few days ago:

“Over the past two decades, the Muslim part of the Swedish population has increased significantly. 8.1 percent of Sweden's population was Muslim in 2016, with a rapid increase expected in the coming years. In many districts in Sweden, the Muslim part of the population is the majority. I live and work in Helsingborg and am one of the leaders of the house church network. From time to time I visit Friday prayers in one of Helsingborg's mosques. If you visit the largest mosque, you are greeted by a room packed with over 400 men gathered every Friday. That's more than double the number of people in the largest church in Helsingborg."

Cuchet concludes: "An announced downgrading which, strangely, arouses few comments in the Church, as if the bishops only knew how to witness, silent and powerless, the collapse".

Not all bishops.

"In the largely Muslim context which is that of the Church of Africa and which is also increasingly becoming that of Europe itself, we are seriously threatened by the ever growing power of Islam”, writes Cardinal Robert Sarah in his latest book, “The Catechism of the Spiritual Life” (Cantagalli).

There is a Church that knew how to warn about Islamization. The Church of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, who spoke of "a challenge to our civilization which aims to Islamise Europe". By Carlo Liberati, archbishop of Pompei, who said that Italy and Europe "will become Muslims" because of our "stupidity". Of Cardinal Raymond Burke, for whom "if this continues, in countries like Italy, the majority will be Muslim because Islam is accomplished in conquest". Of the missionary Piero Gheddo, for whom "Islam will sooner or later conquer the majority in Europe". By the primate of the Czech Republic, Miloslav Vlk, for whom "if Christians do not wake up, life in Europe could be Islamized".

There are fewer and fewer clergymen (not to mention leaders of secular, comatose culture, except for a few white flies venturing where they shouldn't) with such courage. But on the other hand, as Alessandro Manzoni said, "courage [often] falls short of the promises it makes so confidently.” . And this really seems like the time of cowards who are afraid even of their own shadow.

Giulio Meotti is an Italian journalist with Il Foglio and writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author, in English, of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books, in addition to books in Italian. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Gatestone, Frontpage and Commentary.