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.
340 years ago, on July 15, 1683, an Ottoman officer approached the walls of Vienna with a proposal to surrender. The message was delivered to a Croatian soldier: “Accept Islam and live in peace under the Sultan! But if you resist, then death, desolation and bondage will be the fate of you all!”
In Vienna, two months later, Europe defeated the Ottomans and only the battle of Marathon in 490 BC. C. - where the Athenians defeated a Persian expeditionary force - had the same significance for Western culture.
But what if today the walls of Vienna did not need to be conquered and another form of (sweet) conquest was already at work? German-Turkish entrepreneur Vural Öger said during a meeting with Turkish entrepreneurs in Germany: “What Süleyman started with the siege of Vienna we will achieve with our women”. And with faith.
In Vienna, Muslims are already more numerous than Catholics, even in middle and high schools. In the city, Catholics have halved since 1971. Every year the Church loses 1.5 percent of the faithful.
Muslims have just become the majority in schools in Linz, the country's third largest city and capital of Upper Austria. For the first time this year, more Muslims than Catholics were counted in schools. 35.75 percent belong to the Islamic faith, against 33.13 of Catholics. And in Graz, the second largest city in the country? 34 percent of the students are of Islamic faith.
And what is true for old Vienna, in the midst of a demographic crisis, reduced to a museum inhabited by elderly people strolling in the Prater, will be true for every other European metropolis prey to complete secularization. Demographic crisis, but also spiritual. In an interview with Der Standard, cardinal of Vienna Christoph Schonborn said: "Take a look at Viennese schools and you will observe how the demographic developments of Christian children and Muslim children are divergent. This is a serious topic. There is no shortage of Islamic voices who affirm that Europe is a ripe fruit for Islam".
I don't know if Karl Kraus was right, the caustic and brilliant Austrian intellectual who gave a definition of Vienna that was both a warning and a prophecy: "Experimental laboratory of the end of the world". Maybe more of a laboratory of the end of Europe?
Frits Bolkestein, the EU commissioner for the internal market, said that if Turkey were admitted to the EU, "the defeat of the Turks in Vienna more than 300 years ago would prove in vain".
Recep Erdogan now heralds the "Turkish century" and blackmails the EU into joining the European Union. And he claims that Turkey's borders extend "from Vienna to the shores of the Adriatic Sea".
We don't know what will happen in the next two generations, but surely the century is easier for it to be Turkish and Islamic than Christian and Viennese.
Since the beginning of the millennium, the percent number of Muslims in the Austrian population has doubled: it was 4 percent in 2001 and 8 percent in 2016. On the one hand thanks to immigration (the waves of Chechens, Afghans, Turks, Bosniaks and Syrians), on the other to Muslim mothers who have double the children of all other religions. The proportion of Muslim newborns in the total population is growing faster than expected. A study by the Kronen Zeitung comes to this conclusion. "The number of Catholic children, who will soon be overtaken in the Austrian capital, is decreasing".
Or as demographer Wolfgang Lutz puts it, “we have a population swap going on. The old ones are dying and the young ones are coming". There are already schools with no more Austrians, only foreigners.
"Islam has long since become the number one faith in secondary schools," explains Krone. The incredible growth of the Islamic community in Austria is documented by statistics: in 1971 there were 22,300 Muslims, in 1981 76,900, in 1991 158,800, in 2001 339,000 and in 2021 745,600.
Only 1 percent of young people in Vienna are Catholic.
The Krone Zeitung has published impressive figures in the case of constant immigration: "In 2046, one in three Viennese will be Muslim".
We read in the great Viennese Jewish writer Hermann Broch: “The crowd around him, the hustle and bustle, as the baroness said, all that busy coming and going, that crowding of faces and backs, seemed to him a soft mass, which fades and it slips away without offering any hold.”
Europe spent the last forty years becoming that “soft mass,” the empty wasteland that we are today. No faith. No fight. No future. Only that “ripe fruit” for conquest.