The Eurabia literature

In addition to Renaud Camus’s book, Le Grand Remplacement, discussed above, several earlier publications have been influential in spreading the Eurabia conspiracy theory. In his dystopian novel, Le Camp des Saints (‘The Camp of the Saints’), French writer Jean Raspail (1973) depicts the cultural demise of Western civilisation through mass migration of sex-crazed Indians. This same fear was, for instance, also upheld by a founding member of the National Front, writer Francois Duprat, who in May 1976 warned that immigration was causing the disappearance of the true French people, and with them, their identity.

These writings echoed UK Conservative politician and former Classics professor Enoch Powell, who in an infamous speech in Birmingham in 1968 coined the ‘Rivers of Blood’ phrase, which later was to be picked up by many NeoNationalists (Bergmann, 2020). Powell criticised mass immigration to the UK of people from the Commonwealth. Quoting a line from Virgil’s Aeneid poem, he said: ‘like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood’ {The Daily Telegraph, 2007).

Several influential publications have warned of an Islamist conspiracy of occupying the West. American writer Bruce Bawer (2007) - who later moved to Norway - describes his feelings when arriving in Amsterdam in 1997 as having found the closest thing to a heaven on Earth, that he was finally able to escape the American Protestant fundamentalism. In the book titled While Europe Slept - Hour Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within (2007) he describes how he watched Western Europe gradually fall prey to another and much more alarming fundamentalism, i.e. to Islam. In a tale of external replacement, Bawer insists that the ever-so-tolerant Europeans were being invaded by intolerant Muslims. He argued that in order to defend Europe’s social liberalism, it is necessary to prevent Muslims from contaminating these societies.

This fear of cultural subversion is, though, only the first part of the full conspiracy theory. Its completion usually also takes the form of accusing a domestic elite of betraying the ‘good ordinary people’ into the hands of the external evil. Here intentionality is applied, maintaining that covert malevolent powers are bringing about mass migration. This is, for example, a core message in the immensely influential book titled Eurabia — The Euro-Arab Axis (2005). Writing under the pen name Bat Ye’or (in Hebrew, daughter of the Nile), its author, Gisele Littman, maintains that a particular group of politicians and media people in France were already well on their way to handing the continent over to Muslims (Bat Ye’or, 2005). Littman argues that ever since the early 1970s, the European Union was secretly conspiring with the Arab League to bring about a ‘Eurabia’ on the continent. She said that Europe was now fast being Islamicised and becoming a political satellite of the Arab and Muslim world.

Writer Oriana Fallaci (2006) picked up on this same argument and claimed that Muslims were, in fact, invading and subjugating Western Europe through a combination of immigration and fertility. She wrote that they ‘have orders to breed like rats’ and stated that these ‘eternal invaders rule us already’. She concluded that this was the ‘biggest conspiracy that modern history has created’.

In previous studies I have identified three waves of nativist populism in the post-war era, emerging into contemporary Neo-Nationalism, all rising in the wake of crises (Bergmann, 2020). The first was in wake of the Oil Crisis in the early 1970s, the second after the collapse of communism in 1989 and the third in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008. As I will illustrate in this chapter, the Eurabia conspiracy theory has - over these three waves - moved from the margins to find foothold amongst the mainstream. It has become increasingly more prominent in contemporary political discourse.

Although anti-Muslim sentiments first found significant mainstream backing in the third wave, I will discuss in the following segments several examples of how the Eurabia theory has travelled through each of these waves and manifested across different areas and countries in contemporary time.

 
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