During the first half of the mid-20th century, the Muslim population in Europe was extremely small. By the year 2000, that population had swelled to more than 15 million, including 5 million in France, 4 million in Germany, and 2 million in Britain. Substantial Muslim populations also inhabit Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Today Muslims constitute the continent's largest religious minority, and Islam its fastest-growing faith. Many European cities are already one-quarter Muslim; in numerous cities the majority of the under-18 population is Muslim, and Mohammed is the most popular name among boys. Thousands of mosques with large congregations now dot the European landscape, and in virtually every city there are plans to build super-mosques that will dwarf every Christian church in their vicinity. A recent study calculated that fully 25 percent of Europe's population will be Muslim by the year 2020. The scholar Bernard Lewis has predicted a Muslim majority on the continent by the end of the 21st century.
Immigration has been chiefly responsible for this proliferation of European Muslims. Islamic newcomers from such far-flung places as North Africa, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq were initially drawn to Europe by their hopes of attaining a better standard of living. Many others, however, were inspired to relocate by the sermons and exhortations of militant Islamist leaders and Imams who urged Muslims to subjugate Europe (and America) by the sheer force of numbers; i.e., to extend their domain by means of immigration and procreation.
Large numbers of Muslim immigrants to Western Europe have sought to impose their fundamentalist ideology -- reinforced and further radicalized in Western mosques -- onto the native populations. Fundamentalist Muslim immigrants and their spokesmen have pressured Western societies into supporting, incrementally, various aspects of Sharia (Islamic Law) into the jurisprudence system. Likewise, they have demanded that the native cultures either make concessions to Islamic traditions in the spirit of “diversity.” Meanwhile, Islamic immigrants increasingly elect not to assimilate into their host societies, choosing instead to reject local mores and to push for the creation of a (Muslim-only) state within a state. Thus Europe has witnessed the rapid rise of exclusively Muslim neighborhoods, where few members of the native population or police officers are ever seen. Paris, for example, is now surrounded by a ring of Muslim neighborhoods fitting this description.
The Pew Research Center reports that half of French Muslims see their loyalty to Islam as greater than their loyalty to France, and that one-third of French Muslims do not object to suicide attacks. Similarly, the British Center for Social Cohesion reports that one-third of British Muslim students support the creation of a worldwide caliphate. And a Dutch study reports that half of Dutch Muslims claim to "understand" the motivations that inspired the 9/11 attacks.
Throughout the Western world, Islamic extremists and local fringe communities that advocate terror have provided cover for terrorist cells. For instance, Germany and Spain served as key logistical planning bases for the 9/11 attacks. The United Kingdom has become a breeding ground for Muslim extremists, as evidenced by the radical mosques in London's Finsbury Park that indoctrinated Richard Reid (the infamous “shoe bomber”) and Zacarias Moussaoui (the so-called “20th hijacker” of the 9/11 plot). The March 2004 bombings in Madrid (which killed 191 people on commuter trains) were carried out by an al Qaeda-inspired group of North Africans, and the July 2005 London bombings (which killed at least 52 and injured more than 700) were the work of British nationals with ties to al Qaeda.
The United States has also seen a rise in radical Islam within its borders, though to a lesser extent than Europe. Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi ideological structure has poured vast sums of money into a campaign to fund the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in America. The short-term objective of this Saudi campaign is to use the Muslim community in the U.S. to pressure the American government to enact policies that allow Islam to become an ever-more influential force in American society, and to pressure the U.S. media to play an active role in promoting positive images of Islam. The long-term goal is to transform America into a Muslim nation.
Currently 80 percent of American mosques are under Wahhabi control, meaning that Wahhabists hold authority over such vital considerations as the appointment and training of imams, the content of sermons, and the nature of the literature that is distributed in mosques and mosque bookstores. Similar Wahhabi influence extends to prison and military chaplaincies, Islamic elementary and secondary schools (academies), college campus activities, the endowment of academic chairs and programs in Middle East studies, and charities ostensibly helping Muslims abroad; many of these charities have been linked to -- or designated as -- sponsors of terrorism.
The key players in the implementation of this Wahhabist agenda are the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which originated in the Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Both ISNA and CAIR maintain open and intimate relations with the Saudi government. Their efforts have been supplemented by such organizations as the American Muslim Council, the American Muslim Alliance, the Muslim American Society, the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, and the International Institute of Islamic Thought.