A troubling scenario–especially considering the presence of Islamic recruiting within prisons–examined in this story from Crisis Magazine.
On May 22, an Islamic suicide bomber detonated himself outside a pop concert in Manchester, England, killing and wounding dozens, many of them young children.
The terrorist was a 22-year-old named Salman Abedi. A few days after the attack, I was reading an article about the mosque he attended—the Didsbury Mosque. “That’s funny,” I thought looking at the accompanying photo, “that doesn’t look like a mosque, it looks like a church.”
Sure enough, as I discovered, the Didsbury Mosque was once the Albert Park Methodist Chapel. It had been bought by the local Syrian Muslim community and transformed into a Muslim place of worship.
Similar transformations have been taking place in other parts of the UK. St. Mark’s Church in London is now the New Peckham Mosque, St. Peter’s Church in Cobridge was sold to the Madina Mosque. The Brick Lane Mosque in London was originally a Methodist church. But church-to-mosque conversions are only part of a larger story. There are now 423 mosques in London, and the number is expected to grow. Meanwhile, 500 London churches have closed since 2001, and in all of England 10,000 churches have closed since 1960.
The transformation of the Albert Park Methodist Church to the Didsbury Mosque is emblematic of one of the most significant shifts in history: the transformation of Europe from a largely Christian continent to a largely Islamic one. The transformation is far from complete, and there’s an outside chance the process can be reversed, but time and demographics favor Islam.
In several of Europe’s cities, the Muslim population now hovers around the thirty percent mark. In ten years’ time, that will be forty percent. Of course that doesn’t mean 40 percent of highly committed Muslims facing 60 percent of deeply devout Christians. Both faiths have their share of half-hearted “nominals” for whom religion is more a cultural inheritance than a deeply held conviction. Still, the “nominal” problem is a much greater problem for European Christians than for European Muslims. In many European countries, Sunday church attendance is the 5-10 percent range whereas mosque attendance is very high in relation to the size of the Muslim population. In England, there are already more Muslims attending Friday prayers than there are Christians attending Anglican services on Sundays. A study by Christian Research predicts that by 2020 the number of Muslims attending prayer service in England and Wales will exceed the number of Catholics attending weekly Mass.
It’s also noteworthy that the expanding Muslim population in Europe is relatively young, whereas the declining “Christian” population is an aging one. Sixty-forty seems like good odds until you realize that the average age of the 60 percenters will be around 55 while the average age of the 40 percenters will be around 25.
You may object that if there is any fighting to be done, most of the fighting on the “Christian” side will be done by the army, not by citizens in walkers and wheelchairs. But keep in mind that the military draws its recruits from the ranks of the young. As the population of the people that Islamists refer to as “crusaders” ages, European governments will be forced to draw more of their new recruits from the Muslim population. The same goes for the police forces. Many Muslims will serve their country or their city faithfully, but many will have divided loyalties, and some will have signed up in the first place with mutiny in mind.
Most likely, however, the transformation will be effected without major battles. It won’t be a matter of numbers or of military strength, but of strength of belief. Those with the strongest beliefs will prevail. Those who are not sure what to believe will submit without a fight.