Q&A: Remaking a Religion -- Interview with Daniel Pipes

Historians in the News

Daniel Pipes founded the Middle East Forum in 1994. The author of 12 books, with a Ph.D. in medieval Islamic history, he is the most prominent American scholar of radical Islam; even CBS said he was"years ahead of the curve" in identifying the radical threat.

Many people associate Islam with terrorism, but you also examine a long-term threat that would be peaceful but transformative. In this country, mostly because of 9/11, we focus on terrorism, but in Europe the discussion is much more about immigration and culture. They say,"Unless we make changes, our civilization will disappear." Demographics, culture, and religion may make Europe an extension of North Africa, with attractions like the Mosque of Notre Dame in Paris.

In part that's because non-Muslim Europeans have few children, Muslims have many? There are three factors. First, demography: Women on average need to have 2.1 children to maintain a population, but in Europe right now it's about 1.4, one-third fewer children than are needed. The second factor is religion: the weakening of Christianity. Factor three is multiculturalism: no sense that your own culture is special, something worth fighting for and defending. Muslims have many children. They also immigrate. They have a distinct sense of the superiority of their civilization....

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