This is a partial transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," October 21, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
PAUL GIGOT, FOX HOST: "America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It" forecasts a dark future in which the nations of Old Europe fall to Islam fundamentalism. And the United States remains the last Western democracy.
Earlier, I spoke to the author, columnist Mark Steyn.
GIGOT: In your book, you write that much of what we loosely call the "Western World will not survive the 21st Century. And much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many, if not most, European countries", end quote. That sounds like a doomsday scenario.
MARK STEYN, COLUMNIST AND AUTHOR OF "AMERICA ALONE": It is. I tried to be cheerful. But it is hard to be cheerful about apocalyptic-type stuff. And this is what it is.
Basically, 17 European countries have what demographers call lowest-load fertility, from which no society ever recovered. That means they are basically not having enough babies.
And the way Europe is set up, they have these unsustainable social programs and welfare. And they imported the babies that they didn't have. They imported them essentially from the North Africa and the Middle East.
So we're seeing one of the fastest population transformations in history, whereby an aging ethnic European population is being replaced by a Muslim population. And the Muslims understand that, in fact, Europe, as they see it, is the colony now.
GIGOT: Is there any way that Europe can avoid being Islamacized in this way?
STEYN: Well, I think, to be honest, some of the Eastern European nations didn't throw off communism in order simply to throw their lot in with the doomed French and Belgians and Dutch 15 years later. And I think Poland and Hungary and so forth, will be determined not to go down the same path that the West Europeans have.
But basically, an awful lot of the Western European political class has given up. You read extraordinary statements by Dutch and Swedish cabinet ministers essentially conceding that the future of their country is as a Muslim entity.
GIGOT: Is the problem only demographics or is it somehow broader, a kind of lack of intellectual confidence, cultural confidence, in what we used to call, at least, the West?
STEYN: Yes, I think so. Basically, the lack of babies is only a symptom of the real problem. You know, American exceptionalism is a very practical term. We celebrated the birth the other day of the 300 millionth American. And God bless him.
That is great news. Because the most indispensable resource of all is human capital. And that's what Europe is running out of. And even as they are in that situation, the newspapers, reacting to the birth of this 300 millionth American, regarded him as some sort of abomination who is simply going to add to the appalling U.S. consumption of the world's resources. They said it is an unsustainable level of population.
In fact, the problem they have in Europe is they got an unsustainable lack of population. It is the complete opposite.
And some people, as late as the late 1980s, were still saying we're going to lose the Cold War. Yet we won that because the West had a great — demonstrated a lot of resilience, democratic resilience.
Why is this conflict, in your view, different?
STEYN: Well, I think we understood then, anyone who meet Czech or Hungarians or Poles or any of these people on the other side of the Iran Curtain during the Cold War, understood that they actually had no dog in the fight. They weren't interested. They weren't interested in conquering the world.
And I think it is different now. I think the average Muslim does, in some basic sense, when he immigrates to the Netherlands, when he immigrates to the United Kingdom, when he immigrates to Canada or Michigan, wants eventually to live in a Muslim society in those places. And he expects effectively — I am not saying he wants to fly planes into buildings or any of that nonsense — but his expectation is that the host society will assimilate with him rather than the other way around.
And that's a profound challenge in a way that communism wasn't.
GIGOT: But other than more babies, more Western babies, how do you combat that in the United States?
STEYN: Well, I think you have to stand up and resist what I would call phenomenon of creeping Sharia. Because I think when you see things, like for example, England feeling that you can't fly the English flag because the Cross of Saint George is offensive because of the crusades — I mean every time you concede a little inch of ground like that, you are basically surrendering piecemeal.
And Muslim leaders, not just terrorists, but Muslim governments draw the lesson from that, that the West is ideologically insecure. And not just Muslims, but all kinds of other fellows, from Chavez to Kim Jong-Il, actually see that too.
GIGOT: All right, Mark Steyn, thanks for being here.
STEYN: Thanks very much, Paul.
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