Author Steyn Sees Potential for 'New Dark Ages'

By Kevin Mooney | July 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

( - Worldwide demographic shifts are working to the advantage of Islamic extremists, according to author and commentator Mark Steyn.

Speaking at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Steyn, author of "America Alone," said foreign policy "realists" in the U.S. and Europe who seek to accommodate rather than confront Muslim radicals have bought into an "illusion of stability."

At a time when much of the western world is experiencing "civilizational exhaustion," Steyn said, the Muslim world is benefiting from significant population growth.

The G-8 nations, he said, have "given up on having children" while they acquiesce to a large influx of Muslim immigrants.

As a result of the demographic changes in Europe and parts of Asia, Steyn anticipates the Muslim world will have three reliable votes on the U.N. Security Council in the not too distant future. Furthermore, by 2050, Russia well may be a majority Muslim nation, he added.

In 1970, Steyn said, the developed world represented nearly 30 percent of the global population, in comparison to the Muslim world, which accounted for 15 percent.

By 2000, the developed world's share of the global population had fallen to about 20 percent, and the Muslim world had increased to 20 percent, he said.

The demographic shifts are important, because although most Muslims dissociate themselves from terrorist acts, many share many of the objectives of extremists, including the desire to live under shari'a (Islamic law) in Europe, Canada and eventually the U.S., Steyn said.

While America currently "stands apart" from the demographic challenges facing much of the international community, its superpower status presents a special set of challenges, he said.

"A new Dark Ages" could take hold, unless the U.S. acts.

Steyn called for a more concerted effort to export genuine American values - those linked to economic strength and greater freedom - rather than simply promoting elements of American popular culture.

Steyn said the war in Iraq was just "one front in a larger struggle" and identified neighboring Iran as a major source of terrorist activity, claiming Tehran was funding both Sunni and Shia elements in Iraq.

"The mullahs do not fret about Iran not having an exit strategy from Iraq. It's something American legislators do, not Iranian ones," he said.

Steyn said he wrote his book in part as a rejoinder to what he terms "The Larry King School of Foreign Policy" which he described as "distinguished old people reminiscing about other distinguished old people."

The panel discussions on the CNN talk program, which often feature a mix of U.S. senators and former secretaries of state, frequently yield foreign policy prescriptions that are ill-suited to the challenges of the present age, he said.

Make media inquiries or request an interview about this article.

Subscribe to the free daily E-Brief.

E-mail a comment or news tip to Kevin Mooney.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.