Should Christians vote for Turkey?
But Turkey’s cause unites a broad spectrum of political opinion - Tony Blair, David Cameron, Chris Patten, William Hague, The Daily Telegraph, The Spectator, Jacques Chirac, George Bush. All believe Turkey should be admitted as a full member of the EU as soon as possible. Cranmer used to believe this, believing that the wider the Union becomes, the less deep it can be. It would, therefore, herald the end of ‘ever closer union’.
Cranmer has changed his mind. It is one thing to want the end of ‘ever closer union’; it is quite another to imperil Western civilisation to achieve it.
European countries share common origins – Celtic, Germanic, classical paganism, Christianity, Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment – which have influenced the various tribal groups throughout the continent and produced similarities in language, customs, architecture, literature, music and fine arts. This has produced a common heritage. Countries which have not been subjected to these same complex historical forces are quite simply neither European nor Western.
It may be unacceptable to state, but it is a matter of historical record that Islam is a militant and aggrandising ideology constrained by 7th-century attitudes. As recently as 1683 it was kicking at the gates of Vienna, and has been consistently antagonistic towards the Christian world, whose lands it regards as the Dar al Harb (‘house of war’) – populated by infidels who must be compelled by all means to submit to Allah: ‘Those who fight Islam should be murdered or crucified or their hands and feet should be cut off on opposite sides’ (Surah 5:33). While not all Muslims take such words literally, there will always be those drawn to strict interpretations of the Qur’an. They may be a small minority in Europe at the moment, but the admission of Turkey would increase the EU’s Muslim population from 5% to 15%. In addition, the differential between the birthrates of Muslims and non-Muslims would hasten the looming demographic and cultural implosion.
The Bosphorus is a psychological frontier of considerable historical and cultural importance. The admission of Turkey would profoundly affect Western policy making, increase unemployment, and hinder economic growth. It would also constitute a tacit justification of the mass murder of 300,000 Armenians between 1915-17, which the EU Parliament has termed ‘genocide’. Turkey has never apologised to its neighbour, and continues to imprison political dissidents and those who do not conform. The admission of Turkey into the EU could lead to the overthrow of the West through uncontrolled immigration, negative assimilation, over-population and environmental degradation.
On Turkish admission, Cranmer now agrees with the Pope.