I’m not much of a sci-fi reader…most books are nonfiction or literature. However, Tom Kratman’s Caliphate was recommended by Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, so I figured I’d give it a read.
The book flips back and forth between 2100 and 2003-2020, and the protagonists are Petra and Hans, a pair of dhimmis living in al-Baya (former Bavaria). Petra is sold into slavery and Hans is sold as a Janissary after their parents cannot pay the Jizya. The other main character from the 22nd Century is John Hamilton, a soldier in the American Imperial Army. The 2003-2020 characters include Petra’s great-grandmother Gabrielle and Mahmood, her great grandfather. Gabrielle kept a diary which is, it’s claimed, used to teach Petra to read.
I thought many of the characters were a little wooden, but that may be because I couldn’t relate to them. The most interesting parts of the book start on p. 163, where the events that caused the American Republic to become an empire are detailed….in a nutshell, on 9/11/2015, Islamists detonate smuggled nukes in Los Angeles, Boston, and Kansas City; the Federal government does nothing, and a populist uprising (dare we say “Tea Party”) under a Pat Buckman (Pat Buchanan?) takes the US in an anti-Civil Liberty and genocidal direction. Americans are expelled, Americans are murdered, and ethnic cleansing by ICBM and conventional forces ensues. “Interesting” but implausible – the book seems to imply that Muslim Americans meekly submit to expulsion or imprisonment, but I’d expect a low-grade civil war to break out.
Kratman’s afterword is also worth a read: He summarizes the four theories on Europe’s future, in re demography.
1). In the Mark Steyn theory, birthrate differentials result in Muslim rule and dhimmi status for nominal Christians. In this view, demographics don’t work out as well: Muslims have 4 generations per century, and average 4.2 births per woman, compared to 3 generations and 1.6 births per European woman. Interestingly, France’s national average birthrate at 1.82 and Muslim population of 10% France…10% having 4.2 births per woman, and 90% having 1.5…works out to about 1.82 total fertility rate. In the Steyn view, birthrates WILL drop, but the last people to quit having babies will rule the world. Kratman thinks sooner than Steyn: productive Christians will flee as taxes increase and the country seems less home-like. This seems to be happening in California, and I’ve also seen it when companies fall on hard times and the better employees find a different job.
2). Ralph Peters thinks the Europeans will go nuts and commit genocide. Kratman discounts this: Who will do the killing? None exist…most young people are Muslim. In some cities, young people are already over 50% Muslim.
3). “Progressive” view: Muslims will be the majority in the EU, but European Christians will be treated well because they treated Muslims well. Apparently Progressives are unaware of news articles such as this one. Kratman points to the treatment of Christians in Nigeria and Lebannon as evidence this won’t be the case….he suggests that Muslim residents in France are becoming more devout: In 1989, 60% of Muslims fasted for Ramadan, now it is 70%.
4). Average European view: What, me worry? Kratman argues that most Europeans don’t care WHAT happens, provided they get the 35-hour work week and 6 weeks/year of vacation…but Kratman argues in #1 and #3 above (and fellow Rare Readers know from the Greek crisis) that such entitlements are probably unsustainable.