The Muslim population in Europe has been growing since World War II, topped off by the migration crisis in 2015. Today, about 33 million Muslims live in Europe, equal to 6 percent of the population. Not since the Ottomans laid siege to Vienna in 1683 has Islam played such a prominent role in European affairs.
Yet the numbers are slightly deceiving. Islam has become such a serious political issue in Europe not because of the growth in Muslims itself but because the Muslim population is younger and growing faster than other demographic groups. This is in part because of the migration wave and in part because European fertility rates have fallen below replacement level. The trend sows fear among the native population that its influence and way of life is ending, and it is compounded by the desire of the immigrants to retain at least elements of their previous national, ethnic and religious identities. These demographic shifts have led to internal disagreements that threate