Hungary's Prime Minister Orbán and former French President Sarkozy look out across the rooftops and spires of Budapest. / Courtesy of S4C.

Just over a week ago, the “Budapest Summit on Migration” wrapped up three days of lectures, speeches, and panel discussions on “the biggest challenge of our time”, as the organizers put it (though they phrased it as an interrogative).  Organized by Mathias Corvinus Collegium, and counting with the organizational support of the Danube Institute and the Hungarian government, the Summit brought together more than 60 speakers from around the world for their input on the origins of the 2015 migration crisis and its long-lasting impact on Europe.

Among the many speakers was Kishore Jayabalan, director of Istituto Acton in Rome. In a new essay published yesterday, he has this to say:

I came away with the impression that Europeans are trying to fight something with nothing.  Islamist terrorism is a national security issue but what to do about Islam as a religion?  To what should radical Islam be reformed?  As far as I could tell, only one speaker spoke of a “Christian Europe” that should combat abortion, euthanasia, pornography and same-sex marriage.

Jayabalan raises other important questions prompted by the Summit.  They generally point to a fundamental question that we ourselves have repeatedly asked others over the years:  What exactly is it that Europeans want to preserve, particularly in the face of challenges like Islamic immigration?  Unfortunately, as he seems to suggest, there seem to be very few who are able or willing to go beyond the merely economic dimension of the migration and actually offer a coherent reply — on that addresses the religious dimensions of the challenge, one that speaks to European identity and (dare we say it?) Christian civilization.  More Europeans, particularly in ‘officialdom’, need to be thinking in these terms — and acting accordingly.  If they don’t, then we vote them out in May.

Read Jayabalan’s entire essay here.