by Melanie Phillips
New York: Encounter Books, 2006. 218 pp. $25.95.
Reviewed by Paul Belien
The Brussels Journal
Middle East Quarterly
Londonistan, one of many recent books on the Islamization of Europe, is more interesting than most because Phillips focuses on the situation of one country, the United Kingdom. One wishes for similar books on France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, etc. Britain is also a special case. Historian Bat Ye'or observes that it "has become the barking dog of its protectors: both Islamists and Palestinians. This situation is not limited to Great Britain, but maybe because it was one of the proudest and most powerful countries in Europe, one of the three major victors of World War II, that this wilful decline and abasement are so traumatic."
That the British government was Washington's most reliable ally in Iraq might give Americans a false impression; the situation in Britain is among the worst in Europe when it comes to the appeasement of Islamists, with the possible exception of Sweden.
Phillips provides an explanation, showing how this situation has come about. In the 1980s, the British courts turned the government's asylum policy into farce. Because the Labor Party was so weak during the Thatcher era, the courts took an opposition role upon themselves, challenging the government's attempt to control immigration, a unique development.
Then there was the failure of British intelligence, reluctant to act because it assumed that if the Islamists were left undisturbed, they would leave Britain alone. Moreover, it was believed that Britain had no Middle East interest that might make it a target of Muslim terrorists. Multiculturalism made the British doubt their own values. The nihilism of moral relativism disseminated by the Church of England internalized hatred of the West—and of Israel as its beleaguered vanguard.
Related Topics: Muslims in the United Kingdom, Radical Islam | Fall 2007 MEQ
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