While Europe Slept
How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within
by Bruce Bawer
New York: Doubleday, 2006. 248 pp. $23.95.
Reviewed by Robert Spencer
Middle East Quarterly
While international government, law enforcement, and media attention has been focused exclusively on the violent manifestations of today's global Islamic jihad, Bawer contends in While Europe Slept that the Islamization of Europe is being carried off largely without violence and without any effective response from European leaders blind to the goals and nature of Shari‘a supremacism. Bawer, a gay American writer who lives in Norway and also spent several years in The Netherlands, provides numerous chilling examples of this creeping Islamization and how it challenges core European values of pluralism, individual freedom, and more.
Massive immigration into Europe from Muslim countries has been unaccompanied—at the insistence of the Arab League and with the acquiescence of the European Union, as Bawer notes—by any large-scale organized attempts to assimilate these populations. Bawer demonstrates that this failure even to attempt to inculcate European values in these new Europeans has negative consequences not only for the immigrants but also for the native populations. Their lives have become more difficult, more precarious, and more expensive because of both the necessity to institute antiterror measures and because of the comprehensive challenge to European mores that the immigrants are posing. Homosexuals, Bawer recounts, are physically threatened as never before; even non-Muslim women in some areas of France and Sweden are compelled to don the hijab (headscarf) so as to avoid being raped; politicians and public figures who have dared to speak out against the advance of Islamic Shari‘a norms—Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn and filmmaker Theo van Gogh, in particular—have been murdered.
In response to all this, Bawer chronicles how Europe's elites remain wedded to a "mindless, self-destructive multiculturalism" that has even led them more than once to shortsighted alliances with the most intransigent of Islamic hard-liners. Meanwhile, the political mainstream has abdicated its responsibility on this issue, leaving the field open for resurgent neofascists. The suicide of Europe that Bawer so ably recounts is yet in the process of playing itself out.
Related Topics: Muslims in Europe, Radical Islam | Robert Spencer | Fall 2007 MEQ
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