A few years back I was invited to give the keynote address at a one-day conference in Washington – or, actually, in Arlington – about the future of Europe. I am still baffled as to why I was invited. Pretty much all the other people there – the audience members as well as the conference speakers – were seasoned diplomats and sundry high-level government types, some of them Americans, the rest from various European countries. And all of them painted a rosy picture of Europe's prospects. The European Union, most of them agreed, was just about the best thing ever to happen to the old continent – a guarantor of peace and prosperity for generations to come. The one or two passing mentions of Islam and immigration were also positive – thanks to the massive influx of "new Europeans" from the Muslim world, these experts assured us, Europe's demographic decline wouldn't really be much of a problem. Several participants expressed the desire that the tired, backward old USA could become more like the progressive, forward-looking EU.
Everybody was in good cheer and in almost total agreement. Then it came my turn to speak. My subject: the Islamization of Europe. Sharia enclaves. Subjugated women. Forced marriages. Honor killings. Jew-baiting. Gay-bashing. Spiraling rape statistics. Systematic welfare abuse. Police overlooking crimes, judges citing sharia law, journalists, writers, and artists practicing self-censorship for fear of giving offense to Muslim believers, and politicians pretending everything's just fine.