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86 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will Europe survive?, 27 Mar. 2007
This review is from: While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within (Hardcover)
Many others have written about the steady collapse of Europe and the rise of Islamism. Recent books by Claire Berlinski, Mark Steyn, George Wiegel, Oriana Fallaci, Melanie Phillips and Bat Ye'or have all made the case in similar fashion.

What may be distinctive about this treatment is Bawer is no religious right-winger. He is a secular homosexual, but shares with others a deep concern about how Europeans are sleeping through their own annihilation.

His time in Europe has helped him to gain some perspective on these issues. He has come to see how Europe's inability to deal with the Islamist menace is threatening its very existence. And he has come to appreciate, by contrast, America's many virtues.

A big problem is Muslim populations have not integrated very well. Indeed, because so many practice deliberate self-segregation, and live in isolated conclaves, integration just has not been happening. Instead, animosities and divisions increase, and the jihad mentality continues to gain strength. In Holland for example, many Muslim children attend private Islamic academies, where they are taught to hate Jews, Israel, America and the West.

While millions of Muslim parents in Europe have been able to provide prosperous and comfortable lives for their children, many of these children despise the West which has made such benefits possible. They tend to identify more with their ancestral homelands than with the countries they now reside in.

Coupled with this inability - or unwillingness - to fit in and accept European values is the demographic problem. While native Europeans are undergoing a population implosion, Muslim families are thriving. In France 12 per cent of the population is Muslim. In Switzerland it is 20 per cent.

In most of Western Europe around 18 per cent of children are Muslim, and that percentage is rising steadily. Within a few short generations many Europeans countries will have a Muslim majority. The imams are certainly aware of this. A popular T-shirt worn by Muslim youth in Stockholm reads, "2030 - then we take over".

And European bureaucracies are largely compounding the problems. They are so intent on promoting the politically correct line, and so fearful of being seen as Islamophobic, that they are caving in to most radical Muslim demands, while allowing European freedoms and values to be trampled on.

Much of the electorate may be tired of the Muslim incursion on their liberties, but these governing bureaucrats are holding tightly on to power, and are in effect conspiring to prevent freedom-minded movements from gaining power.

Just as there is a real lack of genuine political diversity in Europe, so too is the lack of journalistic diversity, notes Bawer. The mainstream press enjoys a monopoly status, and it runs with an editorial policy of appeasement to the Muslims. Indeed, much of the media is state-owned and operated. The wide range of political and media commentary in the US stands in marked contrast to its near absence in Europe.

While America has truly been a melting pot of cultures and ethnic mixes, Europe never has been. Immigrants to America quickly learn the host nation's language and enter the workplace. Neither is happening in Europe, nor are such sensible steps being encouraged by the Establishment. Instead, says Bawer, "Immigrants in Europe are allowed to perpetuate even the most atrocious aspects of their cultures". Female genital mutilation is one such practice, taking place in nearly every European country.

The consequences of this show up on many fronts. Consider crime for example. There are many areas in major European cities which are simply no-go zones. They have become hotspots of Islamic crime, and native Europeans dare not tread there, not even police of fire services.

This book is really about two things: the inability of Europe to deal with the most serious threat to its existence since the Second World War, and the fundamental differences between the US and Europe. Yes America has a host of faults. But it also has a host of virtues, virtues which are either ignored, played down or criticised by the European elite.

European anti-Americanism is largely irrational and misplaced, argues Bawer. America simply looks at itself and the world much differently than Europe does. Americans thrive on self-reliance, hard work and independence. They value freedom, democracy and genuine political diversity. Much of this is simply absent in Europe.

Indeed, many Europeans are "genuinely unable to comprehend a land whose people take liberty seriously enough to die for it." Thus Americans will act to protect liberty and to withstand tyrants. "In America, we feel obliged to do something about the Milosevics of the world," says Bawer. But Europeans are different. For them, the Milosevics of the world, "however monstrous, are also, quite simply, a fact of life. Nothing will ever end that."

Getting rid of one tyrant just means that another one will soon come along to take his place. That has been the history of Europe. Therefore Europeans tend to be fatalistic, and tend to dislike war more than they crave freedom.

Anti-Semitism is another issue. Anti-Semitism is simply not a big problem in the US, but it is a large and growing problem in Europe. Bawer documents the huge increase in anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic crime in Europe.

These differences may explain why Europe one day will become a continent with a majority of Muslims, ruled by sharia law, while America will not. Europeans may find themselves living in a permanent state of dhimmitude, and they will have only themselves to blame.

Enough people have been sounding a warning, such as Bawer. The question is, will Europeans shake off their lethargy and indifference, and rise to meet the challenge that threatens to engulf them?
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