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This review is from: Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom (Hardcover)
With the brutal beheading of Lee Rigby in Woolwich, London this last week, it is an event we shouldn't really be surprised by any more. Muslims have wanted to execute Salman Rushdie in a similar manner, as Bruce Bawer writes, as far back as 1989. Rushdie, the Indian/British author (of Muslim descent) was sentenced to death by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini for Rushdie's book the Satanic Verses. Upon issuing the Ayatollah's fatwa, there were scenes we're now all too familiar with: violent protests worldwide with Muslims outraged over some book they'd never even heard of and certainly not read.
Looking back, what was strange about the Rushdie episode was not just the fatwa (religious ruling) itself, but the controlled reaction to it. Despite the many column inches dedicated to the problem, not a word was said about the underlying justification for the death sentence, the religion. More specifically, Islam.
A little over a decade later, and with a far higher Muslim immigrant population in Europe both Theo van Gogh and Pym Fortyn were murdered for their anti-Islamic opinions. As a result of this, Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and many more are in hiding needing around the clock protection for having expressed anti-Islamic views or simply written about subjects which the Muslim community considers taboo. What is painfully obvious is that not only is free speech is under attack in a way in which has never been experienced before, but there is a fundamental transformation of our culture and values being forced upon us. Yet to glean your information about today's world from the mass media, you wouldn't have a clue that anything significant is wrong.
Bruce Bawer, a gay conservative writer first came to prominence with While Europe Slept. In it, he wrote about his travels having left 'fundamentalist Christian America' to come to 'enlightened Europe', only to discover things were not as he'd been led to believe. Now in Surrender, Bawer essentially continues his essay but from a slightly different angle and argues that what has now emerged from our capitulation to the `religion we dare not speak of' is a perfect model of how non-Muslims should behave when under Muslim rule (dhimmis) in Islamic countries. There is now a `threat-culture', a self-censorship surrounding anything in print media, cinema, art galleries or universities; anything which attempts to question Islam, or give a differing opinion, or speaks out against some of the more barbarous aspects of Islamic culture.
As Bawer points out, the West had heard about the Israel/Palestine conflict, the Iranian revolution, a variety of terrorist actions by Palestinian guerrillas back in the '70s (including air plane hijackings) so it's not like we'd never encountered Islam before. All of these events kept the Muslim world in the headlines for years, but no one ever felt compelled to learn more about Islam. Bawer identifies the media as having a lot to do with that.
What Bawer does best, and why I find I can't get enough of his writing, is the way he explains the real stories behind the headlines, and his comebacks to the brainwashing BS of many of today's journalists when talking about Islam. Bawer's insights are one of the things I most enjoy about his writing. But the book is also highly entertaining because of the sheer amount of issues included. Among them is the history of jihad and the West, Islamic slavery of whites, and how the concept of freedom evolved in Britain and Europe.
Bawer explores the bizarre thinking possessed by the left as always thinking they are on the fringes of society, fighting to maintain their beliefs against the oppressive majority. Bawer points out that these people are now the university professors; the politicians, civil servants, artists and musicians; they staff social and cultural institutions, they are now the mainstream.
With Europe, Bawer shows the British and French media doing their part not to be out-dhimmied by the Americans, with the BBC's shocking series `Don't Panic, I'm Islamic' broadcast only two months before the 7/7 attacks (which, rather unsurprisingly, saw 5 of the Muslims featured in the documentary later charged in the July 7th attacks). But the French seem to win outright with their complicity in the Muhammad al-Dura affair.
Today we're in a utopian-dominated world in which a war is raging all around us. There are endless Muslim-terror stories being reported in the online media and blogs (look hard and you'll find tens per week, amounting to thousands per year), but completely ignored in the headlines as if nothing is happening. The events in Woolwich and the Boston bombings occasionally burst through to shatter this stupor the media work so hard to lull us into.
In Bawer's Surrender, much like While Europe Slept, I was surprised and outraged at just how much news I'd missed because of media silence. In an age of 24hr news, and a media with a supposedly insatiable appetite for the next story, we're reduced to reading yesteryear's news only when it's published in a book - which is only available online, because most bookshops won't sell it for fear of violence from Muslims. Thankfully, Bruce Bawer continues to fill the void left by the `free' world's media, informing voters of the facts which our news services have long since given up responsibility for. It is at least some small comfort (!) that Bawer is by far the enjoyable writer, tackling the issues that should be of greatest concern to those worried about the state of our democracies.
Cannot recommend this enough.