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Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom
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82 of 84 people found the following review helpful
The USA has experienced 9/11 and Europe too has had its share of terrorism. Bawer goes back to the Salman Rushdie affair that erupted in 1989 to demonstrate how the West's capitulation began in our era. For the bigger picture he goes back even further, to a time when armies of desert tribes bearing a new religion burst out of the Arabian Peninsula to conquer the civilized world as far as Central Asia and Spain during its first expansion. Later waves led to the conquest of Hindustan, deep penetration into northern, western and eastern Africa and finally the subjugation of the Balkans.

The majority of the conquered peoples were converted by force or policies of oppression and discrimination (dhimmitude) except in the cases of Spain, India and the Balkans where the indigenous faiths stood their ground, eventually reasserting themselves through counterconquest or independence. In Africa, Christian Ethiopia was protected by geography and fierce defenders. Bawer shows how the crusades were a reaction to Islamic incursions and covers the USA's first ever overseas war, the one with the Barbary pirates in the early 1800s. Today, the target is the West's civil liberties of which free speech tops the list.

It's now clear that the Salman Rushdie affair exposed the cowardice of western leaders and intellectuals, introducing an era of intimidation aimed at undermining our basic freedoms. The triumph of multiculturalism & political correctness and the decline of Christianity in Europe handed the Islamists a 5th column, a weapon and a vacuum to fill. The consensus-über-alles European political & academic elites opted for appeasement. By now, this spirit of surrender has infected all aspects of European society including the courts, law enforcement and what remains of the mainstream Protestant churches of western and northern Europe.

Bawer devotes much energy to the cowardice of western media - especially the New York Times and BBC - that deny the threat by portraying radicals like Tariq Ramadan as moderates, by ignoring the treasonous statements of extremist clergy and all the while smearing those who dare speak out. Chronicling the crumbling resistance, he covers the murders of Pim Fortuyn in 2002, Theo van Gogh in 2004, the 2005 Danish cartoon controversy and the riotous reaction to a speech by Pope Benedict. As grand causes, the author diagnoses the horrors of WWII and the welfare state that followed as the breeding grounds of the pacifism-über-alles mentality which is leading to civilizational suicide.

The complicity of the media is established through hundreds of examples of underreporting, omission, silence & dissembling, every one backed up by verifiable sources and quotes. They refuse to admit the extent of e.g. honor killings & female circumcision in Europe, they obfuscate the nature of crimes and blur the identity of perpetrators and they deny that integration has utterly failed. In effect, two societies now exist in Europe: one of native Europeans & assimilated immigrants versus one of alienated, unassimilated populations in enclaves that are subject to Sharia law.

Trapped in wishful thinking, the media blame the messenger who increasingly risks prosecution under European speech codes. Bawer points out the deplorable slurs meted out to a brave defender of freedom like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. A favorite media tactic is to take recourse in moral equivalence with the mantra of "extremists on both sides," equating violent jihadis with their non-violent critics. The late Oriana Fallaci faced trial in Italy when she passed away in 2006 and in Canada, Mark Steyn & Ezra Levant only triumphed over state kommissars due to their spirited defense and public support. In America, the First Amendment still guards freedom of expression, for now.

Meanwhile reality -- unable to conform to the fantasies of the elites -- continues to assert itself. Despite generous welfare payments and the lavish funding of leaders & representatives, the hidden society promotes crime and is prone to ourbursts of nationwide violence as France learnt in 2005. This by the way, was initially ignored by the US media and when eventually reported, the euphemism "youths" was employed for the arsonists. Amsterdam that once prided itself on being the most tolerant city in Europe has become dangerous for gay people who are targets of this low-level Jihad. Yet the media still prefer discredited academics like Karen Armstrong and John Esposito over serious scholars such as Bat Ye'or, Robert Spencer, Ibn Warraq, Efraim Karsh and Andrew Bostom.

'Surrender' eloquently defends Enlightenment values as it attempts to rouse a comatose West. Besides the aforementioned observers, the alarm has also been sounded by Claire Berlinski, Theodore Dalrymple, Nonie Darwish, Brigitte Gabriel, David Horowitz, Caroline Glick, Melanie Phillips, Bruce Thornton, Phyllis Chesler, Walter Laqueur and Jamie Glazov to name a few. Let the author have the last say: "At least one thing seems certain: against people who are ready to die in the cause of destroying freedom, people who are not willing to speak up for freedom for fear of being called a racist or an Islamophobe don't stand much chance of victory."
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 28, 2009
Author Bawer has done yeoman work in exposing the curtailment of free speech in the West and notably in the US in order not to offend Muslims. Sometimes this is as a result of overt threats by Muslims, sometimes it occurs due to self-censorship to ward off such threats and criticism. In any case it is cowardly, and ultimately self-defeating.

This work is replete with examples of such instances from beginning to end, but in spite of the author's courage in writing this book, I note that the publisher saw fit to omit the cartoons that brought the most direct threats from the Muslim world. It seems like self-censorship is alive and well. Frankly I have seen much worse anti-Christian "works of art" in the US, but these were allowed to be publically displayed. I guess Christians aren't willing to murder people over such issues.

Not only is the entire theme timely and important, but so are several side points. The author mentions "dhimmitude" -- a concept that should be loudly proclaimed on our Government-controlled media (NBC and its various outlets and affiliates) and taught in our schools until every American understands what it means. Non-Muslims are not merely 2nd class citizens in Muslim countries under Sharia law; they pay an tax for the privilege of not being a Muslim, cannot fight a Muslim, and their oaths are not valid. Frankly their status is much lower than that of blacks in the US during the Jim Crow years. One must remember that the Qur'an definitely states that non-Muslims must be subordinate to Muslims and are not equal to Muslims in any sense. So much for "All men are created equal." In addition, we in the US should also know that the Turkish word for non-Muslims is the same as "cattle." That supported the children tax that was levied on Christian towns in the Balkans to fill the Janassary Corps and harems of the Ottomans. Gee, no wonder the Serbs don't like the Muslim Bosnians. So why do we?

Nonetheless, political correctness in the West & the US is turning free speech into a mockery. Only the Muslims (and the radical leftists in the US) actually have free speech -- for the rest it is already a lost right. Bawer does well to prove this fact, and his scholarship is impressive. One would hope that more than a few are reading this book, but it doesn't look like it.

Highly recommended. The hour is late.
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62 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2009
Bruce Bawer has written a tour de force. I suggest that everybody buy this book immediately - in fact, buy 2 copies and give one to a friend. I am about two-thirds of the way through his book, and I can't put it down. Most of the stories in here are familiar - the cartoons, Pym Fortuyn, Van Gogh - but Bawer weaves them all together into a narrative that will have you angry as hell.

Well-written, well-researched, "Surrender" is a must-read. Put down what you are reading now, and buy this book.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2009
To say that a book is a must reading is an overused cliche. In this case, though, it is absolutely true. Bawer takes no prisoners in this devastating polemic. Every advocate of political correctness, from The New York Times to the Dixie Chicks, is put in their place. Bawer makes the convincing case that the cravenness of Western politicians is destroying European civilization. One point no other reviewer has (yet) made: Bawer's homosexuality allows him to get away with ripping the gay rights movement. He shows they have turned a blind eye to Muslim anti-gay terrorism. A terrific book.
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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2009
If we think the threat to freedom of speech is only by the so-called "Fairness Doctrine", campaigned by the modern liberals, then we are kidding ourselves. Another front that is in direct confrontation with freedom of speech is radical Islam. Bawer made a compelling case in this book that radical Muslims are using riots, fatwa, and even murders to bullying and silencing the West from making any statement critical of Islam. Bawer also revealed that by surrendering to their bullying tactics, the West is in essence surrendering the freedom of speech and thus sacrificing the freedom as we know it. Alas, liberal politicians are doing exactly that by foolishly perpetuating political correctness and multiculturalism, and thus as Bawer titled in his book "Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom." This is a crucial read for all who cherish the freedom of speech and freedom itself. For if we know not our threats, how else would we know what is at stake?
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 14, 2010
I love Bruce Bawer so much I would marry him....except a)I'm already married and b) he's gay. But seriously: the guy is incredibly smart and totally fearless--a true warrior in the fight to preserve our civil liberties against political Islam.

Bawer's status as an openly gay man (who has written on a broad range of subjects) gives SURRENDER a level of insight and authority shared by few other books on this issue. He can't be dismissed as a right-wing, redneck nut job, because he isn't. His writings on this topic don't stem from blind hatred of "the other," but from his conviction that our culture is worth preserving. If he had been writing in Europe during the 1930's, he would have launched cogent, compelling arguments against the Nazi party's growing influence.

Bawer paints a disturbing picture of what happens when we allow political correctness and self-imposed ignorance to dictate what we know about militant Islam. The worst moral offense, in the American mind, is to appear biased. But what's wrong with being biased against totalitarianism?

Bawer backs up his arguments with facts, and he never resorts to shrill name-calling or wild unsupportable accusations. He's very reasonable and well-informed. His message is clear: if those of us who value Western culture don't learn about our enemies, and how to defeat them, we will have no choice but to give up all of the freedoms we currently enjoy.

Much has happened since the publication of this book (the Fort Hood massacre and the Christmas/Underpants bomber are only two of the better-known examples); Bawer could probably publish annual revisions of SURRENDER for years to come. His focus in this volume is on the U.S., but he has also written about what's going on in Europe (WHILE EUROPE SLEPT). He is like most reasonable people in that he has no quarrel with individuals who embrace Islam as their chosen spiritual path. Unfortunately, the way Islam is set up, countless Muslims (including "moderates") are dedicated to creating a worldwide Muslim empire that is run according to the rules of shari'a.

Bawer's title is perfect: to embrace Islam is to "surrender." We hear over and over again--so often that the uninformed are inclined to believe this--that the definition of Islam is "peace." "Islam" actually translates to submission, and it is the duty of every Muslim to encourage (or force) non-Muslims to "submit." When the entire world "submits to the will of God" ie, converts to Islam, peace will result. The non-Muslim world must cease to exist. In other words, if jihadis can't persuade (by reason, fear, or force) their adversaries to join them, then we must be eliminated.

Americans have a hard time accepting that the rest of the world isn't as tolerant, or secular, as we've become. We're also quick to give apologists for militant Islam a forum in our media. Denial is comfortable because then we don't have to face a cruel reality.

If you're brave enough to take off your blinders, read Bawer's book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2010
I have attended some "elite" educational institutions in the United States. I am well aware of the type of thinking that Mr. Bawer describes in this book. Although it is a sport for (generalizing here) liberals and conservatives to engage in speculative psychological analysis of each other, this book is highly important in helping to shed light on the dangerous alliance of islamists and leftists. I think, though, that there are malicious allies and simply naive allies. Many of the people I know who blindly support things like the Ground Zero Mosque or who blindly believe that Islam is just another religion are the same type who treat other groups of people (the poor, the ethnic, the immigrant) with the same emotion: PITY. If X is a VICTIM, how can you judge the victim? Even if the "victims" bring barbaric humanity-crushing behavior into your western country. Furthermore, how can the "victims" ever take over when we are oppressing them with our racism and insensitivity? This is the type of thinking pervading the New York Times and college campuses.

I am so glad that someone like Mr. Bawer is living in Europe and intelligently observing the coming storm to warn us. I hope that he is safe.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2009
I was deeply impressed with Bruce Bawer's While Europe Slept and was delighted to hear him sensitively interviewed by Bill Moyers on PBS. This latest book "Surrender, Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom",is a tour-de-force of excellent, even gripping writing style. I finished the book in a single night. For me the most powerful part of the book is the first half where he details how secular multiculturalism and political correctness now control most main stream media. He does an excellent job of illustrating how this mentality is gradually conceding both freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The events at Ft. Hood which I believe were the result of direct PC bumbling on the part of the military shows you where this mentality is taking us. Bawer details many similar events that didn't lead to tragedies but could have. This is a disturbing book but a must read. Bawer is no red-state conservative, but he is among a small but growing group of liberals who have understood what the issues really are. This book will not be reviewed in the New York Times. We need to help it get distributed. If you are reading this, I plead, buy the book and read it. Then copy one of these positive reviews and send it to everyone on your email list. As Bawer notes about the internet, it has opened the door for alternative views to get out into the public eye. Let's all give this book a boost. If 1000 of us do this to just 10 people we have opened up the eyes of 10,000 people to what is really going on. Eventually the New York Times will not be able to ignore it.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2009
'Surrender' ought to be compulsory reading for all Western politicians and members of the 'Politically Correct' (but utterly wrong) segments. Islam as such, not only radical islam, is the Free World's mortal enemy and it's time this fact was realized more widely than is the case. A must-read!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2010
This book illustrates how politicians, journalists, and others in positions of influence urge, and often enforce, eggshell walking in relation to all things Islamic. Rather than tackling the unreasonable and often fearsome behaviour of Islamic elements in Western society, the onus is placed on us to keep our behaviour within narrow confines lest we set off a wave of rioting and violence at the hands of our cultural enrichers.

'Surrender' is an appropriate name for this book, and our leaders' cravenness that this book highlghts is very concerning considering they are paid to oversee our wellbeing. Those who have the courage to expose the danger facing the West are themselves vilified. Also, deceptive pictures of Islam and Islamic figures are painted to placate our healthy concern.

This book contains numerous examples of what I've mentioned above.

This is a very good book which is well worth buying.
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