676 of 725 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally Illuminating
I bought this book hoping to get a better understanding of what was going on in Europe with their Muslim immigrant population (things like the car-burning riots in Paris, areas of Netherlands ruled by Sharia and not Dutch law, etc., left me quizzical). Well, I got that understanding. And I got a lot more, not the least are vital insights as to just how very different...
Published on February 25, 2006 by Amazon Customer
79 of 92 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A few concerns about this one . . . .
I just finished WHILE EUROPE SLEPT and found it an interesting book. I'm glad I selected the book, and read it. Generally, it was most interesting, and -- I think -- worth my time.
However, it might be helpful for potential readers if I address a few concerns.
First, the book is more a kind of portrayal of Europe's folly and decline in general. The...
Published on March 29, 2006 by Patrick J. Callahan
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676 of 725 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally Illuminating,
This review is from: While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within (Hardcover)
I bought this book hoping to get a better understanding of what was going on in Europe with their Muslim immigrant population (things like the car-burning riots in Paris, areas of Netherlands ruled by Sharia and not Dutch law, etc., left me quizzical). Well, I got that understanding. And I got a lot more, not the least are vital insights as to just how very different Europe is from the US. The author is both a clear writer, and an excellent journalist who digs down into the entrails to bring forth the real guts of a story. The information he brilliantly provided often left me with my jaw hanging, wondering, "That's really what they think over there?" I learned an awful lot in the short time it took to read this book.
I honestly think that every American should read it. It is a clarion call to not repeat the myopic, multicultural mistakes that have gotten European countries into a fix that I honestly don't see how they can get out of now. You will acquire a clear portrait of the attitudes of Muslims in Europe, as well as those of elitist Europeans in all of their moral smugness and self-assuming superiority. Many themes are presented, but perhaps the over-arching theme is that tolerance for the intolerable (wife beating, genital mutilation, honor killing, rape, etc.) is never ever a good policy for a freedom loving, individual-respecting society.
While Europe Slept makes a highly readable contribution to the discussion on the impact of Mideastern Islam with the democractic West. It also has a lot to say about the role that the United States has played in this drama. It turns out that we are not nearly as bad as those who claim to hate us say we are. Reading this book had the unsuspected effect of leaving me feeling even more blessed and happy that I am one of those lucky ones to be an American. What else can I say except that this is a really, really good book. It brought a lot of light into an area that previously was something of a mystery. Highly recommended.
468 of 514 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will Europe Do It Again?,
This review is from: While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within (Hardcover)
I picked up this book because the title echoed John F. Kennedy's "Why England Slept" of 1940. At the time, tired Europe was willing to try anything to avoid another blood bath like the Great War--ANYTHING! Appeasement had earned a bad reputation by 1940.
Today, Europe is habituated to appeasing aggressors. History has been rewritten to conform to establishment prejudices--yup! The PC effect! Europe's "free press" is not--Bruce Bawer documents this vigorously. The Internet is melting down EU "press control," as other viewpoints are becoming public knowledge. Before, if it wasn't "mainstream press," it was unknown--even when most of Europe's residents differed from the party line--they didn't have a voice. Europeans were appeasing the Communist Block until the Berlin Wall fell--then the Western European governments were at a loss.
The threat of radical Islam is real. Bawer also raises the spector of a reactionary backlash--the very same thing that Mussolini rode to power in the 1920's and Hitler used to achieve power in the 1930's. Europe has forgotten the Red Tide and Franco and the rest. Don't forget--according to the Islamic Imperialists, Europe is "occupied Islamic territory." Not only must it be reconquered, but cleansed in fire and blood.
Has Islam been high-jacked by power-hungry totalitarians? Or is it a religion of conquest? Like Europeans, Muslims are conformists who have a single, tainted viewpoint force-fed to them. Step out of line, and you get exiled from "the world." You might even have to move to America! "While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destrouying the West From Within" documents the part of the "War On Terror" that wasn't publicized until the wave of bombings last year. I've been aware of the Islamic "unrest" in Europe since the early 1960's even though I couldn't read and write yet--I was in France in 1960 during the little civil war the French government and the French military officer corps had over Algeria. The Munich Olympics massacre (like the Texas Tower incident in the United States) led to European governments fielding SWAT-like police or military units--or both. During my active duty Army time in Europe, the "Turkish guest worker problem" was common knowledge--but the Russian bear got all of the attention. Bawer doesn't cover this--his book covers the man-in-the-street point of view during his long residence in Europe.
I recommend this book because it appears that European history is repeating itself--Europe is allowing the barbaric to seize and exercise power. There is a parallel in the United States--the problem of illegal immigration and its attendant effects on crime, the economy, and political corruption. Illegal aliens in the United States vote? I can't do a whole lot about the French or the European Union's insane policies, but I do have a voice here in the United States. We can learn from others' mistakes, or we can make those same mistakes again ourselves. Read "While Europe Slept" and decide for yourself.
154 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars European reader: Bawer is right,
This review is from: While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within (Hardcover)
As a European I can tell you, Bawer has some strong and convincing arguments about the European crisis. Let the European crisis be a warning for what are the results of a political correct society that promotes cultural relativism. Be warned and read this well written book, it's a quick read.
63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific reporting on European senescence in the face of the Jihadist threat,
If you have read "Londonistan" by Melanie Phillips, you can see this as a companion volume for the Continent. If you haven't read that book, then you should read this book AND that book. Really. And then add in "American Jihad" or any other book by the indispensable Steve Emerson. But you certainly should read this book. It is written well and is clearly reported.
Bruce Bawer is a very talented writer who has written books and articles for gay rights, same-sex marriage, and against conservative evangelicals. Even in this book (pg. 33) he calls Jerry Falwell "an unsavory creep", says that James Dobson's parenting advice is "appalling". However, he notes that Falwell wasn't issuing fatwas, that Dobson wasn't telling people to murder their daughters, and that while Pat Robertson wanted to deny him marriage [to his same sex partner], the imams wanted to drop a wall on him. Honest and clear insights that one can parse and agree with in the large sweep, while disagreeing with its parts (or agree, if you are so inclined).
He notes "I traveled to the Netherlands in 1997 and thought I'd found the closest thing to heaven on earth. What sentient being, I wondered wouldn't want to liver there?" Yet things had changed so much that a survey from April 2005 showed that every third Dutchman wanted to leave the country. This book report the excruciating events and changes that are occurring in most of Europe that has led to this deterioration. Bawer does not pull any punches in stating his view that is the rise of the Muslim influence with a certain intransigent, bullying, and non-Western traditions that is destroying Europe.
The author is more alarmist about Europe than Pat Buchanan is about America and notes why. He assures us that what is happening now in Europe is coming to America and judges that it is only a matter of time until Sharia law is given place in the legal system of Europe and the sad day that will be.
There are so many shocking events that he documents in this book that I cannot share even all the most disturbing ones. However, he notes on page 66 that a report stated that 65 percent of rapes in Norway were committed by "non-Western immigrants (a term that in Norway is essentially synonymous with "Muslims")". He notes that when Unni Wikan, a professor of social anthropology, was asked for comment she said that "Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes". And if that weren't appalling enough, she added, " Norwegian women must realize that we live in a multicultural society and adapt to it." Can you imagine if that were said in America?
He also documents the kind of social rot that is part and parcel of the European senescence. They so love their social democracies that they are willing to compromise their heritage, principles, and even a strong sense of reality in order to prop them up with this poisonous brand of immigration. Again, it is too much to document here.
I also found his documentation of the "Peace Studies" movement in Europe and its anti-American roots, stem, and flower to be very illuminating. Now, I can understand where the anti-Americanism of the far left doctrines in our own country come from. They are simply transplanted notions from socialist Europe that they want to grow here. It is sad in so many ways, but particularly in the way they hallucinate their way into seeing the old USSR as the good guy and providing a needed balance to American imperialism and terrorism. These folks are so far gone that left wing crank Noam Chomsky would be a moderate conservative in one of their panel discussion.
Bower concludes this much needed book so beautifully. In speaking of the Dutch (whom he admires more than I do) he says, "They seem to have brought Western civilization to its utmost pinnacle in terms of freedom and the pursuit of happiness, and the road ahead, very much like the actual roads in the Netherlands, seemed to stretch to the horizon, straight, flat, smooth, and with nary a bump."
"And yet they'd turned a blind eye to the very peril that would destroy them."
Let's hope the Europeans wake up, but certainly let's make sure that we Americans are awake and honest with ourselves about the threats the Jihadists represent to us at all levels.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an excellent look at a very disturbing issue,
As an American living in Europe for almost 8 years, I can see most of the troubles that Bawer describes in While Europe slept. Bawer's description and explanation of European attitudes about Islam seem pretty accurate.
I am fortunate that I live in one of the new EU countries that so far has not developed the lax immigration policies of its ultra-politically correct western European fellow members. I have visited some of the cities that Bawer describes and can attest to the fact that there are noticeable differences from 10 years ago.
As an additional note, I've never been to Norway and for that matter don't know any Norwegians. I wasn't aware that the anti-American sentiment was so ingrained in Norway's culture. I can only hope that Bawer is exaggerating to some extent.
I would give While Europe Slept 5 stars for the general coverage of its topic. I would give the book only 3 stars for the presentation. I feel that Bawer makes too many generalizations about Europe which is an extremely culturally diverse continent. It's not fair to take Europe as whole for this topic.
Finally, reading While Europe Slept, I felt that Bawer was often to personal and perhaps too biased. Reader will see that Bawer certainly discovered that 'the grass isn't always greener on the other side...especially in Norway! In any case, regardless of how you feel about Bawer's writing style, you'll probably agree that Bawer makes many strong points and you'll come away very worried for Europe.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, from the eyes of an unanticipated source,
As a military officer assigned to a NATO command, I have read some interesting articles concerning demographics within Europe and the prospects of significant change over the next 10-15 years. Wanting to delve a bit deeper, this book seemed to offer that. Having not read previous material from the author, the first fifty pages outlaying the author's personal situation and point of departure for this book gave little indication as to where it would end up. This is a very important book that all Americans need to read. For those that espouse that radical Islam is not a real threat, that if we just pull out of Iraq, everything will be better, and that the UN should be in the lead to deal with this issue, read this book. My military colleagues from the UK, Netherlands, Norway, France, Germany, and Denmark see what is happening in their countries and are saying the same things the author states, and they are impervious to change it, as most of the older European politicos fund their militaries for peacekeeping and other nice duties, but are not prepared for the coming challenge from within (Kristin Krohn-Devold did get it). In the US, we need to see this as our challenge for the next fifty years and develop a strategy and, more importantly, the will to employ it. We also need to see the parallel to current Hispanic illegal immigration, not that there is a physical threat, but pocket communities in which second and third generation citizens grow up without learning English cannot become a precedent, or else the same issues that Europe is facing may arise here if (and when) Islamists target America for their next baby boom.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, Important, Impassioned,
Bruce Bawer's "While Europe Slept" reads like an all-night, outrage-fueled, feverish conversation with a fascinating, impassioned friend about shattering events that shift tectonic plates even as the conversation progresses; you both know that when dawn breaks, the world you re-enter may be changed utterly from the world you began talking about the night before.
Though the book focuses on the destructive impact of unchecked and unassimilated Muslim immigration to Europe combined with self-destructive policies and attitudes generated by Politically Correct academic and journalistic elites, for me its most poignant passages describe a change much more personal, and subtle.
Bruce Bawer is a literary critic. He has written works criticizing the homophobia of American Christians, including "Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity." One would think that such a liberal intellectual would feel akin to Europe's PC elites. And, indeed, Bawer once did.
As much as it is a clarion call against the dangers of PC approaches to Muslim immigration to Europe, "While Europe Slept" is an intimately observed memoir of political and personal coming of age.
Once upon a time, gay American Bruce Bawer thought that Amsterdam was paradise. Amsterdam was the mirror image of everything wrong with America. What was wrong with America was right with Amsterdam.
As time went on, though, Bawer received his wake-up call, often in the form of a gay bashing by Muslim men. Bawer soon discovered, to his shock and horror, that the sophisticated, "liberal" Europeans he had so admired were most likely to ignore Muslim beatings of gay men on Europe's streets. If gay men complained, they were chastised for being "imperialistic" and "racist."
Bawer recounts, in an unflaggingly dumbstruck tone, one incident after another in which he woke up, again and again, to the very dark side of the leftist politics he had admired so long.
The "coming of age" portion of this book resonated for me, as it will for many. If you have any passion at all, and if you are of any maturity, whether you are on the left or the right, you will have undergone a similar, equally painful, transformation. You'll see people you used to admire with their pants down, and the world will never seem the same.
Bawer's thesis, in a nutshell: unchecked and badly bungled Muslim immigration to Western Europe, combined with low European birthrates, will, within a matter of decades, turn Europe into another Lebanon, where embattled non-Muslims are overwhelmed by a violent Muslim majority who will establish a caliphate on the continent.
Bawer argues, using meticulous research, that Western Europe's journalistic and academic elites have encouraged unchecked and unassimilated Muslim immigration as a twisted reflection of their own envy of, and obsession with, America. Europeans hate their own obsession with all things American. They attempt to overcome their obsession and envy by mouthing fashionable condemnations of America, which they depict as a wasteland where evil whites dominate defenseless blacks. To prove that they are better than Americans, Europeans not only don't require Muslim immigrants to assimilate, they don't want them to. A secret chauvinism, kept secret because it would look too much like the hated "American racism," prevents Swedes from ever accepting a Muslim as a fellow Swede.
Bawer's endless barrage of anecdotes is overwhelming. I suspect that many will not be able to finish this book. It is certainly the closest to a science fiction "end of the world" scenario that I've ever come to reading. Bawer recounts incident after incident of daughters whose genitals are mutilated by their Muslim parents, daughters murdered by their parents, daughters handed over to rapists by their parents, European children who dare to wear crosses round their necks beaten at school, homosexuals bashed in the streets while European onlookers do nothing to intervene, and Jews terrorized in a manner that can call to mind nothing so much as the ominous eve of World War Two. Women raped by Muslim gangs are told, by government officials, that they brought the rapes upon themselves because they haven't yet adopted Muslim full covering; Muslims declare "no go" areas in Western European cities that non-Muslims may not enter; Muslim imams demand the death of all non-Muslims.
As important and vividly written as this book is, it has its flaws, primary among them, a lack of organization. Especially when reading such difficult material, it is important for the reader to get a sense of the light at the end of the tunnel, or, at least, that the tunnel has SOME end, even if it's just Europe being blown to smithereens by Al Qaeda in Cannes. At times, though, I felt that I was soldiering through an endless gauntlet of horror stories. I got Bawer's point pretty early on; after that it did begin to feel like overkill.
Too, I wish Bawer had done a better job of communicating that he was not just talking about Muslims behaving badly. After all, various populations, including my own, and Bawer's, fellow Poles, have sometimes been accused of committing heinous crimes. The problem Bawer brings to light is not just ill behaved Muslims; it is, rather, the fundamental differences between Islam and other faiths. There are features in Islam, including jihad, gender apartheid, and the lack of separation of church and state, that make dealing with Islam different than dealing with *any* other religion. That case has been made by other authors, and if Bawer didn't want to make it himself I wish he had cited an author who had done so before him.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Will hopefully be read seriously,
This was a very interesting book. I didn't agree with all of Bawer's arguments, but for the most part they were well presented and written in a brisk, coherent prose. The main target in this book is the radical Muslim community that has grown substantially in many Western European countries due to generous immigration policies and high birth rates. However, coming in for equally harsh treatment is the European elite establishment that has ignored or downplayed the threat posed by fundamentalists in the name of multiculturalism. The first part of this book, about 75 pages, offers a tour of radical Islam in Western Europe. Bawer describes how large segments of the immigrant Muslim communities in many European countries harbor alarmingly anti-democratic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, homophobic attitudes. He illustrates a number of practices prevalent in these communities, including widespread and often ignored incidence of female genital mutilation and the notorious and despicable practice of "honor killing." Many Muslim immigrants also send their European-born children back to their ancestral countries to receive an Islamist education, the explicit goal being to prevent their children's adoption of secular European values. Bawer, himself a gay man, describes the alarmingly homophobic attitudes expressed by many European Islams. He also discusses the prevalence of arranged marriages, through which Muslim immigrants exploit immigration policies to "import" young (general teenage) brides and grooms-to-be to Europe. He provides evidence that rates of intermarriage between Europeans and Muslim immigrants are alarmingly low, and that many second and third generation immigrants who were born in Europe have almost zero proficiency in the language of their countries. Overall, Bawer describes a process of self-enforced segregation in which Muslim immigrants import the tribal customs of their ancestral countries and evince zero enthusiasm, indeed contempt for the democratic, secular values of their adopted countries. And this whole process has been abetted, he argues, by a European political establishment that has glossed over the problem and rejected any attempts to foster integration as racist, and indeed has generously subsidized mosques and radical Islamist organizations.
The second part of the book, also about 75 pages, shifts gears and focuses largely on anti-Americanism in Western Europe. Bawer wants to draw a link between this reflexive anti-Americanism and the failure of Europeans to tackle problems concerning their immigrants, arguing that their opposition to the Iraq War and perceptions of American imperialism (and bias towards Israel) have made them loth to do anything that might enrage Muslim sensitivities. I didn't agree with his arguments in this chapter to the extent that I concurred with his depiction of rampant fundamentalism in the first section. On the one hand, Bawer is surely right to chastise the crass misrepresentations and distortions of American society and US foreign policy that are so prevalent in the European media. I, even as a political opponent of the Bush administration, cringe whenever I read superficial comparisons of Bush to Saddam and ridiculous comparisons of the US to the Taliban. And Bawer is right that this anti-Americanism has led many European elites to downplay the danger posed by Islamic fundamentalists in their own societies and indeed to often view Islamists as a natural ally against US imperialsm. However, at times it seems as if Bawer strays from the main argument. For example, he seems to be an economic liberal and takes many cheap shots at European social democracy. This seemed unfair. Does one have to be ardently pro-market to hate religious fundamentalists? His criticisms were also at times simplistic. He interprets the Socialist victory in Spain following the Madrid bombings as a capitulation to the terrorists, when in reality there seemed to have been a number of complex political factors involved. And even I, as an American who is proud of my country's political system, often cringed at his crude pro-Americanism. He doesn't offer much criticism of the Iraq war and therefore can't concede that many sensible Europeans simply viewed it is a foolish, wrongheaded military venture. And while ridiculous misconceptions of America undoubtedly do abound in Europe, one could say the same thing about shameful ignorance of Americans about the outside world. He also has random digressions on the prevalence of Che Guevara t-shirts among European youth and the failure of Europeans to accord Ronald Reagan his supposed due in the wake of his death.
Overall, however, this is an important book and I hope it will be read seriously. In the third of final section, Bawer offers hope that some European countries (notably France, Denmark, and the Netherlands) have finally begun to react through major immigration reforms. This has come in reaction to increasing Muslim violence towards Jews and non-Muslims more generally in these countries. Even if many of Bawer's characterizations of Europeans are unfair, he has at least started a valuable dialogue on a subject that to this point has not received nearly enough attention.
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depressing, but essential reading,
This book is even more depressing than Londonistan, which I just finished (I ordered both together). Slowly working my way through the whole genre (Robert Spencer books, Eurabia, etc), which I'll call "WTF Is Happening In The World And Why Is No One Doing Anything Serious About It". These books, including While Europe Slept, are not PC, not "Religion Of Peace" oriented, not multiculturalist, not in sync with any of the psychobabble that seemingly has taken over the planet. What this book is is honest. And well-written.
"While Europe Slept" can best be compared to Eurabia and Londonistan, as all three deal, in slightly different ways, with the gradual takeover of Europe by the Religion of Peace - and with Europe's submissive cowardice and unwillingness to protect and preserve its culture and history. Eurabia and Londonistan are a bit more academic and scholarly, with more rigorous footnotes and references. Due to their more scholarly approach, they are bit more bulletproof for dealing with the tedious PC-multiculti critics. "While Europe Slept" is more conversational, easier to read, easy on the eyes, and anecdotal. I actually enjoyed (if one can use that word to describe reading for two nights about the demise of civilization) this one the most of any in the genre, because it is "lighter reading" - more "storytelling" than "master's thesis".
While Europe Slept tells a story that maybe 5 or 10 % of the Western World understands intuitively, instinctively, and instantly as the real truth: Islam is on the march, energized, aggressive, confident, and as this book explains extremely well, soon to take over Europe. The Europeans are just not ready for this struggle. This book focuses a lot on the situation in the Scandinavian countries, but does touch on Germany, France, Spain, etc., too. Across Europe, a bland political correctness has so pervaded the mindset that they simply cannot acknowledge the huge threat. A quarter of the population under age 18 in some of those countries are Moslem, living in totally segregated communities, barely (if at all) speaking the native language, seething, brooding, and lusting for conflict. You would think that the Madrid and London bombings would have woken people up over there, but in reality it has led to greater calls for appeasement. As this book explains, our "allies" over there are just scared out of their minds over the threat within their own countries and do not have the stomach for dealing with the problem, if they even acknowledge it as existing. "While Europe Slept" covers a broad range of issues in Europe, from the nearly 1930's Germany style anti-Jewish sentiment (and acts, such as cemetary desecrations, attacks on Jewish people (12 per day on average in Paris now), and firebombings of temples, etc., sweeping across Europe to the equally virulent and nearly demented anti-Americanism. Not to mention the growing, intractcable situation of violent middle easterners living in their own little enclaves and popping out once in a while to commit atrocities. The other books (Londonistan in particular) deal more with the Arabs living within Europe; this books is more focused on the European non-reaction and desperate attempts to appease the enemy within. It is also about the unforutnate circumstance, very alien to the American reader, of a political elite (media, government, universities, etc.) that are marching together lock-step to control and influence public opinion toward a pro-appeasement position.
By the time you finish this book, you will be depressed, confused as to how the world got so messed up, and despairing for our friends and cousins over in Europe who have lost the will for this fight, not to mention a bit resentful about the mind-numbing anti-Americanism going on over there. Yet, it is a very important book, and well written. This kind of book needs to be read, not for fun but to get a handle on the nature, scope, and seriousness of the world situation today.
This book is a solid 5 stars, and as I mentioned earlier, the best written and most easily accessible of the genre. The takeover of Europe is not complete but is well underway and, while depressing, is important to understand and follow, and this book will help do that. It is also important to understand that while we think of the Europeans (collectively as well as individually, e.g. "Germany", "England") as our allies and friends, they largely do not think of us that way anymore. TO many of them, we are the enemy. Those opinion polls where they consistently say the US is a bigger threat than Bin Laden - we've been ignoring those polls, but those polls reflect the situation on the ground over there. It is very eye opening. It's got me thinking that we need to find some new friends; not the Marshall Islands and whatever (they're fine, but come on), I mean some major power type new friends. I don't think Europe is going to be with us over the coming decades, especially in some of the countries that will be Muslim majority within 20-30 years, like France.
50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Enemies of Civilization,
This is the most insightful, lucid, objective, and frightening book I've read on Islam (see my other reviews of books on related topics). It even tops "Knowing the Enemy" and "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam." Bruce Bawer is an American journalist who moved to Europe to escape America's homophobia, and he has evolved into perhaps the most articulate spokesperson for the Muslim problem. And don't tell Bawer that there's no Muslim problem. Don't tell him that a little more dialog, a little more multiculturalism, a little more tolerance, a little more understanding will solve the problem. Bawer knows better and so will you when you've turned the last page. Bawer describes the ghettos of Muslims surrounding Paris and other European capitals, and the waves of crime and seething hate which radiate from them. Seventy percent of the prison population in France is Muslim. Whereas Americans view immigrants as potential assets, Americans in the making, Europeans view them as needy cases, wards of the state. We learn that among the European ruling elite, American liberal democracy is a threat to the system which supports them, and that anti-Americanism among the chic approaches psychopathology. In their eagerness to avoid offending Muslims, the European press encourages continued misunderstandings. Calling Sheikh Ahmed Yassin "the spiritual leader of Hamas," as one writer did, is, according to Bawer, "rather like calling Hitler the spiritual leader of Nazism." Most telling is the outrage over relatively minor (or imagined) slights to Muslims, while vicious crimes and premeditated terrorist slaughter by Muslims are overlooked or even excused. Saddam killed more Muslims by a power of ten than Americans have, and where was European outrage then? Occasionally Bawer sums up his thoughts so succinctly that you know you'll be quoting him. For instance he quotes Al-Arabiya TV as reporting that "While not all Muslims are terrorists, almost all terrorists are Muslims." Bawer shows that it is not poverty, ignorance, or cultural isolation which drives Europe's Muslim radicals; their hate is a logical extension of the demonizing of American conditions by the political elite and by the man on the street. One five year old Muslim child was overheard asking her mother, "Mommy, why are you talking to that Christian pig?" Yet Europe, while still in denial about the extreme danger in its midst may actually be awakening. A poll by a Dutch TV station asked the question, "Are Muslims a threat to Western values?" 97% responded affirmatively. A poll of Muslims themselves by Britain's Telegraph newspaper showed 32% of British Muslims agreeing that "Western society is decadent and immoral and that Muslims should seek to bring it to an end." You still want to have a nice dialog?
In the end, Bawer writes, Europe's enemy is not Islam, or even radical Islam. Europe's enemy is itself - its self-destructive passivity, its softness toward tyranny, its reflexive inclination to appease, and its uncomprehending distaste for America's pride, courage, and resolve in the face of a deadly foe.
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While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within by Bruce Bawer (Hardcover - February 21, 2006)
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