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155 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charles Martel- Eat your heart out, August 2, 2009
This review is from: Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West (Hardcover)
There is now a growing literature on the subject of the threat presented to Christian or perhaps secular- post- Christian Europe by its post- War immigration from Islamic countries. As Christopher Caldwell points out in this book, a prospering Europe hungering for workers, and perhaps overestimating its need for them opened the gates to what it thought would be a temporary immigration of foreign workers from Islamic lands. But today Europe has between fifteen and twenty-million adherents of Islam, whose continued growth is promised even if the gates of immigration be shut. The Islamic minorities have far higher rates of population - growth than do the native populations of the host - countries. There is even in Caldwell's book a study of the psychological and sexual implications of the virile East over against the zero- population- growth West. The demographic component is then one real element in the threat Caldwell sees to Europe's future.
But an even more major element in the threat is as Caldwell sees it the failure of the Europeans to truly integrate the new immigrants. Instead of being encouraged to assimilate to the host cultures the new immigrants were given a kind of laissez- faire treatment. This was one of the reasons they persisted in holding on to their Islamic loyalty as first element of their identity. So instead of there being a Europe in which Islamic populations in some way enter a kind of melting pot, there is a Europe in which whether in East London or the suburbs of Paris in Rotterdam and Amsterdam in various other European areas, Islamic population concentrates and remains in a world of its own.
There are many consequences of the European failure to present their own respective national identities or even a collective European Western identity as appealing. One has been outbursts of terrorist violence . Another has been the development of a hostile minority attitude towards the general culture. There are too the economic sides of this with the immigrants suffering from higher unemployment rates as they swell the welfare rolls. There is a vast culture of the unemployed, living off the social services and network of the host countries.
Caldwell analyses brilliantly the collapse of moral will and identity on the part of the host countries. When one no longer believes in oneself it is apparently easy to be manipulated by others. He also points out how the Islamic element has revived anti- Semitism in Europe.
Like all those who have written on this problem including Ba'at Yeor, Bruce Bawer, Robert Spencer, Mark Steyn, Caldwell does not provide a very hopeful picture of the European future. For even if the Islamic groups fall far short of ever really 'taking over' in any country they represent they promise to be a continual source of economic and social disturbance for the future.
Caldwell is far more sanguine about the United States, in which he believes there has been better integration of minorities. Yet an Islamicized Europe in presenting a global threat to the forwarding of values of liberty and individual rights, threatens the United States also.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 5, 2009 1:09:51 PM PDT
I was baffled by Caldwell's criticism of the failure of Europeans to truly integrate the new (Muslim) immigrants. European laissez-faire treatment of the new immigrants is supposed to be the reason they persist in holding on to their Islamic loyalty. Does Caldwell ignore that once a Muslim always a Muslim, and that death is
the Islamic penalty for apostasy? Britain's chief "moderate' Muslim, (Sir) Iqbal Sacranie was unable to deny or condemn this! Also, the perception of family planning as "unIslamic" is sufficient cause for the birthrate being double that of Europeans.

Posted on Nov 12, 2009 7:03:46 PM PST
c dubs says:
The "virile East"? Really? Know you nothing about Orientalism? It looks like you need to read some Edward Said.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2009 12:21:24 PM PST
Paul Emmons says:
Fred, Bruce Bawer makes the same point: European ruling elites do not really want to assimilate newcomers, even Americans or other Europeans, let alone Asians or Africans. "Pillarization" is a well-established semi-official policy in the Netherlands, where the term "third-generation immigrant" is used routinely. This is in almost ludicrous contrast to the American approach, where by the third generation, if not the second, one would be accepted as thoroughly American and would share the common culture.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2010 7:00:16 AM PST
John says:
I remember back in the 1998 World Cup, when a French commentator on national tv stated, after a black member of the France team kicked a goal, "Good goal. Now I just hope that a FRENCHMAN can get one". Kind of says it all, no ?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2011 10:27:09 AM PST
Customer says:
To C. Wesley: "Edward Said"? Really? Know you nothing about Islam? Just who needs to do some reading, bub?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2013 11:00:30 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 2, 2013 11:01:27 AM PST
Reader says:
Fred Charatan, I agree with a lot of this, but there is no reason for there to be a perception of family planning as "un-Islamic". Many Islamic countries (including Iran and Saudi Arabia) do, in fact, have pretty significant family-planning policies. If Western countries are not following their example and encouraging their poor Muslim residents to limit their family size, that is the Western countries' fault.

Posted on May 13, 2015 3:39:31 AM PDT
"Yet an Islamicized Europe in presenting a global threat to the forwarding of values of liberty and individual rights, threatens the United States also".

I don't see Muslim immigrants as either a particular advantage or threat to Europe. Having seen much Muslim immigration to Spain over the last 30 years I would say, 1) they want to escape from their corrupt and arbitrary North African home countries 2) religion holds their women back from working 3) they are trying to recreate traditional Muslim society with little serious interest in education 4) they are almost all poor and have zero political impact - in fact no interest in politics.

Basically being poor in Spain is better than being poor in North Africa and they can benefit from generous social services. In the Ancient World Emperor Constantine opened the door to Christianity with his personal conversion as did many prominent families and it reached into the leadership of society, but European leaders don't seem to be much interested in converting to Islam.

The reality seems to be that Moslems want to build a society within a society like for example American Jewry in the US but unlike American Jews, they don't hold the powerful positions from which to exert ethnic patronage and advance their group.
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