Skip to comments.While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within (Book Review
Posted on 01/08/2007 12:38:20 PM PST by Lorianne
The struggle for the soul of Europe today is every bit as dire and consequential as it was in the 1930s. Then, in Weimar, Germany, the center did not hold, and the light of civilization nearly went out. Today, the continent has entered yet another "Weimar moment." Will Europeans rise to the challenge posed by radical Islam, or will they cave in once again to the extremists? As an American living in Europe since 1998, Bruce Bawer has seen this problem up close. Across the continent in Amsterdam, Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, and Stockholm he encountered large, rapidly expanding Muslim enclaves in which women were oppressed and abused, homosexuals persecuted and killed, "infidels" threatened and vilified, Jews demonized and attacked, barbaric traditions (such as honor killing and forced marriage) widely practiced, and freedom of speech and religion firmly repudiated.
The European political and media establishment turned a blind eye to all this, selling out women, Jews, gays, and democratic principles generally even criminalizing free speech in order to pacify the radical Islamists and preserve the illusion of multicultural harmony. The few heroic figures who dared to criticize Muslim extremists and speak up for true liberal values were systematically slandered as fascist bigots. Witnessing the disgraceful reaction of Europe's elites to 9/11, to the terrorist attacks on Madrid, Beslan, and London, and to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Bawer concluded that Europe was heading inexorably down a path to cultural suicide.
Europe's Muslim communities are powder kegs, brimming with an alienation born of the immigrants' deep antagonism toward an infidel society that rejects them and compounded by misguided immigration policies that enforce their segregation and empower the extremists in their midst. The mounting crisis produced by these deeply perverse and irresponsible policies finally burst onto our television screens in October 2005, as Paris and other European cities erupted in flames.
While Europe Slept is the story of one American's experience in Europe before and after 9/11, and of his many arguments with Europeans about the dangers of militant Islam and America's role in combating it. This brave and invaluable book with its riveting combination of eye-opening reportage and blunt, incisive analysis is essential reading for anyone concerned about the fate of Europe and what it portends
Money quote: "The European political and media establishment turned a blind eye to all this, selling out women, Jews, gays, and democratic principles generally even criminalizing free speech in order to pacify the radical Islamists and preserve the illusion of multicultural harmony. "
I am about half way through this book. It is interesting because the author is a gay man who thought he would find more "tolerance" in Norway than in America. He says that Europeans are actually very inclusive - keeping the Muslim immigrants in their slums while paying lip service to them.
It is a good book and an eye opener - the author admits that his views have completely changed after being over there.
This is how it will end:
Saudi Arabia - Conversion by a Muslim to another religion is punishable by death. Bibles are illegal. Churches are illegal. It is punishable by death for a non-mulsim to enter the "holy" muslim cities of Medina and Mecca.
Yemen - Bans proselytizing by non-Muslims and forbids conversions. The Government does not allow the building of new non-Muslim places of worship.
Kuwait - Registration and licensing of religious groups. Members of religions not sanctioned in the Koran may not build places of worship. Prohibits organized religious education for religions other than Islam.
Egypt - Islam is the official state religion and primary source of legislation. Accordingly, religious practices that conflict with Islamic law are prohibited. Muslims may face legal problems if they convert to another faith. Requires non-Muslims to obtain what is now a presidential decree to build a place of worship.
Algeria - The law prohibits public assembly for purposes of practicing a faith other than Islam. Non-Islamic proselytizing is illegal, and the Government restricts the importation of non-Islamic literature for distribution.
Syria - The constitution requires the president to be a Muslim and specifies that Islamic jurisprudence is a principal source of legislation. Sharing your Christian faith is discouraged as "posing a threat to the relations among religious groups" and carries a penalty of up to life in prison. A Christian is not allowed to proselytize ever. Churches who want to hold an extra service must get a government permit. Sermons are routinely monitored, as is church fundraising.
Jordan - Has the death penalty for any Muslim selling land to a Jew.
Sudan - Conversion by a Muslim to another religion is punishable by death.
Pakistan - Conversion by a Muslim to another religion is punishable by death. Bans proselytizing by non-Muslims. Christians regularly put in prison for charges of blasphemy. Islam is the state religion, and in a court of law the testimony of a Christian carries less weight than that of a Muslim. Section 295(c) of the Penal Code calls for a death sentence for anyone who defiles the name of the Prophet Muhammad and requires the testimony of four Muslims for a conviction. This fosters an environment in which Muslims can feel free to use intimidation and violence against religious minorities for personal gain.
Qatar - Islamic instruction is compulsory in public schools. The government regulates the publication, importation, and distribution of non-Islamic religious literature. The government continues to prohibit proselytizing of Muslims by non-Muslims.
Malaysia - Under Malaysian law, any convert to Christianity must apply to a shariah (Muslim law) court to legally renounce Islam. Many Christians prefer to remain silent converts rather than take their battle to the shariah courts, where apostasy or conversion out of Islam is punishable by whipping, fines, imprisonment and--in the most extreme application--death.
The Maldives - In the island paradise visited by tens of thousands of tourists each year, Christianity is simply not tolerated. While local Christians said to number around 300 out of a total population of 300,000 do get together to worship, they do so at the risk of imprisonment or worse if discovered by the Muslim authorities. Bibles are banned, and tourists can be arrested for trying to bring them into the country.
Is this pattern familiar to anyone?
More Moslems came, and soon a small mosque was built, which attracted yet others. As long as Zoroastrians remained in the majority, their lives were tolerable; but once the Moslems became the more numerous, a petty but pervasive harassment was apt to develop. This was partly verbal, with taunts about fire-worship, and comments on how few Zoroastrians there were in the world, and how many Moslems, who must therefore posses the truth; and also on how many material advantages lay with Islam. The harassment was often also physical; boys fought, and gangs of youth waylaid and bullied individual Zoroastrians. They also diverted themselves by climbing into the local tower of silence and desecrating it, and they might even break into the fire-temple and seek to pollute or extinguish the sacred flame. Those with criminal leanings found too that a religious minority provided tempting opportunities for theft, pilfering from the open fields, and sometimes rape and arson. Those Zoroastrians who resisted all these pressures often preferred therefore in the end to sell out and move to some other place where their co-religionists were still relatively numerous, and they could live at peace; and so another village was lot to the old faith.
Boyce, A Persian Stronghold of Zoroastrianism, pp. 7-8;
I am shocked to see this review from Powell's. They are just about as "libby" as they get there. Good for them.
Me too. Another reason I posted it.