While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West From Within
By Bruce Bawer
Published February of 2006
237 pages; $23.95
This stunner of a book about Continental Islam has two main themes. The first is that Europe has a Muslim immigration and reproduction problem. This radically new and explosive demographic, according to the author, is not being converted to Western liberalism or adopting Western life-styles.
While Europe Slept argues that while Europe is currently only about ten percent Islamic -- vs. two percent for America -- if present trends continue it will only take a generation or two for Muslims to become the majority. The once-noble Continent will become what Bat Ye'or in 2005 called "Eurabia." The shocking claim by Gary Bawer is that well before 2050, most of Europe is likely to become an outpost of Islamdom governed by Sharia.
The second theme is that Europe today is a hellhole of leftist multiculturalism, far worse than anything in America, and even far worse than almost anyone in America suspects. American expatriate Bawer -- who has lived the past ten years in various European countries, mostly Holland and Norway -- is almost uniformly horrified by every country he resides in or visits. According to him, political correctness and multiculturalism are "a habit of thought that in America is an annoyance but in Europe is a veritable religion."
Bawer excoriates his European friends for their propensity to display phony "respect" and "understanding" of the various foreigners in their midst, especially Muslims. He blasts their cult-like belief in the mantra of multiculturalism and their unlimited "belief in peace and reconciliation through dialog," even with Islamists who emphatically reject peace, reconciliation, and dialog as methodologies or ideals.
While Europe Slept also makes the interesting observation that there is virtually no American-style "religious right" to oppose growing Muslim power. Virtually the whole Continent is atheist or de facto atheist.
This leads to some odd political terminology and alliances. Bruce Bawer consistently champions what he calls "the liberal resistance," but he doesn't seem to know where to find it or even how to describe it. What he does describe, in sickening detail, is how much the multicultural left utterly protects the Islamism. These two have formed an evil alliance in the heart of Western Civilization which seems all but unstoppable.
Bawer himself is a little confused about his own politics. He edited a book slamming America's multicultural left called Beyond Queer: Challenging Gay Left Orthodoxy (1996). But he's also written a book called Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity (1998), which trashes the religious right. In the end, Bawer calls himself a part-time "libertarian" and is essentially a classical liberal.
This book is an easy and fun read. And despite the speed with which its mere three chapters can be consumed, it has plenty of documentation for its claims from almost every nation in Europe. Bawer, who is also a translator, speaks Dutch and Norwegian fluently, and is proficient in several other European languages as well. This insider-perspective helps provide quotations, incidents, and stories from all over the Continent -- many based on personal experience.
In the end, this book writes off Europe, arguing that America is the last hope for Western Civilization and the world. Although While Europe Slept tries to be positive at times -- and does offer suggestions to ameliorate the coming demographic nightmare -- Bawer concludes that "Europe is steadily committing suicide, and perhaps all we can do is look on in horror."
Perhaps the most terrifying part of the book is the way Muslims are confidently planning to rule Europe and make it part of the caliphate. A popular Swedish t-shirt reads simply "2030 -- then we take over." With France still only 12% Muslim, the leading Parisian newspaper Le Monde seems to have already surrendered. In 2004, it praised France for "the fact of its having and accepting the role of the first Muslim country of Europe."
How did Europe ever reach such a dead-end? The problem began rather recently, in the late '60s and '70s, with a temporary labor shortage and subsequent special "guest worker" programs. But the shortage is long gone and the Muslims are still here. And as Bawer points out repeatedly, they aren't being integrated into the various populations as in America. Almost all Muslims live in suburban ghettos and are somewhat rejected by the native and slightly nativist whites. Most Muslims, in turn, utterly reject their new country and its Western liberal ideology. Nor are the vast majority -- even second generation kids -- fluent in different, local European tongues.
And this growing problem is exasperated by a phenomenon unknown in America called "fetching" marriages. Muslim males use "family unification" laws to bring in illiterate females they've never met from their former country, and then marry them -- usually as uneducated teenagers. The young girls are then kept at home in a virtual prison where they reproduce wildly. These new citizens never learn the local languages or customs but they do qualify for vast welfare benefits and quickly produce more Islamist-oriented males and slave-like females, perpetuating the cycle all over again.
The effect of all these Muslims on the lifestyles of Europeans is simply remarkable. Homophobia is way up, as is opposition to abortion and divorce. "Honor" killings are rampant as is female "circumcision." In many parts of Europe all women must wear a scarf covering their face lest they be deemed whores. By right, any Muslim or Muslim gang can rape any uncovered girl. Afterwards, the girl is properly killed by relatives to end the "shame" of her family.
The rapists, naturally, go unpunished. And because native Europeans differ on this practice, many Muslims scornfully think of all white men as weak and effeminate for not being able to control their women. They think of all normally-dressed Western women as honorless low-lifes and unloved harlots, valuable only for group violation and subsequent termination.
Among the nightmare statistics cited by the book are these: 1. 80% of the women in Oslo's shelter system are Muslims fleeing abusive families, husbands, and boyfriends; 2. Danish Muslims make up 5% of the population but 40% of the welfare rolls; 3. refugee-friendly Switzerland is already 20% Muslim; 4. the world's most wonderful city (in my view) Amsterdam is now majority Muslim; 5. 70% of all French prisoners are Muslim; 6. the four London bombers that killed 56 in July of 2005 received almost a million dollars in welfare benefits.
And the bad news in this book just keeps coming. Bruce Bawer's While Europe Slept is relentless. This book is praised by Mona Charen, Abe Foxman, Daniel Pipes, and Victor Davis Hanson, among others. But it doesn't offer much hope. Because of a kind of maniacal political correctness, otherwise civilized and enlightened Europeans seem doomed to Muslim domination in the near future. They are incurably infected with multiculturalism and a subsequent "unprincipled spirit of compromise and capitulation that is guiding today's Europe, step by step, to the gallows."