WHILE EUROPE SLEPT: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West From Within, Bruce Bawer, Doubleday, Westminster, MD, 2006, 237 pages, $23.95.
Some of our European allies have joined the long war against radical Islamic terrorists, but for them the battles are also at home in London, Madrid, and in an ever-growing number of communities. Muslim immigrants have flooded into European ghettos, challenging the continent's tolerant culture and stretching its cradle-to-grave social welfare systems. In his latest book, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying The West From Within, journalist Bruce Bawer presents a riveting account of the clash between a naïvely elitist Europe and a rapidly expanding minority of Islamic fundamentalist immigrants demanding accommodation.
Bawer, a prolific author, provides an American view of Europe's Islamic crisis. He informs, challenges, and entertains with his detailed and well-documented accounts of Islamic confrontation and Europe's too-tolerant cultural response to intolerant Islamists.
Not one to shy away from controversy (he has criticized fundamentalist Christianity and written on behalf of "mainstream" homosexuals), Bawer immersed himself for this project in European culture by learning several languages, working with the European media, interviewing government officials, and experiencing the native's lifestyle in order to provide a behind-the-scenes view of Islam's assault on Europe and the continent's cultural passivity.
Military officers will find While Europe Slept a great primer on the ideological challenges posed by a rapidly growing European Islamic immigrant population and its all-too-successful efforts to force post-Christian Europe to tolerate and, more frequently, to embrace, Sha'ria. Bawer argues that the Islamic cultural assault on Europe could be replicated in America if the latter were to abandon its longheld foundational values.
Bawer documents the heroic actions of Europe's few "Paul Reveres" who are publicly warning fellow citizens that they will pay a high price if they ignore the rapidly expanding minority of Muslim immigrants who refuse to integrate. One of Bawer's Paul Reveres, the now acclaimed Dutch cultural maverick Wilhemus Fortuyn, author of Against The Islamicization of Our Culture (book information not available) was murdered, according to his killer, for views that "stigmatized" Islam.
Fortuyn dared to criticize Muslims for their so-called anti-Dutch values. Young Muslim men growing up in Holland, according to Fortuyn, are taught throughout childhood that infidels (non-Muslims) are beneath respect, that Western women are whores, and that the only response to the West's godlessness is the fury of jihad. Fortuyn complained, "I refuse to hear repeatedly that Allah is great, almighty and powerful, and I am a dirty pig."
While Europe Slept juxtaposes Europe's naive treatment of radical Muslims with its widespread antiAmerican views to illustrate cultural blindness. Both public views appear to be prompted by liberal media and multicultural elites. But those very same American values that Europeans attack-courage, patriotism, and religious faith-are widely lacking and in part explain why radical Islam is overtaking the continent. …