Magazine article The American Enterprise

Literant

Magazine article The American Enterprise

Literant

Article excerpt

Let me be perfectly upfront about something. For a conservative, hyper-patriotic American, I have certain Europhile tendencies. I drive a Swedish car, wear British shoes, and shoot Austrian pistols. I like to drink a nice glass of Cotes du Rhone while listening to Bill O'Reilly try to browbeat me to "Boycott France!"

So the fact that Europe is going to hell in a handbasket worries me. Two recent books on the subject are Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis is America's, Too, by Claire Berlinski, and While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West From Within, by Bruce Bawer. Berlinski, who has spent a good deal of her life living abroad, is a self-described secular Jew. Bawer, who moved to Scandinavia in 1998, is gay and the author of a book critical of Christian conservatives. Neither, in other words, is a poster child for the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. Yet both argue that Europe faces many serious problems today. Neither dismisses Europe's troubles as irrelevant to Americans--a mistake made by too many commentators.

The Islamization of Europe is a key element in these books. Theo van Gogh's specter haunts both authors. Bruce Bawer in particular reacts to the vicious homophobia of many Muslim immigrants. Muslims talk more about killing homosexuals than about their objections to same-sex marriage, he notes.

Commendably, both books look not just at Muslim immigrants, but also at Europe's failure to assimilate them. It is clear that the thinly veiled racism of many Europeans has certainly not helped matters. Berlinski discusses a bestselling British novel (White Teeth, by Zadie Smith) as well as her own personal experiences as an outsider to illustrate how even completely Westernized Muslims never really feel British--because they are never accepted as such. Berlinski contrasts this with the U. …

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