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 for the United States.
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|Title of Business & Economics eBook: While Europe Slept|
|Release Date: 02-21-2006|
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|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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While Europe Slept
Before 9/11: Europe in Denial
ON THE MORNING OF November 2, 2004, I sat at my mother's kitchen table in Queens, New York, drinking instant coffee and thinking about George W. Bush and John Kerry. It was Election Day, and I was irked that since I was flying back home to Oslo that evening, I'd miss the vote count on TV.
The phone rang. "Hello? Oh, yes. Just a moment." My mother held out the phone. "It's Mark." I took it.
"Hi, Bruce. Have you heard about Theo van Gogh?"
"He was murdered this morning."
Mark, like me, is an American with a Norwegian partner. But though he moved back to New York years ago, he still starts the day by checking the news at the Web site of NRK, Norway's national radio and TV network. Switching into Norwegian, he read me the story. Van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker and newspaper columnist, had been shot and killed in Amsterdam. Shortly afterward, police had arrested a twenty-six-year-old Dutch-Moroccan man.
Later, I'd learn more. Van Gogh had been bicycling to work along a street called Linnaeusstraat when Mohammed Bouyeri, the Dutch-born son of Moroccan parents and a member of a radical Muslim network, had shot him, knocking him off his bicycle. Bouyeri, wearing a long jellaba, pumped up to twenty additional bullets into van Gogh's body, stabbed him several times, and slit his throat. He then pinned to van Gogh's chest with a knife a five-page letter addressed to the filmmaker's collaborator, Parliament member Ayaan Hirsi Ali, quoting the Koran and promising her and several other Dutch