Chapter six of Mark Steyn’s America Alone, “The Four Horsemen of the Eupocalypse,” has some poignant comments on the state of modern Europe and its reluctance to deal with the radical Islamic threat. Without too much commentary of my own, I just want to share some of his insights with you.
What do you do to make terrorists like you? Germany has one answer:
In 2005, responding to Islamist terrorism in Britain and elsewhere, Germany was reported to be considering the introduction of a Muslim public holiday. As Mathias Döpfner, chief executive of the media group Axel Springer, put it: “A substantial fraction of Germany’s government–and, if polls are to be believed, the German people–believe that creating an official state Muslim holiday will somehow spare us from the wrath of fanatical Islamists.” Great. At least the appeasers of the 1930s did it on their own time.
Meanwhile, over in France:
As the Guardian reported in London in 2005: “French youths fired at police and burned over 300 cars last night as towns around Paris experienced their worst night of violence in a week of urban unrest.”
Ah, those “French youths.” You mean Pierre and Jacques and Marcel and Alphonse? Granted that most of the “youths” are technically citizens of the French Republic, it doesn’t take much time … to discover that the rioters do not think of their primary identity as “French,” and likely never will. … Since the beginning of this century, French Muslims have been carrying on a low-level intifada against synagogues, kosher butchers, Jewish schools, etc. The concern of the political class has been to prevent the spread of these attacks to targets of more, ah, general interest. They’re losing that battle. Unlike America’s Europhiles, France’s Arab street correctly identified Chirac’s opposition to the Iraq war for what it was: a sign of weakness.
So does this mean that all Europeans are oblivious to the threat? Not so, says Steyn, but the system works against those who speak out:
The peoples of Europe may not be willing to go as far down the appeasement path as their rulers, but Europe is a top-down construct, so the rulers will get quite a long way down before the masses start to drag them back. One observes, for example, that brave figures who draw attention to these trends—men and women such as Theo van Gogh, Bat Ye’or, and Oriana Fallaci—are either murdered, forced to live under armed guard, driven into exile overseas, or sued under specious hate-crimes laws. Dismissed by the European establishment, they’re banished to the fringe. Ayann Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born Dutch parliamentarian, spoke out against the ill-treatment of Muslim women, a subject she knows about firsthand, and found herself under threat of death. Her neighbors, the justice system, and the Dutch government reacted to this by taking her to court, getting her evicted from her home, and announcing plans to revoke her citizenship. Boundlessly tolerant Europe, which finds it so hard to expel openly treasonous jihad-inciting imams, finally found one Muslim it’s willing to kick out.
Steyn closes the chapter with this little anecdote:
After September 11, I wondered rhetorically midway through a column what we in the West are prepared to die for, and got a convoluted e-mail back from a French professor explaining that the fact that Europeans weren’t prepared to die for anything was the best evidence of their superiority: they were building a post-historical utopia—a Europe it would not be necessary to die for.
But sometimes you die anyway.
All of these comments have centered on Europe. Where does America stand today? How close to this European brand of suicide have we come? Why do we continue to refer to Islam as a religion of peace when the evidence shows otherwise?
Perhaps we’ve not yet succumbed entirely to this dangerous brand of political correctness. The administration’s goal of trying terrorists in American civil courts brought such an outcry that Obama and Attorney General Holder had no choice but to backtrack:
There may still be hope for us.