While Europe Sneered – by Bruce Bawer

Bruce Bawer is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and the author of “While Europe Slept” and “Surrender.” His book "The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind" is just out from Broadside / Harper Collins.


kurt

[This article is reprinted from City Journal]

Yesterday, a friend sent me a link to an article entitled “Eurabian Follies” on the website of the journal Foreign Policy. The author, Justin Vaïsse, took to task several authors, including me, who have warned in recent years of the Islamization of Europe. Vaïsse countered these authors’ mountains of hard facts with a big helping of the usual supercilious sneering. His thesis: Europe is chugging along just fine; Islam poses no real challenge to the continent’s freedom and prosperity; after all, the “experts” say so. Never mind the draining of European welfare systems by Muslim families, the explosion in rapes and gay-bashings and Jew-baitings, the proliferation of honor killings and forced marriages and no-go zones; never mind the murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh by fanatics who objected to those men’s positions on Islam; never mind the threats directed at critics of Islam, such as Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Robert Redeker, which have obliged them to live in hiding or with round-the-clock bodyguards.

The timing of Vaïsse’s article was unfortunate—for him, anyway: it appeared around the time of the Christmas Day terrorist attack on Detroit-bound Northwest Flight 253 and the New Year’s Day assassination attempt on Kurt Westergaard, creator of the famous Mohammed-in-a-bomb-turban cartoon published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. (Only a bathroom that had been converted to a panic room in Westergaard’s house saved the artist from an axe-wielding Islamist maniac.) Let’s not even mention the over 1,000 cars torched in French cities on New Year’s Eve, which is becoming an annual tradition among that nation’s Muslim youth.

As it happened, I received the link to Vaïsse’s article on the same day that I discovered that my dear friend Hege Storhaug had once, like Westergaard, been a target of violence, apparently because of her criticism of Islam. Hege is a former journalist and longtime women’s rights activist in Oslo whose concern about the treatment of women and girls in Muslim communities made her a pioneering critic of Islam in Norway. Time and again she has taken extraordinary personal risks to stand up for females who are confined to their homes, who are denied educations and careers, and who are the victims (or potential victims) of honor killing, genital mutilation, forced marriage, and sundry forms of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

In 2006, her book But the Greatest of All Is Freedom: On the Consequences of Immigration became a huge—and controversial—best-seller in Norway. At the time, Hege lived in a neighborhood called Kampen, a part of Oslo that brings to mind the Haight-Ashbury or East Village of the 1960s. Hege notes that after her book began to sell big—and draw harsh media attacks—her neighborhood was papered over with posters featuring a photo of her with an X drawn over her face, along with the slogan NO TO RACISTS IN KAMPEN. Then one day—as Hege revealed in a powerful account posted yesterday on the website of Human Rights Service, the small foundation where she works—one or more people broke into her home, beat her, and left her bruised and unconscious in a pool of blood on the floor. Nothing was stolen. The date was January 1, 2007—three years to the day before the attempted murder of Westergaard.

At first, Hege kept the crime secret, for fear that publicizing it would discourage other critics of Islam from speaking out. Not until a month later did she report the brutal event to the police, and then only after a lawyer friend had secured a guarantee that the report would not be made public. But the steady rise in Muslim violence in Europe, culminating in the Westergaard attack, helped changed her mind about publicly revealing the assault. She also wanted to underscore the fact that many in the media—people like Vaïsse, I might add—were by their see-no-evil approach to the subject encouraging physical attacks on people like her and Westergaard. This state of affairs, she felt, needed to be addressed publicly and its real-world consequences made clear.

The fact is that for years Hege has been the target of a ruthless, tireless, and breathlessly mendacious campaign of criticism by the far-left Norwegian media. She’s become Public Enemy Number One among not only radical Muslims but also Communists, socialists (whose numbers in Norway’s capital are not insignificant), and what Hege calls “organized anti-racists.” These are members of Scandinavia’s many government-funded organizations who claim to be liberal opponents of racism but are in fact largely concerned with defending even the most illiberal aspects of immigrant cultures. Indeed, Hege doesn’t believe that her assailants were Muslims; she suspects that they were far leftists of the sort who proliferate in neighborhoods like Kampen and who have made common cause with European Islamists. Hege is also convinced—as am I—that the media’s concerted effort to identify her as a racist and Islamophobe influenced her attackers. This is not difficult to believe: it was, after all, the Dutch media’s demonization of Fortuyn that helped put him in an early grave instead of in his country’s prime ministership.

In her Monday post, Hege suggested that if all the influential newspapers in Europe had published the Danish cartoons, “it would have been much more difficult to build up the increasingly brutal climate we see now all over Europe: the fact that people are not just the subjects of attacks, and of attempted murder, but are denied virtually all personal freedom in their daily lives, so that Westergaard cannot set foot outside his home without the police on his heels, just as Robert Redeker is living underground in the homeland of Voltaire.” And she asked: “Will Europe manage to set its foot down strongly enough . . . that there will be no doubt that the continent never will give up its founding values? Or will the commentariat and political elite continue to give way, inch by inch . . . ?” Any of us, she warned, can end up a Kurt Westergaard if we dare to speak our minds. But don’t tell that to the “experts” at Foreign Policy.

Bruce Bawer is the author of Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom. He blogs at brucebawer.com.

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  • shanecomeback

    Why ARE leftists so in tune with radical islam? Do they not know they are also doomed to the Holy Chipper-Shredder, along with the rest of the infidel pigs and monkeys? How stupid can they be?

  • The_Inquisitor

    If they had brains they wouldn't be leftists. It's the nature of the beast.

  • jamart

    The islamization of Europe is a process that verges on being impossible to stop. The immigration plus the birth rate of Islamic people clearly indicates that Islamic population is growing a lot faster than a possibly diminishing European population. On behalf of tolerance Europe may be condemned to become an Islamic regime, the most intolerant of all, and only Europeans are guilty.

  • Philippa

    Mr Wilders' views are so reactionary & repugnant that he was temporarily banned entry into the freedom of speech loving UK.

  • wolf terner

    Ain't payback a bitch! The Europeans weren't unhappy when the rights of Jews were curtailed over a period of centuries. Now it's payback time, in God's own time, as Muslims begin to curtail European life and culture.

    Europe has become less cultured, less intellectual, less learned and more sneering since the destruction of European Jewry. Any bets on whether the new muslim immigrants will make up that shortfall? I thought not.

  • Name

    I have the impression that no persons count more, but did Jews invented trains, planes, space industry ? so stop saying BS

  • saina

    Islam is a vile religion, period.

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com
    http://www.thethirdjihad.com
    http://www.faithfreedom.org (prove islam is a false religion by ali sina)

  • southwood

    Typical Jewish gratitude for all the opportunities Europe gave the Jews to develope and get ahead ! Ever heard of the persecution of the Serbs, Armenians etc.? Every bit as bad, if not worse than that of the Jews. But, of course, you are so self obsessed that you cannot see that wide a view. You should be more humble. The Muslims will ESPECIALLY pick on the Jews if the suppress Europe. Will you rejoice then ? You obviously have learned nothing.

  • tedcan

    Phillipa what views do you see as repugnant and reactionary.

    Belief in freedom of speech?
    Belief in equality before the law?

    When did the UK start believing in free speech?

    • Antaine

      I'm forced to live under UK rule until my people reach a majority status and can change it. The question is valid, I can tell you. 'Free Speech' only applies when you toe the establishment line, I can tell you from experience!

  • xyz

    The Leftists are using the problems caused by allowing Islam into our culture to create the crisis that they won't waste. Remember, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” They believe, with their leadership, we will be willing to give up our rights for safety. Obama recently gave the green light for another major wave off immigration from third world Islamic countries. He is supplying the fodder for the crisis. Just watch Europe: “No Go Zones,” Muslim rapes of non-Muslim women, honor-killings, FGM, freedom of speech being regulated, which serves the Islamic purpose of Globalization of their insane religion, Shariah Law . .. need I go on?

    I cannot fathom why any woman with half a brain in her head would not be fighting with everything she has against this. It is institutionalized “Domestic” violence. If you say nothing and do nothing to make sure this Creeping Islamicization of our country and our culture doesn't happen then you can expect your children and grandchildren to be victims of this mindless, heartless theocracy. They are using our laws regarding freedom of religion and our political correctness against us. Obama is not turning as blind eye to it. He is using it. These Lefties don't care what it takes to install socialism, or communism here in America. They willingly support what they know are lies in order to get the job done. Whatever it takes as long as it happens. They've been working on it for decades and now that they have got “their man, Obama” in the White House they are shoving cram down our throats thinking that if they stress us enough, we'll give in; the same methods that the Islamists use. Make us so miserable that we'll cry uncle and agree to anything.

    Stop these people. Do something. Join Act for America and start spreading the word.

  • xyz

    Mr. Wilders is no reactionasry or repugnant. Islam is repugnant and he loves his country and his culture enough to try to warn his fellow man what is coming. He has put his life on the line to do this. He feels that trying to warn ignorant people of the threat is more important than his life. He has also put his family in danger to do this. And now we have to suffer from ignorant statements such as yours. The UK banned him because they were giving in to blackmail by an Islamic member of Parliament. If that proves to you that they are freedom of speech loving then we are all in trouble.

    You are an idiot.

  • xyz

    Just as Communist countries forced their people to stay behind the wall, Islam forces the Muslims to stay within the religion. People who tried to jump the Iron Curtain did so knowing they could be killed. That must mean that they made the choice to die rather than be forced to live in such an inhumane way. People who find it within themselves to leave Islam face the same consequences. They risk losing their life.

    I would rather be dead than live in an Islamicized culture. I lived in an abusive marriage and I was threatened when I wanted to leave. It is the same thing except, if they succeed there will be no place to run. The powers that protect our life will be instead protecting our abusers. These men feel extremely threatened by any perceived or real power that a woman may have and their response is resoundingly, murder. They are like the Mafia. They are like Nazis. They are like Stalin. They will bring their third world tribalism here and institute it. Murder will become legal. Stand up with courage against these people and tell them, No, NOT HERE.

  • RHG

    I have said this before and I will say it again, to fight radical Islam we have to first fight leftwingers. And I mean "fight" in every sense of the word. It's time to make them feel uncomfortable in their own countries and it's time to make them feel fearful.

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  • LindaRivera

    Turkey's Prime Minister, Erdogan, publicly read an Islamic poem: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and Muslims our soldiers…”

    Obama Bows low to Saudi King:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fd425zfw5Ew&feat

    Obama: “My Muslim Faith”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKGdkqfBICw

    Obama: ” We are no longer a Christian nation . . . “
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOOrSAbU9z8&anno

    U.S. ruling elites oppose freedom for non-Muslims: In October, 2009, the Obama administration co-sponsored a UN resolution with Muslim police state Egypt to ban speech that defames religion (Islam). A massive attack that threatens the freedom and safety of every non-Muslim on earth.

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  • LindaRivera

    Anti-Free World Netherlands SHOCKING ATTACK on Western Civilization

    Leaflets were distributed in major British cities which included slogans such as: “The final hour will not come until the Muslims kill the Jews.”

    Britain's response? “police appeared reluctant to prosecute because the calls to fight the Jews were carefully couched in quotes from the Koran.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1370900/

    Does Britain believe it's acceptable to call for the Religious Murder of Jews and other innocents because it's in the Koran? In a frightening violation of the Peoples' right to protection, the UK showed respect for the public call to murder non-Muslims because it's in the Koran!

    In Europe & other countries, Muslim mobs shout in our streets: 'Jews to the Ovens', 'All Jews to the Gas`.
    What is the European response to this great evil? They are persecuting innocent Geert Wilders! A frightened European asks: “When can we expect Kristallnacht part 2?”

    Wilders' film, Fitna, is the words of the Koran and Muslims. Why is Geert Wilders being punished for the WORDS of the KORAN and MUSLIMS?

    HAARETZ
    “the umbrella group for Dutch Muslims said that the film does not insult their religion”
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/969825.html

    In prosecuting innocent Geert Wilders, the Netherlands is declaring non-Muslims have no human rights. No right to protest against the violent Islamic written and verbal calls for our murders. The Netherlands betrays all of innocent humanity.

    Sign petition:
    http://www.petitiononline.com/wilders/petition….

    Protect Wilders/Free World: We must have global street demonstrations for Wilders and FREEDOM!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrM0dAFsZ8k
    PA Muslims CELEBRATE Murder of Americans 9/11

  • itisionly

    Please, let us know who?????? Is promoting this “invasion” of Europe by “non European people”

    Any idea?????

  • xyz

    It's the European Union. They want oil and free trade. They are selling out their people and their culture for money and power. They won't have to sleep in the beds they are making because they truly are the elite and moeyed.

  • xyz

    Oops moneyed not moeyed.

  • andyFree

    Europeans are not stupid, they can and will turn on immigrants who don't fit in. Bawer came here and was bowled over by our gentle nature. Now he's reverted to his home-type, becoming paranoid because the same neighbours who welcomed him and his boy-friend (I think I have that right?) seem to similarly tolerant to Muslims. Don't be fooled, Europeans are just as capable of hating and killing those they don't like. Unlike Americans, in Europe the lives of natives come before immigrants. In the long run, it's the US that's more threatened by the globalisation you were so keen to embrace.

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  • jamart

    I honestly want to believe that what you are saying is true regarding immigrants who don´t fit in but I also believe that the time to stop those immigrants (?) is long overdue. Islamic presence in Europe is evidently increasing by the day and it is being demonstrated in an aggressive way. Just what is Europe doing about it? jamart

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    What is this world coming to it reminds me of what the bible says that they will call evil good and good evil. That's exactly whats happened here she speaks out about horrific crimes committed and everyone is going against her. Shame on European values which once was a Christian continent. Look at whats happening in the uk the middle eastern people have caused so much havoc in their riots

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  • bill

    Unlike Americans, in Europe the lives of natives come before immigrants. In the long run, it's the US that's more threatened by the globalisation you were so keen to embrace. spanish

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    I have said this before and I will say it again, to fight radical Islam we have to first fight leftwingers. And I mean "fight" in every sense of the word. It's time to make them feel uncomfortable in their own countries and it's time to make them feel fearful.

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