America – Worse Than Europe on Islam?

It seems long ago. When I wrote my 2006 book While Europe Slept, I was confident that America was all but immune to the forces that were bringing Europe down. In the book, I spoke of “a philosophical gulf” between Europe and the U.S. that “sometimes seemed as wide as the Atlantic itself.” It was Europe that had appeased and buckled under to Hitler in the name of peace; it was Americans who had crossed the ocean to crush him in the name of freedom. On some level, Europeans still thought like serfs, viewing the state as their protector; in America, every man was a king, and the government worked for us. Europeans wouldn’t give up their long vacations for anything; Americans didn’t mind putting in long hours in order to get ahead. Europeans, seduced by multiculturalism, thought of themselves and others as members of groups; Americans saw everybody as an individual with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Europeans cherished their welfare states; Americans, their freedom.

As for Islam, Europe gave its Muslim newcomers everything, asked nothing, and encouraged and even welcomed separatist enclaves in which their so-called “new countrymen” could remain outsiders forever, in return for which the Europeans fully expected a lifetime supply of loving gratitude; the U.S., for its part, believed firmly in integration, for which it had always had a special gift, demanding that newcomers work, obey the law, learn the language, and respect the country’s founding values, and in return genuinely viewed them as authentic Americans – as, indeed, did the newcomers themselves.

As I say, it seems long ago. I’ve long since come to understand that most of those quaint distinctions just don’t hold anymore. Saudi-funded American “experts” on the Middle East and their allies in the American media have spread pretty lies about Islam throughout American society. Some of America’s most influential legal minds argue tirelessly for the acceptance of sharia in American jurisprudence and for the watering down of the First Amendment where speech about Islam is concerned. The State Department is run by people who have been lying to themselves for years about Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood, you name it, and who are eager to come to some accommodation with the Islamic world on the question of what Americans should and should not be allowed to say about the religion of peace. Top-level figures in the U.S. military preferred to treat the Fort Hood jihadist as a psychiatric case. The so-called Department of Homeland Security is in the hands of people all too many of whom would like to pretend, if at all possible, that acts of terror committed on American soil are just ordinary crimes. From Hollywood to Broadway, from the art galleries to the news media, self-censorship about Islam rules the day. In short, America is at least as susceptible as Europe to the steady accumulation of Islamic power.

As I say, I arrived at this recognition some years ago, and it is, in fact, the theme of my 2009 book Surrender. Nonetheless, I experienced something not unlike a revelation about these matters when I interviewed the heroic Ayaan Hirsi Ali onstage a couple of weeks ago at David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend. As most Front Page readers are doubtless well aware, Ayaan was born in Somalia, raised as an ardent Muslim there and in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Kenya, secured political asylum in the Netherlands in 1992, lost her faith on 9/11, was elected in 2003 to the Dutch Parliament, and in that position became a staggeringly eloquent, brave, and highly admired critic of Islam – only to relocate to America in 2006 after certain government colleagues, perturbed by her “polarizing” views, basically forced her out. In the U.S., Ayaan, who now has several important and bestselling books under her belt, became not only a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute but a wife and mother – and an indefatigable and inspiring public speaker whose invaluable insights about Islam are welcomed by audiences around the country and the world. I was honored to be asked to interview her in front of the sizable and enthusiastic crowd that turned up to hear her in Palm Beach.

As always, Ayaan had many valuable things to say that afternoon. But what especially struck me were her answers to my questions about America and Europe. When she first came to America, she told me, she was overwhelmed by the generous reception she received from the mainstream media, as compared to the condescension with which Dutch journalists so often treated her: she was interviewed on CNN and 60 Minutes, got a positive review in the New York Times, appeared on Bill Maher. Her initial impression was that in America, “the sun shines every day when it comes to shedding light on Islam.”

She now, alas, sees things very differently. “You’re not supposed to use the word jihad….The United States of America does not recognize Islamic terrorism. It’s called ‘violent extremism.’  That is worse than Europe – any country in Europe.” In Europe, she noted, there’s at least “some form of recognition” on the part of officials that terrorist acts are connected in some way to Islam; American leaders, however, prefer the most absurd kind of euphemism. “’Violent extremism’ is the biggest joke of the twenty-first century,” she charged. “The biggest semantic – the most cynical joke of the twenty-first century.” For Ayaan, all this is beyond lamentable, for back when she was living in the Netherlands, America was “the example” for her and others who cherished liberty. It’s for this reason, she said, that it’s so distressing “to see the developments here” in recent years. If America isn’t going to be America any more, she wondered, where is there for freedom-loving people to go?

To be sure, Ayaan insisted on the continuing reality of “American exceptionalism.” The problem, she lamented, is that too many Americans (President Obama among them) fail to recognize the specialness of America – of what it is, and of what it has given the world. Even after living in the West for two decades, Ayaan said, she’s still awed by all the little day-to-day things that make up a free life. The problem is that most Americans take all those little things for granted. They simply can’t “perceive possession of these basic freedoms as something that can be taken away from then.” They don’t realize that their freedom, historically speaking, is an “anomaly”; they don’t understand that it can “evaporate” – and fast.

Ayaan compared the gradual decline in Americans’ appreciation for freedom to the decay that a family business can undergo over, say, four generations (one thought immediately, of course, of Thomas Mann’s novel Buddenbrooks), as the industrious founders are succeeded in turn by increasingly decadent and indifferent descendants who are used to the money rolling in. Those who reject the idea of “American exceptionalism,” Ayaan pronounced, are, by doing so, simply identifying themselves as members of that fourth generation – as, that is, the decadent and undeserving heirs of a precious legacy that they didn’t earn, don’t value, and are unwilling to take risks, make sacrifices, or exert themselves to preserve for their progeny.

Ayaan recalled people she’d known in Somalia and Ethiopia who, out of fear, had only discussed ticklish matters “behind closed doors” with those whom they fully trusted. In the Netherlands, she was dismayed to watch the very Dutchmen who’d taught her the ABCs of freedom morphing into versions of her acquaintances in the Horn of Africa, scared to breathe a word about Islam lest their careers be endangered. And then she moved to Washington, D.C., the capital of the free world and, she thought, the world’s last, best hope (not to mention the final stop on her long pilgrimage) – only to catch some of her colleagues there behaving in exactly the same dispiriting way: “You wait until someone you suspect of reporting you goes out of the room and then you have your honest conversation. Essentially these are no longer open societies.”

Ayaan’s message to America was clear: “We’re deteriorating. We’re becoming like the rest of the world, instead of the rest of the world becoming like us.” A sobering thought. But the words I haven’t quite been able to get out of my mind since our interview are the ones about America’s refusal to “recognize Islamic terrorism” – namely, Ayaan’s flat statement that our leaders’ failure to face the simple truth makes America “worse than Europe – any country in Europe.” When, in the last year of the last century, I first encountered Muslim enclaves in Amsterdam and saw the whole future nightmare of Europe unfolding in my mind’s eye, I never imagined I’d be hearing such words about America – and nodding in dour agreement.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    This result is essentially the 0'Bama agenda.

  • @theoprinse

    I admire Ayaan Hirshi Ali and Theo van Gogh (murdered by Bouyeri) and in the Netherlands we keep on fighting the islam. But in following Ayaan Hirsi Ali she omits that the western world knows since the seventies we are subsidizing Al Qaeda at every gas pump. She omits that Roosevelt bargained a deal between US dependence on islam oil in return for US weapons and planes and thus tied trade unions etc. She omits or at least underestimates that the western liberals and social democrats over decades believe the Muslim Brotherhood is in essence a socialist ideology.

    • ahmed

      every man have his rights to choose his religion and you can not fight that
      you should adopt peace instead of fighting

  • Rostislav

    I think it takes much more than Obama: it takes the Americans' common refuse to resist. Now it's so much more preferable to be happy, to feel good, not to offend and so on. It seems that the great country was just waiting for Obama' appearance to stop being exceptional, finally, – probably it was too burdensome… Rostislav, Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

    • jeffro

      ,Rostislav, Your observation is very accurate in my opinion, at least for much of the population who are either indifferent, lazy, or simply unwilling to rock the boat. 'Why risk your comfortable life you have now for an uncertain or difficult future'.

    • Mary Sue

      The ridiculous part is the Identity Politics Movement set America up for this with the whole "Only Whites Can Be Racist and Only Whites Can Oppress" nonsense, and the silencing of speech they don't agree with because it's racist/sexist/homophobic.

      Womens'/Ethnic studies departments and programs are the bane of Education. They're practically reverse-education. It makes a person exposed to it, if they are not inoculated against it previously, stupider.

    • Parenthetical Phrase

      Ah yes, we must not offend. The other day I read that Christmas was not allowed in a certain "over 55" housing complex because the December holiday had the work "Christ" in it and that is religious which is not allowed. This is insane. I thought of all the dictators throughout history who tried in vane to eliminate religion and different beliefs and they all failed after murdering many, many people. What we are being steered to is the worship of a ruling class who feel they are best equipped to control our lives. We can either drink the Koolaid or fight — even if it means having to rely on our own wits and abilities. A second American Revolution appears to be on the horizon.

      • Anna

        Christ banned, allah/mohammad protected. This is Sharia, and it's here !!!

        • Mary Sue

          Maybe when Islam takes over we should take a page from the Identity Politics movement and use their tactics against the Oppressors! :D

      • Mary Sue

        are these GOVERNMENT owned and operated buildings?

  • Mladen Andrijasevic

    In Israel, the leading writers are the ones who understand the situation the least:

    It's time for Israel to talk to Hamas says A.B. Yehoshua

    • Christian West

      It's time for Israel to talk to Hamas says A.B. Yehoshua

      It's time for Israel to talk to A.B.Yehoshua and tell him to either talk to Hamas himself, or shut the f..k up

  • infideltaskforce

    It is getting scarier and scarier everyday. Never, in the past, have we had to worry about what kind of world our children will live in. If we don't start waking up our fellow Americans, this country will become another Belgium!! Another UK. Does anyone want us to become one of THEM?
    Its past time we use our voices and protect our freedoms, because if we don't, we will surely lose them.

  • BS77

    The sheeple have been lulled into apathy by a liberal education and media….straight out of Orwell. Danger, immense danger threatens our republic but most people cannot comprehend this. Read Hirsi Ali…her two books are tremendous….insight…warnings….truth and realism. Read Pam Geller. Ann Coulter. Robert Spencer. Melanie Phillips. Brigitte Gabrielle. Get educated….not indoctrinated.

    • moishe oisher

      excellent advice, but tell it to most in my synagogue, you get blank stares

    • Mary Sue

      Nowadays people read 1984 and don't understand a lick of it. Or they're made to believe that Orwell was talking about "right wing fascism" and not leftist totalitarianism.

  • Infidel Prime

    Apathy for our traditional values, the dangerous culture of political correctness (ridiculous to a comical degree) and indoctrination of our youth in through educational system from bottom to top are our coffin nails.

  • Anthony

    You know something? I don’t feel comfortable trotting out Ayann as an example of a teflon anti (“radical” (LMAO) Islam ” former Moslem living her life as a sort of now atheist feminist monority.

    She by her presence adds to the confusion and disfunction multiculturalism creates. She comes to the West, and fits right into the entire leftist agenda minus the Islamophile wing of their ideology. So she to me, is still a useful drone in the long term objective of transforming a once unified nation into a global slum and flop house. Why? To quote Topal from Fiddler on the Roof when he asked why tradition… I don’t know, but its their plan.

    I can say it would be far better if we had never allowed massive non European immigration into Europe and America in the first place. Ayann included.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "She comes to the West, and fits right into the entire leftist agenda minus the Islamophile wing of their ideology."

      How so?

    • traeh

      How is Hirsi Ali to the left? She works at the American Enterprise Institute, I thought. That's a conservative think tank.

    • traeh

      I don't see her as to the left. And did you see her husband, Niall Ferguson, the Harvard history professor, tear Obama a new one during an MSNBC interview? I've rarely seen a more effective ripping of Obama on foreign policy, and the MSNBC people were almost completely helpless to respond to Ferguson. He was hitting them coming and going. At the end, they looked like people getting up from the floor after a knockout. Check it out:

  • guest

    Brigette Gabriel experienced the same when writing abt her move fm un-free Lebanon to free America and how it's as it was in Lebanon (after 9/11) in terms of islamic violence for the sake of violence.

  • Ghostwriter

    It's a shame Ms. Ali feels this way. Most Americans don't like this situation at all. Unfortunately,much of the media sided with Obama and doesn't want to say a word against him. We're confused right now and it's going to be a while before we see things clearly.

    • traeh

      It's a shame she's probably right. Self-censorship about Islam may be worse in the U.S. than it is in Europe.

  • Hktony

    I have tried to speak to American students and non students about obuma and Islam and I might as well be talking to a wall. They laugh at me- yes they think I am mad and their smug faces stare at me with immense joy at my ignorance. Of course i have had to put up with been called racist and other meaningless comments. The usa's so called melting pot has been a bubbling pot of groups fighting each other and Islam has used this method of separation to it's advantage. They claim separate and important status just like the blacks, Hispanics, gays , and so on. These groups cannot say Islam is less important without disenfranchising themselves from the system that gave them their so called rights. I believe it is this that will continue to empower Islam until they finally, with obuma's help, take out the right wing establishment which is itself corrupted by the political dynamics and interest it wishes to maintain . I to looked to the USA as a beacon of freedom but it may fall quicker than Europe and th only free country may ironically be china in the future.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    The only way to save ourselves from Islam is to separate ourselves from the Islamic world, which includes banning and reversing mass Muslim immigration ASAP, stopping immediately all aid provided to Islamic countries at the same time, and weaning ourselves off of Middle East oil ASAP or otherwise if that is impractical, seizing and occupying the oil producing regions of the Middle East. Without the assistance of the West, parasitical Islam in time will simply become discredited and destroyed.

  • David Hamber

    Anthony, Hirsi Ali is as much a leftist as you are an elephant in the zoo. Non-Europeans natives peoples have lived on the American continent for over 10,000 years. African Americans have lived on the continent since 1619, long before your ancestors set foot on American soil. Chinese have been living on the continent since 1820 (also before your ancestors came to America). Your notion of a non-European America shows an ignorance of American history and should be offensive to anyone who cherishes the central values of American civilization.

  • Anthony

    David, then I’m an elephant because according to Wikipedia:

    “Hirsi Ali is a member of the VVD, a Dutch political party that combines conservative views on the economy, foreign policy, crime and immigration with a liberal stance on drugs, abortion and homosexuality.”

    Now maybe her views have changed since then. But as I said, she is a leftist, perhaps not a hard core leftist, but one nonetheless. In any event, the liberal views she holds, especially on immigration, are in sync with, and in practice manifestly transforming Europe AND America AND the entire identity and cilture of the West into the very sort of places like Somolia and Ethopia that she fled from.

    Please don’t misunderstand my disgust with immigration and multikti wrecking of our identity. I’m not talking about Homo Sapiens or Neanderal man 10,000 years before now. I’m talking about immigration I’ve seen utterly destroy the America I can vividly remember only 20 years ago. America today is the equivalent of the cantina bar scene from Star Wars and nobody except the protected classes and lbs like you like it.

    • ssohara

      The problem is not immigration, it's:

      1) Unfettered illegal immigration (so immigrants don't assimilate)
      2) The racist splintering of America into hyphenated-Americans
      3) The leftist take-over of the educational system and the media that teaches being ashamed of America, looking down on the accomplishments of Western civilization, etc.

      Back in the other great waves of immigration to the US, people wanted to keep out the non-Anglo-Saxon Irish or the Italians – but these groups assimilated. The three factors I mention above were not in place then. Immigrants WANTED to assimilate into the larger American culture and took pride in becoming Americans, they went to public schools where teachers were not anti-American, and the media was neither as predominant an influence nor was it virulently anti-American. Plus they didn't have organizations like La Raza using them for political power.

      The reasons you mention for classifying Ali as a liberal are weird in that I know many, many white Americans who grew up here who vote Republican who share these views – they are conservative on the economy, foreign policy, crime and immigration but liberal on the social issues. They call themselves moderate Republicans, Libertarians or Independents, but not liberals. The fact is that if you did a poll of white Americans under 30, a large majority favor legalization of marijuana and acceptance of gay marriage… Americans ARE getting more pro-life, thanks to technology like ultrasounds which makes it easier to see that the fetus is actually a baby.

      Given that, Ali is actually a voice of sanity because, whatever her views on social issues, she's not deluded by the liberals when it comes to Islam, the economy, etc.

      Additionally, if your mark of a true conservative is based on social conservatism – I hate to break it to you, but Muslims are the most anti-homosexual, just as an example. They're not just anti-gay marriage, in countries with sharia law, they kill homosexuals. Perhaps one reason for Ali's social liberalism is a reaction to the hard-core nuttiness of Islam? At any rate, from my own chats with Europeans, Asians, etc., my friends from the UK, Germany and Norway are way more liberal on the social issues than my friends from Asia.

      All that being said, I actually agree with you that we need to cut off immigration for a while – we need to let our current wave of immigrants assimilate, at the very least.

      • curmudgeon

        All that being said, I actually agree with you that we need to cut off immigration for a while – we need to let our current wave of immigrants assimilate, at the very least.

        and the very best place for our current "immigrants" to assimilate would be where they came from. send them home, and they are instantly assimilated.

  • Anthony

    KKK? LMAO. You clowns act like the handful of 90 year old klansmen with beards down to thei ankles have any power to do what Al Sharpton’s and Barack Obama’s black mafia have done to this country. Look at South Central LA. Look at Detroit. Look at Camden, all run by the Black KKK.


      Ann Tony, You and your fellow knuckle dragging "progressive" neanderthals are your own worst enemy.

      You align yourselves with the most REGRESSIVE savages ever.

      Please explain how "progressives" side with people who enforce dress codes for women,, beards for men, ban education for girls, stone girls to death to restore "family honor", hang gays in public executions, cut off the hands of thieves, bomb planes, trains and mosques/temples.

  • Anthony

    Im of the opinion that if you classify yourself as a. “Moderate Rrpublican “, you are in fact a liberal.

    Romney was a liberal on most everything except the economy like your friends. That is why he lost.

    Ayaan once stated she thought 28,000 asylum seekers in her adopted country should be allowed to stay because they were waiting for up to 5 years for a determination. That is a liberal position. It is a position that again forces a nation to hold itself hostage to people it mostly does not need, and is far better without. But liberal thought does not care for the vture, heritage and character of the host nation, only the feelings of the invading hordes, who like in France, created in fact the very Moslem no-go zones Ayaan writes so feverishly against.

    The liberal thinks himself a conservative on balance. But is it possible just be sues Auaan holds some “conservative” views, in totality she is far more liberal than conservative. Romney’s whole spiel was the economy. Yet on immigration he was running for the tall grass. Would you think Ayaan is for homosexual “marriage “, I bet she is. If she is, one could not possible because principled conservative. About the far right maniacs, I’m not buying your argument they , e. g. , Zmoslema are “conservatives”. They are ideologues, practitioners of a religion that empowers human vice and lust for the material trappings of this world as sanctioned by God. Conservatives I think of are the people I’ve known in my family and life who were balanced and principled essentially living their lives according to the Golden Rule.

    Finally, the problem IS immigration, especially 47 years of uninterrupted non-White, third world masses which has resulted in America now looking like a banana tepublic. Immigration both LEGAL AND ILLEGAL MUST STOP.

  • Ray Olson

    As long as the Republicans remain wedded to globalism and cheap labor, and the Democrats to globalism and liberal-democratic imperialism, it's hard to know how to respond to Hirsi Ali, who has moved from being a victim of globalism in Islamic Arabia and East Africa to being a victim of victims in the Netherlands to being a celebrity in the land of the victimizers, who she may think would be loyal to their homeland but who instead are citizens of the world (really of their global corporations), you see. By the way, just when those globalizing victimizers decide that it's Israel's turn to suffer is anybody's guess, but I fear that time draws nigh.

  • Thom Jefferson

    I get tired of these articles that drift around the edges of the American problem. The true problem is a corrupt government up to the highest bidder. It is a problem that is filtering on all Western governments, corporatism, nepotism, Israel, the media have destroyed the American dream.

    There is no such thing as merit, fairness, and reward for effort any longer. It’s a game that I am afraid will now only be solved by a full revolution like France in 1796. Until these bastards see their contemporaries hanging from lamppost they will not take anything seriously.

    It is a shame that there is no political solution any more but that is not the average Americans doing now, is it?

  • Clare

    In your first three paragraphs? … I am that American. Thank you. As for me, I hope to hold on and stand for these things that make America. Regardless.
    Hirsi Ali shed light onto the darkness of life under Islam through her books. They were a tough read for me. Islam is evil. Her life now is an amazing example of what can happen when women leave Islam.

  • Ahmed

    I can see a lot of people have a superficial knowledge about Islam and i am sure no one of them bother himself to know what Islam is really about.
    one word: Peaceful coexistence

  • Gaffar

    Hi All, I want to be on nutral ground here, let the people decide their thoughtt, their releigion, I have not seen muslims mvng to America, you have already tried hell lot to distub, destroy, kill, and do all sorts of nonsence bombing, wging wars ect on Muslims, come out of your comfort zone, see the world with an open mind, accept the reality, accept the truth, dont be dumb, duff, blind, see the world is changing, leave your arogance, Accept Islam.
    1. Allah (god ) is one and only.
    2. Prophet Muhammed (P.B.U.H) is his servent and messenger.