Christmas Lights Go Out in Europe

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.


The lights are going out all over Europe. The Christmas tree lights, that is. Not all of them all at once, mind you, but one at a time –  one here, one there, one Christmas season after another.

Just the other day, for example, came the news about a co-op apartment building in Kokkedal, Denmark.

Not long ago, the co-op, which has a considerable number of Muslim residents, spent 60,000 kroner (about $10,000) to celebrate the holiday of Eid. Three days afterwards, however, when the co-op board, consisting of five Muslims and four unbelievers, got together to decide whether to spend approximately 5000 kroner on a Christmas tree – a tradition in the building – they voted the proposition down.  Although a “private donor” later stepped in to pay for a tree, the news of the co-op board’s decision had meantime made the national news, drawing two journalists from Denmark’s TV2 who, after making their way to Kokkedal last weekend to investigate the story, found themselves under attack by a couple of dozen masked individuals who threw bricks and cobblestones at their van and called them “neo-Nazis.”

The tidings from Kokkedal were unpleasant enough. But then came the news that the traditional Christmas tree in the Grote Markt (Market Square) in Brussels has now also become a thing of the past. In interviews with the media, Brussels councilwoman Bianca Debaets expressed her suspicions that municipal authorities had put the kibosh on the tree for religious reasons. (Brussels, it should be noted, is at present 25% Muslim. And climbing.)

At first, Brussels city officials vehemently denied that the decision to banish the Christmas tree in the Grote Markt had any religious basis. Perish the thought! Instead, they sought to convey the message that Christmas trees are old-fashioned – yesterday’s news.  And they made a strenuous effort to stir up public excitement over the fact that, instead of a tiresome old traditional tree, the Grote Markt will be the site of a cool, hip, up-to-date “light sculpture” that will suggest the shape of a tree, but that, instead of branches and needles and such, will be composed of strobe lights and other high-tech electronic paraphernalia.

It will, in short, be a trendy, twenty-first-century celebration of – well, nothing in particular, exactly. Certainly not Christmas. One thing that was made perfectly clear to the Belgian populace was that this newfangled installation would not allude in any way, shape, or form to the Christian holiday, but would instead be characterized as a “winter” decoration. Indeed, the Brussels city government took the trouble to issue a directive ordering that accounts of the new downtown “sculpture” should not include any reference to Christmas.

One news report described this postmodernist artifact as follows: “The electronic sculpture will stand 25 meters (82 feet) tall and consists of a set of television screens.” Another noted: “During the daytime you can climb to the top of the tree where you will be able to enjoy a panoramic view of the city.” And: “As soon as it becomes dark the tree turns into a spectacle of light and sound. Every ten minutes an amazing show will unfold.”

Debaets, for one, was not terribly impressed by this dubious step into the brave new Eurabian world. But the change had been made, and there was apparently no widespread movement to resist it. In any case, as the spokesman for the mayor of Brussels was eager to assure everyone, the switch to a treeless display had nothing whatsoever to do with any faith.

As it turned out, that was a lie. It soon emerged that the city fathers had relegated the tree to the history books for one reason and one reason alone – namely, that “the local Muslim population found it ‘offensive.’”

Now, it doesn’t matter whether you, as an individual, care for Christmas trees or consider them a big deal. That’s not the point. The point is that when you give way on one not-such-a-big-deal thing after another, it eventually does become a very big deal indeed. Step by step, one culture gives way to another – all the while telling itself that it isn’t doing anything of the kind.

The question here is this: at exactly what point do intelligent, self-respecting Westerners rebel against the ubiquitous concept of Islamic “offense”  – especially when it concerns things that are at the very heart of the Westerners’ own culture and history, if not their own deepest beliefs?  At what point do Westerners balk at the fact that “offense” has become a one-way-street, with Muslim “offense” at various aspects of Western culture being treated as sacrosanct while Westerners, if they so much as hint at being offended by any aspect of Muslim culture, are branded as racists and Islamophobes?  At what point do Westerners refuse to whittle away at their own cultures and customs in order to please, placate, and pacify?  At what point do they take a good, hard look at reality – at the fact that while they may experience a warm, fuzzy feeling at the spectacle of their Muslim neighbors celebrating Muslim holidays, a great many of those Muslim neighbors are determined to eradicate any outward sign of their religious holidays – and realize that something is going very, very wrong?

What a grim mystery the psychology of dhimmitude is! How staggering it is that so many people in the Western world are so willing to allow the furniture of their lives to be rearranged in response to claims of offense founded on some alien culture’s ingrained triumphalism!

When will it stop? For it must stop. For if it doesn’t stop, it’s clear as day where it will all end.

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  • Mary Sue

    Wow sounds like the happiness level in Denmark is about to go way way down. Something not all the legalized pot in the world can fix.

    • chelsea

      That is the way it's going to be here in America very very soon. This so-called "Offending" other cultures or other religions is just absolutely ludicrous! It makes me physically ill. These Muslims, and now Latinos too, really should try to grow a back bone and get over it already! What a joke!

    • David. Thailand

      On the contrary, when people are persuaded that ignorance and capitulation are good they will happily demonstrate their loyalty and tolerance by giving away their birthright.

      Only last week I was discussing Sweden's (Muslim) immigrant problems with a Swedish friend who assured me there is no problem, because the Muslims 'own' only Malmo, Sweden's main port, but he comes from upcountry so that does not affect him – except sometimes.

  • waterwillows

    Don't worry too much. Poverty is over taking them at an alarming rate. Ignorance is swiftly following.

    Things will get so bad, so very bad .. they will re-consider about what they have chosen. Being cursed is really not that much fun.

  • Rune

    Pot is not legalized in Denmark. Perhaps you are mistaking it for The Netherlands where it is legalized to some extend?

    • Mary Sue

      They were considering legalizing it.

  • Chezwick

    Question is, did any Muslims in Brussels actually express opposition to the city Christmas tree….or was this just assumed by the hyper-accommodating dhimmis on the city council? Bruce's overall point is absolutely valid: At what point will freedom of conscience and gender-equality be scrapped because they "offend" Muslim immigrants? At what point will prohibitions on polygamy, clitorectomies, stonings, amputations, and the killing of apostates be scrapped because they "offend" Muslim immigrants.

    It's a slippery slope….into the depths of hell on earth.

  • H.j.Dcruz

    People in Europe should put up Christmas trees and decorations and if anyone does not like tell this to go back to their country of origin.As simple as that or Europe will be no more.

    • Demetrius M

      I'm not sure it's really the general populace who are against such islamic tripe, it's the European politician, aka.spineless allah lovers. I think the citizens will still decorate their own homes, they just have no say over civic ordinances. And if they vote these morons out, the next batch always seems worse. There's no end to the islamic take-over of Europe. Hopefully the American spirit, or what's left of it will stop this crap from materializing here.

    • cassandra

      I am from Belgium and I live in the USA. I agree with you and it is my wish too but this will not happen. Belgium is a lost cause. They now have a party call "Islam" in Brussels, and two of their communes have Muslim mayors. They said publicly they they want sharia law in their communes(township). The government in Belgium has sold out to the Muslims. They impose little by little their laws on Belgium. The Belgians gave them the day of the sheep(Le jour du mouton), which is a disgusting custom and now to thank them they remove the Christmas tree from the Grand Place. I saw the rise of Islam in Belgium and now it has followed me to the USA. You do not see it so blatantly here but is is here and at the highest echelons of the government starting with scoundrel Obama. The occidental culture is on its way out . The European dhimmies give more and more way into Islam agenda and Islam gets stronger and more vocal everyday. Thanks to the morons who are in the government. . The Christmas tree might not be a christian tradition first but it became a tradition and why take it away because of a minority who wants to destroy it? I am now wondering if the will take the nativity out of the grand place too? Probably.

      • Peter J

        H cassandra I am from Belgium myself and lived in the us for a long time ,upon visits to Belgium I have noticed those horrendous changes ,it looks like the country has been poisoned ,Belgium used to be a nice place .
        Looks like the US is following at a fast pace since we seem to have a muslim sympathiser president .
        Unlike yourself I believe there are things that can be done ,to parapharse Winston Churchill it is not too late but it is time !
        Anyway to get in touch with you ?

    • Bill

      Too late my friend–Unless you guys start a culture war and soon it’s gonna be TOO LATE–Sorry

    • "Boots"

      agree!

    • Marlene

      I strongly agree! enough is enough! and here in Canada we should reflect upon these events

  • DonRo

    Islamic take-over of Europe? Have you not looked at the Islamic take-over of America? The Muslim Brotherhood has a free pass into Barack Hussein Obama's White House any time it wishes.

    • Guest

      Obama has been strengthening Islamists ever since he arrived on the scene years ago. He has demonstrated his alignment with Islamists and their sympathizers/apologists over and over again, in tandem with his intense dislike of the Israel and (more likely) the Jewish people in general. It wasn't long ago that he unleashed Biden and Hilary Clinton, his attack dogs, to thrash Israel for allowing their very own citizens who had valid building permits from building in E. Jerusalem. All this in spite of tons of Arabs living in W. Jerusalem. The reality is that E. Jerusalem ALWAYS had a Jewish population and that Jordan militarily took control of it in 1948, the year of Israel's rebirth. Jordan commenced to trash every Jewish house of worship, expelling the Jewish population. After the Six Day War, Israel regained control of E. Jerusalem and, being a TRULY democratic state declared that all citizens who had a valid building permit were entitled to live where they wished. Obama's EDICT was the equivalent of Sarkozy visiting Washington and telling Obama that "All Roman Catholics in Washington should be forbidden from building in the Nation's capital." This is YOUR so-called "democratic" Prez, America. How you embraced yet ANOTHER FOUR YEARS of such an individual who believes he is some kind of Emperor I will never, ever understand. You have only yourself to blame in the end…it was all there for the last 4 years to see…..

      • dolly

        We in America were 'warned'. (caught on tape: after my re-election, I will have more flexibility) And what can be done if you have to cheat your way into re-election and voter fraud is in the hands of George Soros?

    • David. Thailand

      Ah yes, but according to the America-hating, white-hating, civilisation-hating, Socialist president, the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate and the key to democracy throughout the Muslim world.

      Future generations will scratch their heads in disbelief that the most advanced civilisation in the history of the world, so readily capitulate to the most deranged.

  • drivesguy

    I hate to put a damper on things, but the roots of the tradition of the Christmas Tree is in reality a pagan tradition. While it is true that it has become a holiday tradition associated with the birth of Christ, it is not in reality a true Christian tradition. In fact, it you want to get down to brass tacks, the tradition of decorating trees can find its roots in the Old Testament in the books of the prophets, I and II Kings and I and II Chronicles. It is called the worship of Astoreth. Now that we have some historical perspective, the fact that Muslim Board found it acceptable to celebrate the end of Ramadan and not have the traditional Christmas Tree is just another example of useful idiots cowtowing to Muslim extremists and suppressing others right to worship G-d as their conscience dictates. In fact, the Muslim march through Europe is a broader agenda well documented in a book by William Wagner: How Islam plans to change the world. Anyone remember the words of radical Muslim preacher in Britain who famously said, we will uses your own laws to overthrow your government. The above incident in Denmark is just one of many examples where Muslims will move to suppress the right of conscience.

    • Zindique

      Christmas Tree is not part of the Christian belief but it is certainly part of the Christian tradition. You will find an answer to your confusion in the meaning of the word tradition– something passed from generation to generation. Here who started it first, say three thousands years ago , is not important.

  • Janie Luna

    Powerfully stated, Bruce! This must be the "change" people voted for, 4 years ago that is boomeranging LOL! Best thing we can do, is pray for Europe and the U.S., so we get ready for what has been heading our way.

  • Parenthetical Phrase

    For many years I lived in a neighborhood that was at least 60% Jewish. At Christmas time, there were Christmas lights on many of the apartment houses, and people thought it was pretty and festive even if they didn't celebrate Christmas. The churches in the neighborhood – Armenian, Catholic and Protestant did not need to "tone down" any celebrations or decorations. I never heard of even one clash between Jews and Christians at Christmas or any other time. Synogogues and churches exist within walking distance of each other. I would walk around the neighborhood, day or night and felt perfectly safe: everyone was either outside or on balconies. So I ask the Muslims: Why can't that be the case in neighborhoods that are only 25% Muslim?

    • Mary Sue

      heck, I heard of Jewish families putting up alternating green-and-blue "christmas lights" up on their houses and calling it Hannukah Lights.

    • Zaba

      Why can't that be the case in neighborhoods that are only 25% Muslim?
      Cause…..it's in the koran.
      http://markhumphrys.com/in.the.koran.html

      (scroll down for the song)

  • LindaRivera

    For every Muslim in Europe and Britain who are offended by OUR clothing, music, singing and dancing. OUR culture. OUR religions of Judaism and Christianity. OUR belief in the One Supreme Being – the Glorious, Awesome Magnificent Creator. OUR superior and MERCIFUL Western civilization.

    You infidel-hater Muslims, use your welfare benefit money and go back to your Muslim countries where you will no longer be offended by the presence of infidels. The only thing that will offend you in your Muslim countries is not receiving free housing and free infidel money.

    • Parenthetical Phrase

      Linda, I agree with your sentiment but frankly I think our "merciful Western civilization" is TOO merciful. In the Bible it says, "To be merciful to the cruel is to be cruel to the merciful." These people want to destroy us and our culture and we let them. Yes, they should go back to their Muslim societies and rot. The spread of islam is all about money. Islam creates nothing but death and so must rely on the "Infidels" to support them.

      • LindaRivera

        Yes, I absolutely agree! Western leaders BETRAY us. We are a tolerant people but we should NEVER tolerate the intolerant! Islam does not tolerate any other religion or political system other than Islam!

        Experts warn that unless Muslim colonization is stopped in Europe and Britain and REVERSED – Muslims sent back to their countries, CIVILIZATION WILL COME TO AN END.

        No matter how old anyone is, we must ALL fight for our survival before it is forever too late for the Free World!

  • john spielman

    2000+ years of European tradition and history are being destroyed by this Mohamedan invasion because there is no attempt to assimilate by the new immigants. Islam is a one way street, either Mohammeds way or death!

  • LindaRivera

    Muslims come to our countries with the goal of conquest as commanded by the Quran. Aided and abetted by TREASONOUS Western ruling elites who have deliberately imported many millions of Muslims into our countries in order for Muslims to obey the Quran to wage jihad against us intensely hated non-Muslims.

    Abu Baseer in London: “One of the goals of immigration is the revival of the duty of jihad and enforcement of power over the infidels. Immigration and jihad go together.

    I LOVE the statement by British Freedom!

    British Freedom Websites Under Attack by Far-Left Extremists
    … We will never give up nor surrender to the far-left traitors and Muslim extremists who wish to see our country and culture destroyed, beginning with the freedoms that so many of our forebears gave their lives to defend… http://britishfreedom.org/british-freedom-website

    Join EDL !
    Join and support British Freedom! Britain’s last great hope! http://britishfreedom.org/

  • kaz

    europeans will not be harmed by the lack of pagan decorations near the winter solstice. what will harm them is the loss of the freedom to decide whether to worship a god, and which god. europeans should thank their muslim friends for ridding them of “christmas” lights, then pack up the entire lot of them and send the invaders back to their islamic paradises. to do otherwise is to be genocided, a fate which doesnt seem to bother europeans, as long as they can keep their welfare states and continue to preen in their moral superiority and tolerance of the intolerant for a few more years. future generiations of europeans, if any are permitted to live, will curse when they say the names of those who willingly sold them into islamic servitude and humiliation.

    • curmudgeon

      truth hurts, doesnt it, naysayers?

  • Aisha2

    You cannot appease feral savage Muslims. They want your soul. They want to drag you down to Satan.

  • riverboatbill

    Send Christmas cards to a mosque near you.

    • Mary Sue

      Be sure to include the words, "Happy Eternal Nakba!" ;)

  • dr.music

    This is the beginning of the fourth and last world war.
    The third world war was against communism. Communism lost. The current and final world war is against pure evil that has creeped into our societies worldwide thanks to our clean minds and sharing beliefs that have come to bite back on us and our children. This evil that we need to rid the planet of is called islam. A figment of a mad man’s evil and vile and demented imagination filled with hate and regressive thoughts and mass murder as heavenly ordained . islam has put us all in peril. The full non-muslim planet is scared of this 1400 year old cult. We have the where-with-all to smash it but we fatally hesitate because our core beliefs have conditioned us that humans can change for the better. This is our fundamental and fatal mistake. Islam is so evil it is beyond change. islam calls us sub-human when the exact opposite is true. Islam is the vilest cult and now it has penetrated all over the globe because of the constant hoodwinking that islam does on normal people. Islam is not a religion but a system of male dominance over women and non-muslim people. Pedophilia is halal in islam. The head honcho of islam was a pedo so all muslims have to be pedos. Political correctness stops us from asking muslims these fundamental and valid questions about their core filthy beliefs. Our children are doomed. Since islam is a parasite “biological” is the answer. Then the bulldozers and then the incinerators. There is no other way. Conventional and atomic or nuclear is just one big mess. Overhead biological is the answer. The planet is fed up of parasitical islam. Ask any human. The war to the finish has started.
    Constant wars and terror are the fruits of Islamic over-population and muslim male boredom thanks to no contact and socially stunting policies about muslim women and socializing. They want our women because they aren’t allowed their women.
    An educated muslim is an oxymoron. If a muslim is educated and understands logic and all things fair and just what is he still doing in islam? The very fact that an educated man is still muslim means that education has bypassed him. A muslim is not a complete human. A muslim is a base animal that looks like us but kept at the basest level of mental development by islam. It is a real shame but this is the truth. A muslim is taught only hate filled rubbish and poisonous thinking by islam. There is no hope for muslims and if we don’t take pro-active steps to wipeout islam we will be wiped out.
    Crystal ?
    Capish ?
    Why aren’t stealth missiles invented yet ?

  • dr.music

    The greatest health mistake we are making today that will make our future generations suffer and curse us is our willingness to pander and encourage islam into our societies. Europe will soon fall….so will north america and australia….islam is the pox that is worse than small pox….soon the human race will be dead and only muslims will be alive. The islam virus uses politically correct thought to creep into the system. We are Dhimmies….The arabic word for non-muslim dummies that help islam come in and then are disposed off. The arabs were the smartest in the end and moremad the dirty pedo-arab was in the end a genius. Pedo and Petro are so similar like dhimmie and dummy. Fantastic.

  • dr.music

    Why doesn't the UN make a law that safeguards
    the rights and life of the ex-muslims ? Why doesn't the UN make a law that
    safeguards the rights and life of the ex-muslims ? Why doesn't the UN make a
    law that safeguards the rights and life of the ex-muslims ? Why doesn't the UN
    make a law that safeguards the rights and life of the ex-muslims ? Why doesn't
    the UN make a law that safeguards the rights and life of the ex-muslims ? Why
    doesn't the UN make a law that safeguards the rights and life of the ex-muslims
    ? Why doesn't the UN make a law that safeguards the rights and life of the
    ex-muslims ?

    THERE IS NO WORD FOR PEDOPHILIA OR
    CHILD-MOLESTATION IN ARABIC !!!

    Do you even know what that means ???

    Hence the stunting of the muslim
    psyche. Islam is coming.

    Islam has to be damned and banned.

    There is no other way. WE HAVE TO OPENLY START ASKING MUSLIMS WHAT’S THE
    ARABIC WORD FOR CHILD-MOLESTATION AND PEDOPHILIA.

    We have to watch their reactions …. It's
    so maccarbly funny…..THERE IS NO WORD FOR PEDOPHILIA OR
    CHILD-MOLESTATION IN ARABIC !!!

    What to do ? Not ask these questions ?

    Not even for the children ? Because muslim
    sentiments might be hurt ?

    Because the little ones’ screams are silent ?
    We have to rescue the children.

  • curmudgeon

    why doesnt the un make a law……………..? what difference if it did? and how could it? the un is controlled by muslims and other enemies of humanity. they arent likely to pass a law against themselves. the enemies of humanity respect force, not bluster.. what does the un do? it sends "peacekeepers" who flee or stand by idly while genocide is being perpetrated. who needs more of that? if the un disappeared, evil would be inconvenienced, but noone else would even notice.

  • Ghostwriter

    I have no problem with Christmas lights. It's a shame others have a problem with them. Why don't these people get a life and stop interfering with our Halloween and Christmas holidays? It would be so much better if they did stop. It's just ridiculous.

  • Tolerant Gayrope

    Enjoy your tolerance, stupid gayropeans! Wild muslims will carve you like pigs.

  • Seren

    I am surprised that Amused or Schowmotion have posted about how Bruce Bawer is a liar, America is worse & Muslims are swell people.

    For encore they can tell us that the sun's temperature is 0 Kelvin & when you heart stop beating for the last time you are alive.

  • jacob

    Dhimmis are venerated by Allah people because they see the hand of Allah in dhimmitude on the grounds that Allah saw fit to dim their wit.

  • jeremyp99

    All very odd. I lived for over 20 years in Easton in inner city Bristol, an area which has many many Muslims. They would say "Happy Christmas" to us on Christmas Day, and congratulate us on our Christmas tree, which was clearly visible in the bay window of our front room. This was whilst Oxfam was banning tress in their shops, in case they upset Muslims.

    How does that work?

  • MaryJones

    It's so disgustuing to read such comments!
    What do you really know about Islam? Who or what washed your brain? You are not only intolerant, you are so stupid!