The Death of Europe

When a death-wish gets what it wants.

Douglas Murray is a rare commodity on the European scene, a conservative intellectual and author of numerous best-selling books. His recent (2017) book, The Strange Death of Europe, is a dire warning to the European elites of their impending demise. Murray’s book is a personal account of Europe caught in the “act of suicide.” He addresses the dismal failure of multiculturalism, the lack of repatriation of the migrants, existential tiredness and guilt.

In an interview Peter Robinson (of the Hoover Institute Uncommon Knowledge Program) had with Douglas Murray (October 7, 2019), he quoted from Murray’s book, “Europe today has little desire to reproduce itself, fight for itself, or even take its own side in an argument. By the end of the lifespan of most people currently alive in Europe, Europe will not be Europe, and the peoples of Europe will have lost the only place in the world we had to call home.”

The symptoms of Europe’s terminal diseases were not new or first revealed by Douglas Murray, they go back for at least a generation. Murray simply confirmed the diagnosis. In his 2009 book, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West, Christopher Caldwell writes: “In the U.S., there was a ‘race problem’, and there was an ‘immigration problem,’ and the two did not always have much to do with one another. Even if they were sometimes confused, they could generally be disentangled by the people of good faith. In Europe, the immigration problem was the race problem.  So, declaring immigration a success and an ‘enrichment’ became the only acceptable opinion. To hold immigration a failure was to reveal oneself a racist; to express misgivings about immigration was to confess racist inclinations… People still talked about immigration and its consequences, but only along preapproved lines. Real discussions – about increasing ‘diversity’ of European society, and whether it was a good or bad thing – were all but shut down.”

Europe has undergone a demographic revolution it never expected. After WWII, shortage of labor compelled European industrialists to import foreign labor. Millions came to Germany from Turkey, virtually all of them Muslim. They were not just religiously different, but culturally as well. Many came from rural areas who never integrated into Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s secular Turkey. Former colonial subjects, Algerian, Moroccan, Tunisian Arabs, and some Berbers, all of them Muslims, flooded France. Britain brought former colonial subjects from Pakistan and India, and once again, many of them Muslims. When these immigrants/workers arrived, they were not required to adopt European values including secularism, tolerance, and equality. Many of those immigrants in Britain, France and Germany took their inspiration and values from their mosques and imams, and not from the European societies they lived in. Lack of integration (unlike America’s “melting pot”) created Muslim ghettos that resembled their home countries. This writer experienced one in Stockholm, Sweden, where the garb, language, and interactions remained largely within the ghetto.

Diversity and multiculturalism became the new European religion, except that Europeans knew little about the culture of their Muslim immigrants. So, the European elites were busy rooting out European traditions that excluded people and supposedly restricted the liberties of their Muslim immigrants. Christianity and churches were considered stupid and superstitious but not mosques and Islam. Colonial guilt drove European obsession with Third World causes. While the Muslim immigrants could freely express their hatred, and their solidarity with repressive regimes in the Middle East and South Asia, Europeans were not to express pride in their culture, history, and mostly national pride, i.e. nationalism (except on the soccer fields). The creation of the European Union further stifled European nationalism. Unable to embrace their own sense of nationalism, Europeans adopted others, especially Palestinian nationalism, which, in its radical versions, allowed Europeans to reconnect with antisemitism in the guise of anti-Israelism.

In Europe today, “freedom of religion” means simply freedom of Islam. European governments proscribe interference in the affairs of mosques. Europe is waiting for Islam to modernize, but the European political elites wouldn’t, for example, dare apply the 18th Century Enlightenment attacks that were leveled at Christianity on Islam. In today’s Europe, the ridicule in which Voltaire treated Christianity (and Judaism) is forbidden to be used against Islam. Ridiculing Islam has been considered racist and xenophobic. Caldwell writes: “The reasonableness of Christianity was attacked over the centuries, and continues to be attacked, with utter ruthlessness. No socially acceptable way has yet to emerge for attacking the reasonableness of Islam in any way at all. In fact, Islam increasingly receives legal protection against criticism.”

To understand the extend of European degeneracy, consider the 2009 indictment of Geert Wilders, a Dutch Member of Parliament, and leader of the Freedom Party. He was charged with inciting violence in showing the film Fitna, in which he called the Quran a fascist book and compared it to Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The politically correct Dutch government tried to prevent its viewing, a clear sign of stifling free speech for Dutch people. Conversely, Muslim communities in Europe have produced antisemitic texts and have perpetrated violence against Jews throughout Europe with impunity, whether in, Brussels, Copenhagen, London, Lyon, Malmo, Paris, or Toulouse. In an interview with Fox News (January 2008), Gilders called Islamic culture “retarded.” He made a distinction however, between Islam and Muslim people. He said, “We should stop being tolerant towards people who are intolerant towards us.” 

Enoch Powell, the British Conservative Member of Parliament, warned as early as 1968 of the consequences of unrestrained non-European immigration. Speaking at a London Rotary Club he said: “The urban part of whole towns and cities in Yorkshire, the Midlands, and the Home Counties would be preponderantly Afro-Asian in population.  There would be several Washingtons (alluding to U.S. black ghettos) in England. From those areas the indigenous population, the people of England, who fondly imagine that this is their country, and these are their hometowns, would have been dislodged.” Powell added: “The English as a nation have their own peculiar faults. One of them is that strange passivity in the face of danger or obscurity or provocation.”

Perhaps the best example of European ‘death-wish’ is the 2015 decision by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to invite and welcome over a one million migrants from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa. All of the arriving migrants were from non-democratic countries. The vast majority of them were from Muslim societies, where western concepts of diversity, human rights, the rule-of-law, and tolerance are non-existent. Moreover, many of them are with learned prejudice and hatred towards Jews. Ironically, Merkel’s attempt of atonement for Nazi crimes against Jews is likely to bring out increased antisemitism, and violence against Jews and others.

It seems that the only outrage the European elites and their followers clearly express is toward the Jewish state and America. They resent being reminded of their role in the Holocaust that was preceded by centuries of antisemitism. Israel reminds them of their inequities. Additionally, European elite’s frown upon Israel’s proud nationalism. They hide their latent antisemitism by condemning Israel, for alleged “mistreatment of Palestinians,” and in this they find their moral refuge. Likewise, they hate the Trump administration for its pride in America, and American exceptionalism. In the final analysis, the death of Europe might very well be G-d’s punishment for the Holocaust.

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Photo credit: Mstyslav Chernov at Wikimedia Commons

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