For many years now I’ve been playing a rather bleak game with myself called “which European country will fall first?” Sometimes it has seemed like a very close contest indeed. In 2006, after Denmark was overwhelmed by deadly explosions of Muslim rage – not just domestically, but internationally – over nothing more than a dozen cartoons of Muhammed that were published in a newspaper, it felt as if Muslims wanted to take over that tiny country, it wouldn’t take them much longer than the six hours it took for the Nazis to conquer it in 1940. Then again, Denmark’s leaders actually stood up to Muslim pressure over those cartoons, while their Norwegian counterparts buckled under instantly. These are the same Norwegian leaders, moreover, who feel that their calling as a “peace nation” obliges them to hold friendly talks with Hamas, for example, and to kowtow to the “religion of peace” at every turn. So might Norway, one wondered, be the first Western European country that the Muslims managed to bring into the “House of Peace”?
But then there’s Sweden, which has often looked like a very likely candidate for subjugation, partly because it’s got a higher percentage of Muslim immigrants than any other country in Western Europe, and partly because the staggeringly self-righteous multiculturalism of its political elite – which for a long time did an absolutely terrific job of appeasing Muslims and silencing dissent on its extremely lax immigration policies – appeared to have set that country, quite irreversibly, on the fast track to Islamization. And what about the Netherlands, where, early on, the chillingly pusillanimous reaction of everyone from the news media to the royal family to the brutal murders of Pim Fortuyn (2002) and Theo van Gogh (2004), two highly prominent critics of Islam, didn’t bode well, to say the least. Could that little country go under first? And what of Belgium? Half Flemish and half Walloon, the Belgians already have a weak sense of national identity and, partly because the EU is based in Brussels, a tendency to think of themselves as “global citizens” – attributes that have helped make them complacent about Islamic immigration.
In France, which has been the site of several of the more dramatic acts of jihadist terror since 9/11, including the mass murder of the staff of the humor weekly Charlie Hebdo and the Bataclan massacre, both in 2015 – not to mention nightly car fires, bombings, and the like – the national leaders have repeatedly talked tough about enforcing laïcité (France’s distinctive brand of secularism) and about demanding Muslim integration, but, all in all, have done very little indeed and come off, in the end, like paper tigers. Germany? Doomed by Holocaust guilt. Then there are Spain and Italy and Greece, whose beaches have, in recent years, been the scenes of D-Day-like landings of military-age North African males. What’s left? Switzerland? Admittedly, the Swiss can be tough: last month their parliament banned face veils; the results of the October 22 election suggest that they’ve curbed their enthusiasm for exotic immigrants. But is it all too little, too late?
Arguably, any of these countries is at a different but relatively late stage of a highly malignant affliction. Who’ll be first, then? Over the years I’ve changed my answer frequently. Yet since the October 7 atrocities in Israel, which led to massive pro-Hamas rallies around the Western world – both by Muslims and by their left-wing allies, including a truly terrifying number of college students – it’s hard not to view Britain as leading the pack. I’ve spent a good deal of my life in the Netherlands, where the police are notoriously low-key, but in recent days, viewing videos on X (formerly Twitter), you could see Dutch police at Schipol, the Amsterdam airport, dealing in, shall we say, a thoroughly no-nonsense way with flag-waving Hamas supporters. In Paris, police “used tear gas and water cannons to break up a pro-Palestinian rally, after the French government banned such demonstrations.” In Berlin, police – 65 of whom were injured at pro-Hamas rallies– arrested 174 protesters, and officials now talk about deporting rejected asylum-seekers (which sounds like a no-brainer, but would in fact represent a radical toughening of immigration policy).
One has the distinct impression – or is it just a desperate hope? – that for at least some of Western Europe’s governments, October 7 served as something of a wake-up call. Not that they should have needed it, to be sure: after everything that these countries have experienced as a result of mass Muslim immigration, their leaders should’ve recognized many years ago the need for radical action. Certainly some of us have been lecturing them about this issue for quite a while. But better late than never. Perhaps it took something as horrible and shocking as the spectacle of Hamas murdering 260 people at a “trance music festival” and butchering hundreds of kibbutz families to make Western European leaders politicians realize that the hostile behavior of many of the Muslims in their own countries might foreshadow similar atrocities within their own borders.
Except in Britain.
Yes, Britain, the country of Magna Carta, the country with the Mother of Parliaments, the country that taught us how to think about freedom. And the country, alas, where politicians, police, judiciary, and prison officials worked together in the most unscrupulous fashion to try to destroy Tommy Robinson, a man who did done more than anyone else to publicize the evil of Muslim rape gangs. The country that banned from its shores serious authors like Robert Spencer for writing candidly about Islam even as it gave safe haven to imams who called for the murder of infidels. The country that has harassed, arrested, and even imprisoned ordinary citizens – hundreds or even thousands of them, reportedly – for stating plain and simple facts about Islam on social media. The country whose MPs, after the jihadist murder of one of their own, David Amess, in 2021, were quick to pretend that the problem wasn’t Islam but social media. From Britain’s chronic coddling of Islam, you’d think that it hadn’t had its share of terrorist atrocities, from the London bombings of July 7, 2005, which claimed 56 lives, to the Manchester Arena bombing of May 22, 2017, in which 22 people died. You’d think, moreover, that Britain hadn’t also been the site of all those Muslim gang rapes of young infidel women, whose number has been in the thousands – probably tens of thousands.
And yet, poking around online since October 7, one fears increasingly that Britain will be the first to go. It’s not just that the pro-Hamas demonstrations in London on the last couple of weekends were so large – so, after all, were those in Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, and elsewhere. No, what’s really been dismaying is the behavior of the British police. Yes, we already knew that they’ve been brainwashed for years, turned from noble servants of the law and public order – protecting innocent citizens and capturing criminals – into Orwellian enforcers of the twisted postmodern ideology that divides human beings into members of victim groups and oppressors. They’ll give a pass to Muslim rapists, but this month they arrested actor Laurence Fox for complaining about surveillance cameras and in August seven cops dragged a 16-year-old autistic girl out of her home in Leeds for saying that one of them looked like her lesbian grandmother. (She was guilty, you see, of a “homophobic public order offense.”)
It’s all been pretty disturbing. But it’s gotten worse since October 7. On Saturday the 21st, 100,000 people took part in a pro-Hamas rally in central London, but only ten were arrested, most of whom were let go. One video of the rally showed a protester climbing scaffolding outside a building, reportedly to set off flares – an action that was illegal on more than one count – while, according to the Telegraph, “at least six police officers looked on from the ground.” When the protester climbed down, the cops greeted him amiably and returned to him the Palestinian flag he had apparently handed to them for safekeeping during his little adventure. Another video showed a crowd calling for “jihad” in response to a rant by a member of the terrorist group Hizb ut-Tahrir; when citizens complained about police inaction in this matter, the Metropolitan Police replied with a social-media post claiming that although the public may associate the word “jihad” with terrorism, the police “have specialist counter- terrorism officers” who know better. In the year 2023, what could be more obvious evidence of top police officials’ contempt for the ordinary Brit’s intelligence? In yet another video, while Hamas supporters waved Palestinian and Hamas flags in the background, police officers could be seen threatening a pair of Brits who’d dared to show up with an English flag – the implication being that it, not those appalling flags in the background, might be construed as a symbol of prejudice. In no Western European country – except maybe Germany? – are people who display the country’s own flag so vilified.
For years, imams in Britain have gotten away with a brand of violent rhetoric that might land their continental counterparts in hot water. Even in the wake of October 7, this hasn’t changed. On October 20, an imam at a Manchester mosque prayed for the “mujahideen” to be protected “from the usurping Jews”; another imam, in East London, prayed to Allah to “scatter” the “cursed” Jews and infidels “and destroy their houses and homes, bring them down and punish them.” Even after October 7, local UK governments that pour millions in taxpayer cash into such mosques have maintained friendly relations with them, treating them, as always, as if they were model members of the community. The other day, ITV News gave time to a woman named Latifa Abouchakra so she could accuse Brits of anti-Muslim prejudice; it soon turned out that she worked for Iranian state TV and could be seen on video gloating over Hamas’s massacres. (“Nothing will ever be able to take back this moment of triumph!”) And while even some CNN hosts have shown a degree of empathy for Israelis during this terrible time, their BBC counterparts have doubled down on their reflexive tendency to side with the Palestinians, in several cases leading Israeli interviewees to respond with righteous fury to their ugly, ignorant lines of questioning. On Tuesday night, Darren Grimes of GB News tweeted: “There is yet another ‘March for Palestine’ this weekend. Is Britain nothing more than a soapbox for Hamas sympathisers?…How long must Britain, and its Jews, tolerate this?” How long indeed?
In 1940, facing a totalitarian enemy that had conquered most of the European continent, Winston Churchill famously promised that his people would “go on to the end,” fighting “on the beaches” and “in the fields and in the streets,” and would “never surrender.” What the hell has happened since then? While even the useless, buffoonish mayor of New York, Eric Adams, responded to October 7 with a powerful pro-Israeli speech, London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, clung to the usual mantra: “Diversity is our greatest strength.” Why? Why, for the matter, does London have a mayor named Sadiq Khan? Yes, you can find evidence all over Western Europe of appeasement of Islam. But the Brits have made it an art form, silencing patriots while letting the imams spout hate and letting rape gangs run wild for decades. What made all those firm British backbones melt? Is it British Empire guilt? Is it all about class – in other words, does Islamic perfidy matter less to the patricians because its victims are mostly proles? Or does it all go back to the preposterous romantic Arabism of the Victorian Era and afterwards, as personified by Lawrence of Arabia?
These questions seemed connected to another: why, while people on the continent are at least capable of uttering the word “Islam” when discussing a crime, do the Brits insist, in such circumstances, on using the ridiculous euphemism “Asian”? Why did William Shawcross, in an otherwise surprisingly candid counterterrorism report filed earlier this year at the behest of the Home Secretary, insist on distinguishing a benign Islam from a malignant “Islamism”? (“Islamism as an ideology,” he declared, absurdly, “is not the same as Islam as a faith.”) Then there’s Konstantin Kisin, whom I admire, and who this week, in a 2200-word essay about the impact of Hamas’s savagery on bien pensant Westerners, made some admirable points about the perils of utopianism and the rank irrationality of a woke ideology whose delusions about the brotherhood of all “oppressed” groups makes possible the existence of groups like “Queers for Palestine.”
But guess which words were missing from Kisin’s article? Yes: “Islam” and “Muslim.” Dare I suggest that the first step toward wisdom about the events of October 7 – and toward an action plan to prevent similar disasters in Europe, if, indeed, that ship hasn’t already sailed – is recognizing that it’s all about the religion of peace? You’d think that connecting the dots from 9/11 to 7/7 and so on, all the way up to October 7, would be easy enough – but it’s impossible if you insist on removing Islam from the picture. This, alas, is what too many Western European authorities, even after October 7, seem intent on doing. And nowhere does this wilful denial about the nature of the enemy within seem more ubiquitous, more powerful, and hence more colossally self-destructive than on Shakespeare’s scepter’d isle.