Book Review of 'While Europe Slept' by Bawer

By Brenda Walker
Volume 16, Number 3 (Spring 2006)
Issue theme: "Nation building / Nation bashing: nations change radically through mass immigration"

While Europe Slept

How Radical Islam Is Destroying The West From Within

By Bruce Bawer

New York Doubleday

250 pages, $23.95

Among the recent books painting alarming pictures of Europe under Muslim immigration, Why Europe Slept is notable for the visceral sense of danger. And why not? The author is an American expatriot who has lived there for several years, who clearly expresses his shock and dismay at the unraveling of European society, much of which is due to a degree of denial and political correctness which is hard to fathom.

Bruce Bawer brings an interesting background to his book. A gay man, he has written about literary and religious subjects, including a book criticizing fundamentalism (Stealing Jesus). Readers can get a taste of Bawer's writing by visiting his website, which has many of his articles and a large graphic of his book cover.

He hoped a move to the famously tolerant Amsterdam and more sophisticated Europe would find a friendlier environment than the "backward" America. However, his sojourn did not work out that way. Instead, his exposure to European pretentions gave him a new appreciation for the American character -- its fairness, honesty, genuine friendliness and the willingness of accept immigrants into the community. As his respect for Americans increased, his regard for Europeans dropped correspondingly.

Part of the "why" of Europe's somnambulance regarding their rapacious immigrants is due to a constellation of unrealistic liberal beliefs based on multiculturalism and pacifism. These ideologies are contrary to survival when facing an enemy hell-bent on destroying your entire civilization and replacing legal protections for the individual with seventh-century Shariah law.

In a series of maddening incidents, Bawer shows how Europeans refuse to recognize the danger Islam poses, even when it smacks them in the face. For example, Norwegian elites in government and media could not bring themselves to admit that Mullah Krekar, a clearly violent Islamist with connections with Al Qaeda, was a very dangerous man. Instead, a major Norwegian paper ran sob stories about his children suffering without their daddy, while he was off in Iraq banning music and picnics as part of a Shariah crackdown. Later when back in Norway, Krekar bragged that he had suicide bombers at his disposal and made threats, so the police finally took him into custody, then released him after less than two weeks in jail. In 2004 a Dutch court awarded the avowed terrorist a tidy sum for being imprisoned there. The Mullah's book openly advocated overthrowing European governments and instituting Shariah law, yet local Norwegians enthusiastically applauded his remarks at an Oslo cafe! And so it goes in dhimmified Europe.

The effect on the reader of such stubborn idiocy is stupefaction. Bawer explains that Europeans achieve their highly touted sophistication by abjuring pragmatic observation of society as a basis for forming political opinions, a psychological process which most Americans accept as a given. In their quest to be more evolved, Europeans construct their worldly ideology in a realm of abstraction, where the unpleasant reality of headchopping jihadists apparently does not enter. Muslim immigration has been seen as a joyful expression of Europeans welcoming multiculturalism, the inaccurate belief that all cultures are morally equal. Sadly, the self-destructive ideology has been hard for EU-topians to put aside.

Denial at such a monumental level is not reassuring that Europeans are still in touch with their instinct for survival.

Also troubling is the extreme anti-Americanism existing throughout European societies. The anger goes beyond a basic disagreement about how conflict should be settled, with many Europeans believing that reconciliation through dialogue is the only acceptable strategy. (Have they forgotten that Hitler was not defeated through earnest discussion? The European ideal has evidently reverted to appeasement in the Chamberlain style.) The author reveals the omnipresence of the most extreme anti-American ideas, that the United States is the Nazi Germany of modern times and Bush is its Hitler.

Interestingly, Bawer notes that if Europeans understood that a less intrusively statist (i.e. more American) approach to governance was desirable and therefore demanded by the people, then many bureaucrats would become unemployed. So there is a class for whom America bashing has tangible rewards.

As many reading this know already, the relentless mathematics of continuing immigration plus high fertility of a foreign group equals rapid change of the host country. Muslims have recognized this fact and use immigration as asymmetrical warfare in addition to terror to spread Islam worldwide.

Muslims in Europe have been the poster immigrants showing the need for cultural compatibility when massive immigration is undertaken. Twenty million Muslims have made their mark on European society by an explosion of violence and other anti-social acts, including anti-Semitic attacks, increased crime (Sweden has a murder rate twice that of the U.S.), growing immigrant ghettos, and an epidemic of rapes against European women. The Swedish city of Malmo is nearly 40 percent non-Swedish and has corresponding crime statistics the incidence of rape is 5-6 times that of nearby Copenhagen and child rape has doubled in a decade. A 2005 report on schools in France observed that not only were Muslim students refusing to participate in normal class activities (like reading Voltaire), but Jewish children "can now no longer be given an education anywhere" in France, due to violent anti-Semitism. And then there were the deadly terrorist bombings in London and Madrid that killed hundreds.

Historically, Islam has been at war with the west (and everyone else) for a millennium. Violence and murder on behalf of jihad is literally a daily occurrence somewhere on our little planet, as the running box score of death at the essential website www.thereligion shows. Despite copious evidence that Islam is the religion of murder and mayhem, too many still believe the Mythical Moderate Muslim exists in meaningful numbers. Bawer attended a widely advertised rally in support of moderate Islam in Oslo where a large turnout was expected. But he estimated the sparse crowd held no more than 50 Muslims, out of a Norwegian population of 70,000 followers of Islam. And instead of expressing support for free speech, the rally's speakers railed against the oppression Muslims imagine they suffer in Norway.

In a dangerous confluence of timing, leftist pacifism has become more mainstream in EUtopia easy to do when Uncle Sam provides military protection for your continent and is entirely the wrong attitude for response to Europe's interior invasion. Any budding Churchill warning of the barbarians within the gates has yet to appear. While Europe Slept doesn't end on a happy note. The whole book is a warning and should make Americans wonder why we continue to allow Muslim immigration at all. ;

About the author

Brenda Walker is publisher of the websites and A resident of the San Fransisco Bay area, she is a frequent contributor to The Social Contract.