The Suicide of Europe

By Dave Gorak
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 19, Number 1 (Fall 2008)
Issue theme: "Immigration Reform and the Obama Administration"

Book Review:

Decline and Fall
Europe’s Slow-Motion Suicide
Bruce Thornton
New York: Encounter Books
161 pages
$21.95, hardcover

A good friend of mineand a long-time immigration-reduction activist likes to say that whatever major social change takes place in Britain eventually will find its way to the United States. If he’s correct, then what is now washing over that nation and Europe in general will make readers of this book pretty nervous about what awaits this country and Western culture.

The first sentence on the book’s front flap sets the tone of Thornton’s work: “Once a colossus dominating the globe, Europe today is a doddering convalescent.”

At the heart of Thornton’s bleak assessment is Europe’s abandonment of Christianity and head-long rush to embrace secularization. In other words, the very foundation that produced the ideals of human rights, equality, tolerance, separation of church and state and individual rights has been allowed to crumble into disrepair.

Pursuit of the “good life” is now uppermost in the minds of too many native Europeans, who are coddled by their governments from cradle to grave with expensive social welfare programs that have generated slow economic growth and high unemployment. Add to this mix a declining birth rate among the self-absorbed, self-indulging peoples and the stage is set for the greatest threat to Europe’s identity:Mass immigration, much of it from Muslim countries that openly despise Western values.

Compounding the problem is a European Union that thus far has been unable to bring about the unity necessary to defend the region’s heritage from arrogant and demanding Muslims who are bent on destroying it. Instead, European leaders, who have forgotten the importance of knowing what to fight and die for, are content with weak responses or outright apologies in the wake of  Muslim violence, including France’s wishy-washy handling of the numerous riots and burning of cars in Paris’s suburbs, and the murder of Dutch movie director Theo Van Gogh in Amsterdam in broad daylight.

This pandering to Islamic forces, according to scholar Bat Ye’or, has created what she calls Eurabia. (She borrowed the name of a journal with the same name published in the mid-1970s by the European Committee for Coordination of Friendship Associations with the Arab World.) Eurabia, then, describes Europe’s “evolution from a Judeo-Christian civilization, with important post-Enlightenment secular elements, into a post-Judeo-Christian civilization that is subservient to the ideology of jihad and the Islamic powers that propagate it. In short, Thornton says,Europe has become a “civilization of dhimmitude” (subservience to Islam) that is willing to “surrender its own cultural identity for temporary peace of mind and economic benefits.”

Eurabia,says Thornton, was created out of political and economic self-interest following the1973 Arab oil embargo, and it should come as no surprise that France played a major role in its creation. Among the most unsettling examples of Europe’s enthusiastic embrace of those who would destroy her is England’s Prince Charles, who has “lobbied for Islamic instruction in public schools, alleging that Islam preserves an ‘integrated, spiritual view of the world in a way we have not seen fit to do in recent generations in the West.’ This future king also supports hiring more Muslim teachers in order that English students “learn with our hearts, as well as our heads.”

For Thornton, Europe’s biggest challenge is once again defining what is worth risking death to defend from an “enemy that knows passionately what is worth dying and killing for.”

The only problem I have with this book is Thornton’s apparent lack of understanding of the damage that mass immigration also is doing to the United States.

For example, he argues that the United States does a better job of assimilating foreigners and turning loose their creative abilities. Also working in our favor, he says, is that the majority of these immigrants, mostly Hispanic, “share” our religious beliefs and family values.

I hope Thornton rethinks his upbeat view because some of the same problems plaguing Europe and sending it down the drain are very much in evidence here: Political correctness, worshiping at the altar of multiculturalism,the disparaging of our culture and values, and a willingness to apologize to the foreign-born among us for the “decadent”and “corrupt” principles and values on which this republic was founded.

About the author

Dave Gorak has been executive director of the Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration since 2001. A Chicago native, he spent nearly 30 years as a reporter and editor in that city working for the Chicago Daily News and Crain’s Chicago Business (CCB). He and his wife moved to Wisconsin in late 2005.

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