Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote an article for AEI, It's Time Lily-Livered Europe Stood Up to Muslim Bigots, that makes a compelling argument that Europeans are lily-livered weenies that will not stand up to Muslims. There have been a lot of news stories about the suppression of freedom of expression, the rise of antisemitism, and the rise of violence against women and gays in Europe from Muslim immigrants. Ms Ali reads about this, and asks some questions.
Why do European countries give citizenship to individuals who feel no obligation to share in their societies for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer and in the event of a catastrophe, sacrifice themselves? An excerpt -
In this way, they evade one of the chief criteria of citizenship. Political allegiance to the constitution of your country is the minimum requirement. It is this state of affairs that makes Christopher Caldwell's book Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration and the West (Allen Lane, £17.99), which opens with the sentence, "Western Europe became a multi-ethnic society in a fit of absence of mind," a chilling read.
Caldwell discusses this theme in an interesting light: he does not overlook the Europeans who feel that Islam is a danger to European values but asks, "How can you fight for something you cannot define?" And this is Europe's problem--insecurity about who we are, what our various flags mean, why, with every turn, we spend less and less on the military.
Europe has become a place for new religions, new creeds, multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, transnationalism. Everything is thus relative. This is an uncertainty that the Muslim does not share. The Muslim ethic and tribal spirit are far more resilient and fierce in war than the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.
What happened to the European value of freedom of expression? an excerpt -
Take the debate on freedom of expression. In 1989 and afterwards, the provocations in the name of Islam were greeted with a confident, "No way! This is Europe, and you can say what you like, write what you like," and so on.
Two decades later, Europeans are not so sure about the values of freedom of expression. Most members of the media engage in self-censorship. Textbooks in schools and universities have been adapted in such a way as not to offend Muslim sentiment. And legislation to punish 'blasphemy', if not passed, has been considered in most countries--or old laws that were never used are being revived.
What happened to the sensitivity and guilt Europeans felt about the Holocaust? an excerpt
Take anti-Semitism in Europe. The sensitivity and guilt Europeans feel about the Holocaust is comparable to the sensitivity and guilt that Americans feel towards black Americans. A decade or two ago, it was unthinkable for Jews to be slandered openly and be targeted for no other reason than their Jewishness.
Today, in the name of Islam, synagogues are vandalised. There are open denials of the Holocaust. There is an active network of Muslim organisations lobbying to curtail or even get rid of Israel. There are incidents of Jews being harassed, beaten, even killed. All this is met with grim silence and rationalisations that it's not really anti-Semitic but anti-Israel.
What happened to Europe’s Women’s Liberation values? an excerpt
In the 1970s, women were burning their bras, abortion was legalised almost everywhere and rape in marriage was penalised. Today, more and more European elites, including some feminists, argue that it might, perhaps, just be better to respect the culture and religion of a minority.
What happened to Europe’s Gay Liberation values? an excerpt
Ten years ago, it would have been unthinkable that anti-gay sentiment would pass without condemnation. In Holland, for instance, we pride ourselves on allowing gays to have the exact same rights as heterosexuals. Yet today, they are beaten on the streets of Amsterdam. To be on the safe side in certain neighbourhoods in Europe, it's advisable to conceal your identity if you are gay or lesbian.
What happened to the descendants of Franks, Saxons, Vikings, and Normans? an excerpt
In reality, if Europe falls, it's not because of Islam. It is because the Europeans of today--unlike their forbears in the Second World War--will not die to defend the values or the future of Europe. Even if they were asked to make the final sacrifice, many a post-modern lily-livered European would escape into an obscure mesh of conscientious objection. All that Islam has to do is walk into the vacuum.
I wrote a previous diary, They Are Not Monsters, that touched on this problem. Ms Ali did a better job than I of clarifying where the blame for this problem really lies. I also really hope and pray that Europe is not the precursor of what America will one day become. We need to know our values and what we stand for so we can stand up and fight to preserve our identity. We are Americans and we know what it means to be an American.