you turn the final page of Douglas Murray's 2017 The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, you may
find yourself staring off into the distance, sipping absent-mindedly at your
absinthe, planning your escape to New Zealand or better yet, Mars. You may
enter a monastery or a gun store. You may immediately plan to have twelve
children, or you may get sterilized.
basic facts are few: after the mass slaughter of World Wars I and II, Europe
faced a labor shortage. Europe voted in socialists, and promised cradle-to-grave
benefits. To solve both problems, Europe imported large numbers of often Muslim
the World Wars' horrors, documented in excruciating detail, followed by the
collapse of European imperialism, caused many elites to feel ashamed of their
own identity, and to promote cultural relativism and multiculturalism. Europe
abandoned its Judeo-Christian roots and the concept of the nation-state. Europe's
most theatrically "moral" and "enlightened" elites promoted
"diversity," open borders and a denigration of European culture as
the height of virtue.
the same time, non-European cultures were assessed as superior. These trends
reached their climax in recent years, when massive numbers of mostly young,
male, Muslim migrants made their way toward Europe in rickety boats and fragile
rafts, and Europe, led by Angela Merkel, announced, "Come on in. Our
social safety net will hand you cash, food, housing, and healthcare. Our
multiculturalism will elevate you above any critique."
the migrants were some who indeed assessed their own culture not only as
superior to European culture, but as the culture that should, through violence
and terror, dominate the world. The inescapable boogeyman of this tale is
simple mathematics. Muslims have more children; Europeans have fewer. "By
the end of the lifespans of most people currently alive, Europe will not be
Europe and the peoples of Europe will have lost the only place in the world we
had to call home," as Murray puts it.
books have covered similar territory: Oriana Fallaci's 2002 The Rage and the Pride, Bat Yeor's 2005 Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, Bruce
Bawer's 2006 While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is
Destroying the West from Within, Melanie Philips' 2006 Londonistan: How Britain is Creating a
Terror State Within, Claire Berlinski's 2007 Menace in Europe: Why the Continent’s Crisis Is America’s, Too, and
Mark Steyn's 2008 America Alone: The End
Of The World As We Know It.
if you have read one of the previous books, you will want to read Murray's.
Murray addresses what has often been referred to as "the migrant crisis,"
dated from 2015, and he covers events as recent as December, 2016. Murray
brings his own late-night, brooding, depth. This is a book that dares to relate
life's big questions to current headlines.
The Strange Death of Europe's 320 densely-packed pages open with four
irrefutable words: "Europe is committing suicide." There are ample
shocks to be had when reading this book. Here is one: Murray tells the truth. Truth
has been so demonized that we are used to speakers avoiding truth, the way a
wagon train might avoid quicksand. I found myself, more than once, turning to
the copyright page to confirm that this was not a self-published book.
with a few bullet points that will stay with me for a long time.
December, 2014, Africans took a smugglers' boat from Morocco to Spain. A Christian
prayed. The captain and crew systematically identified, beat, and threw
overboard all Christian passengers. This is not an isolated incident. Christian
passengers on other boats have been drowned.
Not just Christophobia but also racism dominates on the boats. Economically
better off Tunisians and Syrians look down on, and outrank, darker skinned and
poorer sub-Saharan Africans. Middle Eastern Muslims occupy the best seats on
the boat and are most likely to survive any accidents.
September 27, 2016, a 27-year-old Pakistani migrant in Germany was arrested
while publicly raping an Iraqi girl. The girl's father approached with a knife.
The police shot him dead, presumably right in front of the little migrant who
had just been raped. She was now orphaned, as well as being a six-year-old, stateless
rape survivor. She is not alone. Women are regularly raped
and pimped by their fellow migrants, who are majority young men.
November, 2015 terror attacks in Paris killed or injured over five hundred
people. Seven of the nine terrorists had posed as Syrian refugees.
eleven-year-old British girl's buttocks was branded with hot metal with the
letter "M" for "Mohammed." The Mohammed in question
"owned" her, beat, raped, and tortured her, and pimped her to
numerous other sexual sadists, all Muslims. When victims like her – there are uncounted
thousands – sought justice in England, they were accused of being
"racists." When MP Ann Cryer took up rape of underage English girls
by Muslim men, she was accused of being an "Islamophobe." She
required police protection. A Muslim man spoke up; he received death threats
from his fellow Muslims. English authorities hushed up, and enabled similar
grooming gangs for "more than a decade."
2004, in Marseille, France, Ghofrane Haddaoui, a 23-year-old Muslima, was
stoned to death for rejecting a Muslim man's advances. This is not an isolated
incident. "UK police admitted that they had failed to investigate scores
of suspicious deaths of young Muslim women because they had thought these
potential honor killings were community matters."
events begin to strip the veneer off "multiculturalism" and Europe's
approach to the "migrant crisis" as a warm and cozy humanitarian
here's one more anecdote. Visiting a migrant camp, Murray met a 31-year-old
husband and father. Back home in Afghanistan, this man had been a school
administrator. The Taliban ordered him to help them poison the water supply for
hundreds of schoolchildren. Poisoning Muslim schoolchildren would advance their
goal of eliminating education, which they see as un-Islamic. To urge him to
comply with their plan, they tortured the man in unspeakable ways, including
repeatedly raping him while telling him, "You have no god; we are your
god; you must do whatever we say." "If anyone tries to send me back
to Afghanistan," this migrant promised Murray, "I will kill
makes clear: he understands that many migrants are escaping hellish lives. But
Murray has the courage to ask whether it is Europe's duty – or even within
Europe's ability – to take in every person on earth living a hellish life. The
Afghan made most of his trip overland. He could have stopped in any number of relatively
peaceful and comfortable Muslim countries he passed through on the way. He
didn't. He, like the other migrants, insists on Europe, and, indeed, Western
has shown that refugees do best when they are taken in by countries and
cultures closer to their own. There are over fifty Muslim-majority countries in
Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Central and East Asia. Most are at peace
and many are very wealthy. Migrants walk through these countries to get to
Europe. Why? Aylan Kurdi, whose death photo was exploited as a passport for
uncountable refuges, was not escaping war; his employed father, living as an
Iraqi refugee in peacetime Turkey, wanted the better welfare benefits to be had
points out that the ummah, or international community of Muslims, has not
responded to the "migrant crisis" with much urgency, generosity, or
compassion. Fahad al-Shalami, a Kuwaiti official, explained that his country is
unsuitable for migrants because it is expensive and suitable for workers, not
migrants. Further, al-Shalami unabashedly stated, migrants posed a threat to
his nation. "You cannot accept people who come from a different
atmosphere, from a different place. These are people who suffer from
psychological problems, from trauma." Saudi Arabia has 100,000 empty air
conditioned tents it refuses to a single migrant. But Saudi Arabia offered to
build 200 mosques in Germany to accommodate new migrant arrivals.
using facts and figures, shoots down the claim that current immigration policy
benefits Europe economically. He argues that that policy is in fact a drain on
national wealth, as significant numbers of current immigrants are more likely
to take more out of the government coffers than they put in. He also argues
that housing, schools and other social services are suffering. Greens and other
leftists who had previously argued for the benefits of zero population growth
are suddenly arguing for the benefits of huge and sudden increases in
population. In short, Islamophiles are willing to say anything as long as it
serves their agenda. In any case, "immigrants get old as well,"
Murray observes, in response to the argument that Europe is "graying"
and needs fresh blood. Expecting immigration to keep up welfare benefits for an
aging population is "a pyramid scheme." Regarding the alleged
cultural benefits of current immigration policies, Murray remarks, "If
there is a bit more beheading and sexual assault than there used to be in
Europe, then at lest we also benefit from a much wider range of cuisines."
contrast to the Muslim world, Western Europe is dominated by elites who are, in
a word, suicidal. Open borders is "a deliberate policy of societal
transformation: a culture war waged against the British people using immigrants
as a battering ram." Multiculturalism is a lie. "Amid the endless
celebrations of diversity, the greatest irony remains that the one thing people
cannot bring themselves to celebrate is the culture that encouraged such
diversity in the first place." Murray quotes Samuel Huntington,
"Multiculturalism is in its essence anti-European civilization. It is
basically an anti-Western ideology." Rather, multiculturalism is
quotes opinion-leaders who insist that European cultures have no identity, or
at least no identity worth saving. A Swedish Minister of Integration told new
arrivals that Swedes envy them because they have a culture, whereas Sweden has
no culture worthy of mention. If one challenges this, the response is that
white, Christian Europeans are the most evil people in history, who have done
nothing but invade, colonize, and enslave. In 2006, the Swedish Prime Minster,
Fredrik Reinfeldt, said, "Only barbarism is genuinely Swedish. All further
development has been brought from the outside." "Destruction is
exactly what our societies deserve," Murray writes, paraphrasing the
pro-migrant mindset. Europe "must be uniquely punished for the deeds of
is the hip European's most potent drug. Murray cites Norwegian politician
Karsten Nordal Hauken who was raped by a male Somali migrant. Hauken expressed his
own "guilt." "I had a strong feeling of guilt … I was the reason
that he would …be sent to a dark and uncertain future in Somalia."
2015 a "No Borders" activist was gang-raped. Her comrades urged her
not to report the rape. At first, she did not. When she finally did, her
comrades accused her of "spite."
January, 2016, a 24-year-old woman was raped by three migrants in Mannheim. She
published an open letter to her attackers. She wrote, "I am so incredibly
sorry … you aren't safe here, because we live in a sexist society … you are
beset by increasing and more aggressive racism … I will not allow it … I will not stand idly
by and watch as racists call you a problem. You are not the problem. You are
not a problem at all."
German intellectual told Murray that "the German people were anti-Semitic
and prejudiced and deserved to be replaced." "Only modern
Europeans," Murray writes "are happy to be self-loathing in an
international marketplace of sadists."
on the other hand, must be celebrated as a font of all good things, as in the
1001 Islamic Inventions exhibit in the London Science Museum. When medieval
scholar Sylvain Gouguenheim published an essay arguing that the texts from
Ancient Greece said to have been saved by Muslims were in fact preserved by
Syriac Christians, Gouguenheim was condemned for "Islamophobia."
Scholars publishing on questions so simple as the origins of the Koran must
publish under pseudonyms and live in hiding. Western Europeans, no less than terrorists,
adhere to this speech and thought suppression. "The one thing our
societies really do hold sacred and impervious to ridicule or criticism are the
claims and teachings of Mohammed."
facilitate their war on the West, pro-migrant activists hammer away at mind-numbingly
repetitious Nazi analogies. It is 1939, and Muslim migrants are just like Jews
in Nazi Germany, and open borders activists are just like the saviors of Anne
Frank. This scenario is not just false, it is fantastical, self-flattering and
tantamount to Holocaust denial.
paying the highest price for Europe's approach to "multiculturalism"
include, of course, women, homosexuals, and Jews. One Parisian said in 2015,
after the November attacks of that year, "Before, it was just the Jews,
the writers, or the cartoonists." Tommy Robinson, not a member of the
elite, was rendered a non-person by the UK for his resistance. Murray comments
on the double standard here. "It is infinitely easier to criticize
generally white-skinned people, especially if they are working class, than it
is to criticize generally darker-skinned people whatever their
background." "In 2003 a report into anti-Semitism by the European
Monitoring Center was quietly shelved when it found that the upsurge in
anti-Semitic activity in Europe was caused by a rise in attacks on Jews by
young Muslims." In Paris in 2006 Jew Ilan Halimi was tortured for three
weeks, and killed, at the hands of Muslims. On Bastille Day in 2014,
"worshipers at a synagogue in Paris were barricaded inside by immigrant
protesters chanting, 'Death to the Jews.'"
like many other commentators on the "migrant crisis" doesn't dwell on
the fact that the crisis is a crisis for the sending countries, as well as the
receiving ones. The migrants are not those most likely to suffer in war. They
are not the poorest of the poor, the elderly, women, and children. The migrants
are overwhelmingly healthy, young men with enough cash to pay considerable
smugglers' fees and enough sophistication to navigate any obstacles using
iPhones and instructions sent to them by "open borders" activists. As
young, healthy, resourceful men who are able to achieve their goals, they are,
in short, the raw material for an army. They could be in their home countries
fighting to defeat ISIS. They could be working to build a better future for
their wives and children.
happens to a poor, unstable country when its most energetic population rises
up, en masse, and leaves for Europe? At least one scholarly study,
focused on Pakistan, argues that male migration has profound negative impacts. Ambitious
young men are a unique resource, and they should be using their drive to
improve their homelands, not to outwit border patrols and the disbursers of
welfare checks, not to compete to prove that they are more pathetic and more
worthy of Europeans' pity than the next "refugee," not to join with
other migrants in mass sexual assaults on the women, girls and boys of naïve hosts
offering them refuge.
repeatedly cites opinion polls that show that a majority of Europeans don't
want mass Muslim immigration into their countries. He mentions Enoch Powell, a
conservative politician who gave a 1968 speech, later known as the "Rivers
of Blood" speech, that voiced many of the concerns that Murray outlines in
his book. Powell was removed from the political scene. And yet, Murray says,
about 75% of the public agreed with him. Ray Honeyford, a headmaster, wrote a
1984 article critical of the effect of multiculturalism on education.
Honeyford's carrier was ruined.
these overwhelming pressures, one must ask: what made early counter-jihadis so
much more insightful and courageous than their peers? The answer, I think, is
comparable to the characteristics that typify Holocaust rescuers. Rescuers,
according to scholar Nechama
Tec, are independent outsiders with universalistic values that transcend
race and ethnicity. Just so with counter-jihadis. Not a few counter-jihadis
were and are gay: Pim Fortuyn, Bruce Bawer, Tommy
English, and Murray himself.
remarks, "If a concern is felt by a majority of the public for many years
and nothing is done to address it, then trouble and resentment are certainly
stored up. If the response is not just to ignore the concern but to argue that
it is actually impossible to do anything about it, then radical alternatives
being to brew … at worst they will surface on the streets."
does not address one possibility that seems all too plausible: war. Ayaan Hirsi
of war in June, 2017. Political scientist and Arabist Professor Gilles
the possibility in September, 2016, as did Daniel Pipes in 2007.
Tommy Robinson, in a June, 2017 interview, expressed the
despair he feels "as a father of three." "There's no light at
the end of the tunnel … When people get desperate – it's like they're forcing
people down that path" to war.
chapter entitled "Tiredness," Murray says that maybe Europe is dying,
as per Oswald Spengler in Decline of the
West. Murray recognizes that the West is founded on "Judeo-Christian
culture, the Ancient Greeks and Romans, and the discoveries of the Enlightenment."
centuries in Europe one of the great – if not the greatest – sources of energy
came from the spirit of the continent's religion … it drove Europe to the
greatest heights of human creativity." Murray says that a couple of forces
destroyed Christianity. One was nineteenth-century German biblical criticism,
that desacralized previously sacred texts. The other was Darwin.
place of Christianity, no substitute has arisen except for nihilism and
hedonism. "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your
life," Murray quotes an atheist bus campaign slogan.
cannot fill in the gap left by retreating Christianity. There's a lapidary set
piece in the book where Murray skewers an academic conference. "A group of
academics and others had gathered to discuss the history of Europe's relations
with the Middle East. It soon became clear that nothing would be learned
because nothing could be said … the aim of this game – for game it was – was to
maintain the pretense of academic inquiry while making fruitful discussion
too, cannot replace religion. It is contemptuous of its audiences. It has
journeyed from creating works that cause the viewer to say, "I wish I
could do that," to works that cause the viewer to say, "Even a child
could do that." "The art of our time seems to have given up any
effort to kindle something else in us."
abhors a vacuum. People have always asked, and will always ask, "What am I
doing here?" Western Europeans no longer have answers to such questions.
Islam is sure of itself. Islamists and their Islamophile allies guarantee that
Islam is above reproach. Young Europeans seeking meaning will convert to Islam.
spite of all this, Murray recognizes that, as atheist author Don Culpitt wrote
in 2008, "Nobody in the West can be wholly non-Christian. You may call
youself non-Christian, but the dreams you dream are still Christian dreams …
the modern, secular world is itself a Christian creation." Murray writes,
"The culture of human rights, for instance, owes more to the creed
preached by Jesus of Nazareth than it does, say, to that of Mohammed … Europe
is a collection of towns and villages. Leave a village and you will eventually
stumble upon another. And in any low-built area the first thing you will see is
the church, placed at the heart of the community. Today, where these hearts of
the community are not wholly dead and converted into housing they are dying … I
cannot help feeling that much of the future of Europe will be decided on what
our attitude is towards the church buildings and other great cultural buildings
of our heritage standing in our midst … A society that says we are defined
exclusively by the bar and the nightclub, by self-indulgence and our sense of
entitlement, cannot be said to have deep roots or much likelihood of survival.
But a society which holds that our culture consists of the cathedral, the
playhouse and the playing field, the shopping mall and Shakespeare, has a
who had previously self-identified as a practicing Anglican, but now identifies
as an atheist, insists that any real return to Christianity is impossible. One
gets the sense that Murray believes that only the Amish and pockets of Hasids
still take the Bible seriously. Murray sounds so genuinely sad in these
passages, so deeply elegiac, that I wished I could hand him a copy of my own
book, Save Send Delete, in which I
argue for Biblical faith as a reasonable choice for a modern, educated,
thinking person. I can only hope that he might stumble across this review and
email me. I will send him a free copy.
book, as well as all discourse on Europe's overwhelming and rapid Islamization,
could benefit from mention of the scholarship of Robert Putnam. Marxist social
engineers act on the belief that existence precedes essence – there is no such
thing as an essential human being. Human beings can be manipulated to be
whatever those in power want them to be. If the elite decides that rapid
Islamization is a good idea, people can be made to accept that through proper
training from their betters.
training kicks in immediately after every terror attack. We know exactly that
Sadiq Khan is going to say that the latest attack "Has nothing to do with
Islam. We cherish our diversity. We are going to go about our daily
lives." Those statements, repeated robotically ad nauseum, masquerade as
avuncular reassurances. In fact, they are more sinister. They are 1984-style
dictatorial scripts, brainwashing the masses and red-lining the limits of
acceptable speech. This is what we are required to say. We may not ask,
"What can we do differently to avoid such terror attacks?" We may not
ask, "Isn't it time we refuted the teachings that inspired the
murderers?" or, "Who is minding the border?"
engineers are wrong. There are essential aspects to a human being. Normal
people inescapably do better when they have a sense of community and heritage.
When the support of community and heritage is ripped from them, they react
negatively. As John Leo wrote in 2007, summing up Robert Putnam's then-recent
research, "immigration and ethnic diversity have a devastating short- and
medium-term influence on the social capital, fabric of associations, trust, and
neighborliness that create and sustain communities."
if the very anti-Western, pro-Islamization forces were to learn that, say,
Mali, a majority Muslim country in Africa, were to become, through immigration,
majority atheist Chinese in this century, those very activists would be on fire
with concern for "indigenous" Malians. Funny how being an
"indigenous" person is highly valued by anti-Western forces when one
is talking about a country like Mali, and that very status becomes an insult
when one is talking about white Europeans.
book reminds us of an important fact. Believe it or not, right-wing
counter-jihadis and Islamophiles like NPR, The Southern Poverty Law Center, the
ludicrously self-identified "anti-fa" or "anti-fascists"
all have something significant in common. Both claim that counter-jihad is an
exclusively right-wing phenomenon. Left-wingers want to discredit and
marginalize counter-jihad by labeling it "hard right." Right-wing
counter-jihadis want to monopolize credit.
reminds us that the early counter-jihadis in Europe were not right-wingers at
all. As a child, Oriana Fallaci had engaged in real anti-fascist activity in
Nazi-occupied Italy. Retired sex bomb, animal rights activist, and vegetarian
Brigitte Bardot is no right-winger. Pim Fortuyn, Theo Van Gogh, Bruce Bawer, Ayaan
Hirsi Ali, the staff of Charlie Hebdo, Tommy English, leader of Gays Against
Shariah UK: none of these are right-wingers. In this country, neither are Sam Harris,
Bill Maher, and Eric Allen Bell. On the other hand, Republican President George
Bush went to the Islamic Center of Washington, DC, six days after 9/11, to say,
in the company of CAIR's Nihad Awad, that "Islam is Peace." I had a
schizophrenic experience with a Catholic priest. When it comes to abortion,
women or married priests, he is an arch-conservative. When I tried to talk to
him about jihad, that same arch-conservative priest suddenly sounded like an
"open borders" advocate. You can read our exchange here.
FGM, child marriage, and the murder of people with whom you disagree are not
inherently right-wing stances. In a 2009 Gallup Poll, zero percent of surveyed
Muslims thought homosexuality morally acceptable. Opposing the murder of
homosexuals is not an exclusively "'right-wing" position. Counter-jihad
is too important to risk alienating any potential allies by labeling
counter-jihad as a purely "right-wing" concern. Counter-jihad is a universal,
You can read this review at FrontPageMagazine here