Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald

[BRIEF NOTE] The useful paranoia of Eurabianists

The below is excerpted from Simon Kuper's Financial Times essay "The crescent and the cross", a review essay concerning four of the most notable books on that subject, written by authors Walter Laqueur, Bat Ye'or, Bruce Bawer, and Melanie Phillips.

A fixed trope of “Eurabia’’ books is the writer behaving as though only he or she and a few other resistance heroes see Europe’s impending doom. Bruce Bawer, a US journalist living in Oslo, credits his aunt for coming up with his title, While Europe Slept, but Melanie Phillips sees Britain as forever asleep too. “Only if we take up this civilisational gauntlet that has been thus thrown down at us will we stop sleepwalking to defeat,’’ she concludes her book. (Phillips writes for the Daily Mail, and reading Londonistan feels like being imprisoned with a never-ending Mail editorial.)

All these authors start with disclaimers that not all Muslims support terrorist jihad. This is then swiftly forgotten as the plans for jihad in Europe are outlined. Ye’or, for whom Muslims are always the same, describes jihad as a 1,400-year-old strategy. Like Bawer, she explains that “they’’ never got over losing Andalusia in 1492.

Mixed with the hysteria are kernels of truth. Phillips’ Londonistan rightly recalls that in the 1990s the British authorities let many radical jihadists settle in London. Some later plotted terrorism against the UK. Phillips leaps from this to claiming that Britons cannot see the terrorist threat. However, this is rather negated by the fact that almost all her information about British terrorism comes from British newspapers.

[. . .]

A favourite rhetorical trick of these writers is the pars pro toto: isolated examples of Islamic extremism come to stand for a vast Muslim movement. It’s true, as Laqueur twice notes, that one group said: “We shall hoist our flags over 10 Downing Street.’’ But this is atypical. European Muslims almost all vote for mainstream parties, mostly of the left. In surveys the great majority profess satisfaction with their lives in Europe.

[. . .]

In the imagined “Eurabia’’, the Muslims are taking over. Europeans aren’t resisting. In fact, it is 1938 again, or in Bawer’s phrase, “Europe’s Weimar moment’’. A keyword of the “Eurabia’’ genre is therefore “appeasement’’ - once of Hitler, now of Muslims. Phillips urges a British-American alliance, as “when they stood shoulder to shoulder against Nazi Germany’’, with the US providing “muscle’’ and Britain “backbone’’. But unfortunately, Britain has gone wobbly. She expects this will prove fatal, because it is correct “at least in part’’ to see “Islam as a successor to Nazism and communism’’. It follows, for all four authors, that another exodus or Holocaust of Europe’s Jews is likely, though Laqueur grants that “by taking a low profile they might be able to survive in the new conditions’’.

Kuper goes on to document the numerous factual errors and ideologically-biased assumptions of these authors, concluding in the end that "the many factual errors in most of these books may be beside the point. The “Eurabia’’ genre does not belong to the “reality-based community’’. Rather, it exists to meet emotional needs. Its anti-Europeanism is a satisfying retort to European anti-Americanism. It also has a political message: if the Europeans, America’s traditional allies, have folded before Islam, then the US must go it alone."

UPDATE (3:55 PM): Links to Wikipedia profiles of the four authors have been added, along with those authors' names.
Tags: clash of ideologies, conspiracies, eurabia, links
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