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This is a review of Christopher Caldwell's 2009 book Reflections on the Revolution in Europe. Let me first start with the positive: Mr. Caldwell is not a bad man. He sees through the rhetoric of Tariq Ramadan, for instance, which makes him superior to the majority of Western journalists, although that is admittedly not difficult to achieve given the terrible quality of Western media these days. The problem is that the ground he covers in his book has already been covered by others, for example Daniel Pipes in his posts or Bruce Bawer in While Europe Slept. This is, in other words, not a pioneering work, and while Caldwell may be better than the bulk of journalists on some issues he is nevertheless not good enough.
Although he does indicate that importing Muslims from, say, Somalia or the Yemen may not work out like previous waves of immigration he doesn't say anything substantial about whether North Americans or Europeans should therefore halt Muslim immigration. As Claire Berlinski wrote in a review, "Caldwell's book raises many such questions. It does not answer them. The strength of this book is not in its original reporting, of which there is little, or the solutions it offers, because there are none. What it offers instead is unusual lucidity and comprehensiveness; a reader unfamiliar with the debate would be, upon finishing it, well-informed."
On the other hand, for a reader who is already familiar with these subjects he adds little that is new. Even when he briefly touches upon important subjects he soon moves on to others, leaving an informed reader feeling unsatisfied. Christopher Caldwell points out that the European Union was created in Western Europe under an American political umbrella during the Cold War and that "The EU, although neither Americans nor Europeans are fond of admitting it, is the institutional expression of the Americanization of Europe." That could have made for an interesting discussion, yet he does not cover the subject in sufficient detail.
He also asks "whether you can have the same Europe with different people. The answer is no." But again, he quickly moves on to other topics. In my view, the question is whether you can have the same of any culture with totally different peoples, and the likely answer to that is no. Nobody in their right mind would ever claim that you could exchange the entire population of South Korea with Somalis and that this would be OK as long as the Somalis "preserved Korean culture," as if they could or would do so. Yet this totally absurd claim is exactly what the media keep repeating when it comes to Iraqis in Sweden, Pakistanis in Britain, Turks in Germany and other immigrant groups in white majority Western nations.
Caldwell states in his book that "Being tough on Muslim foreigners and nice to Muslim citizens will comfort Europeans only to the extent that they maintain the idea that immigration is something temporary and reversible. It no longer is. Europeans can only hope that newcomers, especially Muslim newcomers, will assimilate peaceably."
The problem is that Muslims have never "assimilated peaceably" anywhere, from Thailand via India or the Balkans to Canada, which means that Mr. Caldwell essentially recommends that Europeans should lean back, watch TV and quietly wait for a miracle as their continent is being destroyed in front of their eyes. It is a well-documented fact that organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Organization of the Islamic Conference have been allowed to infiltrate Western countries and institutions, which means that what we are in many cases dealing with deliberate acts of state-sponsored colonization. If non-Europeans are allowed to defend their lands against colonization, by force if necessary, then I see not reason why Europeans cannot and should do the same thing, which we have done repeatedly in the past. If Algerians can expel French intruders from their country, why can native Frenchmen not expel North African Muslim intruders form theirs? Why the anti-white double standard?
Whatever is going to happen in Western Europe over the coming decades is not going to be peaceful. In 2010 there are already conditions resembling civil war in many French and certain Dutch, British, German, Italian and even Scandinavian suburbs; Kalashnikov rifles are popular in immigrant neighborhoods in the EU capital of Brussels, whereas members of the Flemish party the Vlaams Belang who staged a peaceful demonstration against the Islamization of their country were brutally harassed by the Belgian authorities after the Socialist Islamophile mayor of Brussels had banned their demonstration. And we haven't even mentioned the ridiculous trial against the Dutch Islam-critic Geert Wilders, which began early in 2010 and is likely to last for a long time, supported by both Dutch and EU authorities.
This brings us to the greatest weakness in Reflections on the Revolution in Europe. I searched in vain for any references to the writer Bat Ye'or and couldn't come across a single one in 350 pages of text. I notice that during a debate regarding his book the author stated frankly that "Eurabia is not a word that I use in my book. This literature is not stuff that I'm terribly conversant with." Writing about the Islamization of Europe and not mentioning the Eurabia theory and literature is like writing about the theory of evolution and failing to mention Charles Darwin. That's not good enough for an author of Christopher Caldwell's stature.
Unfortunately, he is far from the only one to make this mistake. Mainstream media such as the magazine The Economist have made the same error repeatedly. An article in the magazine Newsweek with the front page image and title "The Myth of Eurabia" appeared in July 2009. It rejected any possibility of a future Islamization of Europe and made no reference to the pioneer study from 2005 by Bat Ye'or Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis. I have double-checked all of Bat Ye'or's claims in my own book Defeating Eurabia and have found them to be correct; the European Union and European authorities are actively participating in the Islamization of Europe through Muslim immigration and agreements with the Islamic world.
All things considered I cannot recommend Caldwell's book. I do not question his writing skills, and he does make a few worthwhile points here and there. However, there are other books that have the same qualities and none of the same shortcomings as his one does. Perhaps you can make the claim that Reflections on the Revolution in Europe could be a "gentle" introduction to the subject for those with little prior knowledge of it, but the situation is getting so serious, with the possibility of Iranian mullahs acquiring nuclear weapons in the not-too-distant future, that the time for "gently" informing the public is long gone in my view.
I would recommend basically everything written by Robert Spencer. Mr. Spencer's greatest strength is that he has the ability to combine impeccable knowledge of Islamic doctrines and history with a way of presenting it that is accessible to a mainstream audience. Bat Ye'or's books are groundbreaking and important. The Legacy of Jihad by Andrew Bostom should be considered required reading for all those who are interested in Islam. It is the best and most complete book currently available on the subject in English and possibly in any language. Ibn Warraq's books are excellent, starting with Leaving Islam. Understanding Muhammad by the Iranian ex-Muslim Ali Sina is worth reading, as are Defeating Jihad by Serge Trifkovic and A God Who Hates by Wafa Sultan. Global Jihad by Patrick Sookhdeo is valuable, especially for a British audience but for others as well.
In his work The Islamic Challenge in Europe Raphael Israeli, Professor of Islamic, Middle Eastern and Chinese history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in Israel, is not thrilled about the failed American policy of exporting democracy to the Islamic world:
"Democracy, in spite of all its drawbacks, was found to be best fitted for Western culture, but no one can determine what is adequate for others. Any civilization ultimately gets the regime it deserves, for tyranny has been more of a norm in Muslim countries than otherwise. If this is their domestic choice, or as long as they do not rise against it, it should not concern outsiders. Where the West should be concerned is the outward conduct of the regimes in Muslim countries. When they adopt policies that threaten their neighbors, intimidate them or harm their interests, and those interests coincide with the West's, then the latter has the right, indeed the obligation, to retaliate in order to check Muslim expansionism, remove its threats and secure its own and its allies' interests. . . . The Muslim world should not be permitted to hold to its belief that only its religious tenets are holy and all the rest are violable."
In January 2010 the American columnist Diana West, author of The Death of the Grown-Up and Vice President of the International Free Press Society, at her website published a letter from a US soldier stationed in Iraq who lamented how Americans have placed themselves "in the service of Islam" worldwide. According to him the September 11, 2001 Jihadist attacks in the United States achieved success beyond the wildest dreams of their Islamic sponsors:
"They thrust Islam to the center of the world; they undoubtedly caused more people to learn about Islam than would have prior to their attacks. And the attacks combined with the near non-response of the U.S. doubtlessly gained them converts. Furthermore, what response the United States did produce resulted in the establishment, enrichment, and training of the officially Islamic nations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the enrichment and training of countless other Muslim nations around the globe. Islam now stands better suited than ever to wage jihad across the world. The September 11 attacks also resulted in Muslims being portrayed as victims around the world (thanks to their leftist allies) and helped them (again, with an assist from their leftist allies) advance their jihad even as Muslims and leftists further vilified Christianity, America, and Western values. And finally the crowning achievement of the September 11 Islamic attacks: eight years after them the United States places as its leader a person whom can at best be described as an anti-American, racist, Islamic sympathizer (and who has the same name as an infamous Islamic dictator). This is stunning. It is bizarre. It is incomprehensible. Yet it is our nightmarish reality."
This result was sadly predictable. I made a thoroughly analysis in 2006 and 2007, which was published in my long essay/ online booklet Is Islam Compatible With Democracy?, in which I concluded that current Western policies made no sense at all. Serious Western thinkers before the French Revolution did not think of "democracy" as an unqualified good in every given situation. Even at the best of times Islamic culture is incompatible with the positive qualities that such a system may have yet it is perfectly compatible with some of its most serious flaws, such as the tyranny of the majority or elective tribalism.
I concluded back then that "A democracy cannot be established in a genuinely Islamic country, at least not if 'democracy' means anything more than the mere act of voting, with no restraints on state power and no safeguards for minorities. This is simply an advanced form of mob rule. If the meaning of 'democracy' expands to include constitutional government, secular jurisprudence, the rule of law and equality before the law, and above all freedom of speech, then no - constitutional democracy cannot be reconciled with Islam. It is a waste of time and money to make the attempt. Non-Muslims currently have the wrong focus. Trying to export democracy to Islamic countries such as Iraq is futile. As American blogger Lawrence Auster has pointed out, we should rather be protecting our own democracies at home against Islam."
As I've shown in my essay Do we want an Islamic Reformation?, we should not wait for an Islamic Reformation that will either never materialize or will imply a return to pure Islam, which means more Jihad violence. Islam cannot be reconciled with our way of life. There is no moderate Islam. There can be moderate Muslims, but they can turn into Jihadists tomorrow or can lie to deceive infidels, which is called taqiyya and kitman and is widely practiced in Islam. There is no way for us to tell the difference. Those who want to understand this can read my essays about "moderate Islam" and "Why We Cannot Rely on Moderate Muslims."
I recommend the same policy as advocated for years by Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch, namely separation and containment of the Islamic world as well as exploiting internal divisions and weaknesses among Muslims, of which they have many. It is possible that at some point even this policy will not be sufficient, but it is the very minimum that is acceptable. This will require, among other things, halting all forms of Muslim immigration indefinitely and compelling Muslims who desire sharia to leave Western lands permanently.
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/ 2009/08/07/AR2009080701406.html
 http://www.jihadwatch.org/2008/02/fjordman-the- muslim-brotherhoods-infiltration-of-the-west.html
 http://www.jihadwatch.org/2008/07/fjordman-the- organization-of-the-islamic-conference-and-eurabia.html
 http://www.expatica.com/be/news/belgian-news/ Increase-in-use-of-Kalashnikovs-in-Brussels_59287.html
 http://kleinverzet.blogspot.com/2010/02/ on-muder-of-geert-wilders.html
 http://www.hudson.org/files/documents/ TranscriptCaldwell.pdf
 http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009/07/ the-myth-of-eurabia-newsweeks-front-page-and-main- article-ignores-bat-yeors-analysis-and-turns-down.html
 http://www.amazon.com/Eurabia-Euro- Arab-Axis-Bat-YeOr/dp/083864077X/
 http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The- Legacy-of-Jihad/Andrew-G-Bostom/e/9781591023074%22
 http://search.barnesandnoble.com/ Leaving-Islam/Ibn-Warraq/e/9781591020684
 http://www.jihadwatch.org/2008/10/ fjordman-reviews-ali-sinas-understanding-muhammad.html
 http://search.barnesandnoble.com/ Defeating-Jihad/Serge-Trifkovic/e/9781928653264%22
 http://www.amazon.com/God-Who-Hates- Courageous-Inflamed/dp/0312538359
 http://www.amazon.com/Global-Jihad- Future-Militant-Islam/dp/0978714121
 http://www.amazon.com/Islamic-Challenge- Europe-Raphael-Israeli/dp/1412807506/
 http://www.dianawest.net/Home/tabid/36/ EntryId/1240/A-Soldier-Speaks-Out-on-Iraq-from-Iraq.aspx
 http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2007/04/ is-islam-compatible-with-democracy.html
 http://www.jihadwatch.org/2007/05/ fjordman-do-we-want-an-islamic-reformation.html
 http://www.meforum.org/2538/ taqiyya-islam-rules-of-war
 http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/ atlas_shrugs/2008/08/atlas-exclusi-2.html
Some Comments by Readers at Jihad Watch
One wonders if there can be hope in today's Europe unless the fire touches the skin...
The anti-americanism of Europe today is pure jealousy against someone who from an 'outcast' immigrant of Europe became a so powerful one. Even the so decisive American contribution in dealing with Nazism and ending the war in Europe is a non pleasant thing to discuss nowadays, in many cases, in European environments. EU's being a non-official Americanization of Europe is a well aimed observation but... nearly no European will admit it.
Furthermore... the hate of Christianity in Europe... Whenever you dare to raise the issue of Muslim supremacism you face immediately a rage against Christianity. This hate of Christianity in Europe is something that needs a very deep investigation. But who will dare it? The ones who sees it as something so natural? It is a faul circle, most evidently.
There is a big unconcious fear against Islamic terrorism in Europe either, so it makes everything possible to keep a "lovely" face before Muslims, blaming for everything wrong in the world America. You may discern this fact easily in everyday discussions in Europe. Actually it is a full dhimmi attitude which has taken place and is continuing a lot of years now. Something that makes itself feel that can keep away from the danger (in vain, of course).
Europe has to solve its own deep inferiority, wounded pride and reactionism complex first, so that it may be able to solve other problems too. And, unfortunately, the situations are not so hopeful as to this direction. Maybe, as said, when the fire will touch the skin... But, then, the things will be much more painful, unfortunately.
dlp, February 13, 2010
As others have noted, Muslims don't immigrate, they settle and colonize. Calling them immigrants as if they were like the Italians, Spaniards, Poles etc that have moved to France, Belgium, England etc over the years is to completely misconstrue and confuse the issue. And the Muslims are ready to leverage that gratuitous, self-imposed confusion to the hilt, as they demonstrate every day.>
Words matter. "Colonization" is not "immigration."
tanstaafl, February 13, 2010
Our forefathers could never have imagined that the present political
leaders of the West would have conspired to bring about the death of
Western civilization - for there can be no doubt, tolerating Islam's
existence in the West will lead to the death of all civilized values.
In the end, there is no doubt that Islam in Europe, will lead to the
death of the West unless we (US president, EU president et al) openly
and publicly admit that they/we made a mistake, and set about
Its that or full scale war. Now our politicians can never admit to such a catastrophic mistake - which leaves war as the final arbiter.
War can come as
1. Civil war within Europe.
Any of these can provide the match to an explosive situation that prevails at the moment.
Is this a good thing? No. I would prefer a peaceful separation, but if none is available then what else is left? Chamberlain tried his best to avoid war, his very best, and when a just peace was not available, declared war.
dlp, February 13, 2010
Just days ago, the EU banned Christmas and Hannukah:
"...When asked how this would impact commerce and trade, Hartmann replied, "All commerce and trade within the EU will continue through these periods with no breaks honored or paid holidays and no funds made available for any religious observance or decoration. Citations will be issued in the form of tariffs for any EU member state which allows commerce to be interrupted or slowed due to observance of religious holidays...
The new ruling will go into effect starting February 1, 2010 and will halt the observance, EU wide, of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ash Wednesday, St Patricks Day, Passover, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah, All Saints Day and a host of lesser observances.
Hartmann went on to say that the expenses for lost time due to holidays were in the "hundreds of thousands of Euros per annum."
Spiritual issues aside, anyone paying the least bit of attention must realize that far from being a drain on the economy, that holidays especially Christmas is a huge moneymaker.
Here in the US, the day after Thanksgiving in late November is known as "Black Friday", because it is considered the first big shopping day of the Christmas season, and typically the first time in the year when retailers with small profit margins start really making money.
So what's really going on here?
We are rather frustrated here at JihadWatch almost nine years after 9-11. Muslims were emboldened and empowered after 9-11, fired up and proud of their brave brothers and ready to start shaking things up on the ground in the Great Satan. The terrorists at CAIR and the muslim brotherhood thugs are taking care of business, making demands, filing lawsuits, sponsoring rallies, energizing future jihadists, building mosques, indoctrinating youth. It's just great out there in America's islamic "communities", where they're teaching their prolific spawn to hate Christians and Jews, to hate America, to kill for allah---you know the routine.
Our new president just loves islam, says it's a religion of peace. We all know that is a blatant lie so what's up with him? I would like to know why the muslim brotherhood is legal in America. I would like to know why our avowed enemies are permitted to invade our country to destroy it from within. I would like to know the "political realities" of dealing with jihad. What's so difficult about dealing with jihad in America? That's a no-brainer to me but to our "leaders", it's not even an issue!!!
Jihad is a muslim obligation. Islamic clerics exhort the obligation of jihad day in and day out and demand that all muslims participate, which they do. Some go out and fight, some contribute money. There is no way to know or predict which muslim will become a militant jihadist or terrorist. They're usually "sweet, quiet, scholarly, loving young men" who never caused any trouble. But they could be doctors, engineers, scientists, teachers; they tend to be Western educated, upper middle class professionals. And they are masters of deception, first-class actors, well versed in the art of taquiya. They play their roles like movie stars.
I'll tell you how to stop jihad in America. Stop muslim immigration. Monitor mosques and throw out the venom-spewing imams who exhort it from their pulpits. Make jihad illegal; it's war against non-muslims, for God's sake! Make it illegal to advocate islamic law. Tell muslims they will have to adapt to our culture and they will get no special favors to accomodate their religion. If they can't deal with that, they should leave.
DP111, February 15, 2010
Fjordman is a Norway-based writer. He is a noted blogger who writes analytic and original essays on Islam, Scandinavian affairs and global politics. He is a frequent contributer to Brussels Journal, Gates of Vienna, Faith Freedom International and Jihad Watch, among other websites.
This appeared Jihad Watch
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