Reviews of & references to Surrender
Ray Olson in Booklist:
15, 2009 (Vol. 105, No. 16) page 8
[star] Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom.
By Bruce Bawer.
May 2009. 352p. Doubleday, $24.95 (9780385523981).305.6
Narrowing his scope from While Europe Slept (2005) but retaining its theme of radical Islamic assault on Western civil liberties, Bawer files a hefty brief of case reports on Muslim campaigns against free speech, primarily in western Europe but also in Canada and the U.S. Official infatuation with political correctness (PC), the determination that no one ever be offended, and multiculturalism, the dogma that all cultural perspectives are equally and universally valid, undergird what Bawer believes amounts to a surrender of Western liberal traditions. What may seal the fate of free speech, he argues, are the apparent inabilities of Western ruling elites to be offended by Muslims rioting, threatening by fatwa, and murdering non-Muslims (Bawer fully presents instances of all three, many of them known, though insufficiently, by Americans) and to assert the priority of Western liberal values in the West. Since he continues to write about free-speech clashes, Norwegian resident Bawer says, he increasingly risks charges of violating Muslims' legal right not to be criticized in more and more European countries. Moreover, because he is gay, and because radical Islam prescribes death for homosexuality, as sharia law becomes the law in Muslim-majority areas-- a development well underway-- his life is in burgeoning jeopardy, too. Sublimely literate and rational, Bawer is no crank, however angry he gets.This, like its immediate predecessor, is an immensely important and urgent book.
Roger K. Miller in the Tampa Tribune:
Published: May 3, 2009
"Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom," by Bruce Bawer (Doubleday, $25)
Conceivably, Bruce Bawer and Doubleday could both be in mortal danger from revenge-seeking Islamic jihadists for publishing this book. For that matter, so could the employees of any newspaper or other media that reviews it.
Not that the second danger is very great, in Bawer's estimation, because the media shy away from covering books like "Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom" - which is one of its central points: Western media consistently misconstrue, ignore and underestimate the extreme threat represented not just by jihadists or "Islamofascism," but by Islam itself.
A couple of years ago Bawer published a book on a related topic, "While Europe Slept," a warning about the increasing Islamization of Europe (Bawer, a U.S. native, lives in Oslo, Norway). That book was roundly (though wrongly) vilified as being racist, and likely because of that perception the National Book Critics Circle denied it an award.
It will be interesting to see whether "Surrender" cops any awards because the alarm it sounds is, if anything, even louder. Its basic argument is that a life-and-death struggle is taking place between Western freedom, particularly freedom of speech and of religion, and the non-negotiable, totalitarian demands of Islam and sharia law - and the West is losing.
Bawer couches and documents his hundreds of examples and assertions with scrupulous care but makes no bones about his stand: "There is no such thing as a moderate or liberal Islam." There are millions of good-hearted, peaceful Muslims around the world, but their moderation, he says, is a measure of their individual character, not of the influence of any branch of Islam.
He points out that Islam divides the world into two parts: one governed by sharia, the Dar al-Islam, or House of Submission, and the Dar al-Harb, or House of War, called "war" because it, too, is destined to be governed by sharia, even if it takes violence - jihad, holy war - to bring it about.
Questions abound: Why do the media (and others) not jump all over vile, hate-filled pronouncements by imams and mullahs the way they do controversial, though far less outrageous, comments by Christian leaders such as James Dobson and Pat Robertson? Why, in short, is "Muslim extremism ... someone else's fault"?
As to hypocrisies: In the United States, a Koran flushed down the toilet is pursued as a hate crime, while a crucifix placed in urine is hailed as a work of art. In Norway, Muslim women can be kept as virtual prisoners in their homes, but a Norwegian attempting to draw attention to the condition risks being prosecuted.
"To put it briefly and nakedly," Bawer concludes, "the West is on the road to sharia." If Bawer is right and we are, then it is a road paved with wrong-headed good intentions.
Roger K. Miller, a novelist and freelance writer and editor, writes a blog at www.graustark.blogspot.com.
Roger K. Miller's full review and explanatory comments at his blog
Martin Sieff in the Washington Times:
SURRENDER: APPEASING ISLAM, SACRIFICING FREEDOM
By Bruce Bawer
Doubleday, $24.95, 352 pages
REVIEWED BY MARTIN SIEFF
Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom," Bruce Bawer documents a phenomenon still inconceivable to most Americans although, as he proves, it is happening on our side of the Atlantic Ocean, too — the almost total suppression of free speech in most European nations about the rising threat of extremist Islam across the continent.
The issue has — no doubt briefly — flared again in the United States following the British government's decision to ban U.S. radio talk-show host Michael Savage from even entering Britain. This is especially ironic, as Britain over the past 10 years has complacently allowed the most virulent and extreme Islamist preachers and Web sites to live securely and comfortably in the country — often on generous unemployment benefits at British taxpayers' expense — while giving them full protection and freedom to seriously advocate policies to exterminate the state of Israel and topple the moderate Arab governments of the Middle East, which they loathe.
Yet it is not the Islamists who are Mr. Bawer's target but the European elites, stretching across all the supposedly responsible parties from moderate left to theoretically conservative right, who in a remarkably broad and deep consensus eagerly bow down to the Islamists and obey their every whim.
Mr. Bawer concludes that the major governments of Europe already have willingly transformed themselves into eager-to-please, subservient puppets for the harshest elements of radical Islam within their Muslim populations. To criticize or question the tough positions of even mainstream Islam on gay rights and women's rights is easily and almost universally equated in Europe with Nazism and racism.
Mr. Bawer, however, does a lot more than document and catalog this bizarre and ultimately suicidal collapse in national, continental and civilization self-worth across a European Union of half a billion people. He digs deep to discover its origins in the horrors of World War II and the decades of prosperity and safety combined with powerlessness that the European peoples have since experienced.
He goes even further back to discover that in the 1830s, the great French political intellectual Alexis de Tocqueville, in his classic "Democracy in America," already recognized that the statist government-knows-best systems of what then were still the old reactionary European monarchies destroyed the individual enterprise, courage and very capability for personal conviction of their subjects by overprotecting and overorganizing them.
Mr. Bawer argues that the soft-socialist-democratic governments that have shaped the peoples of modern Europe since World War II have intensified those processes and produced the pacifist middle classes and elites, terrified of approving the exercise of military power even in their own defense, let alone being ready to sacrifice life and liberty for it.
The consequences of this attitude are profound and probably imminent, for, as the Oslo-based but deeply American Mr. Bawer rightly concludes "the necessary price of a free life is the willingness to die for it." Mr. Bawer does not add, but could have, that the willingness to allow national armed forces to kill in defense of one's own country is even more essential. If entire populations are unwilling to approve that, they certainly will die instead — violently.
Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized this essential principle when they saved the world from Nazism in World War II. Their successors, along with their own loyal European allies, also recognized it when they created NATO and successfully deterred the unprecedented nuclear power of the Soviet Union through the Cold War. But today's European leaders and elites have totally forgotten and abandoned such old principles. Instead, they have turned on such pearls of hard-won wisdom and experience and trampled them underfoot.
Mr. Bawer has produced an alarming, depressing, brilliant and remarkably courageous book. His conclusion is bleak but uncompromising and clearly typical of the man: "At least one thing seems certain: against people who are ready to die in the cause of destroying freedom, people who are not willing to speak up for freedom for fear of being called a racist or an Islamophobe don't stand much chance of victory."
It is difficult to argue with this analysis. As St. Paul told the Corinthians 1,950 years ago, "If the trumpet give forth an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle?"
• Martin Sieff is defense industry editor for United Press International and has received three Pulitzer Prize nominations for international reporting. He is most recently the author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Middle East," 2008.
Mikael Jalving at sappho.dk; Hans Rustad on Jalving
Knut Olav Åmås in Aftenposten; Marte Michelet on Åmås in Dagbladet; Aftenposten's reply to Michelet (editorial, May 31, 2009); my reply to Michelet in Dagbladet; Hans Rustad comments on the flap; Hege Storhaug weighs in
Fred at Gay and Right
Michael Gove in Standpoint:
For Bruce Bawer, like Barry Goldwater, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. Surrender is a passionate, fluent, compelling, arresting and troubling work with many virtues. And one great flaw.
A polemic in defence of Enlightenment virtues, and in particular the indispensable US Constitution First Amendment liberty, freedom of speech, Surrender is written with a fierce urgency that compels attention. The manner in which freedom of speech has been relativised, circumscribed and betrayed in the face of extremism is powerfully documented. The specific challenge to democratic freedom posed by Islamist fundamentalism is presented with bracing clarity. But Bawer's call to arms in defence of freedom is, in this reviewer's eyes, tragically compromised by his failure properly to identify who the enemies of liberty truly are.
That's not to say Bawer is off beam or wrong-headed in many of the individual targets he picks. He is right to focus on the fatal lack of resolution the West's political classes showed when the Ayatollah Khomeini issued his fatwa against Salman Rushdie. He is spot-on in his anatomy of our similar loss of nerve following the publication of a series of provocative cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. On both occasions, extremists were testing their strength against ours. They took deliberate offence, threatened violence in order to intimidate us into apology or silence, and won. They proved that their commitment to their ideology of submission was more powerful than our commitment to our tradition of liberty.
Bawer is also excellent in his analysis of how Western thinkers and writers have reacted to two very different children of Islam. He submits to close and unsparing critical attention the coverage enjoyed by the Islamist thinker Tariq Ramadan and the reception given to the writings of the Muslim apostate Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Bawer shows how distinguished Western writers, who would unhesitatingly call themselves liberal, have sought to relativise or excuse Ramadan's support for stoning, and for clerics who endorse wife-beating, while at the same time damning Hirsi Ali as a "fundamentalist" for speaking out so vigorously against the forced suppression of women. Bawer is quite right that the desire not to give offence to certain cultural traditions or ideological religious positions has led far too many people who ought to know better to acquiesce in, or pass over, hideous prejudice towards women and gay men.
But Bawer weakens the force, both of his analysis and his argument, by broadening his critique beyond Islamist extremism, and its appeasers, to the whole of Islam itself. Bawer argues on page 62 of his book that "while there is such a thing as moderate and liberal Christianity, there is no such thing as a moderate or liberal Islam."
He goes on to maintain that, "there are millions of good-hearted individuals who identify themselves as Muslims and who have no enmity in their hearts for their non-Muslim neighbours and co-workers. Some of these Muslims are religiously observant, but their moderation is not an attribute of the brand of Islam to which they officially subscribe...liberal Islam does not yet exist in practice."
Bawer's judgement that liberal Islam is a chimera does not reflect my own experience. Sufism, the dominant strain of Sunni Islam among British Muslims, is explicitly moderate in theology and practice. There are many millions of Sufi Muslims who derive great spiritual enrichment from their gentle and contemplative faith and who are horrified at the crimes committed in the name of Islam by extremists. By instinct, most Sufis, and other moderates including traditionalist Shias, do not get involved in politics because they are quietists and wish to see a, properly liberal, separation between throne and altar. They are totally opposed to the ideology we know of as Islamism, which seeks to make any territory in which Muslims live an explicitly Islamic state bound by the austere and unforgiving rule of Sharia.
And because there are so many Muslims — pious, believing, sincere and faithful Muslims — who detest fundamentalism and disagree with the ideology of Islamism, who reject the worldview of the Muslim Brotherhood and Tariq Ramadan, who regard Sayyid Qutb and Jamaat-i-Islami with disdain, they are the natural allies of all those of us who want to defend liberal values from extremists. People like Ed Husain, of the Quilliam Foundation, or Tarek Heggy, Taj Hargey or Khurshid Ahmed, of the British Muslim Forum, or the Sufi Muslim Council, or the American Shia writer, Reza Aslan are all liberal Muslims whose lifestyles and worldviews are threatened by extremism just as much as mine or Bawer's.
Bawer quotes George Orwell at one point, saying that freedom, if it means anything, means telling people what they don't want to hear. And there are some writers and thinkers who prefer a world in which the battle lines can be drawn with flinty clarity between rationalist defenders of the Enlightenment on one side and those in thrall to the austere faith of desert warriors on the other: Reason versus Islam. But defending freedom means we must never surrender to such terrible simplicities, or we will hand freedom's real enemies a victory they do not deserve.
My reply to Gove.
Henrik Gade Jensen in Jyllands-Posten:
Bruce Bawer: SURRENDER.
Appeasing islam, sacrificing freedom
17 dollars Doubleday
[x] [x] [x] [x] [x]
Bruce Bawer er
amerikaner og flyttede til Holland for 10 år siden for at blive fri for det
intolerante USA. Som homoseksuel fandt han frihed i Holland og senere i Norge,
hvor han i dag bor. Hans personlige erindringsbog ,”Sov Sødt, Europa”, udkom på
dansk sidste år.
I dag er det imidlertid ikke bigotteri over for bøsser, der truer friheden, men islam, mener Bawer, og i denne engelsksprogede bog ser han mere på årsagerne. Bogens titel er i dansk oversættelse ”Overgivelse, eftergivenhed over for islam og ofringen af friheden” - så er temaet klart angivet.
Bawer begynder med fatwaen mod forfatteren Salman Rushdie i 1988, som vi alle kender, men det er stadig rystende at læse reaktionerne på fatwaen, altså den forståelse der var af, at Rushdie havde forulempet religiøse følelser. Fra mange anerkendte medier og forfattere. Heltene stod ikke i kø.
Så følger mordene i Holland på Pim Fortuyn og Theo van Gogh, og det er i dag, blot få år senere, rystende, at Fortuyn kunne avle så meget had ved at sige, hvad der er banalt i dag. Der savnes stadig en god biografi om Pim Fortuyn.
gennemgås, og især dens udløber i Norge er en flov affære. En lille, kristen
norsk avis i 4.000 eksemplarer, Magazinet, trykte JP's Muhammedtegninger, og den
norske regering og elite overgik hinanden i at undskylde andres tegninger.
Apologien kulminerede, da Magazinets redaktør offentligt undskyldte over for lederen af Norges islamiske råd, hvorefter imamen kunne erklære, at nu havde redaktøren og hans børn intet at frygte og stod under islams beskyttelse. Det var som en scene fra en sharia-domstol, kommenterer Bawer, hvor dhimmien bøjer sig for imamen og får fred.
Efterfølgende rejste Oslos domprovst til Qatar for at undskylde affæren over for den muslimske leder Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Pinligt, Norge.
En kraftig advarsel
af Bawer for en regering og et civilsamfund, der set udefra stod fast på den
Multikulturalismen angriber Bawer igen og igen som den ideologi, der har mest skyld i at vestlige principper i dag fortrænges til fordel for relativisme og eftergivenhed.
Bawer mener, at Europa har opgivet sine oplysningsidealer om ytringsfrihed, og hans eksempler er talrige og urovækkende. Selv blev han først opmærksom på faresignaler i år 2000 og er ærlig nok til at sige, at Rushdiesagen før da ikke oprørte ham. Nu er Bawer alarmist eller en Kassandra, der advarer om en udvikling, der er i gang.
Bawers bog kan varmt anbefales som en analyse og en advarsel til USA's og Europas intellektuelle offentlighed. Bogen ”Sov sødt, Europa”, som kom på dansk i 2008, er dog nemmere læsning.
Paul M. Barrett in the Washington Post
Helle Merete Brix at rights.no
Shire Network News podcast
I was wandering around in the book store
the other day, looking for a good read, when I came across Bruce Bawer’s latest
effort, Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom. I looked at it
for a minute or two, noted the price ($30 Cdn) and wondered whether it was worth
it. I am well read in Islamic subjects and follow a number of websites that keep
me current on the subject. What could Bawer tell me that I didn’t already know?
What the hell. I bought it. And, as it turns out, plenty.
Bawer, a former literary critic, currently living in Norway, is a gay American who decided several years ago that gays could live a better life in Europe than in the United State and he moved to Amsterdam. Europe was not what he expected and he documented his epiphany in a previous book called, While Europe Slept.
His conclusion from his European foray is that Islam is slowly, but inexorably, swallowing Europe. Like a crocodile.
His new book spans the Atlantic, shifting between the United States and Europe, and outlines in cringe-inducing detail the lies and distortions of the members of the Islamic Project, and its enablers and useful idiots; namely, the mainstream media, politicians and university faculty and administrators.
Anybody concerned about this subject ought to read this book. Anybody who is not concerned about this subject ought to read this book.
I read the thing in one sitting, I couldn’t put it down.
Bawer is very good at cutting through the cant and obfuscation to get to heart of an argument. His logical analysis of the bullshit that passes for intellectual argument is worth the price of the book, even if you know a great deal about the subject matter.
His detractors, who regularly brand him as a racist, miss the essential point of his argument, which is simply that Islam is incompatible with secular liberal-democracy, the values and ideals associated with the Enlightenment, and one or the other must prevail – there is no compromise.
One of the interesting perspectives he brings to the table is the plight of homosexuals under Islam.
We read a lot about women in Islam: should we insist they remove their veils to vote in elections; should headscarves be banned in public facilities; should the wearing of the burqua be banned outright; should we look the other way when husbands beat their wives, etc.
We have non-Muslim troops dying in Afghanistan so that Afghan women can go to school, so we are told. Yet we barely hear mention of Islam and homosexuality.
Women may be beaten, lashed, mutilated and abandoned within the tenets of the faith, but homosexuals are simply killed.
The odd thing is the support of gay groups for Islam. We had a bit of a local furor recently when a gay, anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian organization marched in Toronto’s Gay Pride Parade. Bawer dissects other examples of this odd phenomenon.
Bawer should be celebrated for speaking out forthrightly and telling the unvarnished truth. Sadly, too many people in our politically correct establishment cannot, as Jack Nicholson said, “handle the truth”, and it shows in the poor reviews he received in a couple of the mainstream newspapers in the U.S.
Given that other publishers have crumbled in the face of Islamic threats and either shredded their works or refused to publish their authors, it would be an oversight not to also congratulate Doubleday, a division of Random House, for publishing Bawer’s work.
Stephen Pollard in the New York Times Book Review
Pankaj Mishra in The Guardian
Mark Steyn at the Corner
Bryan Myrick at Unequal Time
Aanklacht tegen de uitverkoop van onze vrijheden
Door Carel Brendel
Hoe is het mogelijk dat de religieuze fundamentalist Tariq Ramadan als bruggenbouwer is omarmd door het ‘progressieve’ stadsbestuur van Rotterdam? Waarom leggen gerenommeerde universiteiten in Oxford, Rotterdam en Leiden (waar Ramadan zelf voor de eer bedankte) de rode loper uit voor een filosoof, die vindt dat de wetenschap zich ondergeschikt moet maken aan de islam?
Wie naar achtergronden van de affaire-Ramadan zoekt, kan niet om Surrender heen, het onlangs verschenen boek van Bruce Bawer. Hij beschrijft daarin hoe de elite in het vrije Westen op diverse terreinen capituleert voor de eisen van de radicale islam. Gedreven door angst en politieke correctheid, zo betoogt Bawer, zijn politici, wetenschappers, rechters, journalisten en religieuze leiders bereid om essentiële westerse waarden, zoals de vrijheid van meningsuiting, op te offeren.
Bawers boek heb ik in één ruk uitgelezen. En het wordt hoog tijd om Bawers eerdere boek, While Europe Slept, aan te schaffen. De in Noorwegen woonachtige Amerikaan heeft een meeslepende pen, is een meester in de polemiek. Hij onderbouwt zijn stellingen met talloze concrete voorbeelden van beide kanten van de Atlantische Oceaan.
Surrender (dat net als islam ’overgave’ betekent) begint met de fatwa, die de Iraanse ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 afkondigde tegen Salman Rushdie, de schrijver van De Duivelsverzen. De Iraanse leider leek toen nog een ontspoorde eenling. Het doodvonnis tegen Rushdie stuitte op vrijwel algemene verontwaardiging en afwijzing in de westerse wereld. Terugblikkend stelt Bawer dat deze fatwa het begin was van een ‘culturele jihad’ tegen onze culturele en intellectuele vrijheden. Onder de toenemende druk van militante moslims bleek het vrije westen niet zo standvastig, zo toont de Amerikaan aan met talloze voorbeelden.
Nadat Denemarken nog de rug recht tijdens de cartooncrisis, toonde het naburige Noorwegen slappe knieën toen radicale islamisten het gemunt hadden op het kleine blad Magasinet, dat het had gewaagd enkele ‘voor de islam beledigende’ prenten te plaatsen. De Noorse politici gingen door het stof. Een kerkelijke delegatie reisde naar Qatar voor een ontmoeting met Yusuf al-Qaradawi, de geestelijk leidsman van de Moslimbroederschap en specialist in antisemitische haatpreken. De kerkleiders smeekten hem om de excuses van de hoofdredacteur van Magasinet te aanvaarden. Een volledige capitulatie voor de politieke islam, is het oordeel van Bawer.
Bawer wijst diverse schuldigen aan voor de uitverkoop van de vrijheid van meningsuiting en het tolereren van shariawetgeving in westerse democratieën, zoals bijvoorbeeld op grote schaal plaatsvindt in Groot-Brittanië. Een belangrijke rol in dit geheel spelen volgens Bawer de politiek correcte media. De auteur richt daarbij zijn pijlen vooral op de Britse omroep BBC en op de twee toonaangevende Amerikaanse kranten, de New York Times en de Washington Post.
Deze links-liberale kranten berichten volgens Bawer niet of nauwelijks over de radicale islam in de Verenigde Staten. Zeer orthodoxe, maar niet gewelddadige moslimleiders krijgen in de Amerikaanse verslaggeving al gauw het predikaat ‘gematigd’. Wie de terreur van Osama bin Laden afwijst, wordt al snel geprezen als ‘bruggenbouwer’.
Zo laat Bawer niets over van een rooskleurig profiel in de New York Times van de lokale imam Reda Shata, volgens verslaggeefster Andrea Elliott een ‘echte bruggenbouwer, met één voet in de islam en één voet in de westerse cultuur'. De serie bezorgde Elliott de Pulitzerprijs voor de beste feature. Bawers oordeel is vernietigend: “Elliott’s artikel was een schoolvoorbeeld van de manier waarop de gevestigde media tegenwoordig de islam behandelen: de nadruk ligt op persoonlijke en oppervlakkige details, die de sympathie opwekken, terwijl men opzij gaat of witwast als het gaat om de kern van het geloof, het gezinsleven, culturele gewoonten, sociale regels en politieke doelen op lange termijn, waarmee men de lezers kan informeren, helderheid verschaffen en wellicht alarmeren.”
Bawer wijdt een hoofdstuk aan ‘de islamitische superster’ Tariq Ramadan en zijn westerse verdedigers, voorop de essayist Ian Buruma, die zich in allerlei bochten heeft gewrongen om Ramadan als progressief te kunnen afschilderen. Ook hier komen we al-Qaradawi weer tegen als de man, die door Ramadan wordt geëerd als ‘het ultieme voorbeeld van de moderne verlichte islam’.
Bawers retoriek is op zijn sterkst als hij de bijna Orwelliaanse manier beschrijft waarop een man als de Anglicaanse aartsbisschop Rowan Williams de werkelijkheid op zijn kop zet in zijn pleidooien voor het toelaten van de sharia. De laatste stap in het verhullen van de vervelende werkelijkheid is het invoeren van een nieuwe woordenschat (newspeak). De Europese Unie denkt over richtlijnen aan politici, waarbij woorden als ’jihad’, ’islamitisch’ en ’fundamentalist’ bij voorkeur worden vermeden. Europa is volgens een functionaris op zoek naar ’een gemeenschappelijke woordenschat en definities’ als het gaat om terrorisme. Bawer: “In 1984 voorspelde Orwell eveneens een maatschappij met een gemeenschappelijke woordenschat en definities.”
Hartstochtelijk is Bawer als het gaat om de rechten van homo’s, die op veel plaatsen in de uitverkoop gaan om tegemoet te komen aan wensen uit radicaal-islamitische hoek. Tot zijn spijt stelt hij vast dat homo-organisaties zwijgen over het lot van homo’s in de islamitische wereld, en dat het onderwerp weinig aandacht heeft van westerse regeringen.
Het is te gemakkelijk om Surrender als ’alarmistisch’ af te doen. Bawers betoog is gedocumenteerd met talloze voorbeelden. Slechts een enkele keer betrap ik hem op een slordigheid. Zo schrijft Bawer dat Ramadan als hoogleraar islamologie in Leiden is benoemd op een leerstoel, die volledig wordt gefinancierd door de sultan van Oman. Het is hem ontgaan dat Ramadan zich hiervoor heeft teruggetrokken.
De politieke correctheid van de media valt dagelijks waar te nemen. Wellicht is het in landen als Groot-Brittannië en Noorwegen hiermee nog ernstiger gesteld dan in Nederland. Tegelijk moet ik vaststellen dat op veel plaatsen de politieke correctheid wel degelijk wordt doorbroken. In Nederland bijvoorbeeld zorgen een krachtige publieke opinie, en niet-correcte media zoals De Telegraaf en Elsevier voor een krachtig tegengeluid tegen de gevestigde multiculturele opinies. Voor- en tegenstanders discussiëren er lustig op los op de opiniepagina van De Volkskrant. Wat dat betreft is de situatie een stuk verbeterd sinds het tijdperk-Fortuyn. Bawer komt zelf in zijn boek met talloze voorbeelden van dwarse verslaggevers en bloggers, die in diverse landen tegen de mainstream in aan bod weten te komen.
Bawer stelt terecht vast dat de vrije westerse samenleving op veel plaatsen wordt aangevreten door de religieuze intolerantie van de radicale islam. In die zin is zijn boek een niet mis te verstane waarschuwing. Dat aanvreten hoeft in mijn ogen niet per se tot overgave en ondergang te leiden. Maar het is dan wel zaak dat het Vrije Westen ontwaakt en de rug recht als het gaat om de verdediging van waardevolle vrijheden en mensenrechten. Bawers boek is daaraan een belangrijke bijdrage.
Nog is Polen niet verloren.
Geplaatst op 26 augustus 2009
Barbara Kay in the National Post:
Broadly speaking, 9/11 produced two instinctive responses in the thinking population, which then became political positions that have continued to diverge and harden with the years.
The realists instantly understood that the trade tower attacks were the tipping point of an already metastasizing jihad against the West, a jihad that had now to be resisted on all fronts: the physical jihad by combat, and the soft jihad-- the push for Islamization of the West through suppression of "offensive" speech and a gradual imposition of shariah law --by words and civic actions.
A more populous and culturally influential group, our liberal dreamers -- mainstream media, intelligentsia, liberal Christian and Jewish clergy and most Western politicians -- were too besotted by utopian multicultural ideals to grasp the nettle of Islamism as a phenomenon beyond rational means of containment.
The realists understood that the survival of Western civilization was at stake. The dreamers understood that the success of the ideal of tolerance was at stake. The realists understood that the West was the victim of 9/11. The multiculturalists understood that Muslims were the victims (or soon would be) of our racist society's Islamophobia.
Hard evidence validating realists' fears continues to mount across the West, while no evidence has materialized to justify the dreamers' fears.
In 2006 there were 8,000 hate crimes reported to the FBI in the United States. By far, the most -- 2,640 -- were directed against blacks. Gay males suffered 747 hate-motivated crimes. Only 156 incidents involved Islamophobia, a trivial figure in a population of 300 million.
Islamophobia amongst Western non-Muslims is highly exaggerated, but anti-Westernism amongst radical Muslims is not. Trouble is, the evidence of jihadism in our midst is deemed inadmissible by the dreamers who preside over the court of public opinion. The dreamers' strategy is to brand realists as Islamophobes, while promoting an unnecessary and unseemly Islamophilia.
This Islamophilia is urged upon us by omission and commission, and in ways both benign and wicked: from CBC's intelligence-insulting series, Little Mosque on the Prairie, to the singling out of Muslims from other religious groups for government outreach programs, to -- most perniciously-- indulgence by our human rights commissions of hate-filled anti-Western rhetoric by imams, while demonizing heritage Canadians who "offend" Muslims with facts and statistics.
One assiduously realistic witness to the truth about Islamism is Bruce Bawer, Oslo-based author of the newly-published book, Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom. He spoke in Ottawa Monday; he'll be speaking tonight in Montreal, and tomorrow in Quebec City. (See http://www.pointdebasculecanada.cafor details.) Bawer is a gay activist who abandoned what he considered a homophobic U. S. in 1998 to breathe progressive Europe's more "tolerant" air. Instead what he found there was an Islam based homophobia far more menacing than anything he'd experienced in Christian America.
His eyes now opened to the effects of an increasingly Islamified Europe, Bawer became the poster boy for the proverbial liberal mugged by multicultural reality. The epiphany resulted in his first book, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within, a withering critique of Europe's pusillanimous submission, in the name of multiculturalism, to virulent misogyny, anti-Semitism and homophobia.
Today Bawer is recognized as one of the most persuasive members of a small but courageous band of politically incorrect brothers and sisters: brilliant writers like Bat Ye'or (Eurabia), Andrew Bostum (The Legacy of Jihad), Melanie Phillips (Londonistan), Claire Berlinski (Menace in Europe) and Canadians Mark Steyn (America Alone) and David Solway (The Big Lie), to name but a few. These Cassandras have difficulty finding uncowed publishers willing to back them. They risk libel suits and even physical harm, but they soldier on in the name of truth and Western survival.
There is hope that some influential dreamers are waking up from their eight-year nap. None of the books mentioned above was reviewed by The New York Times, including Bawer's first book. But his new book, Surrender, was given a positive review this summer. The review began with these words: "There is no more important issue facing the West than Islamism ... and there is no more necessary precondition to countering that threat than understanding it ... But before we do any of that, we have to agree that the threat exists."
The review ends: "Surrender is, at times, hard going ... [because] Bawer is unquestionably correct, and that fact is quite simply terrifying."
Another Barbara Kay piece:
Eight years to the day later, what are the cultural effects of 9/11? The first out of the starting gate and still leading the pack was the reflexive liberal instinct to throw protective arms around Islam and Muslims. The dust hadn't settled from the trade towers before it was pronounced from sea to shining sea that Islam was a religion of peace, and that Islamophobia was sure to run rampant in the streets, a sin we were all warned to guard against.
But like global warming, which has as yet failed to materialize in spite of so much fervent belief in its coming, Islamophobia never actually took root. In 2006 there were 8,000 hate crimes reported to the FBI in the United States, up 8% from 2005. By far the most were directed against blacks (2,640). Next in frequency were anti-Semitic crimes (967, up from 848 in 2005) - and that was before Bernie Madoff made the news. Gay males suffered 747 hate-motivated crimes, and - here a steep downward plunge - a mere 156 incidents involved Islamophobia (up from 128 in 2005).
In fact, Muslims represented the group least likely to be subjected to hate crimes, and the uptick from 2005 cannot be said to be linked with 9/11, for surely 2002 would have been the high water mark for Islam-based aggression. In any case, 156 acts of hatred - few if any life-threatening - is so nugatory in a country of 300 million people as to be statistically irrelevant. (I don't have Canadian statistics handy, but I am confident that if Islamophobic hate crimes stood out in any way from hate crimes against Jews or gays, our liberal media would have jumped all over them.)
Far from Islamophobia, what actually happened after 9/11 was a wave of
Islamophilia second only to Obamamania for its lack of rational foundation and
utopian faith in symbolism over reality. The more it became apparent that
religious fanaticism was the motivating principle behind 9/11, the more any
criticism of multiculturalism or Islam in particular was stifled, and the more
we heard about Islam being a religion of peace. After every act of terrorism by
jihadists around the globe, the media would warn of an anti-Islam "backlash" -
which never happened. Instead a wave of pro-active Islamophilia gripped the west.
The smarmy Little Mosque on the Prairie, an insult to the intelligence and to
any semblance of social reality, is a direct result of 9/11, one of the more
harmless manifestations of western self-flagellation, but in retrospect sure to
be seen as one of the more embarrassing.The Human Rights Commission jihads
against Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn via Macleans, also a 9/11 legacy, will be
seen as more than embarrassing, as downright evil.
The media in general bent over backward to comply with the fiction that we have nothing to fear from Islamic militants in our midst, that jihadists are a complete aberration in a peaceful faith, that multiculturalism has played no part in encouraging grievance-building alienation, and that it is our biases that are the problem, Muslims the victims.
A conspiracy of silence around unpleasant news and facts emerged. Anyone for example writing a book criticizing Islam was unlikely to see their work reviewed in the New York Times. Cases in point are these great names in post 9/11 reportage: Bat Ye'or - Eurabia; Andrew Bostum's The legacy of Jihad; Bruce Bawer - While Europe Slept; Claire Berlinski - Menace in Europe; Oriana Fallaci - The Rage and the Pride (bestselling response to 9/11, but not favourable to Islam) and The Force of Reason; Melanie Phillips - Londonistan; Robert Spencer - The Truth about Muhammed; and of course Mark Steyn - America Alone.
What do they all have in common? Well, they are all well-written by credible, brilliant, experienced observers and scholars, and they are all impeccably researched, minutely documented warnings about the dangers of Islamism. Some - like America Alone - were bestsellers. They all tell the truth about the world of jihadism. And yet: None of them got a New York Times Book review.
The NYT only reviewed books that were hagio-Islamic in flavour by writers like Karen Armstrong and John Esposito, "whose sugarcoated representations of Islam should have been discredited for all time by 9/11," according to Bruce Bawer. There is a glimmer of hope. Bruce Bawer's just-published Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom, which if anything is more condemnatory than his previous book of the stealth jihad that is undermining democracy in Europe at a now unstoppable pace, did finally get a positive review in the NYT this July and was even recommended as an "editor's choice."
Bruce Bawer is one of those former liberals mugged by reality. A gay activist, he left what he considered homophobic America in 1998 for the "tolerant" society of Europe. What he found was an Islam-based homophobia that put the homophobia of American evangelical Christians in the shade. The Islamification of European and Scandinavian society (he lives in Oslo) turned him into a savage critic of kneejerk liberalism that makes common cause with a culture steeped in homophobia, misogyny and contempt for individual freedoms.
Bawer is coming to Canada and will appear in public forums in
September 14 and in
Quebec City Wednesday September 16 and 17. Bawer's is one of the most
intelligent, passionate and credible voices amongst the politically incorrect
sons and daughters of 9/11. Go and hear him if you can.
Frank Wilson in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
If a poll of fundamentalist Christians indicated that some 21 percent thought that bombing abortion clinics and killing abortionists was justified, do you think the media would focus attention on the 79 percent who thought otherwise?
Probably not. And rightly so. Double-digit support for murder and mayhem among a group numbered in the millions would be worrisome.
So it is perhaps understandable that in Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom, author Bruce Bawer should draw attention to the manner in which a May 2007 survey of U.S. Muslims by the Pew Foundation was treated in the media:
"Muslims Assimilated, Opposed to Extremism," the Washington Post rejoiced. The headline in USA Today read, "American Muslims Reject Extremes." And the Christian Science Monitor trumpeted: "In Many Ways, US Muslims Are in Mainstream America."
Problem was, as Bawer notes, the survey itself provided little evidence for such optimism:
"Among the most widely celebrated findings was that 80 percent of young American Muslims said they opposed suicide bombing - even though the flip side, and the real story, was that a double-digit percentage supported it."
Bawer raises some pointed questions about Islam in his book. He objects to things like stoning adulteresses, hanging homosexuals, and the Quran's division of the world into Dar al-Islam (House of Submission - the part governed by sharia) and Dar al-Harb (House of War - which is all the rest of the world).
In this respect, however, Surrender is simply a counterpart to Bawer's earlier book Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity. What sets the new book off is its focus on the outlook the media - with support from the academy and government - have adopted toward Islam, as exemplified in the way the Pew Foundation survey was reported. It is an outlook shaped, Bawer says, by "multiculturalism," which he describes as "a peculiarly Western set of attitudes about the non-Western world." One such attitude is that "while freedom may be fine for us, because we're Westerners, a lack of freedom is just as good, if not better, for them, because, well, that's their culture and who are we to criticize it?"
Another good example of how this outlook manifests itself in media coverage of Islam is provided by the controversy - and violence - that erupted when the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a dozen cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in 2005. Protests were mounted, death threats issued, and the cartoonists went into hiding. Later on, Danish embassies were vandalized, Danish businesses boycotted, Danish Web sites hacked, and, worst of all, about 200 people lost their lives.
The Danish prime minister stood his ground and refused to comply with a demand for a meeting from a group of 10 ambassadors from Muslim countries. "It is so self-evidently clear what principles Danish society is based upon," Fogh Rasmussen said, "that there is nothing to have a meeting about." Jyllands-Posten also remained unapologetic: "Our right to say, write, photograph and draw what we want to within the framework of the law exists and must endure - unconditionally."
The cartoons were reprinted widely in Germany, Italy, Spain, and elsewhere. But no British newspaper published any of them, and only one daily paper in the United States did - the one you happen to be reading. None of the broadcast networks showed them, nor any of the cable news channels.
The New York Times justified the media's restraint as "a reasonable choice for news organizations that usually refrain from gratuitous assaults on religious symbols." But Gerard Baker, columnist for the London Times, called this "a characteristically pompous and ponderous piece of chin-stroking sanctimony," noting that such sensitivity had not prevented the Times in the past from running pictures of "a crucifix in a vat of urine or an icon of the Virgin Mary covered in elephant dung."
The case of the Danish cartoons is pertinent because they are back in the news. This month, Yale University Press announced that The Cartoons That Shook the World, a book about the controversy by Brandeis University professor Jytte Klausen scheduled for publication later this month, would not contain any reproductions of the cartoons that are the subject of the book. A group of experts Yale consulted advised against it on grounds it might spark violence.
John Donatich, the director of Yale University Press, last month quoted one of those experts, Ibrahim Gambari, a special adviser to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as saying: "You can count on violence if any illustration of the prophet is published. It will cause riots, I predict, from Indonesia to Nigeria." Donatich was quoted in the New York Times as saying that "when it came between that and blood on my hands, there was no question."
At least he's honest. He doesn't want to print the cartoons because he is afraid to. Still, he might want to ponder the words with which Bawer concludes his book:
". . . there's no guarantee that Western Muslims, in meaningful numbers, will ever openly and actively champion freedom and defy jihad; to do so, after all, is alien to every value with which many of them were raised. But we certainly can't expect them to take a stand for liberty if the rest of us don't stand up for it ourselves."
Dan Delmar in The Suburban:
By Dan Delmar
Bruce Bawer left his native New York City in favour of Amsterdam because he wanted to escape rampant homophobia in the U.S. Instead, he says he found a different kind of discrimination in Europe.
The author of a number of books on religious fanaticism, his most recent work is Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom. Bawer argues that Europe is currently falling victim to a “silent Jihad,” a hidden holy war perpetrated by radical Islamists on Western, social-democratic values. Speaking at a conference last week organized by Islamist watchdog group Point de Bascule, Bawer warned Canadians to not be as complacent as their counterparts across the pond.
Radical Islam “is a subject that a few years ago, wasn’t on my radar. My goal was to write a book celebrating The Netherlands and Amsterdam,” Bawer told the audience. What he saw in major European cities were enclaved communities, ghettos, where residents were “subject to seventh century Islamic law. They could barely speak the language of the country they were born in, thanks to the generosity of the European welfare state.”
In Bawer’s works, he documents cases of European mullahs preaching hate for the values of their home countries, even advocating violence. He pointed to the uproar caused by the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed and cases of judges giving lighter sentences to murderers who commit “honour killings,” because the killer was acting within a different cultural prism.
“The Queen knighted Salman Rushdie, but also knighted a man who called for his death,” Bawer said. “They reject equality of the sexes in a thousand ways, both large and small… Islam has met multiculturalism and the world will never be the same.”
Conference organizer Marc Lebuis pointed out that Bawer puts his life in jeopardy by speaking out against Islamism; an ideology that seeks to engrain Islam in the political order. Bawer’s critics, including journalists who have reviewed his books, point out that it is sometimes hard to tell who exactly Bawer refers to in his writing and during his speeches; Islamist religious fanatics who support terrorism or non-violent, observant Muslims or both. At last week’s event at the Omni Hotel, Bawer described the religion of Islam as one that “insists on its own supremacy.” Often speaking in general terms — “they,” “them” — it was sometimes difficult to understand which group Bawer was criticizing.
Bawer said that Europeans, and Canadians, who preach a “live and let live” philosophy are not being true to their liberal roots.
“People going after Islam most often are associated with the right (wing),” he said. “The left doesn’t seem to know what liberal values are anymore and don’t recognize a threat to liberal values when it’s staring them in the face.”
Lynne Cohen in Jewish Tribune (pdf file; see page 12); saved here
Thom Nickels in the Philadelphia Bulletin:
“Do Muslims stone adulteresses?” Bawer asks, playing the part of the
multiculturist politician. “Well, we execute murderers. Does Iran imprison,
torture, and execute gays? Well, what about Guantanamo? Indeed, in recent
years the politically correct response to every criticism of Islam could be
summed up in those three words: ‘What about Guantanamo?’—the point being that
until the West itself is morally without blemish, no one has any right to
criticize even the most heinous crimes against humanity by any non-Western
individual, movement, group, or power.”
Once more, Bawer writes that these “PC” progressive governments have turned its major cities into houses divided against themselves.
“In those cities, all you had to do to travel from a modern, post-Enlightenment democracy to a strict patriarchy out of seventh century Arabia was to walk a few blocks,” he states, adding that this transformation “went almost entirely unmentioned in the American and European media.” The change, however, was first spotted in the Netherlands by Pim Fortuyn, author of “Against the Islamization of Our Culture,” and a candidate for the Dutch parliament. Fortuyn’s contention was that fundamentalist Islam was irreconcilable with Western democracy. He warned his countrymen to rethink government subsidization of Muslim schools, mosques and community centers. For this he was called a fascist and compared to Hitler. Fortuyn was later murdered by an extremist who didn’t like his views on immigration.
Left wing progressives and the European media explained that Fortuyn had it coming because he criticized Islam. Similarly, filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who had made a television film which featured a Muslim woman discussing how women were treated under Islam, was shot and killed (his throat slit) while riding a bicycle in downtown Amsterdam. Although van Gogh’s film was just revealing a well known truth, Dutch politicians, in the name of multiculturism, “were inclined to deplore van Gogh’s alleged ‘insensitivity’ to Muslim feelings.”
Van Gogh’s murder, Bawer says, “was proof not that Western Muslims needed to adjust to the realities of free speech but that Westerners needed to assimilate traditional Muslim limitations on speech.”
Bawer, an American who moved to Norway to be with his partner, says that the PC multiculturist mindset has so infected American journalism that “a moderate Muslim now denotes someone who might not stone an adulteress to death himself, but who would defend to the death another Muslim’s right to do so.” He cites several examples of The New York Times refusing to review books that attempt to explain or criticize the slow transformation of Europe into Eurabia. In one instance, he cites a New York Times profile of a famous American Inman that went out of its way to be fluffy and soft. (The Inman, Sheik Reda Shata, believes in suicide bombers if they target Israeli soldiers; he also refuses to shake the hand of any woman and thinks that music should be forbidden if it ‘encourages sexual desire’). “One could not easily imagine the Times running a profile of James Dobson or Pat Robertson that started out in quite this way,” he writes, referring to the Times profile that was more PR fluff piece than objective journalism. “No reporter would try to get away with it; no editor would accept it; readers would flood the Times with outraged e-mails asking why the liberal Times was apparently trying to get them to warm up to a fundamentalist.”
Bawer believes that “The pretentious, abstraction-ridden multicultural rhetoric” in today’s politically correct world of journalism “succeeds in whitewashing the execution of gays, apostates, adulterers, and rape victims, and in entirely removing from the picture of the Islamic world the victims of these abominations.”
He gives examples of how the Egyptian-based organization, The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood, seeks “to conquer the West not through terrorism but ‘through gradual and peaceful Islamization,’” the proof of that being the current state of Western Europe.
Not surprisingly, Bawer’s book has been criticized as “shrill” and “over reactive” by much of PC press, though that seems far from the truth when the author lays out the frightening, verifiable facts.
Thom Nickels can be reached at ThomNickels1@aol.com.