SO-CALLED LIBERAL BOOK SECTION
Twice in the past week, The New York Times -- believed by some to be a monolithically liberal paper -- has reviewed books on the alleged Muslim menace in Europe (and, if the books are to be believed, in America as well, soon if not now). How did the Times respond to these books?
In last Sunday's Times there was Stephen Pollard's review of Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom by Bruce Bawer. Pollard wasted no time getting to the point. Sentence #1 of the review:
There is no more important issue facing the West than Islamism, Islamofascism or -- to use yet another label -- radical Islam.
Really? None? The economy? Climate change? Nothing?
Ah, but it's worse than we think:
... many liberals and others on the European left are making common cause with radical Islam and then brazenly and bizarrely denying both the existence of that alliance and in fact the existence of any Islamist threat whatever.
Yeah -- can you imagine them brazenly and bizarrely denying this when two-thirds of Europe is already under Sharia law? Oh, wait -- it isn't, is it?
Then on Thursday, Dwight Garner reviewed Christopher Caldwell's Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West. Here's Caldwell's primary argument, according to Gardner:
Through decades of mass immigration to Europe's hospitable cities and because of a strong disinclination to assimilate, Muslims are changing the face of Europe, perhaps decisively. These Muslim immigrants are not so much enhancing European culture as they are supplanting it. The products of an adversarial culture, these immigrants and their religion, Islam, are "patiently conquering Europe's cities, street by street."
Does Garner find this excessive? Not really:
Mr. Caldwell, a senior editor at The Weekly Standard and a columnist for The Financial Times, compiles his arguments patiently, twig by twig, and mostly with lucidity and intellectual grace and even wit....
Mr. Caldwell's book is well researched, fervently argued and morally serious.
So what are the signs of imminent surrender to Islamism in Europe? Given Caldwell's swell research, you'd think Gardner would have all sorts of scary facts to choose from. Instead we get the likes of this:
In Brussels in 2006, the seven most common given boys' names "were Mohamed, Adam, Rayan, Ayoub, Mehdi, Amine, and Hamza."
Which is true -- but in the Dutch region of Belgium they were 1. Nathan, Lucas, Noah, Louis, Thomas, Arthur, and Mohamed. In the Flemish region they were Milan, Wout, Lars, Daan, Senne, Robbe, and Stan. in the Wallonia region they were Nathan, Lucas, Noah, Hugo, Theo, Louis, and Tom.
"In the middle of the 20th century, there were virtually no Muslims in Western Europe," Mr. Caldwell writes. "At the turn of the 21st, there were between 15 and 17 million Muslims in Western Europe, including 5 million in France, 4 million in Germany, and 2 million in Britain."
Yeah, but what are the total populations of these countries? France: more than 60 million. Germany: more than 80 million. Britain: nearly 60 million. These are not Muslim majorities or anything close.
In the review of the Bawer book, we're also told about the prodigious research:
But it's when he turns to Europe that Bawer is able to provide example upon example of how the West is becoming its own worst enemy.
So again you expect a real lollapalooza when one is cited. Instead you get this:
He cites, for instance, the welcome offered by the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, to the Muslim cleric Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who supports suicide bombing and the execution of homosexuals. Livingstone proudly hugged Qaradawi in public at City Hall.
Let's see ... support for terrorists? Death penalty for gays? Sounds like Saudi Arabia to me. (Though with reference to the Saudis, we tend to prefer hand-holding and bowing to hugs.)
Why are these books winning the praise of The New York Times? Isn't there a vast right-wing media infrastructure out there to praise them?