Bruce Bawer thinks Europe has a problem with Islam and Leftism, and he’s not wrong. But Bawer is an American Neocon poster-child, a peer among a very influential cadre of authors fixated on some supposed “global” clash between fundamentalist Islam and Western Civ, such as Bat Ye’or, Robert Spencer, Andrew Bostom, Claire Berlinkski, Melanie Phillips, and Mark Steyn. In his best-seller book, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within (Anchor Books, New York, 2006), Bawer critiques the facilitation of Islamism in Europe by Leftist PC Elites, the rise of anti-Semitism, and the rapid growth of fascist populist groups. He strongly advocates American-style neoconservative solutions to these problems. The following paper provides a brief overview of Bawer’s assessment of these political movements, and then critiques his proposed methods to overcome anti-Semitism, fascism, Leftism, and Islamism in Europe.
The political and social reality of Europe today is characterized by the inundation of a foreign religion into the public sphere. Islam in Europe represents the re-insertion of an ultra-conservative patriarchal religion into European politics and public life after a long process of separating the traditionalist Christian religion from Western foundations, law, social relations, and public order in manageable ways conducive to individual rights and rule of law. But Islamism, with its literal reading of the Koran, its emphasis on collective religious identity, its insistence on the unity of public and private realms, and its anti-Westernism, is now pushing its way into mainstream secular Europe.
How did Islam arrive in the public sphere in Europe? Why are Europeans the recipients of the physically damaging aspects of Islam and the insidiously destructive processes of Islamization? Bawer explains in While Europe Slept that the European establishment Elites are 1968-era PC Leftists (cultural Marxists) who are responsible for initiating massive immigration from the Muslim world into Europe and for introducing segregating multicultural policies based on immigrant ethnic minority group rights, which have enabled distinct Sharia-abiding communities to arise all over Europe. As these separate Muslim communities grew and radical Islam developed, the Elites looked the other way while the establishment media glossed over any problems.
The Elites have taken no action against Islamism in Europe because they practice “Palestinianism” and are dhimmis, terms Bawer borrows from Bat Ye’or. Ye’or asserts that Palestinianism is a “modern European Judeophobia,” “a hate cult against Israel” based on a Third World ideology that developed in Latin America and came to Europe via the “Liberation theology” of the Church. Palestinians are portrayed as victims of Israeli oppression by “the church institutions, the media, and Eurabian networks” and have become the new Marxist force of revolution.1 Likewise, Melanie Phillips explains that:
the left alighted upon the Palestinians as the new proletariat whose cause could be championed as a weapon against Western society. Since the left demonizes America and Western capitalism, and lionizes the third world and all liberation movements, the Palestinian Arabs were a natural cause to be championed — victims of American imperialist power through the actions of its proxy, Israel.2
Bawer agrees with Ye’or and Phillips, stating that the “new anti-Semitism” in Europe is captured by the term “Islamophobia” — “Muslims are now the victims, Jews the Nazis.”3
The championing of the Palestinians and the demonization of Israel and America have brought Leftists and Islamists close together. The cultural Marxists have aligned themselves with Muslims in general against the Western establishment in what is called the “Black-Red alliance.”4 Bawer writes that this 68er-Islamist alliance is evident in such people as the Danish journalist Jacob Holdt, who said the Hizb ut-Tahrir radicals were:
‘the same bewildered, fanatical, idealistic, justice-seeking, sympathetic, angry, and, especially, dreaming young people we ourselves once were’; they share similar Marxist ‘analyses and criticisms of capitalism and Western democracy’ as well as opposition to American military intervention abroad.5
Leftists, Bawer says, explain all problems that exude from Muslim communities in Europe in neo-Marxist terms; they frame European discrimination and racism, American-led military interventions in the Middle East (particularly the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the controversies surrounding Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo, but also the oil-hungry interests of the West), in terms of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The Leftist European Elites are also what Bawer calls “Dhimmis”: “non-Muslims whose lands had been conquered by Arab Muslims” and who “‘flatter their oppressors’.” As they entered the European establishment in the 1970s, the 68ers began their overall capitulation to Islam (dhimmitude) with the advent of the post-OPEC crisis Euro-Arab Dialogue (EAD), a project that favoured massive Muslim immigration and the promotion of Islamic culture in Europe. This EAD is a “political, economic, and academic collaboration between the European establishment and Arab governments.”6 This project has led to an ever-increasing Islamic Europe: major and widespread construction of Islamic schools (madrassas) and mosques (some with loudspeaker calls to prayer), thousands of shrouded women in public, halal compliant school dinners and restaurants, mass Muslim prayers in the streets, segregation by gender in schools and university lectures, Islamic studies, Muslim-only neighbourhoods, capital cities being referred to as “Belgistan” or “Londonistan;” Muslim political parties in Europe calling for the Islamic State and Sharia Law, and Mohammed becoming the #1 baby name in several major European cities. Europe is being transformed into what Bat Ye’or calls “Eurabia” and the Leftist Elites are responsible.
European Elites endorse Islamic norms and values, adhere to Muslim intimidation (cartoon riots, death fatwas, murders, claims of Islamophobia), and enforce politically correct speech codes upon critics of Islam and Muslim immigration at the expense of local European populations. European dhimmi politicians and public figures also appease Islamism by underplaying the politico-ideological element in Islam, which is a main element of militant Islamic ideology. They repeat PC claims that militant Islamism, such as al Qaeda, ISIS, and other Muslim terrorist groups, have nothing to do with Islam because Islam is a “religion of peace.” They continually claim that the majority of Muslims in Europe are moderate and that Muslim culture enriches European nations. But Bawer disagrees. He claims there is no sizable moderate Muslim population in Europe, for if they do exist they are “a silent majority” in the face of Islamic terrorism; they may fear speaking up but unwittingly, with their silence, support death fatwas, Sharia law, the world Islamic State, and “practically speaking, they’re the radicals’ allies.”7
Although one can agree with a great deal of Bawer’s assessment of Islam in Europe and Leftist Elite complicity in this affair, While Europe Slept has key ideological faults that threaten European nativist cultural impulses. Let us now examine them.
Frankfurt School and American superiority
Like other Neocons, such as Melanie Phillips, Bawer fails to mention the pivotal role of the Frankfurt School on post-WWII developments or how it influenced 68er Leftism and formed the ideological core of European Leftism we see today. What he does say about the 68ers is that they were the European counterpart of the American New Leftists but, whereas the latter “moderated their views and rhetoric and began to deal pragmatically with the real world’s real problems,” the 68ers remained stuck in their childish anti-authoritarianism when they got into positions of power. He writes,
all too many of Europe’s 68-ers…continued to think, and behave, like protesting teenagers, savouring their reflexive, petulant opposition as a badge of honour.8
The assertion that the American New Leftists grew up and assimilated into the American establishment is plainly false because Leftist subversives have become the American cultural establishment as seen in American universities, schools, media, and PC governance. Yet this comparison of America with Europe, the superior “savior and protector” America to the inferior, backward, and dependent-on-America Europe, is arrogantly present throughout Bawer’s whole book. He thinks America has a superior economy, superior immigrant integration models, superior ideals, a superior nationhood, superior military prowess, a superior culture, superior rights, superior individuality, and superior self-awareness compared to Europe, and that Europe must emulate these supposed magnificent qualities in order to support and further American global supremacy.
WWII guilt and Leftist PC brainwashing
Among the darlings of the European Liberal Right, which include Pim Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is Lars Hedegaard, a Danish historian, journalist, critic of Islam, and co-author of In the House of War: Islam’s Colonization of the West (2003), who aptly explains for Bawer why ordinary Europeans and the elites are seemingly oblivious to the threat of Islamism. According to Hedegaard, Europeans now have an attitude like “a repentant criminal” and are “simply too willing to compromise their freedom.” Hedegaard thinks that Islamic extremism has been ignored by the European Elites not because of “snobbism or hippie nostalgia” but because of the “psychic devastation of the First World War” which paved the way for Communism and Nazism and produced atrocities that “placed upon Europeans an unbearable burden of guilt.” But, ultimately, it was the Nazis that “made Europe think it is doomed and sinful…and deserves what it has coming,” a psychic state which was then furthered by the Leftists who “re-educated” Europeans with pro-Muslim, anti-American and anti-Semitic propaganda and reared complacent Europeans who are ignorant to their dhimmi fate.9
Although Bawer thinks European Leftists are sympathetic to Islamists due to their similar anti-authoritarianism, he also fully agrees with Hedegaard. Overall, what Bawer suggests is that the contemporary psychological and national identity of Europeans is profoundly weak due to the guilt complex that arose out of European complicity in the 20th century “mass murder of Jews.” The 68er Leftists then exploited this vulnerable psychological state, indoctrinating Europeans with anti-war, anti-American, anti-Israeli, and pro-Muslim Leftist PC propaganda so that ordinary Europeans are now merely spineless puppets who mindlessly believe whatever the establishment tells them about Muslims, Israelis, and Americans. He claims Europeans have been programmed to perceive America
as a heartless, bloodthirsty imperial power, barely indistinguishable from Nazi Germany and certainly worse than the Soviet Union” and have been “repeatedly…told that America had asked for 9/11 — that the atrocity had been payback for American militarism, neocolonialism, capitalist exploitation, and support of Israel.
In comparison, Europeans have been brainwashed to think that Western Europe is different from the United States because they are
more tolerant, more peaceful, more respectful of its fellow nations, more sensitive to the problem of poverty in the Islamic world, more supportive of the Palestinian cause” and therefore not the target of Islamic extremism.10
Out of all of this, Bawer thinks that the psychological effects of guilt, political correctness, and the Leftist explanation for militant Islamic attacks on the West, have resulted in the refusal of Europeans to engage in any form of conflict that may insult, offend, or discriminate against the Muslim ‘Other’ even if hat means losing everything, including their freedom, identity, and heritage. He writes, the 68ers “have sought to make [Europeans] feel ashamed of their heritage, contemptuous of their freedom, and willing and eager to settle for any kind of ‘peace’ at any cost.”
Furthermore, Bawer laments that Europeans have opened the door to a return of anti-Semitism and will remain on their path to Eurabia, a situation that thwarts America’s striving for the spread of democracy. He writes, “the strongest potential ally” of America in its fight against the “tyranny of Islamism” is Europe but “[t]he advent of fundamentalist Islam in Europe — and the eagerness of many Europeans to placate it — is a threat to American democracy and global supremacy.”11
Although Bawer is not wrong in his assessment of how World War guilt and PC Leftism contributed to the weakening of European national identities and their facilitation of Islamism in Europe, the possibility does not seem to occur to him that many Europeans are not brainwashed but highly intelligent and capable of thinking for themselves, genuinely do not want to engage in war with foreign countries, actually do want to tackle Islamism in Europe but have no political representatives to serve these interests, are fed up with the eagerness of America’s moral mission to spread democracy and liberty throughout the Muslim world by military force and the repercussions this has had for Europe due to its close proximity to Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and honestly do not want to aid America in its quest for global supremacy.
While Bawer rails against the Leftist omission/dismissal of the politico-religious element within Islam he himself omits/denies the antagonistic effects of Western military intervention in Muslim countries on militant Islamism at home and abroad. Although he critiques the guilt complex that has arisen out of WWII and PC and vilifies the Leftists for degrading European national identities, he himself uses guilt-tripping language and trashes European peoples, history, and ethnic nationalities while attempting to compel European action against Islamism and aid American global hegemony. And although he vehemently condemns PC Leftism (Islamophobia) he himself imposes a Neoconservative style political correctness (anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism) upon the European peoples while discussing Israel, America, and anti-Islamism.
 Melanie Phillips, Londonistan (Encounter Books, 2006): 118
 Bruce Bawer, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within (Anchor Books, 2006): 140
 227, 229
 187, 220, 154-55
 231, 104