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.ca for 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.”