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America – Worse Than Europe on Islam?
by Bruce Bawer
It seems long ago. When I wrote my 2006 book While Europe Slept, I was confident that America was all but immune to the forces that were bringing Europe down. In the book, I spoke of "a philosophical gulf" between Europe and the U.S. that "sometimes seemed as wide as the Atlantic itself." It was Europe that had appeased and buckled under to Hitler in the name of peace; it was Americans who had crossed the ocean to crush him in the name of freedom. On some level, Europeans still thought like serfs, viewing the state as their protector; in America, every man was a king, and the government worked for us. Europeans wouldn't give up their long vacations for anything; Americans didn't mind putting in long hours in order to get ahead. Europeans, seduced by multiculturalism, thought of themselves and others as members of groups; Americans saw everybody as an individual with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Europeans cherished their welfare states; Americans, their freedom.
As for Islam, Europe gave its Muslim newcomers everything, asked nothing, and encouraged and even welcomed separatist enclaves in which their so-called "new countrymen" could remain outsiders forever, in return for which the Europeans fully expected a lifetime supply of loving gratitude; the U.S., for its part, believed firmly in integration, for which it had always had a special gift, demanding that newcomers work, obey the law, learn the language, and respect the country's founding values, and in return genuinely viewed them as authentic Americans – as, indeed, did the newcomers themselves.
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