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Nothing To Fear
If you want to read a European book decrying Islam and Muslims, you have many to choose from. The dominant style on the continent is memoir, recounting the horrific experiences of a Muslim (or formerly Muslim) woman in her Islamic milieu. Infidel and The Caged Virgin, by former Dutch parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali, are the most familiar in this genre. The best-selling French titles speak for themselves: Dishonored; Mutilated; The Sold Ones and The Fatiha (both on forced marriages); Disfigured; Souad, Burned Alive; and Latya, Her Face Stolen.
Europe's anti-Islam sentiment may be expressed most visibly in memoirs because Europeans have been reticent to condemn Islam—or religion more generally—outright. Americans, however, seem to prefer a less subtle approach. In the United States, alongside the autobiographies, we find two kinds of direct attack on Islam: as a "gutter religion" (as Louis Farrakhan once described Judaism) and as a threat to our fundamental values—a threat that has already overrun Europe and is now heading this way.
Robert Spencer's The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran illustrates the first style of attack. I am interested in the second style. They're asleep; we're next—so we are warned in Bruce Bawer's While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within. We hear a similar message in his Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom; in Brigitte Gabriel's They Must Be Stopped; and Mark Steyn's America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It.
Perhaps these books are innocent, less about an animus against Islam than an expression of Americans' secret delight in knocking weak-kneed French and English politicians. Or maybe we simply prefer displacing our anxiety about Islam from the nice Pakistani surgeon next-door onto jihadists invading European cities.
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