Islam in the West

Islam in the West

Books discussed: The West’s Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations? by Tony Blankley; Breaking the Silence: French Women’s Voices from the Ghetto by Fadela Amara, with Sylvia Zappi,
translated and with an introduction by Helen Harden Chenut; The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam by Ayaan Hirsi Ali; While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within by Bruce Bawer; Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis
by Bat Ye’or.

BOOKS DISCUSSED IN THIS ESSAY
The West’s Last Chance:
Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations?
by Tony Blankley
Regnery Publishing, 2005 256 pp $16.95

Breaking the Silence:
French Women’s Voices from the Ghetto
by Fadela Amara, with Sylvia Zappi
Translated and with an introduction by Helen Harden Chenut
University of California Press, 2006 186 pp $16.95

The Caged Virgin:
An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam
by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Free Press, 2006 208 pp $19.95

While Europe Slept:
How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within
by Bruce Bawer
Doubleday, 2006 256 pp, $23.95

Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis
by Bat Ye’or
Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2005, 384 pp, $23.95 paper

The Force of Reason
by Oriana Fallaci
Rizzoli, 2006, 290 pp $19.95

OVER THE LAST few years, the world has watched jihadist assassinations on the streets of Amsterdam, civilian slaughter in Madrid and on the London Underground, France’s car-and-vanities bonfire, and the global assault on Denmark after one of its newspapers dared to depict the Prophet Muhammad in a derogatory cartoon. For ordinary Europeans who pride ourselves on our multiculturalism and tolerance, the continent seems stranger and sadder. The windows of my apartment in London stare out toward the scene of a recent suicide-murder, and when they are open on a summer morning, the low wailing of a muezzin can be heard clearing the air. On the streets and in the mosques outside, jihadi young men distributing “death to democracy” leaflets subtly clash with young Muslim feminists who want an open, liberal Islam. Kaffiyas and headscarves contrast with makeup and wonderbras in a bewildering Islamic cacophony.

At last, books have appeared to try to fit these changed streets, scattered battles, and stray bombs into a broader intellectual context. They fall, broadly, into two schools. The first presents Europe’s fight as a Huntingtonian “Clash of Civilizations,” a war between democratic Europe and the fifteen million indigestible Muslims it has, they believe, foolishly imported from undemocratic countries. Some even predict—as Ronald Reagan’s former staffer Tony Blankley puts it—that “as hyper-tolerant, or even self-loathing, Europeans are confronted by intelligent, hyper-aggressive Muslims, a Darwinian life-or-death struggle will result in the death of European culture.”

The second school believes that this conservative analysis is a betrayal of democratic Muslim immigrants, a rebuke to the millions who have become Europeans and cannot be casually counted in the camp of jihad. They believe this is a civil war within the Muslim ...


Wurgraft | University of California Press Lima