Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
Islam Versus the West
on November 24, 2014
America Alone is about the probability that America will soon be a lone force against militant Islam. Israel does not figure in because the book is about Western powers, not Middle-Eastern. America Alone is about the attempted ‘reprimitivisation’ of the world by Islam and why America is poised to be the only Western power left in a position for resisting it (xi.) Given the widespread apathy and denial in the West, it is unlikely that the people who need to read a book like this will get around to it in time. An obsession with American Idol is not commensurate with a will to prevail (pp. 175, 176.) Too many of us want to enjoy freedom without having to fight for it (p. xxii.) Steyn’s imaginative style, however, has probably helped to make his book attractive to many readers who otherwise would not have touched it. Saddam Hussein’s followers are called ‘Saddamites’ (p. 156.) An erudite obstructionist is nicknamed ‘Monsieur Sophisticate’ (p. 115.) A turncoat who was once a ‘Great Thinker’ is termed a ‘great gasbag’ (p. 48.) Islam as a ‘religion of peace’ is an ‘implausible mantra’; Islamic Wahhabism is a ‘religion of pieces’ (p. 79.) This fresh way of expression makes the subjects of demography, socialism, and multiculturalism go down like happy pills instead of like spoonfuls of cod liver oil. Couple the inventive vocabulary with occasional bouts of sarcasm and extended metaphor, and you have charming composition. Some books on current events will stress you out by their staleness. This one puts you in a relaxing mood so you can be taught. Imaginative prose is a great draw—magnetic enough to draw some deniers in who would rather ignore, if they can, the truth that they don’t want, and need, to hear.
Mark Steyn reminds us of when citizens began to voice their concerns about immigrants taking their cities over (p. xvii.) I remember some of those conversations back in the ‘70’s. Now, in Britain, such takeovers are a present day reality. In some towns, Muslims maintain their dominance by intimidation, and, if necessary, even by assault and street violence. Tony Blair calls the changing demographic a ‘subterranean conversation’ (p. xviii.) Even a well known ‘multiculturalist ideologue,’ then, admits that a takeover is underway. Before this book was updated in 2008, Oxford was already being asked to welcome Islam’s call to prayer over loudspeakers from the domes (p. xv.) Maybe that is happening by now. I am afraid to check. The Muslim push has been on for a long time, and is getting more brazen. On 9/11, many years ago now, Muslim youth rampaged through northern England in celebration of the terror strikes (p. 46.) Because Islam is a religion, not an ethnic group, it is a global network (p. 62.) Its ideology is bankrolled by Saudi oil (p. 69) and its people are not open to ‘pluralism.’ The rule in Islam is ‘subjugation.’ Even the ‘moderates’ admit that (p. 78.) Islamic law has been on the ascent for decades in many nations (p. 202.) It is being taught in some American high schools. The material includes ‘the superiority of jihad’ and a ‘Judgment Day’ during which the Muslims will slay the Jews (p. 72.) That does not seem like ‘moderate’ teaching. When you map out the various peoples that the Muslims are terrorizing, you will get the impression that Islam has set itself against the rest of the world (p. xxxiii.) Since this book was written, even China has had to deal with its rebellions and massacres. Who’s next? North Korea? When that happens, nobody dare say that this fight with Islam is not a world war.
We are dealing with a religion whose adherents welcome death with a readiness that should make us fret (p. xxxviii.) It is an incoming culture that is populated mostly by youth (p. xxxii), that steers clear of books and learning (p. 16), that, religiously, is into ‘political motivation’ more than ‘spiritual contemplation’ (p. 100), and that does not share with us a philosophy of common humanity. For example, it is inconceivable that Muslims would suspend fighting at Christmastime, as German and British soldiers did in 1914 during trench warfare (p. 143.) We have seen the proof of this as recently as 2014 when Palestinians broke cease-fire after cease-fire against the Israelis. We are dealing with a primitive, inhumane mindset. In some ways, today’s Muslims are even more inhumane than they were in the days of Muhammad. ‘The ‘jilbab’ (head to toe covering for women) might not predate the disco era (p. 74.) If sixty percent of Muslim Brits want sharia to be imposed in Britain (p. 76), it is not wrong to not qualify the word ‘Muslim’ in all that has been said in this paragraph. A man owning and operating a cell phone can believe that shaking the hand of an infidel will cause his penis to disappear (p. 140.) This anecdote (the substantiation of which I have from ultra Muslim-accepting CBC Radio hosts) encapsulates what we are dealing with: the scary combination of crude beliefs and modern adaptability. Understandably, CBC left out of that conversation the fact that those who believed in the urban legend were Muslim.
Britain’s influence over the world has a lot to do with having been the first nation to ‘conquer infant mortality’ rates (p. 6.) While Western peoples have nearly quit reproducing, Muslims are repopulating themselves wherever they live or go (pp. 2, 10, 40, 53.) Rising generations in the West are, or will be, largely Muslim, and Muslims are at odds with the ways and freedoms of traditional Westerners (p. xlii.) It is the tradition among Muslims to extract tax money from their infidel neighbors whenever they can (pp. 83, 164, 165.) Until they can do it by an imposed jizya, they will do it by populating the welfare ranks. Is it reasonable to count on Muslim immigrants, then, to pay for all of those welfare programs that Western offspring will be too few in number to subsidize by themselves? (pp. 43, 114, 115, 189.) Large numbers of immigrants end up being beneficiaries of welfare, not contributors (p. 190)—this, in addition to all the ‘junkies’ on ‘state narcotics’ that we already support (p. 47.) There seems to be coming a perfect storm: Western welfare systems collapsing in the midst of a rising immigrant population that is balky, if not downright militant.
What happens in Europe is something to watch and learn from. Troubles over there eventually find their way over here. Brussels, the EU capital, has a caucus that is mostly Muslim (p. xii.) The Archbishop of Canterbury is open to accepting sharia in the United Kingdom as an alternative law (p. xiv.) Headscarves or even ‘full abaya’ uniforms (again, the head to toe coverings for women) are common sights now in some of the most liberal cities in the world: Amsterdam, Marseilles, Vienna, and Stockholm (p. 21.) In Paris a gay mayor was nearly stabbed to death by an anti-gay Muslim (p. 179.) In Spain, shortly following the infamous train bombings, no less, the traumatized Spaniards voted in a party committed to appease, rather than oppose, the terrorists responsible for the carnage (pp. 36.) That was nothing less than jihad toppling a European government (p. 37.) Can an apologetic attitude toward terrorists be the right approach? The will for war is diminishing all over the West. The so-called ‘exit strategy’ that politicians debate is a good definition of this weak will (p. 169.) Though the USA has more resolve against Muslim fanaticism than democracies abroad, its resolve is on the decline too. The foolish accommodations that are made to whining Muslims are revealing of this weakness. In California, the Crusaders agreed to rename their football club. But Muslim teams called the Intifada and Sword of Allah did not have to return courtesy (p. 158.) Muslims are being appeased practically every time I turn on the news or crack open a pundit’s book. Each example underlines our unwillingness to stare down oppression. Each instance of oppression by the moderates is a sign of solidarity with the fanatics. We cave in to the demands of moderates. We issue subpoenas instead of death warrants to jihadists (p. 161.) Appeasement of Muslims is just part of the Western spirit of accommodation that has grown out of our politically correct culture. The derangement is unbelievably strange: emasculating a lion on a coat of arms to satisfy female soldiers in Sweden (p. xxiii); replacing the traditional designations ‘father’ and ‘mother’ on birth certificates in Spain (p. 10); selling toilets with alarms that go off when their seats are raised in order to feminize men in Germany (p. 180.) Sensitivity indoctrination is geared mostly in favor of Muslims, though: getting rid of ice cream cones in Burger Kings across Britain because the swirls on the lids look like the word ‘Allah’ in Arabic (p. xlvi); removing Jews and Hindus from a Muslim’s jury trial in London (p. 38); making students in California practice the Muslim faith to promote awareness (p. 66); granting a Muslim inmate special meats for his feast-days in Boston (p. 82); advising police officers in Brussels to hide their coffees during Ramadan (p. 123); suspending the flying of England’s flag in prisons because the crusading emblem on it might offend Muslim jailbirds (p. 197.) The reason for Muslim favoritism is the fear of, not respect for, the Muslim faith. It is a disturbing, dangerous trend to give in to ‘resurgent Islam.’ The trend is more worthy of worry than global warming (p. xxvi.) “That’s how great nations die—not by war or conquest, but bit by bit, until one day you wake up and you don’t need to sign a formal instrument of surrender because you did it piecemeal for the last ten years” (p. 197.)
Accommodation, political correctness, appeasement—these are nearly synonymous terms; their practice issues from the multicultural ethic. America Alone, if it is anything—and it is many things—is a primer on multicultural madness. When a nation waters down its national identity in order to be inoffensive and polite to immigrants, the immigrants will retain their ‘cultural loyalty’ and undervalue their new ‘nominal citizenship’ (p. xvi, xxxv.) Or (which outcome could be worse), “multiculturalism makes a nation no more than a holding pen” (p. 202.) There you are in your new holding pen where no values and identity are held up for you to cling to and be dignified by. You get to squawk about whatever you do not like and the state will be sensitive to your every complaint. A society that is ‘sensitive to the insensitive’ and ‘tolerant of the intolerant’ will be taken advantage of (p. 158.) Agreeing to wear gloves before you hand the Muslim detainee his Koran is to agree that you are the unclean infidel that he claims you are and it ‘validates his bigotry’ (p. xliv.) A host country should not assimilate with the immigrant, but vice versa (p. 74.) Multicultural sensitivity toward the Muslim is the way to sharia (xlvi.) In a multicultural society, ‘laws and customs’ bow ‘before the gods of boundless multicultural tolerance’ (p. 134.) In short, multiculturalism acts like so: “Decapitate us, and our politicians rush to the nearest mosque to declare that ‘Islam is a religion of peace’” (p. 200.) The last chapter is the part of the book that covers the multicultural topic most densely. I doubt that this subject is covered with more acumen by another author.
It is hard enough to fathom that a person, even one raised in ignorance and indoctrinated to love death, would want to remain a Muslim. It is harder by far to understand why someone would want to become one. Many persons are converting to Islam and even to the most savage of its cabals. Much needed information on why is supplied here by Steyn. The worldview that promotes the fallacy that all cultures are equally acceptable has no identity to offer (xxi, 90.) If the choice comes down to being a confident Muslim or a cringing European, the former option will have a wide appeal (p. 90.) Some ‘Western females’ convert because they find feminism, the popular status quo for women, ‘degrading and unworthy’ of womanhood (p. 94.) As for converts who go all the way into Islamism, or bloody persecution, they join because their new identity comes with a license to ‘lie, cheat, steal, rape, kill’ and because to them, that is all cool and hip (pp. 67, 120, 203.) A sense of purpose and belonging, together with an invitation to swagger among thugs—that, for a certain kind of lad, is better and more glamorous than being a nobody who believes in nothing for certain.
“It’s at the intersection of these statistics—religious, demographic, terrorist—that a dark future awaits” (p. 65.) In other words, what can be done with Islam? What can be done with the ideology itself? The reformation of Islam is the only resolution, says Mark Steyn, which is only for Muslims to do (p. 205.) We may facilitate reform by not funding mosques anymore (p. 206) and by supporting the subjects of potential dissent within Islam: Islam’s unhappy, persecuted female population (p. 205.) But Steyn, at this late point, is no longer cognizant of what he wondered about way back on page 82. What if jihadism is the reform? And what about his opinion on page 86 that Muslims who are deemed ‘moderate’ are probably just ‘quiescent,’ which polls and observations indicate is true? Moderates are dormant members of Islamic orthodoxy; as such, they favor a return to the rough and rude religion of old more than they let on. There may be some moderate Muslims or some Muslims who want to be moderate, but there is ‘no moderate Islam’ (p. 88.) To reform Islam from what it fundamentally is, every mosque would have to be overthrown and every Koran would have to be altered. Well, nearly every church has been overthrown by higher criticism and nearly every King James Bible has been replaced by a weaker version; so this kind of reform may be possible, after all. It might take more than a century to achieve this, however; jihad is coming on too thick and fast for that.
It is secularism that has left a gaping hole in the soul that Islamism is on the spot to fill (p. 101.) It is this spiritual death that preceded the demographic decline (p. 111.) Muslims are here to offset our low birth rate. Islam is here to fill the spiritual vacuum. Churches, by and large, will not criticize Islam, much less preach, even when Muslims terrorize (p. 96.) Churches that get noticed for no other reason than their take on homosexuality have become irrelevant impotent (pp. 98, 99.) “Pre-modern Islam beats post-modern Christianity” (p. 100.) That is an accurate evaluation. Churches and Christians do not stand for anything anymore. There is much for a Muslim or a seeker to hate about America and the West, especially the lewd lifestyles that are proudly practiced and put on display (p. xxxix) and which the pastors of churches, incidentally, no longer censure. Our takeaway from all of this is that the visible Church and the Western world have become repulsive enough that even Islam, with its cruelty of Sharia Law and its many persecuting arms, is a religion that Muslims are willing to keep and that lost people will seriously consider when it comes time for them to belong. A reformation of the evangelical Church would occasion revival and sweep followers of Allah into the arms of Christ. This is what we need for the present evil tide to shift. There are no signs of Church reform on the horizon, though. Until there are, this reformation called ‘jihadism’ will have to be fought with natural resources, to a great extent. Converts to Christianity are few these days. The stories of multitudes of Muslims ‘coming to faith’ always come from distant places, and these ‘revivals’ never check out as genuine when one researches them. We can continue to believe that Muslim terrorists kill because of the plight of the poor among their ranks and tribes and that we must help to get the message out that they need more social services (p. 210.) But that is not their message, even if they say that it is. Their message is the next head they sever (p. 151.)
This book, or another like it, is a necessary one to read. Good radio programs transmit what we need to know about our changing moral and political landscape. But sometimes we should go through a detailed survey that explains these things in a systematic way. America Alone is not flawless. The name of God is carelessly thrown around a couple of times (pp. 154, 184.) There is one incomprehensible sentence (p. 134.) Despising is said to be worse than hating, which makes little sense (p. 197.) Steyn says that Muslim fertility rates will be in decline by 2050 (p. 19) and that “much of the planet will be uninhabited long before it’s uninhabitable” (p. 7.) How can he know such things? There are two instances of insensitivity too. It is insensitive to speak of a woman as one who ‘croaked’ (p. 113) and of 9/11 as the “unfortunate business with the planes and buildings and so forth” (p. 4.) Pundits, to be sassy, often end up trivializing tragedy. This is one reason I do not read their books much. Here is another. Pundits, even the social conservative ones like Steyn, slip into the use of unclean connotations and vocabulary (pp. 35, 142, 168.) America Alone, though, is too important, too insightful, still too relevant eight years after its publication to not highly recommend. Much of what is written in it is coming true. Many more informed guesses will shortly come to pass. Because of our weak will and denial of reality, Islamism will ‘destroy one day…on an epic scale’ (p. 152.) The chance we have of stopping that from happening depends on whether we believe it or not.