Fueling the strength of nationalist and populist movements throughout the West is the perception on the part of many citizens that their countries have been taken over by foreign invaders and that those in charge not only have no clue as to what to do about it but pretend there is no a problem.
This week, the mayor of one German city told citizens who complained of multiple assaults on women by residents of an immigrant hostel that they should just avoid the area. Being told that they could not walk freely in their own cities, and that the local authorities would do nothing to ensure that they can, did not sit well with the local burghers. Similar scenes are repeated weekly across Europe.
Not far from the beautiful shimmering glass and steel downtowns of Oslo and Stockholm, there are neighborhoods that look transplanted from the Third World, in which every white person immediately feels the hostile stares familiar to any Jew who has ever visited Hebron.
Earlier this year, Sweden's National Police Commissioner, Dan Eliasson pleaded for help on national TV, after warning that the police can no longer uphold the law. There are now 61 identifiable no-go zones to which the government writ does not extend.
The Swedish social welfare state always depended on a great deal of cultural homogeneity. That is now gone. Johan Patrick Engelau, a 2011 winner of Sweden's Order of the Seraphim Medal and an internationally recognized expert of destabilized countries, warns of "the end of the well-organized, decent and egalitarian Sweden we have known up until now. Personally, I would not be surprised if a form of civil war occurs. In some places, the civil war has probably already begun."
Meanwhile, the current feminist-leftist Swedish government refuses to even acknowledge the heightened danger to women and girls from Muslim immigrants, and the Swedish press goes along with suppression, until the façade can no longer be maintained – e.g., the nation's largest youth music festival announces that next year only women will be admitted to prevent rampant harassment.
WESTERN POLITICAL ELITES, charges Bruce Bawer, author of the 2006 bestseller While Europe Slept, would rather see children entrusted to their protection slaughtered than be accused of Islamophobia. Examples abound. A magistrate in Australia recently declared innocent a Muslim young man who had pleaded guilty to assaults on eight women and girls, citing "cultural differences" as the reason for his decision. In Rotherham, England local police allowed 1,400 young girls to be groomed and turned into chattel by local males of Southeast Asian descent (i.e., Pakistanis), over a period of years, rather than be accused of Islamophobia.
After every terrorist attack, the automatic elite response is to warn of a backlash against Muslims, as if the backlash – of which there have been precious few examples – is much more to be feared than the terrorism itself. After a Muslim suicide bomber blew himself up at an Ariana Grande concern in Manchester, England, killing nearly thirty young people, the immediate response was candlelight vigils whose chief programmatic recommendation was to celebrate "diversity" and deny the terrorists the victory they seek by sowing division.
But division is not what the terrorist say is their goal, and love is not the antidote. They are much more explicit. After the London Bridge truck ramming attack and subsequent stabbings of passersby, the perpetrators punctuated their knife thrusts with, "This is for Islam." "This is for Allah."
It does not matter whether such attacks are what Islam teaches. What matters is that it is what so many Muslims think Islam teaches and are prepared to act upon their views. And that is what makes Islamic radicalism – not general extremism – the problem. Refusal to address the ideological or religious dimension of modern terrorism ensures that effective countermeasures or prophylactic policies will never be undertaken. When those who dare to speak or write of the threat of radical Islam are shunned for using the word "Islamic" or, worse, subjected to prosecution for hate speech, we can be sure the problem will go unaddressed – at least, until the civil war of which Johan Patrick Engelau warned breaks out.
Why would any sane country open its borders to tens of thousands of Muslim immigrants from lands in which the radical ideologies predominate? Fareed Zakaria thinks it is a telling argument against immigration controls that most Islamic terrorism in the West is committed by second-generation, native-born Muslims.
Just the opposite, That shows the difficulty of assimilating new Muslim immigrants and their offspring. And the more immigrants who enter the more difficult that assimilation becomes. Today newcomers are almost certain to move to all Muslim neighborhoods, where jihadists and their fellow travelers are numerous. Muslim cultural norms are much easier to enforce in such neighborhoods, and make assimilation much harder. One-quarter of British Muslims say that they would like to see Sharia (Islamic law) imposed in majority Muslim neighborhoods, and only one out of three told pollsters that they would report known jihadists to the authorities.
These neighborhoods are ones of high-unemployment and petty crime. One-half of France's prison population is Muslim, though Muslims constitute only one-tenth of the population. And many young Muslims are radicalized in prison. In short, the phenomenon of Islamic radicalism feeds on itself.
WESTERN POLICE departments and intelligence services are overwhelmed in the battle to reduce the terrorist threat. Already in 2009, the head of Britain's intelligence service M15 testified to Parliament that he had only enough manpower at his disposal to keep an eye on the "crocodiles closest to the boat." And the magnitude of the threat has only increased since then.
But Western governments have also been reticent about using the tools at their disposal – in large part, out of hypersensitivity to the charge of Islamophobia. The type of surveillance of radical mosques once employed effectively by the NYPD under Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly (who was hounded out of office for his efforts) has not been undertaken. Few, if any, roadblocks are placed in the way of local Muslims returning from fighting in Syria or training with radical Islamic groups abroad.
It is almost impossible, in Britain, for instance, to extradite even those with documented ties to ISIS or Al Qaeda, and when asylum requests are denied, the government does little to ensure that those denied actually leave the country.
Jonathan Foreman recounts the backgrounds of the most recent United Kingdom terrorists in Commentary ("Terror and the Failure of the Liberal Imagination"). Youssef Zaghba, a Moroccan-born, Italian citizen, had recently been questioned by Italian authorities, on his way to join up with ISIS. He told them he was "going to be a terrorist," and was placed under round-the-clock surveillance. The Italian authorities warned their British counterparts when he flew back to London, but he was not questioned on his arrival and did not become a "subject of interest." Rachine Redouane was denied asylum in 2009, but never deported. And the ringleader, Khuram Butt, had long been associated with imprisoned cleric and notorious terrorist supporter Anjem Choudary. Butt appeared on a TV documentary about ISIS supporters. After assaulting a moderate imam for being "apostate," he was let off with a caution.
The Manchester suicide bomber, Salman Abedim had previously punched a girl in the face at university for wearing a short-skirt, hung out at a Muslim Brotherhood mosque, had adopted typical Islamist dress, and recently threatened another imam for being too moderate.
Foreman speculates that complaints from within the Moslem community about Abedi might have been ignored because the Prevent community-outreach program subsidized by the government operated on the supposition that only the radicals genuinely represent the community. Thus complainants who arrive at the police station might find themselves reporting to a bearded jihadist.
Perhaps nothing so captures the profound unseriousness of European elites about the terrorist threat within the gates than the calls in the immediate aftermath of the London Bridge attack for stricter gun control laws, even though the weapons in the attack were a truck and knives.
To the contrary, the best way to combat such attacks might have been to draw a lesson from Israel, which has also suffered from a large number of such attacks. In Israel, there are gun-toting soldiers and private citizens almost everywhere one goes, and over the years, they have both prevented numerous attacks and, in many cases, quickly "neutralized" the terrorists.
But then again Israelis have not yet given up the fight or become notably reticent about identifying their enemies.