1. Europe is on fire. It has been for some time. Roughly half a century after World War II, it is being conquered, by degrees, with no battle. That last terrible war destroyed the national idea and made Western-style democracy vulnerable to the dangers that threaten its existence with no real ability to cope with them.
The intellectual elite that once held those societies together is now working hard to destroy them. Sophisticated ways of thinking are being employed to keep these societies from defending themselves. Europe does not know how to deal with the millions of Muslims who do not want to integrate into Western society and do not accept Western codes, and some of whom state openly that their goal is Europe’s defeat.
Sweden is perhaps the most fascinating case of all. It is there that Western liberalism reached its peak in its willingness to take in millions of immigrants (almost 2 million out of less than 10 million), most of them Muslims. The legal system, the media and the welfare system, among others, have mobilized to promote acceptance of the other, the different, the persecuted. But the blood-drenched rioting that has been going on in Stockholm in recent weeks creates the impression that all that acceptance was in vain. The situation in France, where suburban areas are described as powder kegs, is much worse.
2. In 2005, during the riots in France, the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut said in an interview with Haaretz, “In France, they would like very much to reduce these riots to their social dimension, to see them as a revolt of youths from the suburbs against their situation, against the discrimination they suffer from, against the unemployment. The problem is that most of these youths are blacks or Arabs, with a Muslim identity. Look, in France there are also other immigrants whose situation is difficult — Chinese, Vietnamese, Portuguese — and they’re not taking part in the riots. Therefore, it is clear that this is a revolt with an ethno-religious character.”
He added that to see the hatred and violence only as a reaction to French racism was “to be blind to a broader hatred: the hatred for the West, which is deemed guilty of all crimes.” France was exposed to it then. Sweden and London are being exposed to it now, or previously. Who remembers?
People were appalled by the beheading of the British soldier in broad daylight on a London street. But what are they going to do about it? The murderers converted to Islam several years ago and underwent a rapid transformation. That must never be mentioned; anyone who talks about it will be branded a racist. Incidentally, the French left wing attacked Finkielkraut after his interview with Haaretz, forcing him to retract his statements. He even joined the Geneva peace initiative. Maybe that is why very few intellectuals repeat his accurate observations openly. Nobody wants to get into trouble with the thought police.