The implosion of European society and civilization, let alone civility, is something that we were decrying already fourteen years ago on this Blog. Nietzsche saw right: sooner rather than later, the values of Christianity would lead to a cannibalistic feast of guilt and penitence and further to a lunge for atonement that would enervate and emasculate the European will to power - with the consequent unstoppable spread of defeatism hiding as pacifism, the meekness of lambs allowing themselves to be enslaved and then slaughtered by the Muslim Beast, that we are fretfully witnessing now.
It seems almost bizarre if not paradoxical for us to concede with apprehension and fear that only the coming to power of extreme right-wing powers in Europe can save it from its frantic suicidal, Christian-induced hankering for the politics of atonement.
This is the rotten fruit of decades of mismanaged immigration and a mealy-mouthed failure to reckon with the limits of multiculturalism. Most of the perpetrators aren’t white nationalists. Nor, although the useful idiots of the upper-middle-class left clog the streets and the airwaves, are they environmental catastrophists, angry vegans, or adepts of the trans cult. They are Europe’s fastest-growing religious minority, and its largest bloc of social conservatives: Muslims.
Europe’s left sees the postcolonial world as a moral playground, but liberal Europe has become a stage for the Islamic world’s communal conflicts. The canary in this coal mine wasn’t Jewish; he was an Indian-born British Muslim. The riots, death threats and parcel bombs that followed the publication of Salman Rushdie’s 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses” led European governments to adopt a three-pronged approach. They defined Islamism as a security issue. They tried to reduce fundamentalism by integrating Muslim communities. And they tried to reduce friction by stigmatizing and suppressing the concern of the liberal-minded majority as “Islamophobia.”
The partial success of these policies amounts to failure. Immigration, much of it illegal, has topped up Europe’s reservoir of Islamists, and some of them have committed terrorist atrocities. When governments endorse Islamist gatekeepers as communal interlocutors, as the British did with the Muslim Association of Britain in the early 2000s, they make it harder for Muslims to assimilate. Polish and Hungarian nationalists boast that they don’t have migrant or terrorist problems because they defy the EU on accepting immigrants. Western Europeans, moderate Muslims included, face the consequences of their governments’ institutionalized sanctimony and cowardice.
The French state is already in a struggle with the descendants of its North African colonial subjects. The first pro-Palestinian march after Oct. 7 was so alarming that Emmanuel Macron’s government banned further demonstrations. This didn’t prevent thousands from marching in Paris on Saturday, where they were exhorted by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the communist leader of a resurgent left bloc. When people ignore the law and cheer on mass murder, which is what “Free Palestine” and “From the River to the Sea” mean, there is no doubt who controls the streets. Even before last summer’s riots, polls showed that in a 2023 rematch of the 2022 presidential runoff, voters would choose the ex-fascist Marine Le Pen over Mr. Macron.
“If we are able to deport Hamas supporters, we must do this,” Germany’s interior minister, Nancy Faeser, said Oct. 20. Ms. Faeser sounds like a member of the hard-right Alternative for Germany, which topped German polls for the first time in early October, but she is a Social Democrat running scared of the voters and her own party’s policies.
Ministers in Britain’s floundering Conservative government also talk tough for similar reasons. Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, has told Home Office officials to look into revoking the visas of foreigners who commit anti-Semitic acts or praise Hamas. Perhaps the Home Office can also look into why it gave British citizenship to Hamas leader Muhammad Sawalha. Mr. Sawalha, who was named a co-conspirator in a 2004 money-laundering indictment handed up by a Chicago federal grand jury, is an organizer of London rallies where participants call for “intifada from London to Gaza” and chant the Quranic verse about Mohammed’s extirpation of the Jews of Khaybar. U.K. media are especially offended that the British state gave Mr. Sawalha a discount on his mortgage.
Many Western Europeans aren’t personally invested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In May, YouGov Eurotrack polling across seven European countries found that the conflict matters “not very much” or “not at all” to 73% of Germans, 56% of Britons and 47% of the French. Europeans are, however, deeply concerned about immigration, terrorism, law and order, and overcrowding in welfare, housing, schools and hospitals. The Tunisian suspect in the Swedish soccer fans’ killing was still in Brussels three years after a Belgian court ordered his deportation.
Support for Europe’s nationalist and anti-immigration parties has risen for three decades. Establishment figures such as the archbishop of Canterbury call this democratic movement the return of fascism. Governments can tighten Europe’s already restrictive speech laws, as the head of London’s police suggested in response to calls for “jihad” in London, but they can’t escape a reckoning, socially or electorally, for their failure to control their borders and assimilate their immigrants.
Mr. Green is a Journal contributor and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.