Living in apocalyptic fear

By staff writers
13 Mar 2007

A new book presenting a paranoid vision of an Islamist-dominated Europe has climbed into the New York Times bestseller list.

Johan Hari, who writes for The Independent newspaper, has reviewed Mark Steyn's America Alone: the end of the world as we know it for New Statesman magazine this week (http://www.newstatesman.com/200703120047). Among other things, he takes apart its bogus demographics. He concludes:

Islamism (distinct from Islam) is indeed a fascistic menace, but Steyn offers a masterclass in how not to fight against it. True, he calls for Muslim moderation - but only after concluding that Muslim moderation is a contradiction in terms. He warns early in the book that "the religion [of Islam] itself is a political project - and in fact an imperial project". So why call simply for more moderate Muslim imperialism?

Steyn's true response to Islamism is to make democratic societies more like the one the Islamists want to build. "The Muslim critique of the west - that we're decadent vulgar narcissist fornicating sodomites - is not without more than a grain of truth," he writes, saying that the destruction of Europe's feminist and gay rights advances wouldn't especially bother him. ...

Europe cannot defeat the far-right poison of Islamic fundamentalism by turning to a parallel far-right mythology of its own. We have seen in the past invented conspiracies like the Protocols of the Elders of Mohammed peddled by Steyn. It is a startling indictment of the intellectual standards of the American right that they have welcomed this Eurabian fiction...

Also on Ekklesia: Making a meal of moderation? by Colin Morris; Christendom remains the Pope's real fallibility in his reponse to Islam; The veils governing our own thinking - Simon Barrow; Blair challenged on religious extremist crack-down.

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