A refugee from Afghanistan receives a rose during a demonstration against violence in Cologne (Photo: Getty)

    The EU’s problem with Islam

    23 March 2016

    The Spectator recently carried an article by Ivar Arpi concerning the extent to which the Swedish authorities have been hiding the truth about sex attacks on native Swedish women. The majority of these attacks have been carried out by Muslim immigrants. The German authorities were concealing similar attacks until the truth was forced on the world during New Year’s celebrations in Cologne. And even so, the response of the mayor of Cologne was to say that women should keep their distance and avoid provoking men — as though indigenous German men were in the habit of assaulting women in public. And it was not until some of the victims of the Rotherham rape gangs spoke out that the police and local authorities were forced to acknowledge what had been happening there — and not only there — to vulnerable girls targeted by gangs of Muslim men.

    Almost uniformly on the left, the cause of racial and religious tension is identified as the racism of our indigenous European people, who allegedly respond with aggression to any ‘lifestyle’ that’s different from theirs. If you step out of line, and suggest that the culture of an immigrant community might in fact contribute to criminal behaviour, you will be branded a racist — a fault for which accusation is proof of guilt. And if you express outrage at crimes committed by Muslims against women, and hint that Islam might have something to do with it, you will be accused of ‘Islamophobia’, a disease that apparently swept across the entire western world on 11 September 2001, causing fear and trembling among Muslims, who can hardly be blamed if they sometimes overstep the mark in reacting to it.

    It is true that ordinary people oppose the immigration of other communities when those communities arrive with strange customs and strange gods. They are on edge until there is proof that the culture of the arrivals is compatible with their own. This fear is felt by people on the left just as much as by those on the right. But the great difference between left and right, in every matter that impacts on our survival, is that the left turns against us, whereas the right believes that, on the whole, we are not to blame for wanting to hold on to our way of life.

    We saw this in the days when everyone was afraid of nuclear war. The left insisted that we were to blame by arming ourselves against the threat and that the Soviet Union was simply responding to our aggressive gestures. The right argued that when someone seems to be threatening you it is best to build up your defences. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was an expression of fear — fear of the unknown, translated into aggression against the known. But this aggression against ourselves creates yet more fear in turn. Aggression from the left is hard to bear, since it always involves an accusation of sinfulness and a large measure of contempt. Its targets will have to put up with every kind of nasty label — racist, fascist, sexist and whatever imagined ‘phobia’ serves the agenda of the day — and will be hard pushed to hold on to a job as a policeman, a teacher or a government official. It is this fear in response to fear that is now leading the authorities all across Europe to hide the truth about the sexual crimes of Muslim immigrants.

    Those who silence discussion are not, as they would think, defending the dignity of their Muslim fellow citizens. On the contrary, they are showing contempt for the many Muslims who are just as outraged by what is happening as we are. To show real respect for our Muslim citizens is to hold them to the same standard as we hold ourselves. And to those who seem to reject that standard we should put the vital questions: do you wish to belong to a civilisation in which women are in the public arena on equal terms with men? Do you wish to live under a shared rule of law, with those whom some of you regard as infidels? And what does your faith tell you about women and how they should be treated? Those questions should have been asked a long time ago and our welcome should have depended on the answers. But that is no reason not to ask them now and respect for our Muslim fellow citizens surely demands that we do so.