Muslims in the European mind

Andy Bostom opened my eyes to something last week when he said that the Europeans have been fed a notion of medieval Muslim Andalusia as diverse, tolerant, and culturally rich (though the reality was the opposite). Such brainwashing would explain the total inability of Europeans to think any critical thoughts about the burgeoning Islamic presence in their midst, since, like Communists captivated by the vision of a transformed world, they imagine that the Islamization of Europe is turning it into a new Andalusia, a multicultural flowering, an ideal society. But this raises a question. How—given the actual problematic and threatening reality of Muslims in Europe, and fact that on the social and personal level most white Europeans recoil from contact with actual Muslims—can the Europeans go on believing this ideal picture?

I would suggest that the Europeans are engaging in a more extreme version of what many liberals do vis à vis blacks in the U.S. In one part of their mind, liberals idealize blacks as the soulful oppressed victims about whom one must never think a judgmental thought, while, in the other part of their mind, they carefully organize their lives to have as little contact with blacks, certainly lower class blacks and angry activist blacks, as possible. In the same way, the Europeans with one part of their mind tell themselves that the Muslims are just marvelous, while with the other part of their mind they strictly avoid them. And somehow these two tendencies or thoughts never meet, so that the contradiction is never felt. Further, each white European probably focuses on a few “good” Muslims whom he knows as representing the way most Muslims “really” are or will become some day, while he sees the “bad” Muslims as just a temporary problem that will be fixed, and so it’s wrong to entertain negative thoughts about them, and it’s wrong to feel that the expanding Islamic presence in Europe represents anything to worry about.

I don’t know that this picture of the European mind is true. But it would help explain the mystery before us, in which the famous states and ancient peoples of Europe are facing a manifest threat to their very survival, which they refuse to talk about or even to see as a threat.

Another explanation is that the Europeans, far from engaging in Orwellian doublethink, are simply dead, their minds and spirits destroyed by mental subservience to Islam, as Bat Ye’or discussed in a post at VFR last summer.

A reader from England has yet a different explanation:

I think the Europeans still don’t seriously think about Moslems. They are too engrossed in their own lives of busy jobs, socialising, traveling and affluence. The threat of Islam is insulated by current affluence and the fact that the majority of the people do not feel actually threatened as yet. There is a kind of denial about their existence and a misplaced hope that they can be assimilated and will mellow by greater assimilation. How foolish. There is also a tendency to believe the liberal dogma, not out of recognition that it makes sense, but more out of intellectual laziness. People would rather not think about a problem which does not personally affect them just yet. It is a collective denial.

What a multiplicity of theories there are to account for the Europeans’ passivity in the face of Islam! One, that Europeans have been brainwashed to think of the Islamization of Europe as the onset of a new Golden Age; two, that Europeans have been dhimmitized into submission by fear and guilt (including the fear induced by political correctness); and three, that Europeans are happy consumers enjoying themselves too much even to notice the Muslims.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 20, 2005 11:43 PM | Send

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