It is now well known that the eve of New Year 2016 was the setting for mass sexual assaults against women in Europe - most infamously in Cologne, Germany, but not there alone. The attackers were Muslim males, so-called "refugees" drawn by liberal European policies.
Douglas Murray at Gatestone Institute writes:
[German Chancellor Merkel's] policies only make sense if the German government has in fact been taken over by a cabal of people intent not on holding Germany together but on pulling it entirely apart. Consider the evidence.
There can be few other explanations for why Chancellor Merkel's government last year let in more than one million people (about 1.5% of the current German population) without having any idea of who they were, where they came from or what they think. No democratic leader could possibly push through such a startling measure. How else can you explain why a country that in the 20th century had such a gigantic anti-Semitism problem, would import so many people from those areas of the world which, in the 21st century, now have the same gigantic anti-Semitism problem? ...
The article continues:
More up-to-date, it is worth considering events since New Year's Eve. As the world now knows, that was when around 100 women [now more like 600 - a63] were subjected to rape, harassment and sexual molestation by a huge crowd of migrants in the centre of the city of Cologne. It has now emerged that the first response of the Cologne police to this major incident was to hold back information about the identity of the attackers. ...
When Germans demonstrated to protest the official malfeasance, Germany suddenly discovered its zeal for law and order and produced 1,357 police officers who had not been in evidence on New Year's Eve. Germans demanded to know, "Where were you on New Year's?"
Last weekend it happened that I had a dinner date with a woman from, of all places, Germany. Mostly we talked about the things middle-aged people talk about on a date - families, jobs, past relationships, the awkwardness of dating - but I couldn't resist asking her about the recent events in Köln.
She sighed and shook her head and looked down at the table. "Well, you know, it is Germany, and we are still thinking about the Holocaust." She elaborated that "other countries have done bad things, too - you know, look at America and the Indians." She went on to complain that "every film you see about Germany, is about the Nazis." (Actually the last film about Germany that I saw was The Lives of Others, but never mind.)
I think her reaction was pretty typical of the intelligentsia - the European and American liberal elite - in its various obfuscations. There is 'white guilt' (or its special case, 'German guilt'); there is moral relativism; and there is an air of resignation and fatalism.
Murray's article at Gatestone wryly concludes, "... the best explanation of the behaviour of the German government is that it has been taken over some time ago by British Euro-sceptics, intent on finally bringing the EU to this dismal end." The comment is ironic, but I think there's more than a grain of truth to it: there really does seem to be a subconscious, self-destructive element at work here.
I don't know why the Western world has been so blind to the threat of fundamentalist Islam. Is there some romantic notion of the "noble savage" here? (Or a secret erotic fascination with his wildness and violence?) Maybe it's simply a distorted notion of "liberalism" - an eagerness to prove one's own "tolerance" by tolerating the most outrageous things.
Real liberalism - the liberalism of the Enlightenment, of reason and of the dignity of humankind - takes hard work to defend it; moral work, intellectual work, and sometimes work in the streets. It calls for tolerance, but it also calls for knowing that certain things must not be tolerated. It calls for an awareness that each citizen of the State is equal before the law, with equal rights and equal responsibilities - and equally responsible for his own actions.
If civilization means anything at all, it means the right of men and women to walk safely in their own town without fear of being brutalized by lawless fanatics. Europe has this chance to prove that it can defend civilization - and this chance may be its last.