There is a new form of jihad to fear—one that threatens the very values on which our freedom rests
Bruce Bawer’s While Europe Slept sounded the alarm about the dire impact of Muslim immigration in Europe. Now, in Surrender, he reveals that a combination of fear and political correctness has led politicians, intellectuals, religious leaders, and the media—both in the United States and abroad—to appease radical Islam at the cost of our most cherished values: freedom of speech and freedom of the press. And the cost could ultimately be even higher—the imposition of sharia law in places where liberty once reigned.
In Surrender, Bawer writes of a new form of jihad that began with the fatwa against Salman Rushdie in 1989, a death sentence born of Muslim outrage over a work of literature. It marked the dawn of an era of pressure and intimidation designed to crush the ability of non-Muslims to resist Islamic encroachments on Western freedom. In a sweeping survey of recent history and current events, Bawer traces a pattern of heightened sensitivity to Muslim reactions and a reluctance to look honestly at the human-rights deficiencies of the Muslim world. This pattern can be seen in the widespread denunciation of the Danish cartoons and of the editors who printed them; in the glowing media coverage of the supposedly moderate Muslim icon Tariq Ramadan; in the decision of major newspapers to ignore or soft-pedal terrorist “dry runs” on American airplanes; in the international uproar over a single sentence about Islam in a lecture by Pope Benedict; and in attempts by certain parties to silence criticism of Islam by suing writers who have dared to speak forthrightly about the religion.
Bawer argues that people throughout the Western world—in reaction to such events as the Danish cartoon riots and the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh—are surrendering to fear. And he observes that Muslim extremists have found unexpected allies: non-Muslims who, motivated by the misguided doctrine of multiculturalism, refuse to criticize even the most illiberal aspects of Islamic culture. The resulting accommodation undermines the values of individual liberty and equality on which our nation was founded.
Fearless and excoriating, Surrender is an essential wake-up call for everyone concerned about the preservation of our most fundamental freedoms.