Douglas Murray’s new book, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam is a terrifying tour de force of the Islamification of Europe. Many who consider themselves educated and informed will roll their eyes and scoff at such a description of the demographic transformation of Europe, and hastily reply, without any irony, that such a transformation is not taking place, but that it if it were, it would be good. Murray’s book challenges, in the most sympathetic way possible, this suicidal self-satisfaction and self-deceit.
Strange Death is as erudite as it is engaging and includes everything there is to know about the ongoing crisis. How mass-migration to Europe began after World War II, as a short-term response to continent-wide labor shortages and consequence of de-colonization. How the public, from the very beginning and up to the present, opposed mass-migration, and how elites ignored their concerns and covered up the problem. How elites borrowed the immigration myths of America and applied them to European history, rewriting what happened in the past in a shoddy attempt to justify what was happening in the present. How elites denounced as xenophobes, Islamophobes, racists, fascists, or Nazis any intellectuals, politicians, or concerned citizens who raised the alarm about mass-migration to Europe. How elites degraded European cultures and instructed Europeans to loathe their heritage and identity, but celebrated migrant cultures and urged migrants to celebrate their heritage and identity. How, when the problem came to a head during the migrant crisis and could no longer be ignored, elites, rather than humble themselves and try something different, committed to more of the same with a fanatical fervor. And last, but not least, how mass-migration is changing Europe for the worse – indeed, is changing Europe so thoroughly that it is unlikely that it will remain recognizably “European” in our lifetime.
Two selections, from the beginning and end of Strange Death, summarize Murray’s bleak outlook:
What had been Europe – the home of the European peoples – gradually became a home for the entire world. The places that had been European gradually became somewhere else. So places dominated by Pakistani immigrants resembled Pakistan in everything but their location, with the recent arrivals and their children eating the food of their place of origin, speaking the language of their place of origin, and worshiping the religion of their place of origin. Streets in the cold and rainy northern towns of Europe filled with people dressed for the foothills of Pakistan or the sandstorms of Arabia. “The Empire strikes back” noted some observers with a barely concealed smirk. Yet whereas the empires of Europe had been thrown off, these new colonies were obviously intended to be for good.
Day by day the continent of Europe is not only changing but is losing any possibility of a soft landing in response to such change. An entire political class have failed to appreciate that many of us who live in Europe love the Europe that was ours. We do not want our politicians, through weakness, self-hatred, malice, tiredness, or abandonment to change our home into an utterly different place. And while Europeans may be endlessly compassionate, we may not be boundlessly so. The public may want many contradictory things, but they will not forgive politicians if – whether by accident or design – they change our continent completely. If they do so change it then many of us will regret this quietly. Others will regret it less quietly. Prisoners of the past and present, for Europeans there seem finally to be no decent answers to the future. Which is how the fatal blow will finally land.
Murray unflinchingly outlines Europe’s dire demographic future in Strange Death. Mass-migration, combined with high migrant birthrates and low European birthrates, is quite literally leading to a “population replacement” in Europe. The truth, which elites have diligently denied, is that according to current demographic trends, African, Middle-Eastern, and Indian migrants will eventually become the new majority population in Europe. Murray paints portrait after portrait of European towns and cities which are, for all intents and purposes, no longer European. London, for instance, is already made up of a Muslim majority. In Sweden, small towns in the far north are swamped with migrants overnight, often tripling their populations and wiping out their ancient way of life. Paris, desperate to preserve tourism, struggles to push its surging Muslim underclass into outlying suburbs like Saint-Denis, where a crowded North-African souk surrounds a basilica where the remains of France’s kings once rested. Similar struggles are ongoing in Berlin, Brussels, Stockholm, Marseilles, Malmo, and Amsterdam. Indeed, in Amsterdam, whole neighborhoods are filled with political posters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (who has urged Turkish migrants to colonize Europe and in the recent Dutch elections urged Turkish migrants to bloc-vote against the Dutch nationalists).
This population replacement is not just swapping out one interchangeable people for another, offering spicy ethnic cuisine, and introducing vibrancy to stodgy Europe, as elites assure the public, but bringing with it a different and unwelcome sort of society: one of poverty, bigotry, crime, and jihadism. Indeed, rather than leaving their backwards homelands for a better life in their civilized host countries, it seems migrants are simply turning their civilized host countries into their backwards homelands. Murray documents, in grim detail, the wave of terrorism, organized crime, and barbaric traditions which migrants have brought to Europe and which have turned many European cities and towns into decrepit, dysfunctional, and dangerous places. Shootings and bombings as a form of jihad, human trafficking, rape gangs, female genital mutilation, honor killings, and similar savagery are spreading around Europe like another Black Plague. In one of the most harrowing sections of Strange Death, Murray tells the story of the courageous Dutchmen, Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh, who were slaughtered in the street for speaking out against the threat which Islam posed to their liberal society and culture – and how their friend, Ayaan Hirsi Ali (a Somalian refugee who fully assimilated to the Netherlands), was forced to flee the country for criticizing Islam. Murray chronicles other European dissidents, such as Britain’s Enoch Powell (a scholar, soldier, and statesman), France’s Jean Raspail (a world-explorer), and Italy’s Oriana Falluci (a world-famous journalist), all of whom were persecuted by their country’s elites for speaking out against the mass-migration of Muslims. Another particularly chilling cautionary tale is Sweden – once, a democratic-socialist, progressive, and feminist utopia, now, after the mass-immigration of Somalians and other “refugees,” a broken country which cannot afford its welfare state or even enforce public order and which is now the rape capital of the world. Strange Death is full of sobering stories like this, which put to shame the belief that mass-migration is progress for Europe.
While such savagery underscores the problems of mass-migration, Murray makes it clear that most Europeans are not simply lashing out in response to terrorist attacks (though they have every right to do so – but oppose mass-migration because for far more fundamental reasons:
Of even greater concern to the majority is the observation that many of those who come to Europe – even when they have no desire to hurt or kill anyone – seem happy about transforming European societies. Politicians cannot address this because they have colluded in it or helped cover it over. But it cannot go unnoticed when a Muslim of Syrian background such as Lanya Kaddor, for instance, goes on German television at the height of the migration crisis and tells the nation that in the future being German will not mean having “blue eyes and blond hair,” but will instead be about having a “migration background.” Only in Germany would such a sentiment continue, for the time being, to get applause. Most Europeans do not appreciate this common glee over radical changes to their society, and it would be wise for mainstream political figures to acknowledge this fact and concede that the resulting fears are not unfounded.
Murray dispels many lies about mass-migration to Europe which elites have told to the public. No, migrants are not good for Europe’s economy. Migrants cost far more than they are worth, are straining Europe’s generous social services to the breaking point, and drive down the standard of living for the European working class. “The reality is that whatever its other benefits, the economic benefits of immigration accrue almost solely to the migrant.” No, migrants are not necessary to boost Europe’s aging population. There is no reason to demand that a population grow forever (leveling off is usually a sign of progress), for one, but for another, if the European population is shrinking too fast, then the first step would be to encourage European procreation, not population replacement. “If Europe is concerned about an aging population, there are more sensible policies than importing the next generation of Europeans from Africa.” No, diversity is not “enriching” Europe. Europe is already a “diverse” place, with many different ethnicities and folkways, for one, but for another, diversity has made Europeans feel less comfortable in their own communities and countries. “While diversity may be advantageous in small numbers, in large numbers it would irrevocably end society as we know it.” No, globalization does not make mass-migration inevitable. Japan is one of the most “globalized” countries in the world, yet it is, essentially, an ethno-state which restricts citizenship to the Japanese people. “Few would argue that Japan is a barbarous country for implementing its strict migration rules.” No, Islamophobia is not causing violence against Muslims. While the number of European hate crimes against Muslims can be counted on one hand, Muslim-on-Muslim crime is the real epidemic. “Despite the much-vaunted horror of Islamophobia…those who have actually killed Muslims…have been overwhelmingly other Muslims murdering them for doctrinal reasons.”
Murray does not spare the lies of the so-called “refugee crisis,” either. No, most migrants are not “women, children, and the elderly.” Most of the migrants that elites show the public are women, children, and the elderly, but most actual migrants are young men. No, most migrants are not “refugees.” Most of the migrants that elites show the public are refugees, but most migrants are actually just using the “refugee crisis” to enter Europe. No, most migrants are not “rescued” from the Mediterranean. Most migrants are actually picked up by non-governmental organizations as soon as they set out from North Africa and Turkey. The truth is that everything that the European public has been told about migration is some sort of lie.
To research this book, Murray traveled all across the European continent, from the seas of the Baltic to the Mediterranean and from the cities of Dublin to Budapest. Likewise, Strange Death roves around Europe and tells everyone’s story, weaving all of these threads into a riveting narrative of civilizational collapse. Murray takes us to Italian island of Lampedusa and the Greek island of Lesbos, where migrants are welcomed to Europe, then turned loose into Europe due to the lack of political will and public resources to do anything else. Murray takes us to a conversation with a German politician, who shrugged off concerns about a million or more migrants coming to Germany, pointed the finger at Germans for not integrating to migrants, and waved away whatever problems Germany’s policies caused countries such as Italy and Greece. Murray takes us to a conference of the Sweden Democrats, a right-wing political party in traditionally left-wing Sweden which is gaining public support due to the crisis which mass-migration has caused in their country and despite suppression by elites.
Murray argues that mass-migration to Europe threatens European heritage and identity – “Western Civilization” – which he defines in politically correct terms as a set of values and qualities stemming from Antiquity, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment. According to Murray, the self-reflective, self-critical nature of Europeans (indeed, no other people in the world holds themselves to their own standards when dealing with “the Other”) has been perverted to dwell only on what is “bad,” such as the Crusades and colonialism, and deny what is “good.” Murray’s answer to this question is that every civilization has “good” and “bad” in its history, that other civilizations with much worse pasts do not punish themselves in the present, and that Europeans should not, out of a misplaced sense of guilt, abandon the good along with the bad.
Murray should have gone on the offensive rather than stayed on the defensive, however. First, the Crusades were a defensive campaign against Muslim aggression: since Mohammed’s command to spread Islam by the sword, Muslims had conquered the Middle East (four out of five Christian patriarchates had fallen), enslaved the Christian population, and repeatedly invaded Europe (e.g. France, Italy, and Spain, the latter of which was occupied for five centuries). When the Crusades ended, Byzantium (the last Christian patriarchate standing) fell to Muslims, who continued to menace Europe with invasion and conquered her eastern and southern frontiers (e.g. Greece and the Balkans). Second, colonialism “exploited” natives by extracting resources which were idle anyway and, in return, building infrastructure and utilities, establishing institutions and order, sharing ideas/technology, and opening up trade and investment in the economy – all of which catapulted their standard of living. Today, free from “exploitation,” the ex-colonies have regressed back to their pre-colonial condition, and as a result, their populations are spilling over into Europe. The Crusades and colonialism are nothing of which Europeans should be ashamed.
Murray never raises the Jewish Question in Strange Death, yet there is plenty in his book for those who are aware of this issue, and for those who are still in the dark, there are enough (((coincidences))) to spark some questions. For instance, the politician (((Barbara Roche))) and the educator (((Ingrid Lomfors))) both appear in Strange Death, pushing subversive narratives (such as that their respective host countries of Britain and Sweden have always been nations of migrants and that British and Swedish culture do not exist). Of course, the globalist mastermind (((George Soros))) also appears throughout Strange Death, organizing efforts to undermine the national borders of the Eastern-European countries resisting mass-migration. There is no reason to accuse anyone who is aware of the role of Jewish political activism and Jewish intellectual movements in the mass-immigration of non-Europeans to Europe (as well as America) of anti-Semitism, however. If it is fair to recognize that Muslims are a separate, distinct group in Europe with their own interests, as Murray does throughout Strange Death (and as the Jews do with the Palestinians in Israel), then it is just as fair to recognize that Jews are also a separate, distinct group in Europe with their own interests. Kevin B. MacDonald, an evolutionary psychologist at California State University and author of a magisterial three-volume study of Jewish evolutionary psychology, explains three reasons why the Jews are disproportionately in favor of non-white immigration to white countries: 1) “The idea that any exclusionary thinking on the part of Americans – and especially European-Americans as a majority group – leads inexorably to a Holocaust for Jews,” 2) “The belief that greater diversity makes Jews safer,” and 3) “An intense sense of historical grievance against the traditional peoples and culture of the United States and Europe.”
In interviewing someone who is certainly Jewish, Murray encountered a perfect example of this hatred of European people and their way of life – a hatred so virulent that it is actually self-destructive:
There are also those of course who so hate Europe – what they are and what they have been – that they are willing for literally anyone to come in and take over. In Berlin during the height of this crisis I spoke with a (((German intellectual))) who told me that the German people were anti-Semitic and prejudiced and that for this reason if no other they deserved to be replaced. He would not consider the possibility that some of the people being brought in to replace them could make many mid-twentieth-century – let alone modern – Germans look like paragons by comparison.
Murray quotes Edward Gibbon and Hillaire Belloc on the conflict between Christendom and Islam. He could also quote these great British intellectuals on the conflict between Christendom and the Jews:
Gibbon: From the reign of Nero to that of Antoninus Pius, the Jews discovered a fierce impatience of the dominion of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections. Humanity is shocked at the recital of the horrid cruelties which they committed in the cities of Egypt, of Cyprus, and of Cyrene, where they dwelt in treacherous friendship with the unsuspecting natives; and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of the legions against a race of fanatics, whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but of humankind.
Belloc: The continued presence of the Jewish nation intermixed with other nations alien to it presents a permanent problem of the gravest character: that the wholly different culture, tradition, race, and religion of Europe make Europe a permanent antagonist to Israel, and that the recent and rapid intensification of that antagonism gives to the discovery of a solution immediate and highly practical importance.
Above all else, Murray identifies Christianity as absolutely essential to Western Civilization (which was once known, after all, as “Christendom”). According to Murray, a civilization’s religion is its heart and soul, and the secularization of Europe – set in motion by the Reformation’s fixation on individual conscience, accelerated by the strict rationalism of the Enlightenment, and finished by scientific discoveries and German textual criticism of the Bible – caused an existential, civilizational crisis in Europe. “The facts of the loss of belief and faith across a continent are frequently commented upon and indeed taken for granted, but the effects of this are less often considered,” notes Murray. “Rarely if ever is it recognised that the process described above meant one thing above all: Europe had lost its foundational story.”
Where art once pursued truth and beauty and displayed technical mastery, modern art is degrading and elicits more disdain than admiration. Where once architecture was monumental and a work of art in itself, modern architecture is mostly utilitarian. Where once Europe led the world in the rights of men (and women), now Europeans are succumbing to rape gangs, honor killings, and female genital mutilation. For awhile, Europe survived in spite of secularization, struggling to maintain the crumbling civilization that it had inherited from Christianity without Christianity itself, but when the storm came – first, two traumatic world wars, followed by the migration of millions of incompatible, unassimilable foreigners – European civilization collapsed without its foundation.
Without the meaning which Christianity gave their lives – the answers to spiritual questions such as “What am I doing here?”, “What is my life for?”, “Does it have any purpose beyond itself?” – Europeans searched in vain for substitutes. (((Communism))) and fascism were intellectual attempts to fill the void by replacing religion with a “rational” ideology – in this case, reactions against the decadence of the bourgeois systems of liberal democracy and industrial capitalism. These ideologies were doomed to clash, however, and in the ensuing world war and cold war nearly destroyed Europe. Darwinism (not the scientific theories of Charles Darwin, but the atheist ideology that stemmed from his theory of evolution) was another substitute for religion, but while science can solve material problems, it cannot solve mankind’s spiritual problems. Indeed, the answer of atheists like Richard Dawkins (who believes that life is nothing more than the purposeless, pitiless interaction of blind, random particles) to the above questions is simply “nothing.” Today, rather than search for answers in one ideology or another, Europeans have tried to avoid such questions altogether by living for material pleasure. At best, this deracinated, atomized individualism and consumerism leads to hedonism (“find your meaning where you will”), but at worst, it leads to nihilism (“yours is a meaningless existence in a meaningless universe”). Degenerate and complacent, Europeans haven proven unable and unwilling to defend their civilization against aggressive aliens. The alternative, of course, is for Europeans to return to their roots: “Here is an inheritance of thought and culture and philosophy and religion which has nurtured people for thousands of years and many well fulfill you too.”
In short, amid a wave of migration which is qualitatively (i.e. the type of migrant) and quantitatively (i.e. the number of migrants) unprecedented in European history, Europeans no longer have faith in themselves – that who they are, where they come from, and what they believe is worth anything. According to Murray, “The world is coming into Europe at precisely the moment that Europe has lost sight of what it is.” Murray holds that Europe’s only hope is a renaissance of European heritage and identity:
Any solution to our crisis would also involve not only a fresh attitude towards our future but a more balanced attitude towards our past. It is not possible for a society to survive if it routinely suppresses and otherwise fights against its own origins. Just as a nation could not survive if it forbade any criticism of its past, so no nation can survive if it suppresses everything that is positive about its past. Europe has reason to feel tired and worn down by its past, but it could also approach its past with an air of self-forgiveness as much as self-reproach. At the very least Europe needs to continue to engage with the glories as well as the pains of its past…I cannot help feeling that much of the future of Europe will be decided on what our attitude is towards the church buildings and other great cultural buildings of our heritage standing in our midst. Around the questions of whether we hate them, ignore them, engage with them, or revere them, a huge amount will depend.
How can migrants be expected to assimilate to Europe, asks Murray, if Europeans do not even believe in Europe themselves? Of course, this will entail the abandonment of the Enlightenment-era delusion that liberal values are universal values and that history is an progressive march away from traditions of inequality and authority and toward revolutions of equality and liberty – that is, accepting “that people are different, that different people believe different things, and that our own values may not in fact be universal values” as well as that “not only that such a system may not triumph, but that it may in fact be swept away like so much else before it.” Murray refers to this outlook as “the tragic sense of life,” and nowhere is the tragic sense of life kept more alive than in Eastern Europe.
Eastern Europe, hardened by communism and spared mass-migration in the postwar period, is suffering from none of the self-loathing of Western Europe, softened by capitalism and addicted to mass-migration since the postwar period, but instead has a strong, clear sense of its heritage and identity. The “Visigrad Group” (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia) refuse to bend the knee to the European Union as it dictates migration quotas to its members. The Visigrad Group joined the EU for economic integration, not to be ruled by another Third Reich or Soviet Union. “Islam has no place in Slovakia,” avowed Prime Minister Robert Fico, explaining that “migrants change the character of our country” and that “we do not want the character of our country to change.”
In the thoroughly dark, depressing Strange Death, the words of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, delivered in a speech on his country’s national holiday, are either the darkness before the dawn or the last light before nightfall:
Today’s enemies of freedom are cut from a different cloth than the royal and imperial rulers of old, or those who ran the Soviet system; they use a different set of tools to force us into submission. Today they do not imprison us, they do not transport us to concentration camps, and they do not send in tanks to occupy countries loyal to freedom. Today the international media’s artillery bombardments, denunciations, threats and blackmail are enough — or rather, have been enough so far. The peoples of Europe are slowly awakening, they are regrouping, and will soon regain ground. Europe’s beams that rest on the suppression of truth are creaking and cracking. The peoples of Europe may have finally understood that their future is at stake: Now not only are their prosperity, cosy lives, jobs at stake, but our very security and the peaceful order of our lives are menaced as well. At last, the peoples of Europe, who have been slumbering in abundance and prosperity, have understood that the principles of life that Europe has been built on are in mortal danger. Europe is the community of Christian, free, and independent nations; equality of men and women; fair competition and solidarity; pride and humility; justice and mercy.
This time the danger is not attacking us the way wars and natural disasters do, suddenly pulling the rug from under our feet. Mass-migration is a slow stream of water persistently eroding the shores. It is masquerading as a humanitarian cause, but its true nature is the occupation of territory. And what is gaining territory for them is losing territory for us. Flocks of obsessed human-rights defenders feel the overwhelming urge to reprimand us and to make allegations against us. Allegedly we are hostile xenophobes, but the truth is that the history of our nation is also one of inclusion, and the history of intertwining of cultures. Those who have sought to come here as new family members, as allies, or as displaced persons fearing for their lives, have been let in to make a new home for themselves. But those who have come here with the intention of changing our country, shaping our nation in their own image, those who have come with violence and against our will have always been met with resistance.
Perhaps Eastern Europe, once betrayed to the Soviet Union by Western Europe after World War II, will, in one of history’s many ironies, save Western Europe from itself.
No book on current events would be complete without a chapter outlining the author’s views about what should be done, but Strange Death does more than just a lay out a list of policies.
To start, Murray believes that European elites should ask themselves three basic questions: 1) What is a society and a culture? 2) To whom does Europe belong? 3) What are Europe’s responsibilities?
To the first question, Murray answers by applying the “central conservative insight” of the British statesman, Edmund Burke, to the defense of “liberal societies” of Europe:
The absent party in all this, for whom justice was never considered, were the peoples of Europe. They were the people to whom things were done, whose own appeals – even when they could be voiced – were not listened to.
In the great migration movements the decisions of Merkel and her predecessors had overriden all their rights to justice. Those on the liberal wing of Europe’s political spectrum had reason to feel aggrieved about the way in which their customs and laws had been trodden upon and about the seemingly endless changes to their liberal societies: changes that endangered the carefully balanced ecosystem of which such societies were comprised. Liberals in Europe might rightly have wondered whether societies that are the product of lengthy political and cultural evolutions could be sustained with immigration at such rates. That the front lines of the mass-migration era continually involved threats to sexual, religious, and racial minorities should have alerted far more liberals than it did to the possibility that in pursuit of a “liberal” immigration policy they might lose their liberal societies.
An appeal to justice of a different sort could just as well have come from those of a more conservative mindset. Such people might, for instance, have taken the view of Edmund Burke, who in the eighteenth century made the central conservative insight that a culture and a society are not things run for the convenience of the people who happen to be here right now, but a deep pact between the dead, the living, and those yet to be born. In such a view of society, however greatly you might wish to benefit from an endless supply of cheap labour, a wider range of cuisine, or the saving of a generation’s conscience, you still would not have the right to wholly transform your society. Because that which you inherited that is good should also be passed on. Even were you to decide that some of the views or lifestyles of your ancestors could be improved upon, it does not follow that you should hand over to the next generation a society that is chaotic, fractured, and unrecognizable.
To the second question, Murray answers that Europe belongs to Europeans:
Those who believe [Europe] is for the world have never explained why this process should be one way: why Europeans going anywhere else in the world is colonialism whereas the rest of the world coming to Europe is just and fair. Nor have they suggested that the migration movement has any end other than the turning of Europe into a place belonging to the world, with other countries remaining the home of the people of those countries. They have also succeeded to the extent that they have by lying to the public and concealing their aims. Had the leaders of Western Europe told their publics in the 1950s or at any point since that the aim of migration was to fundamentally alter the concept of Europe and make it a home for the world, then the people of Europe would have most likely risen up and overthrown those governments.
To the third question, Murray answers that Europe cannot continue to sacrifice her interests in a futile crusade to solve all the world’s problems:
Some people say that the crisis is primarily not Europe’s but the world’s – that even talking about this represents a Euro-centric way of looking at things. But there is no reason why Europeans should not be, or feel, Eurocentric. Europe is the home of the European peoples, and we are entitled to be home-centric as much as the Americans, Indians, Pakistanis, Japanese, and all other peoples are. The follow-on claim that we should therefore focus our energies on “solving” the problems of the world is a diversion. It is not in Europe’s power to “solve” the situation in Syria. Much less is it within our gift to simultaneously raise living standards in sub-Saharan Africa, solve all world conflicts, protect liberal rights universally, and rectify all problems of political corruption around the world. Those who present these as problems that can be solved by Europe should start by explaining their detailed plan for solving the problem of Eritrea. Or finding it on a map.
With these answers in mind, Murray outlines an alternative approach to mass-migration to Europe which balances “mercy” for migrants with “justice” for Europeans.
Legitimate refugees could and should be resettled more cost-effectively and compatibly in other Middle-Eastern countries. To support this claim, Murray cites the research of economists Paul Collier and David Goodhart and adds an interesting factoid from economist Tino Sanandaji: it is more expensive to resettle 3,000 refugees in Sweden than it is 100,000 in Jordan. It makes no sense for a refugee to be unemployed and on the dole in a country on the other side of the world where he does not speak the native language or share the native religion, rather than employed in a neighboring country where he does speak the native language and share the native religion. Plus, if refugees are resettled in the vicinity of their homeland, then it will be easier to return to their homeland when conditions permit. While Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon have resettled large numbers of refugees, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Iran (the countries behind the Syrian crisis – to which I would add Israel) have admitted few to zero refugees.
Asylum claims could and should be processed outside of Europe. Once migrants have entered Europe, it is difficult to deport them, regardless of the legitimacy of their asylum claims. By processing migrants in North Africa and Turkey, however, Europe could cut down on the number of migrants. This is the policy which Australia developed to handle waves of Indonesian migrants, which cut down the flow of migrants without cutting off real refugees.
Any migrant discovered to lack a valid asylum claim (in other words, who is not a real refugee) could and should be deported and a system of temporary asylum (that is, the resettlement of real refugees with a plan for repatriation once conditions permit in their homeland) could and should be instituted. This would not only decrease the flow of migrants to Europe, but also restore public confidence.
Elites must admit the mistakes they have made in how they handled mass-migration, acknowledge the problems which mass-migration have caused in Europe, take the public’s concern about mass-migration seriously, and address those problems and concerns honestly.
All frivolous denunciation of right-wing (and even left-wing) opponents of mass-migration as “Nazis” must cease at once. Such pejoratives are not just cheap and stupid smears, but have the effect of repressing civil discourse as well. Political parties such as France’s Front National and Germany’s Alternative fur Deutschland, as well as protest movements such as Britain’s English Defence League and Germany’s Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamicisation of the Abendlandes), must be recognized as legitimate.
Murray is not optimistic about Europe’s future, however, and follows his chapter on “What Could Have Been” with “What Will Be,” where he predicts that due to the inertia of what has been set in motion, combined with the cowardice and incompetence of elites, Europe will cease to be European:
So they will continue to ensure that Europe is the only place in the world that belongs to the world. It is already clear what type of society will result. By the middle of this century, while China will probably still look like China, India will probably still look like India, Russia like Russia, and Eastern Europe like Eastern Europe, Western Europe will at best resemble a large-scale version of the United Nations. Many people will welcome this, and it will have its pleasures of course. Certainly not everything about it will be a catastrophe. Many people will enjoy living in such a Europe. They will continue to enjoy cheap services, at least for a time, as incomers compete with those already here to do work for less and less money. There will be an endless influx of new neighbours and staff, and there will be many interesting conversations to be had. This place where international cities develop into something resembling international countries will be many things. But it will not be Europe anymore.
Perhaps the European lifestyle, culture, and outlook will survive in small pockets. A pattern that is already underway will mean that there will be some rural areas where immigrant communities choose not to live and towards which non-immigrants retreat. Those who have the resources will – as is already the case – be able to sustain a recognisably similar lifestyle for a while longer. The less well off will have to accept that they do not live in a place that is their home but in one that is a home for the world. And whilst incomers will be encouraged to pursue their traditions and lifestyles, Europeans whose families have been here for generations will most likely continue to be told that theirs is an oppressive, outdated tradition, even as they constitute a smaller and smaller minority of the population. This is not science fiction. It is simply what the current situation looks like in much of Western Europe and what the demographic projections show the continent’s future to be.
Strange Death has the same potential to do for immigration in Europe what Ann Coulter’s Adios America did for immigration in the United States. Murray, however, is less of a polemicist than Coulter, and thus is less likely to offend. Indeed, contrast the subtitle of Coulter’s book with Murray’s: “The Left’s Plan to turn America into a Third World Hellhole” versus “Immigration, Identity, Islam.” Unlike Coulter, who writes with righteous indignation and makes no effort to contain her disdain, Murray maintains an almost-scholarly detachment and takes great pains to understand rather than pass judgment. Thus, while Coulter was aiming to incite her readers, whom she knew would be enraged to learn about how politicians sold their country down the river for votes and donations, Murray is aiming to reason with his, writing for readers who are most likely to see the writing on the wall but do not understand what it means.