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The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam

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A controversial and devastatingly honest depiction of the demise of Europe.

The Strange Death of Europe is the internationally bestselling account of a continent and culture caught in the act of suicide. Douglas Murray takes a step back and explores the deeper issues behind the continent's possible demise, from an atmosphere of mass terror attacks and a global refugee crisis to the steady erosion of our freedoms. He addresses the disappointing failure of multiculturalism, Angela Merkel's U-turn on migration, and the Western fixation on guilt. Murray travels to Berlin, Paris, Scandinavia, and Greece to uncover the malaise at the very heart of the European culture, and to hear the stories of those who have arrived in Europe from far away.

Declining birth rates, mass immigration, and cultivated self-distrust and self-hatred have come together to make Europeans unable to argue for themselves and incapable of resisting their own comprehensive alteration as a society and an eventual end. This sharp and incisive book ends up with two visions for a new Europe--one hopeful, one pessimistic--which paint a picture of Europe in crisis and offer a choice as to what, if anything, we can do next. But perhaps Spengler was "civilizations like humans are born, briefly flourish, decay, and die."

352 pages, Hardcover

First published May 4, 2017

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About the author

Douglas Murray

30 books1,973 followers
Douglas Kear Murray is a British neoconservative writer and commentator. He was the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion from 2007 until 2011, and is currently an associate director of the Henry Jackson Society.

Murray appears regularly in the British broadcast media, commentating on issues from a conservative standpoint, and he is often critical of Islamic fundamentalism. He writes for a number of publications, including Standpoint, the Wall Street Journal and The Spectator.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,084 reviews
Profile Image for Tristan.
112 reviews231 followers
July 12, 2017
Presented with an alarmist title like The Strange Death of Europe, any sceptical reader is bound to raise an eyebrow or two. After all, doomsayers – whatever their motive - have been with us since time immemorial, the veracity of their warnings of the future to be looked upon with if not outright suspicion, at least a healthy dose of reservation.


Douglas Murray however, is a voice that should very well be heeded, since the time is indeed now. Allowing myself to make my own humble prediction, in generations to come this will be looked upon as a work that, if not wholly prophetic, was that perfect encapsulation of an ailing Europe in crisis at the time of its publication. The “red pill” metaphor (from The Matrix) may be trite by now, but it is definitely apt here. This work speaks so much truth, is so hard-hitting in its application of cold logic, it is quite astonishing. Only the most ardent, evangelical supporter of unimpeded mass immigration from third world countries could read this book and not come away from it at least slightly perturbed.

From just glimpsing the first few pages, it is immediately palpable Murray has brooded on his subject for what must have been a great many years. A lot of ground is covered here, so it is impossible for me to address each and every point in detail. It’s just so all-encompassing that any summary would be wholly inadequate. If I could force every politician to go through this though, I would in a heartbeat.

Employing a calmly reasoned, almost detached mode of analysis, Murray traces Europe’s many policy failures related to immigration back to the very beginning. When post-war Western Europe in particular found itself in the position of having critical labour shortages, it turned to Muslim majority countries with whom diplomatic relations were healthy in order to fill the vacuum. It was a seemingly innocuous short-term solution at the time. Sadly, when it came to migration polices, the political leadership in decades to come would decide – without the support of the majority of their electorate - that short-term gains took preference over the long-term consequences of those very policies for the populace.

Add to that our universally admired welfare system serving as a magnet to the world, and a trickle soon turned into a flood, radically altering European society in the process in just a couple decades. This in itself wouldn’t have been such a bad thing (an ethnically diverse society isn’t a problem per se, culture is a far more important factor), but never was a serious policy to promote integration ever conceived, let alone implemented. Nor did those responsible kept in mind the declining birth rates (below replacement rate) among the native populations, and the comparatively high ones among migrants, especially those whose ancestry was Muslim.

Those who advocated for better integration or pointed to the fact that at this rate, native Europeans would soon become minorities themselves (indeed, in some cities such as London, ethnic whites already are), they were promptly labelled as ‘bigots’ or ‘racists’. Such lazy, yet effective ad hominems were enough to make any discussion on this topic nearly impossible, disenfranchising huge swaths of the populace in the process. The still ongoing migrant crisis has only further exacerbated this, naturally. On that point Murray is remarkably hard on Angela Merkel and her U-turn on migration, and for good reason. History won’t be kind to her, I imagine.

The one unforgivable mistake the political elite made was to assume that whomever set foot on the continent, would magically become a European on the spot, and adopt all our values, which our predecessors fought so hard for to put in place. Of course they were too blind or refused to see that, by importing ethnically different peoples, you’re also importing their cultures, ideologies and problems, which they might not be so willing to give up or modify to fit into their new society (ironically, conflicts between certain groups of migrants are fast becoming commonplace). Especially if that new society is weak at that moment, seems to have lost faith in and won’t stand up for itself or its values, integration is almost impossible. For who would want to be part of such a society?

Also troubling is the fact that migrants who did come here to escape legitimate persecution or repression - and who became even more strident advocates than some Europeans of human rights - such as ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali, were vilified for pointing out certain backward cultural practices (such as female genital mutilation, which she had suffered). If not by Muslims from which direction she also received various death threats, she was crucified by parts of the political establishment, who you’d expect would be firmly in her corner. Soon, she was placed under police protection, and after the brutal murder of fellow critic of Islam Theo van Gogh, a friend of hers, she decided to leave her adopted country of The Netherlands. The place she thought was safe. This is just one symptom of a deeper problem within wider European society, which most chose either to ignore or try not to make seem all that bad.

Tragically, in our desperate attempts to above all not ever offend, across Europe the most heinous crimes or practises committed by migrants, are often covered up or not reported on ( the most notorious one being the Pakistani rape gang in Rotherham that abused at least 1400 white girls aged 11-15, which local authorities allowed to go on unhindered between 1997 and 2013, for fear of being branded racist). Clearly, there are different standards being applied to different people, which is deadly to any law-based society. Somehow, it has become noble to defend the indefensible, just as long as the perpetrator is part of a minority, or considered to be “oppressed”.

According to Murray - I happen to agree - this is exactly what paralyses Europe. By doing our utmost not to appear bigoted, we allow the intolerable to happen in our societies. He makes some great points as to what might have contributed to this cognitive dissonance. As in most analyses of complex societies, it is a mixture of causes. Historical guilt is one, but a major one. Colonialism, the Holocaust (especially painful to Germans), these and other black spots in our history are firmly laid at the feet of Europeans, and are reinforced time and time again. Of course, one should learn from one’s country’s own history, so as to not make the same mistakes again. Yet there is a definite turning point in which regret becomes pathological, and devolves into sadomasochistic self-flagellation.

In a sense, It becomes a secular original sin, to be revisited time and time again, with no redemption in sight. The only way to assuage it, is to somehow make up for it, by for instance taking in needy masses of people into your country, so Murray argues. And Western societies are unique in this regard. Russians or Chinese aren’t too troubled by this, even though their history of communism is far more strewn with corpses than ours is. Or take the Armenian genocide, conducted by the Ottoman Empire, which killed up to 1.5 million people. These societies are not weighed down by guilt. Even more, in modern day Turkey just a discussion of this event is forbidden, and punishable by law.

Another component is the loss of purpose for indigenous Europeans. What is our goal, where are we going, what is everyone’s place in this enterprise? These and others are crucial questions for any society to ask itself, and we are particularly bad at finding answers for it. Of course, in our past religion answered all these questions for us, and it made us as a result a more cohesive society, filled with purpose. Whether the religion was factually correct or not, is beside the point in this case. Now, there is a hole needing to be filled with something substantial to counteract this inertia, this prevalent malaise. We like to think the Enlightenment was a wholly positive evolution, and in the main it was, but it has put into motion an inexorable process of deconstruction. Brought to its logical conclusion, what is there left in the end? Not much, or so it seems.

We used to think art could replace this need for meaning, but if you have strolled through a modern art gallery lately, there is little you could reasonably call inspiring or uplifting. Existential self-doubt, navel-gazing and banal, vulgar superficiality dominate. If art does indeed reflect the psyche of a society, we are in deep trouble.

But, Murray explains, that realisation is exactly what might save European culture. A clear awareness of the problems at hand, what might be done about them (he lays out a couple of simple policies that, if implemented soon, would accomplish a whole lot) and first and foremost knowing who and what we are, what we had to go through to reach this particular point. Secular, liberal democracies are not the norm, and never were. It takes hard work, commitment and sacrifice to build them, let alone keep them.

We’ve been the envy of the world for a reason, otherwise people wouldn’t decide to come here. That should make us proud, and even more firm in the belief there is something unique here that is worth saving. It is still possible for us to show compassion towards the rest of the world, while still maintaining what we have. How things are going now, in many ways it is simply unsustainable. If Europe loses what made it European in the first place, the rest of the world will be all the poorer for it.

And while those who have come here still have their native country to go back to if things turn bad, we don’t. In the final analysis, Europe is all Europeans have. It’s our home, and just as much any other people in the world, we deserve to have a say in how we would like it to be. For, as philosopher Edmund Burke so eloquently stated, "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".

Another Place, Antony Gormley

To this Murray adds:

“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 salving of a generation’s conscience, you still would not have a 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 unrecognisable.”

Profile Image for Dom Watkins.
16 reviews
June 20, 2017
Immigration, Identity, Islam; reads the sub-title, one would have hoped to see a serious discussion of these three topics and the relationship that has emerged between them. Sadly not.

A common habit of many involved in this type of conversation, particularly the political right, is to present their arguments in the shadow of a perceived and looming existential crisis. Having stimulated the old reptilian cortex with some frightening spectacle, those particularly prone to panic and hysteria will then, it is hoped, soak up whatever narrative follows. Much head nodding, awarding of 5 star reviews, and the increase of revenue in book sales for the purveyor of this argument ensues.

And what could be more threatening and ominous sounding than 'The Strange Death of Europe'?

Having settled on this theatrical title, Murray plants his feet firmly on a nexus between the three promised topics of discussion in the sub-title. The decision to examine only this narrow intersection of ideas, further reduced by his ideological prism, limits the scope and unfortunately the honesty of the next 300 or so pages.

"But everything he has written is true!", cry out the credulous.

"Is it really now? Let me check that", ought to be the response of every inquisitive mind.

But "checking that" is made intentionally challenging by the author. If you have read the book, look again, if you are reading for the first time, watch out for; the absence of references for example. Often, when they are needed the most, when he presents something that is contentious, debatable or subject to misinterpretation, he simply does not provide a reference. This is no accident, it is an intentional attempt to obscure the source and legitimacy of what he has written, by blending his opinion with cherry picked news items and sundry other data. If you don't believe me - check.

Lest I be accused of the same, here is a randomly selected example from the many available:

"Today's Australian school children are taught that whatever it's present virtues, their nation was founded on genocide and theft" - no reference for this extraordinary claim of child indoctrination is provided.

Seriously look honestly for examples of this, (you will find many, many of them). Then question: Why has this not been referenced, but other information has?

However, much of what he has written IS true and no sensible person would try to deny it. It is the disingenuous and quite unnecessary presentation of untruths, omissions and misrepresentations, to bolster his position, that is increasingly frustrating as the reader progresses through the book.

When a survey, opinion poll or piece of research agrees with his prejudice for example; it is presented as concrete evidence in support of his claims. No further discussion of this evidence is needed. When it does not agree with him, you will notice a different approach, it is either: not presented; scrutinised for methodological or politically favourable errors; dismissed with passive language; or simply refuted by claiming that anecdotal evidence and his personal sense of other people's feelings, contradict the findings. This would not be an issue if Murray had maintained a parity of healthy suspicion for all the surveys and opinion polls he presented. But there is not even an attempt to do so. Any serious reader ought to ask themselves what this says about the author's criteria for selection of data.

Of course he rolls out the usual imprecision of language one expects to find in a polemic of this kind. Economic migrants, terrrorists, Muslims, Jihadists, Islamists, refugees, third world; are all rolled into one. The West, Western Europe, Europe, White, White British, Christian; are all synonymous. This nebulous use of words, means they are twisted and turned to whatever his opinion requires them to mean.

Murray repeatedly courts conspiracies (and the concomitant irrationality and victimhood that goes with them) but clearly his reputation is too precious to fully engage by following through, but it is enough that he has sown the seeds of conspiracy in the reader:

For example:

"For if this is even partially a spur for the recent transformation of our country, then what we are going through is not an accident, or a mere laxness at the borders, but a cool and deliberate act of national sabotage."

Is this accusation of 'national sabotage' further explored or investigated? Certainly not. "Motivations aside..." he continues.

What then, one might ask, was the purpose of this paragraph?

Colonialism, apparently, was equivalent to: "Europeans going anywhere else in the world" (could the language be any more passive?). This summary statement, is a clear revision of history to suit his opinion that 'white guilt' is only felt by Europeans, or in the absence of any actual examples of guilt: Australians and Americans. Of course co-opting the language of white supremacists helps him to redefine 'acknowledgement' as 'guilt' and join up the history of European empires, with modern immigration policies.

It's something of an incredible achievement, that in a book of this type and length, barely a single word is uttered on the effects of foreign policy, state sponsored terrorism, economic disadvantage, or military intervention and adventurism. These omissions make sense of Murray's view and explain his use of the word 'strange' in the title. History started in 1945 and the policies of the modern world have happened in a vacuum, according to Murray - so of course it seems strange. That sense of being the victim in all of this, really has to be driven home.

It is perhaps on identity that Murray is most confusing. He seems to subscribe to an ideology of: "One identity at a time please". This one identity that you are allowed allows a narrow range of values to be attached to a human being. Most of all, this identity, must be pre-determined by the location of an ancestors' birth and pre-approved by Murray's worldview. Why else would he refer to ethnicity and particularly being 'White British' as a guarantor of ones values?

If Murray is right and the political class of Europe have indeed conspired to destroy the public by importing masses of culturally and ethnically divergent people, as he contends; then he has left unanswered the first question, one should ask when suspicious of another's motives:

Cui Bono? To the benefit of whom?

And if the public of Europe really have opposed immigration from the outset as he claims, then why have they continued to elect representatives from the parties who have sponsored it? Are the votaries of Europe really the vapid dunces that Douglas Murray's conclusion implies they must be, in taking a full six decades to wake up to what he and his flag wavers have known all along?

Or perhaps, he has missed something.
Profile Image for Twerking To Beethoven.
391 reviews66 followers
September 6, 2017
This book is appalling and will piss you off bigtime because it's filled with UNQUESTIONABLE FACTS.

You might be offended by the following lines. But, quite honestly, I don't give a shit.

in 1989 British-Indian author Salman Rushdie released a novel, The Satanic Verses and, go figure, all hell broke loose. Rushdie got a death sentence - through a fatwa issued by Iranian ayatollah Khomeini - for insulting islam. A 3,000,000$ reward was promised to the "heroic" muslim who'd manage to kill him, only 2,000,000$ in case the executioner wouldn't be a muslim. Everybody expressed solidarity and sympathy to Rushdie, apart from the singer Cat Stevens who converted to islam and renamed himself Yusuf Islam, and a few prominent figures of the British left who stated that Rushdie had it coming. After all, he had written an islamophobic book. The italian translator of the book got stabbed in 1991 but survived, the japanese translator wasn't as lucky and got killed in 1993. To this day Rushdie is forced to hide himself for obvious security reasons.

Pim Fortuyn was a homosexual Dutch politician, sociologist and professor famous for criticizing islam. Even though he kept distancing himself from the far right, he was labelled a fascist and a racist by, guess who? Aye, once again, the left because, as you're probably all well aware, islam isn't a religion, it's a race. /sarcasm off. Fortuyn was assassinated during the 2002 Dutch national election campaign by Volkert van der Graaf, some leftist nutjob. In court at his trial, van der Graaf said he murdered Fortuyn to stop him from exploiting Muslims as "scapegoats" and targeting "the weak members of society" in seeking political power. The. Weak. Members. Of. Society. FUCK OFF.

Theo van Gogh was a Dutch film producer. On 2 November 2004, Van Gogh was murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim because old towel bounce didn't like his "controversial" film "Submission". "Controversial" because, with the help of a Somali-born woman - Ayaan Hirsi Ali - who knew her fucking shit, the film depicted the condition of women within islam.

Oriana Fallacci was an italian journalist and author. Her father Edoardo Fallaci was a political activist who struggled to end Mussolini's fascist dictatorship. Oriana herself, being a true libertarian, joined the anti-fascist movement and received a certificate for valour from the Italian Army. And I quote "Whether it comes from a despotic sovereign or an elected president, from a murderous general or a beloved leader, I see power as an inhuman and hateful phenomenon...I have always looked on disobedience toward the oppressive as the only way to use the miracle of having been born" . Being coherent with her beliefs, she considered islamic fundamentalism to be a revival of the fascism she had fought in her youth, and was subsequently called a bigot, a racist, an islamophobe and a... FASCIST by, fucking guess who?, the italian left. I kid you fucking not.

Now, this sort of purulent fucking "culture" has impregnated every single European country, apart from Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria because both the citizens and the politicians of those eastern countries seem to care about their own identity more than they care about diversity.

You want to know what's going on in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Sweden thanx to the fucking delusional and mental immigration policies of the European leaders? Well, all you need to do is watch the news. Or, in case you feel like experiencing the situation first hand, you may want to go visit certain suburbs in those countries. Better yet: Are you a woman looking for an exciting new experience? Then wear your favourite shorts and top, and go for a stroll in a prevalently muslim neighborhood in London, Paris, Brussels, Cologne, you fucking name it. It's going to be fucking funny as fuck. I'll tell you that, you need to fucking trust me on this, hey. You'll have the time of your life.

Here's some funny shit from 60 minutes, courtesy of Nine Network: https://youtu.be/XyVfTKYE8W0

That said, why do liberalism, contemporary anti-fas, and the left in general seem to be so in love with diversity, islam and multiculturalism? Because both modern liberalism and (radical) islam are basically the same thing: the new wave of modern fascism.


Call me a pussy if you want, again, I don't care. I'll be honest, I'm not afraid of islam. I'm fucking terrified of islam.
Profile Image for Murtaza .
669 reviews3,399 followers
November 18, 2018
Whatever challenges or hardships one faces in life, they should at least be glad that they don't have to go through existence as Douglas Murray. This book is an expression of a completely miserable and pessimistic outlook on the future of the richest and most powerful place on the planet. Murray looks outside his window and sees nothing but hordes of non-white, mostly Muslim men, committed and focused Enemies of Civilization, intent on no lesser crime than committing mass rape. He laments the loss of a Christianity that he doesn't himself believe in (claiming pathetically that its "impossible") and weeps over the empty churches that he chooses not to attend, and which have been left to a few unworthy sub-Saharan African migrants.

This isn't a book of reporting. Despite his pretensions to the contrary in the introduction Murray clearly took nothing more than brief visits to any of the European landing areas for refugees. Instead its merely a polemic and stitching together of disparate places and incidents to make a particular case: the response to which can only be some kind of ethnic cleansing or genocide, whether explicitly stated or not. I can only guess why the book has been so popular in some political quarters.

In fairness, Murray's chapters on the impact of Biblical criticism and German philosophy on Christian faith in Europe were interesting. They partly redeem what is otherwise a lengthy regurgitation of Breitbart's "Black Crime" section, though they are also nothing new or groundbreaking to anyone who has read Allisdair Macintyre or John Gray. He is also correct that people should not generalize all Europeans or collectively blame them for past crimes, though his tone of self-pity mixed with aggression makes this argument much more irritating than it needs to be. While rightly pointing out that Europe shouldn't be judged by its worst while others are judged by their best, he unironically proceeds to judge Muslims and even Islam as a whole by the actions of some street criminal in a suburb somewhere.

I plan to write a more substantive review at a later point. Suffice to say this book is an expression of a familiar phenomena, that of the rich and privileged explaining why the people who quietly do the labor that sustains them are in fact an unwanted growth needing excision. I hope Murray can come to feel less aggrieved by the number of non-white people on the subway at some point, for his own sake if not ours.
Profile Image for Rodrigo Acuna.
319 reviews17 followers
May 22, 2017
"Sometimes even to live is an act of courage."

I am always surprised when people from the left tell me of all the evil Europe has caused in the world and the guilt they feel for having been and empire is almost palpable, yet when you point out that Europe and Britain are not unique to these litanies of crimes, that all peoples have transgressed on other people, they seem perplexed and disbelieving that history does not support their racist little theory of superior culpability, because it is racist if you accuse someone of being a monster because of the colour of their skin even if you accuse yourself, but also it is a and insult to the humanity of others a distortion of history and ignorance of facts and reality. So it is with great pleasure that I recommend this book to all, it will unveil the self-haters and the new despots and tyrants they are setting about to destroy centuries of civilisation and learning to flagellate their ignorant fantasy of superior evil to satisfy a masochistic need that will impoverish the world of one of the most benevolent societies ever to have arisen in history ( even with all its imperfections ).

This is the warning that if ignored will lead us to one more cycle of dark ages that we may never return from, this is not a hysterical account but a numerical reality that it is about to tip over and destroy the world of our children.

Have you asked yourself why we are told we have over population in the world but we need more people to sustain our society?

Are you happy to give up your rights not to offend religious sensitivities?

Do you want to live in a society where sectarian religious violence is the norm?

If any of this questions have disturbed you please read this book and inform yourself and if after reading it you do not agree at least you will see what the others are worried about.
Profile Image for Kamil.
213 reviews1,140 followers
May 2, 2018
The first quarter of the book is so often simply racist and xenophobic, manipulative and flirting with ethical filth, that it's really hard to forget about it and listen to some data, that he makes his case for later in the book. And even though I believe there's definitely a lot we should do differently in our approach to immigration, none of the part "differently" means closing the door for me.

The number of times he dreamingly refers to "White Britain" is uncomfortable...

There's so much of data manipulation here that it's almost painful. He uses Muslim migration as well as that form Eastern European countries (not clearly separated) to create the feeling of Muslim invasion.

Downplaying the colonist past as a factor for high migration to Britain from certain areas in the world and explaining it by a natural human tendency to conquer or go places ... and hyperbolizing other arguments ie Australian kids seemingly being bombarded by the constant teachings of their genocide past... is one of the examples of the overall tendency in this book...
Profile Image for Andrea Zuvich.
Author 6 books216 followers
July 5, 2017
I found this book to be absolutely brilliant and urge everyone - of every political persuasion - to read it. Despite already having several excellent works behind him now, Douglas Murray has surpassed himself in this brilliant, damning, and ultimately tragic work of non-fiction and current affairs. Throughout this work, the author touches on a vast array of controversial topics which impact our daily lives/have been in the news: the historically massive influx of immigrants (previously regarded as refugees, but this has now been clearly refuted numerous times - most of the "refugees" being illegal economic migrants), the huge increase in sexual crime in Europe, the cultural self-flagellation of Western nations, the Black Lives Matter movement, the birth rate among immigrants, the clash between our liberal societies and the incoming Islamic communities, etc.

Most of these topics, particularly those of immigration and Islam, are taboo subjects and one can be labelled a xenophobe for even raising them. Indeed, Murray describes how terms such as "xenophobe" and "racist" have become so misused and overused now that they lack the power they once had. Throughout the whole book, Murray does a brilliant job of tackling these topics in a balanced, factual, and eloquent manner.

(As an aside, assimilation is, in my opinion, absolutely vital when it comes to immigration. I am an immigrant myself, but I have done everything I could to adopt the culture of the English (I shan't say British because I live in England and each constituent country of the United Kingdom certainly has its own culture). Over the years I have been privileged to live in the UK, I have noticed how some immigrants blatantly disrespect their host country by creating little versions of their home countries - something I've always found decidedly ill-mannered. When in Rome, do as the Romans...if you hate Roman ways, you shouldn't go to Rome!)

I found myself in agreement with Murray, particularly about how Europeans tend to only focus on the low points of their past whilst simultaneously praising other cultures on their highest points. I personally think that the far Left have been allowed to dominate the academic and media spheres and normalise this harmful attitude, when in fact all cultures in the world have both good and bad aspects. Murray articulates these issues better, I fear, than I ever could, so once again I urge you to read this important book and have the open-mindedness to take on board what he has to say. "The Strange Death of Europe" was without a doubt the best non-fiction book I have read this year.
Profile Image for Brendan Monroe.
590 reviews149 followers
March 30, 2018
Rather than enraging me, as it once did, the hypocrisy of the left now amuses me. It’s a tragic sort of amusement, an amusement borne out of a realization that outrage would be pointless because we, the West, are now so deep in the pit of absurdity that there’s almost certainly no way we can get out again. The tragic has become comic because, despite the evidence all around us, otherwise sensible people and politicians remain blind on one issue – Islam.

I would argue that Europe is very likely beyond saving at this point. Decades of naïve policy on immigration and a lack of preparedness in being able to tackle the greatest threat to the continent since WWII has left its current leaders unable to act. The movements they make and words they emit now – bizarre utterances like “Islam is a religion of peace” – are merely the spirit-killing jolts the body makes in its death throes.

Ariel Durant was born in 1898 in the Russian Empire – what is now present-day Ukraine. She immigrated to America at the turn of the 20th century where she watched the country of her birth destroy itself. She met her husband, Will Durant, while studying in America and the two later went on to author the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Story of Civilization”. A Jewish historian born in the Russian Empire, Ariel Durant knew what she was talking about when she penned the famous line, “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.”

I thought about Mrs. Durant this week when I read the news out of Paris about the brutal killing of Mireille Knoll. Ms. Knoll was an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor. Her apartment was broken into and her attackers, two Muslim men, stabbed her 11 times before setting fire to it. Mireille Knoll’s daughter had reportedly tried to convince her mother to move to Israel, but her mother had been born in Paris and considered herself French.

It isn’t just the killing of Mireille Knoll. Attacks against Jews have been on the rise in recent years across Europe, and anyone who thinks the rise in Europe’s Muslim population has little to do with this is either ignorant of the facts or a coward. Europe is full of cowards these days, many of whom unfortunately are in charge of deciding European policy on, among other things, what to do with the wave of migrants that has swept the continent in recent years.

Like their equally naïve predecessors, Angela Merkel and many of Europe’s other politicians have decided – without allowing their citizens a say in the matter – that they know best how to deal with the crisis. Knowing best doesn’t just mean flinging Europe’s borders open to those who have entered the continent illegally, it also means denying that migrants have perpetrated any crimes at all – even going so far as attempting to cover such crimes up.

The sexual assault of hundreds of women in the square in front of the Cologne cathedral on New Year’s Eve 2015 is the best known of these incidents, but it isn’t known because of the politicians. Police and city officials attempted to hide that Muslim men had been behind the mass assault. It was only thanks to social media and the horrifying scale of the crime that the truth got out at all.

Since when did Europe’s leaders start caring more about how Muslims are perceived by society than how their own citizens are treated? All the things that liberals are supposed to care about – women’s rights, gay rights, democracy – pale in the liberal mind to tolerance for Muslim’s feelings and attitudes. It is perfectly okay to mock Christians for failing to believe in evolution or intolerant attitudes towards gay weddings, but to mock Muslims for beliefs that are even more extreme gets you labeled an Islamophobe.

The acrobatics that Europe’s secularists are willing to perform to appease the continent’s Muslims and avoid naming the real reasons behind the atrocities now commonplace in Europe’s cities reveals how truly spineless they are. It is deeply ironic that the single thing most repulsive about religion – the idea of “original sin” and being generationally responsible for those sins of your forebears – is widely practiced among the secular left. A belief that because you may have had a relative who subjugated dark-skinned foreigners you must now hold your tongue is Orwellian and evil.

None of which is to say that I don’t feel immense sympathy for the plight of genuine asylum seekers. Unlike Europe’s leaders, I absolutely do.

As Douglas Murray writes in “The Strange Death of Europe”, Europe demonizes those Muslims genuinely seeking to integrate themselves into European society the moment they criticize the fundamentalists who have entered the country alongside them. The Somali immigrant and former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a prime example of European intolerance. Muslims who would dare to say that yes, a cancer in Islam is evident because too many of its misogynistic, barbaric precepts are widely believed by Muslims today are kicked out of the country or banned from entering for “hate speech”.

Douglas Murray posits what the French writer Michel Houellebecq posited in 2015's sublime "Submission" - that Europe is at a disadvantage because it fails to offer an increasingly secularized continent any meaningful answers for what life is all about. Europeans - Christians and secular alike - are tired and increasingly nihilistic, whereas Europe's Islamists are passionate about their faith and certain about what it takes to get to paradise. In other words, "ignorance is bliss".

The European enlightenment all but killed God, but without God, Murray asks, what is there to hold onto? Islam never underwent any kind of enlightenment or modernization, unlike Christianity, and that it didn't seems to make it more desirable for wide swathes of Europeans. Is a more fervent religiosity and an increase in church attendance the answer then?

Surely not. Civilization isn't improved by a return to the ignorant past but in the pursuit of new knowledge. It's not the false idea of an afterlife that should excite us, but innovations in medicine that ease suffering and prolong life. The only true solution is a sensible immigration policy, a harsh but humane policy of deporting those who won't integrate, and, most importantly, supporting and promoting reformist Muslim voices.

But one look at Europe's fractured political landscape gives the impression that "sensible" is a long way off.

We only have to witness the response to tomorrow’s terrorist attack to confirm that European politicians aren’t on the side of Islam’s would-be reformers, but on that of its soldiers – those fascists who believe that imposing their ideology through violence is their ticket to paradise. The only ones who stand to benefit from the politicians’ deafness on this issue are these Islamofascists and Europe’s traditional fascists. Those of us stuck in the middle are slowly being crushed.
Profile Image for Charlie.
63 reviews14 followers
June 8, 2018
This is an excellent explanation and analysis of the current problems facing Europe. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what's going on in Europe, and it is timely for how pressing these issues are. The book is highly critical of the political classes for ignoring the wishes and opinions of the public in regards to immigration levels and the impact of Islam. Few politicians are able to speak honestly and openly about it, showing how out of touch they are with their voters. The recent migrant crisis features prominently, and Murray demonstrates how the politicians failed in their response to it. There are many in doubt that large numbers of people entering a continent who do not share the values of its people is a bad thing, or that there is a problem with Islam. To them, they absolutely must read this book. One thing that is disappointing is that the terrorist attacks didn't get more attention, particularly the Paris 2015 attacks and those of Summer 2016. There has been an increasing militarization of France as a result. That will be a huge issue for the French to confront, as well as all the others that this book addressed. The EU also doesn't get much attention, even though its border policy played a large part in facilitating the ability of migrants to move across Europe.

Angela Merkel unsurprisingly gets a lot of the criticism, as much of the responsibility for the migrant crisis can put at her feet for inviting them in in 2015. What is shocking is that Merkel, despite the obvious consequences of her policies and negative reactions of her people, is still electable. She is currently looking at a fourth term as Chancellor.
240 reviews1 follower
May 7, 2017
Tired rehash of old arguments

I found this a very poor read. In the introduction the author boasts of the research and travel he had done in writing the book but in fact this appears to have been little more than two trips to islands on the edge of Europe where he did little more than reinforce his existing prejudices. The terms he uses Europe, western Europe and britain are used interchangeably and he uses statistics in a misleading way, for example he routinely mentions uk immigration figures without explaining that most immigrants to the UK come from Europe and not outside. He talks of the death of christianity without reference to the rise in non protestant Christianity. It is apparent that the author began with a conclusion and fitted any information to fit that end. Very poor and I could not recommend in any way.
Profile Image for Cj Dufficy.
30 reviews11 followers
July 19, 2017
The crucial axioms to invigorate identity politics and mount lie upon lie to suffocate any resistance to confirmation bias are magnificently on display here in this awful rubbish:

1. There is an homogeneous British Culture.

But Rugby, Football, Cricket, Curry, Binge drinkers, Hen Parties, Theatre & Shakespeare, house & rock music fans etc would struggle to define it and naturally the author never even attempts to, deftly ignoring British support for Opera (south & east Europe), natural justice above legal chicanery (Middle East and Asian steppe), extended familial responsibility (Africa), respect of elders (East ASIA, China & Japan) and Ballet (Russia and Eastern Europe) etc all of whom both benefit and are influenced from afar as well.

2. That this "culture" is the pinnacle and has nothing to learn or add from the rest of the worlds "homogeneous cultures".

These of course are similarly non-defined (except that young Asian men are all rapists tolerated by immoral peers and elders). Probably because outside of Papua New Guinea where dense jungle prevented cultural even linguistic cross pollination none exist.

3. There is an arbitrary time limit that the author can impose (seems to be bankrupt Britain in 1948) where justice seekers morph to vengeful fanatics.

4. That emigration from the U.K. (The reference in the title to Europe is as dishonest as the content of the entire thesis, its only about little England really) is a benefit to wherever these cultural ambassadors land.

5. That the displaced persons of the world created by illegal wars of aggression, propped up tyrannies and economic war brought their calamities upon themselves and are no responsibility of the companies and populations who profited from the pillaged resources or manufacturing the bombs and bullets or training those who fire them or actually fired them.

6. That the short lives and unfulfilled potential of 60 million refugees only matter if they are enacted within privileged borders, starving in the Sahara or drowning in the Mediterranean bestows no guilt on rich nations, such guilt is avoided by border integrity.

7. Human ambition is legitimately handicapped by the accident of your country of birth. Someone fleeing hopeless poverty created in similar ways to hopeless fear of random or deliberate violence is somehow undeserving of support and compassion. Get up and go is no longer a quality to be respected if you get up and come here.

8. Darwin is hotly contested.

No it is not. There is no other competing theory with anything more than wishful thinking to back it up versus 150 years of study and evidence gathering every bit of which further proves the theory.

9. Before stating this axiomatic statement from this book I warn you I'm not joking.

Societies and individuals without religious faith (one infers Christian faith is meant) are unlikely to achieve much.

Please insert your own incredulity and personal examples from Einstein, Voltaire, Bertrand Russel to Mark Twain to more than 90 per cent of today's scientific community, I really want one of these morons to have dentistry or surgery without X-ray or get lost without gps on their fancy holidays in the countries of those they sneer down their noses at in the rented BMW X5.

An awful sop of an argument to deflect us from the fact that either way creating hopelessness in large populations has costly consequences that must be paid for by whichever countries have capacity to do so. Usually by massive "defence" budgets to suppress or oppress both domestic and foreign often desperate resistance to simply eking out a miserable existence against the odds while watching western obesity on reality TV. But the profits and security attained are not shared as equally as the costs. The debtors ledger in the hands of the few but the creditors ledger dropped in the lap of entire nations of deceived taxpayers.

The dog whistle here is that we are all racist, bigoted and prejudiced to some degree. This rings true as we do all have blind spots of fear, ignorance and prejudice but I prefer to see the positive where huge societies have emerged with strong rules and norms reminding individuals not to inform their actions with irrational and ill gotten prejudice, but instead to establish human and civil rights for all including those we don't understand or fail to find common ground with.

I do fully agree (I think, if I understood correctly) that all citizens should have civics lessons from their country of residence and in broad terms accept the framework or choose to live elsewhere, that laws must be applied without any prejudice toward any group large or small. That religion has no place in law making or education in societies that wish to accommodate all faiths or no faiths.

Who agrees to print this bile and why? a book explaining this? that's a book I want to read.The author is the usual pay for play entertainer feasting on the misery of others.
Profile Image for Tariq Mahmood.
Author 2 books1,034 followers
June 23, 2017
Complete waste of time for any liberal as all the 'researched' facts is a selection based on the author's prejudice against Muslims migrants in Europe. The huge numbers of Muslim migrants are because their houses are being bombed, and their livelihoods destroyed, their personal safety no more. And why are their wars in their own countries? How can the author deny Europe's direct involvement in the Middle East? Are their foreign policies not to blame? Or are we only going to refer to history when it suits us?

Careful when you read it as the author freely quotes immigrants and Muslims without any differentiation. I am not sure if he is actually against immigrants in general or just Muslim immigrants.

But do read it if you have anti-immigrant tendencies. It will really give you a great time.
Profile Image for Charles Haywood.
505 reviews778 followers
September 8, 2017
Mass immigration to Europe is one of those topics about which there is little mainstream discussion, both in the United States and even more so (paradoxically) in Europe. What discussion does happen is purely facile, on the “pro” side, or often lacking nuance, on the “anti” side. Douglas Murray’s book, “The Strange Death of Europe,” sets out to remedy both faults. The book is good, if a bit meandering; it offers historical and political analysis, along with relevant philosophical thoughts. The difficulty, though, as Murray hints himself, is that properly viewed, the topic does not rate an analysis so much as a dirge. To the extent there is a problem, it has no real solution, and in any case the problem only exists as a second-order problem, made possible by the pre-existing exhaustion of Europe, most obvious in its childlessness. If Europe was not exhausted, this book would not exist. Nonetheless, by offering clarity of thought about how Europe got to its current position, “The Strange Death of Europe” performs a valuable service.

The author begins with a narrow focus on the past fifteen years in the United Kingdom, with glances to the few decades before that. He offers a variety of statistics on the incredibly rapid change in the composition of the UK, with immigrants (primarily non-Commonwealth Muslim) more than doubling in the past ten years, to several million. The current flood began slowly somewhat earlier—after a thousand years in which there was extremely little immigration to the UK, following 1945 England began to import people, in part to fill demands for labor, and in part as a result of the end of the British Empire. Massive majorities of the population always demanded much stricter controls and limitations on immigration, but they were ignored by the elites of all political stripes (except for outriders like Enoch Powell, whom Murray notes was primarily wrong because his famous 1968 “Rivers of Blood” speech grossly understated the actual future impacts of immigration). In the 1980s and 1990s, immigration accelerated, in part due to a new ideological obeisance of the elites to “multiculturalism” (the doctrine that all cultures are equal, except Western culture, which is inferior and existentially guilty, worthy only of making reparations to other, supposedly oppressed, peoples), concluding in a deliberate attempt at the highest levels of government to create a social transformation. Also contributing, unsurprisingly, was a desire by Labor to obtain more and more reliable voters, as well as European Union movement rules. Throughout, politicians would often pay lip service to the public demand for limits—then crank the spigot open some more. The result is today’s England, which the elites treat as a wonderful new England, Cool Britannia, while a majority of people hate these changes, but are told to “shut up, racist,” when they are not being threatened with arrest for “hate speech.”

Murray then opens up his analysis beyond England and, of more interest to me, parses the precise rationales offered by European elites for admitting these waves of migrants. He points out, of course, that never does any proponent of increased or unrestricted immigration say with specificity what the actual benefits of immigration are, much less compare any supposed benefits with quantified costs, both out-of-pocket and costs such as the undesired change of what is good. Postwar, the main need was for unskilled labor, most famously the Turkish “gastarbeiter” in Germany, but a phenomenon also in other countries. The explicit, formal requirement was that all these workers would eventually return to their home countries, but of course only a negligible amount ever did, and none were ever forced to do so. In later years, arguments were made that despite their tendency in every country to work little and receive massive amounts of benefits, migrants were a net economic positive. This is, of course, silly—Murray notes a 2013 study done by University College London that concluded that from 1995 through 2011, the net cost of immigrants to the UK was in the range of $250 billion. Naturally, that part of the study was not reported (it is a wonder it was even published), and the BBC heralded the study as a positive, because a minor element of the study showed, to nobody’s surprise, that a subset of highly-educated migrants from within the EU offered a small net economic benefit. The rest of the study was ignored by the elites and all polite society, of course.

A variation on this pseudo-argument that immigrants provide a current economic benefit is the allegation, sometimes explicit and sometimes merely implied, that because Europeans have far fewer children than necessary even for mere replacement, migrants are necessary to produce children who can be taxed to provide the social services demanded by the graying European population. Murray points out, correctly, that Europeans don’t want to have children because it’s expensive and they’re not optimistic about the future. I think it’s more than that; it’s a spiritual malaise and a consequent obsessive focus on the autonomous self, closely related to what Murray later calls “tiredness.” He doesn’t think the answer is importing immigrants—it has other costs, they also will age, and maybe we don’t need Europe to grow. Perhaps. But this is a real problem, and if there are no immigrants, it will still need a solution. What is more, the economic need for children to support the welfare state, whether solved or not, leaves aside an even more more important point Murray does not mention, that an aged society is a decrepit, fearful society that has dug its own grave. No youth equals no dynamism (though not all dynamisms are created equal). Nobody seems to make this point, though, and Murray is no exception.

Finally, there are moral and cultural arguments in favor of immigration, a thin broth which boils down to “more diversity is good for us.” Here, Murray hammers at a basic, yet totally ignored, truth—if we assume, for purposes of argument, that some cultural diversity is good, it does not follow that more is better. That’s not to say that any diversity resulting from immigration is necessarily good, or that its benefits exceed its costs—those things may or may not be true, and no attempt is ever made to demonstrate either, other than by frequent references to new dining establishments. Those who chant the magic word “diversity” do so in order to summon their inner Merlin, and thereby to create a magical zone of suspended rationality. The truth is that the diversity offered by bringing large numbers of adherents of vastly inferior cultures, which is all the non-European immigrants to Europe, is worse than homogeneity. Not all cultures offer anything worth having. If you get a meal at a new, exciting, restaurant, along with a side order of child rape, finishing with dessert of murdered priest, you did not have a good dinner.

Of course, an honest debate about immigration is the one thing truly impossible in Europe, as Murray makes very clear. We in the United States cannot comprehend how in most European countries speech is thoroughly controlled by the elites in order to overtly deny truths obvious to everyone. The worst offender is Sweden, but England and Germany are not far behind. This is accomplished by a pernicious combination of government functionaries coordinating with the press to aggressively suppress any publication of news that does not fit the positive narrative of immigration; combined with vicious, ruinous attacks on anyone who publicly or privately says otherwise; backed up with occasional selective criminal prosecution to encourage the common people to keep their mouths shut.

Thus, the mass sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve 2015/2016 in Germany, in Cologne and elsewhere, where thousands of women were assaulted on the street, including many rapes, were initially completely unreported (and if not for the Internet, would never have been reported). Sweden now, and newly, has the highest rate of rape anywhere in the world other than Lesotho, yet it is not allowed for anyone to point out what everybody knows, that nearly 100%, if not 100%, of those rapes are committed by Muslim immigrants, who swarm all over Sweden. Throughout the UK, for more than a decade, organized gangs of Muslim men groomed girl children for rape (always non-Muslim children, by deliberate and explicit choice), including gang rape, while the police, teachers, and social workers looked the other way, mortally afraid of being called racist, until finally there was an outcry, a few slaps on the wrist, and probably the practice has merely gone underground, not to be pursued.

Yet, if you ask a politically moderate American friend of mine who has traveled extensively in Germany and has many German friends, he’ll deny that Cologne happened, or if it did, says it was just pickpockets, because that’s what his friends all tell him. You only have to read Wikipedia, which is continuously scrubbed by Muslim apologists and is therefore always biased regarding in such incidents, yet still largely reports the truth about the Cologne incidents, to see his viewpoint is totally false. Either his friends are lying to him, or, more likely, they know what they are required to believe. And my friend will never, ever, admit that he could be wrong in any way, because he has been brainwashed to believe that would mean he was racist. There are none so blind as those who will not see. Someday people will look back on this collective insanity with wonder, or more likely, with contempt. I say that we in the United States cannot comprehend this, made more difficult here both by the First Amendment and by our culture—yet we should not pride ourselves overmuch, as free speech has been radically eroded over the past few years by the new malefactors of great wealth, gatekeepers of allowed truth such as Google and Facebook, along with others in their ecosystem. But that is a topic for another day.

Murray intersperses the chapters of the book, which is heavy on the statistics and depressing philosophy, with accounts of his own travels to various key spots in the migrant saga. These include Lampedusa (the southernmost point of Italy, where many North Africans arrive in Europe), and Lesbos, where many Middle Eastern (and African) immigrants show up. Then he continues his march through the fecklessness of European leaders, of whom Angela Merkel is the worst, which makes the reader alternate between depression and anger.

Other portions of the book are taken up with more philosophical reflections. Murray points out that the European elites who drive this project of mass migration uniformly claim to hold the moral high ground. But they fail to balance between, or even advert to, two competing virtues, justice and mercy. Mercy is always easier, “with the swiftest short-term benefits and the [virtue] more admired in the society in which those benefits are received.” Justice, giving to each his due, both current inhabitants and migrants, is never mentioned and no attempt is made to offer it to anybody. The bulk of the philosophy, though, is taken up by Murray trying to figure out why the European elites act in a calculated fashion to destroy Europe as it has existed to date. He chalks it up to two basic emotions: guilt and tiredness. Guilt over the supposed sins of Europe, where purportedly Europe has done wrong for centuries and must atone, while the much greater wrongs done by others, including most emphatically in the countries of origin of the migrants, are ignored or denied outright (I’ll have a helping of Armenian genocide!). Plus, of course, guilt for the very real sins of Nazism, somehow imputed beyond the German nation to Europe as a whole.

Murray asks whether guilt might be a one-generation phenomenon, to be replaced by something else, but I doubt it, since I think the Europeans are very far gone---as shown by the second emotion, tiredness, or “Geschichtsmüde,” weariness of history. Yes, decline is a perennial obsession of the West, certainly for the past two hundred years—but that does not mean decline is not occurring. In fact, the surprise would be if decline were not occurring, since it is the fate of all great civilizations. The certainties that characterized modern Europe for the past 150 years have all failed miserably, and maybe everyone is just tired of chasing certainty. Perhaps, Murray says, citing the modern French philosopher Chantal Delsol, Europeans are in the position that Icarus would have been had he survived—surrounded by wreckage, wondering why he was still alive, and bereft of the grand goals to which he had set himself, with no focus or way to move onwards. Europeans just want a break from history. “We sometimes behave as though we had the certainties of our ancestors, yet we have none of them, and none of their consolations.” “The vastness of the gap between them and us strikes us at sudden moments. Consider Izaak Walton’s life of John Donne. At the end of this brief work Walton speaks of his friend’s last days and describes his body ‘which once was a temple of the Holy Ghost and is now become a small quantity of Christian dust.’ And then the last line: ‘But I shall see it reanimated.’” Who among our elite would write that line now?

However, Murray tries to have his own personal atheist cake and eat it too. He emphasizes the importance of Christianity to Europe, citing the (also atheist) theologian Don Cupitt, “Nobody in the West can be wholly non-Christian. You may call yourself non-Christian, but the dreams you dream are still Christian dreams.” He mourns the lost Christian certainty, and its effects on eroding resistance to the migrant tide, but at the same time frequently refers to the desirability of religious doubt. He intends to contrast modern Christian doubt to the religious fervor, shading often to fanaticism, that characterizes many Muslim immigrants. But religious doubt did not create Europe, and all of the glories of Europe were achieved in a fervid Christian environment (and the glories of Islam, though much longer ago, in a fervid Muslim environment). Such doubt is only valuable to Europe to the extent that it eats into Muslim belief and thereby erodes the Muslim drive toward dominance that is part and parcel of the religion. But Murray doesn’t want to say that, so he doesn’t.

In several points in the book, Murray also discusses those few and villainized public opponents of unfettered immigration, not just those sometimes barely tolerated such as UKIP, but also those suppressed and persecuted parties collectively often referred to as “right-wing,” which are often not really right-wing at all, and are never given any credit when they purge actual racists from their ranks. (Murray notes in more than one place that the hatred and ostracism directed at any challenge to the dominant narrative tends to result in actual racists trying to attach themselves to these parties, since they’re told that’s where they fit in, even when the parties don’t want anything to do with them.) These include AfD in Germany (and the pressure group Pegida), the National Front in France, Vlaams Belang in Belgium, the English Defence League, and the Sweden Democrats. In like vein, Murray discusses key individuals in the pro-indigenous European movement, mostly murdered already or under violent threat, such as the assassinated Pim Fortuyn in Holland (a homosexual left-winger) and the Somali immigrant Ayaan Hirsi Ali, forced out of Holland by threats of a similar fate. (Although he does not mention it, he is also under violent threat.) So far, at least, these parties (other than the Sweden Democrats) have gotten little traction. Next month’s election in Germany will be telling—although the wave of migrants has slowed, and the controlled press is uniformly pushing the “nothing to see here; move along” line. Murray also points out that Eastern Europe, the Visegrad countries, are not nearly as susceptible to the deliberate insanity about immigration that characterizes Western Europe, and they have so far resisted the torrent of pressure and abuse directed their way for rejecting unfettered immigration and exalting Christian Europe (which intransigence has been a large part of the reason for slowing immigration).

Of course, one possible way to square the circle is integration. If all the migrants would just become European, there would be no problem. But that, of course, is a dodge. What does it mean to be a “European”? It can’t be just a person in Europe. So what does it mean? Murray talks often about the “core values,” the “absolute bases,” the “good things” of Western civilization. But he doesn’t really say what those are. It can’t be “liberal democracy,” which is neither liberal, because it oppresses any wrongthink, nor democratic, as shown by, among other things, the imposition of tens of millions of migrants upon an unwilling European population. Is it human rights of some kind? If so, what are those, and from where do they come? (Pro tip: “The European Convention on Human Rights” is an incoherent answer, not that Murray offers it.) Is it freedom of religion? The rule of law? The reader gets the sneaking suspicion that what Murray means is “pretty much everything about Europe that’s antithetical to Islam,” but doesn’t want to say that. Now, that’s a perfectly respectable and defensible intellectual position, though it lumps incompatible things into one bucket, but it’d be nice if Murray would just say so. Not to mention, why would anyone want to integrate into a dying culture, full of self-doubt, self-distrust, and self-hatred—more than that, of self-negation, a society that embodies the cry of Mephistopheles, “Ich bin der Geist der stets verneint!”

Thus, maybe Europe’s story has just run out. Certainly, “nothing in modern European culture applies itself to offering an answer. . . . Instead, a voice at best says ‘Find your meaning where you will.’” European art, to take just one example, offers neither beauty nor ambition; at best, it points us to that suffering and death exist, which we already knew. In particular, “it has given up that desire to connect us to something like the spirit of religion or that thrill of recognition—what Aristotle termed anagnorisis—which grants you the sense of having just caught up with a truth that was always waiting for you.” What does Europe offer itself or the world? Not much, that I can see. I did make a Simnel cake this weekend, though, and it was very tasty—but that is an ancient offering

What should Europe do? Murray doesn’t really offer much hope; he muses on what might have been had European elites approached immigration with a more balanced touch and more acknowledgement of what their people’s desired. But that’s not what actually happened. Europe could cut off immigration, or restrict it to those who bring proven value. But that’s not going to happen. At the end, Murray thinks that mostly Europe will muddle onward, presumably ending in total transformation—unless, he implies, an economic downturn brings to power darker forces that take a more aggressive approach to immigration (since the wealth of Europe today makes averting one’s eyes from the problems easy). Of course, if you asked many Europeans, they would claim, and maybe even believe, that Murray’s analysis, and mine, of European decay exacerbated by mass immigration, is insane. They would say that Europe is strong and vibrant, in better shape than ever before, at peace and covered with cloth of gold. They would say that the future is bright, and that the 21st Century will be the European century. Maybe it will. But I’m betting not—or if so, not in a good way.
Profile Image for Peter.
777 reviews120 followers
October 15, 2017
I held back on the original review I had prepared which was a long truthful discourse.

Sooo in a nutshell, I agree with nearly 98% of this book.

WHY? My wife is muslim and asian and her father was very happy to consent to our marriage because he wanted his daughter to live a free and happy life.

We have two wonderful daughters, the eldest is nearly 18.

Most family members on both sides objected to us getting married.

His answer was she can marry who she wants, it is a free country and no muslim immigrent has the right to tell our family what to do, this is England a democratic country and the reason to come here was to get away from this rubbish not to bring it along.

Kind of sums it up really.
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,288 reviews3,234 followers
February 22, 2021
A blend of xenophobia, racism, unbridled prejudice based mostly on the author's opinion yet devoid of any data or 'facts'.

It's presumptuous and deeply offensive.
Profile Image for Matty-Swytla.
497 reviews72 followers
June 12, 2017
The book of the year, undoubtedly.

Can't agree more with the author, especially with his warning about the future if politicians don't start listening to the frequently more loud public resentment and grievances regarding immigration and (non)integration.

A must read.
Profile Image for Ryan Murdock.
Author 7 books36 followers
June 5, 2017
An extremely well written and thoroughly researched examination of the European migrant crisis, the ill-planned and entirely improvised response of our leaders, and the strange path Europe is taking as Western culture struggles with the reasons — or lack thereof — for its own existence. I think this is essential reading. Western culture is wonderful, and worth saving. If only we can get our heads out of the reeking depths of the postmodern ass for long enough to realize it.
Profile Image for Radiantflux.
428 reviews412 followers
July 24, 2020
Racist nonsense.

Frankly, I can't be bothered wasting more time writing a critique of this book, but for those who want something more substantial this review does a pretty good job (just Google Far Right racist nonsense "Douglas Murray" and you'll find plenty of others):


If you’re curious what the book is about, the entire argument is helpfully summed up in the title. Europe is dying — being murdered, in fact — by hordes of Muslim immigrants, aided in their task by craven liberal politicians. As Murray describes it, insufficiently harsh border policies have opened the gates to migrants bent on committing no lesser crimes than mass rape and indiscriminate murder. Meanwhile, white Europeans, exhausted by their own history and driven into moral relativism by the decline of the Christian faith, are slowly being replaced by an implacably hostile and alien population of foreigners.

THE PICTURE OF Europe that Murray paints is nothing less than apocalyptic. Over 300 pages, he recounts a litany of crimes committed by immigrants, asylum-seekers, refugees, or people with European citizenship who happen to be minorities. Like far-right American publications that maintain running lists of crimes specifically committed by black people and Latino immigrants, Murray collapses all these cases together to give the impression of one gigantic, rolling crisis. Echoing President Donald Trump’s warnings about Latin American rapists flooding the United States from Mexico, Murray depicts a wave of migrants from Muslim-majority countries who are not simply fleeing violence in their homelands, but are on a mission to conquer, violate, and insult the people of Europe.
Profile Image for Luke.
2 reviews2 followers
July 8, 2017
If only this man were not an author or journalist, but a leader; there might yet be hope for England.

This book is a well-researched analysis of the failures of our governing class to control mass migration and its consequences. Douglas is sublime and articulates expertly the shortcomings of our politicians in dealing with biggest challenge to our society. This book certainly wades through the nonsense advanced by other commentators and does away with certain 'wisdoms'.

This ought to wake people up, then again, and as Douglas points out, it probably won't.

A thrilling read and I recommend - 10/10.
Profile Image for Tristram Shandy.
728 reviews204 followers
July 24, 2017
Just Another Prediction of the Decline and Fall of the West?

We Europeans, especially those of a more conservative outlook, are fond of the Cassandra game, predicting the degeneration of society as we know it, the loss of values and the disappearance of Culture with a capital C. Probably no one ever did it in as lachrymose-hysterical and at the same time tedious a manner as Oswald Spengler, and it was his book that I had to think of when I came across Douglass Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, but being worried by what has been happening in my country and in my continent, especially since 2015, I gave it a try, anyway, and I have to admit that most of what I read I found unsettling, and quite convincing.

There will be those who accuse Murray of peddling abstruse fears, of pandering to prejudices, or of straying into bizarre conspiracy theories but I would say that most of what is said in the book is borne out by common sense and the evidence around us. Except that his critics do have a point with regard to his proneness to conspiracy theories, an aspect that, to some extent, mars his overall message. When reading this book, I had the impression that Murray ultimately wanted to suggest that European politicians follow a secret agenda of replacing the autochthonous European population with immigrant populations, a suggestion that is really absurd. First of all, one may ask what motive politicians should have to pursue such a far-ranging and nefarious enterprise: Surely, according to what Murray says about the problems of integration, they would have a harder time lording it over migrants who follow their own cultural rules and often have little or no qualifications that can be of use in modern economies than over the better-qualified, over-docile and often guilt-ridden Europeans. A second reason that speaks against Murray’s underlying accusation is the fact that such a conspiracy would demand a lot of forethought, and if there is one thing we can be sure of it is that our politicians usually think in very short terms, preferably from election to election. I would not see most modern-day politicians as the evil masterminds they seem to be in Murray’s opinion but rather as blundering and often spineless opportunists.

Another point that slightly detracts from the merits of this book is Murray’s tendency to use rather apocalyptic language. If you compare it to Paul Collier’s Exodus with its more balanced view on migration and its preoccupation with suggesting solutions to deal with the problem in a sensible way, you will know what I mean. In his introduction, for instance, Murray writes:

”Europe is committing suicide. Or at least, its leaders have decided to commit suicide. Whether the European people choose to go along with this is, naturally, another matter. […] As a result, by the end of the lifespans of most people currently alive Europe will not be Europe and the peoples of Europe will have lost the only place in the world we had to call home.”

This alarmist tone must be very off-putting to anyone who has some basic knowledge of the typical tropes of cultural pessimism, but the reader should not allow this kind of language to deter him from continuing with the book because it might be well worth his time.

What then is recommendable about this book? I would say, quite some things are. For a start, I think that Murray makes a point that many supporters of mass immigration deliberately try to obfuscate, namely that the question is not whether immigration should be allowed or not, but rather how much immigration is good for Europe, and, by extension, also for those people who try to come here. Immigration advocates usually take care to lump together critics of uncontrolled migration with racists of the far right, and, given the European guilt complex, they often have an easy time of it. In this context, Murray very convincingly refutes the arguments that are commonly put forth in favour of mass integration, be they economic, demographic or cultural. Especially the “diversity” argument, which fails to consider the dangers arising for a society in which less and less common ground is shared, is rebutted in an aptly sarcastic way by Murray:

”But to take that example [i.e. the obligatory one about the range of cuisines], the amount of enjoyment to be got from Turkish food does not increase year on year the more Turks there are in the country.”

Granted, this is a ridiculous refutation – but so is the diversity argument, if you think about it carefully. Unspecified diversity as such is not a value in itself if you take into account – as Murray later does – that a considerable number of immigrants is not very partial to the liberal attitudes it took Europe centuries to establish. [1]

Another interesting aspect in Murray’s book is that he shows the contempt and hatred some European politicians have for their own culture. Let’s take the Swedish politician Mona Sahlin, for instance, who said,

”I cannot figure out what Swedish culture is. I think that’s what makes many Swedes jealous of immigrant groups. You have a culture, an identity, a history, something that brings you together. And what do we have? We have Midsummer’s Eve and such silly things.”

Murray lists many more of these examples of how little respect European politicians have for the people they are actually supposed to represent, and he also addresses the paradox that, in the eyes of these politicians and their supporters, all cultures are equal except European culture, which is evil through and through and, strangely, at the same time the only one to be able to solve the problems of the whole world. There is an eerie mixture of pathological self-hatred and megalomania underlying this kind of thinking. But here we are at the core of the problem, because, as Murray says, Europeans no longer have any deeply-rooted values they feel able to believe in, and what is more (or less), they have even lost confidence in the existence of any such values at all. One of the results is their readiness to regard their own history and culture in the light of the darker sides only, which makes them feel they have to do penance for the sins of their forefathers. It’s a kind of guilt complex that paralyzes Europe and that, according to Murray, can only be overcome if Europeans accept the importance of the Christian tradition with regard to the culture of liberalism and individualism our continent has developed. I must admit, though, that this will probably be quite difficult.

As to more practical and immediate remedies, Murray offers less than Collier but he also speaks of setting an upper limit for immigration,[2] of not letting Italy and Greece tackle the problem of guarding the European borders alone, and – a thought I found very interesting of leasing some land in Northern African states where migrants who have been picked up on the Mediterranean can be taken in order to check their backgrounds, i.e. whether they are really refugees or not.

To sum it all up, I did not have the impression that Murray’s book is fuelled by racism or the wish to deny refugees the chance of finding shelter in Europe. Instead, it is meant to serve as an eye-opener for what is wrong at the core of the European mental state and what is wrong about a laissez-faire immigration policy. While Murray’s slightly hysterical style and his tendency to harbour conspiracy theories make this book less valuable than Paul Collier’s work on migration policy, he still does a very good job of making his readers aware of present and future problems and of de-masking the absurdity of the European guilt complex.

[1] It might be interesting in this context to remember that 63% of the Turks living in Germany were in favour of Erdogan’s Presidential System, more than in Turkey itself. In Austria, 71% of the Turks voted for the change of the Turkish constitution. Apparently, living in democratic countries does not necessarily make you cherish liberal values.

[2] These days, the German Bundespräsident has, once again, refuted the idea of introducing an upper limit on immigration, and he also said that it might take decades to integrate the newcomers. I could not help thinking that it is very practical indeed that this is a matter of decades because by then the Bundespräsident and the Bundeskanzlerin will no longer be in office and cannot be held responsible for their keep-it-up-policy. And would not the notion that integration is not as easy as it seemed and will take a lot of time and effort be a strong argument for upper limits?
Profile Image for Olly L-J.
91 reviews37 followers
September 19, 2017
I don't agree with Douglas Murray on a fair few issues, but I respect him deeply for his courage and also his skills as a debater (watch some of his clips on YouTube) and also a writer.
Rational, factual, and also compassionate, this book feels deeply, deeply important. Mass migration, creeping islamisation of European culture is an issue that many, normal, decent people are worried about. Of course there will be extremes from the far right and far left who flock to these sort of views, but tarring everybody with the same brush is extremely unhelpful.
Another issue is that if no one (especially in politics) is willing to speak up about these issues we leave the conversation in the hands of the genuine bigots and demagogues (trump/farage etc) and people with real fears who never normally would vote for someone like Trump feel they have no other option.
It is up to liberals, who believe in rights for everyone, free speech and the importance of liberal values to start speaking up about this issue.
Profile Image for Robert Appleton.
Author 59 books52 followers
July 15, 2020
Douglas Murray maintains remarkable poise as he treads through some of the most politically taboo territory of modern times. Europe has lost its sense of self, he posits. The hows and the whys of this are extremely well argued here. Guilt, conflict fatigue, political apathy, the rise of liberal fanaticism, and many other factors have weakened European identity to the point where we've become unable to stop or even slow the Biblical-scale influx of foreign cultures into our continent. The problems arising from this, many of them so stark and obvious (and worryingly unspeakable), are at the heart of today's Western political divide. They continue to go unaddressed, or worse, wilfully compounded by huge numbers of people in our society, for whom immigration and the championing of anyone NOT of white European origin has become a kind of masochistic mania.

Combustible stuff.

Murray is not an angry writer. Rather he coolly dismantles the oft-peddled official arguments for why large-scale immigration is good for us. Then he sets about the Merkel migration debacle, one of the key global events since World War II, with scholarly and journalistic gusto. He recalls his personal encounters with refugees and migrants at various stages of their journeys to "the Promised Land" of Western Europe. The picture he paints is a complicated one, but overriding themes do crystallise into, strangely enough, many of the concerns everyday people across Europe have but are told (by misguided elites) that they are wrong to have: fear of being overrun by foreign cultures and their often incongruous values and beliefs, fear that the authorities are covering up migrant crime figures and even the crimes themselves (most disturbingly, the widespread rapes) in order to hoodwink us into accepting their utopian delusion of large-scale integration.

I suspect many readers will be simultaneously impressed and depressed by Murray's conclusions. Impressed because here is someone who's finally written a lucid, probing account into a heretofore mostly taboo subject that has always been difficult to broach without sounding strident, and even more difficult to unpack from its layers of decade-long distortion, denial, and political correctness. Depressed because the fading of traditional Western European identity does seem bleak, perhaps even irreversible. Whatever we do now may be too late. That's a bitter pill to swallow, though, and while Murray is not, on the surface, an angry writer, that emotion may be the one that endures most lastingly in many of his readers. It has in this reader, and that alone qualifies The Strange Death of Europe as a must-read book. Indeed, an important book.
Profile Image for Mary Ronan Drew.
872 reviews101 followers
July 14, 2017
Douglas Murray's book is a frank new analysis of political conditions in Europe, especially the conditions created by the millions of Muslim immigrants that have flooded into the EU over the past decade and in some countries are still arriving in the tens of thousands each day. This is a topic that is difficult to talk about in Europe. The denial of the political and intellectual elites is almost complete. They insist "immigration" is good for Europe and to deny this or even to question how much immigration is enough is to be . . . pick your accusation: Nazi, Fascist, Islamophobe. Everything but sexist as about 70% of the arrivals are young and male.

"Over the whole discussion the allure of this 'get with the beat' attitude prevailed. Perhaps the temptation to 'go with the flow' is so strong in this argument because the price for stepping outside the consensus is so uniquely high. Get a studio discussion about the budget wrong and you might be accused of financial ignorance or poor interpretation of the public mood. But nod to the overwhelming public mood, let alone speak for it, on immigration and reputations, careers and livelihoods are on the line."

In Europe the enormous influx of what are said to be mostly Syrians looking for political asylum but are primarily economic refugees from all over Africa and the Middle East are almost entirely Muslim. Their presence has brought dramatic and shocking change to Europe. And in polls over the last 20 years the percentage of the public who want it stopped has steadily risen: 47%, 56%, 73%.

"The upsides of migration have become easy to talk about: to simply nod to them is to express values of openness, tolerance, and broad-mindedness. Yet to not to, let alone express, the downsides of immigration is to invite accusations of closed-mindedness and intolerance, xenophobia and barely-disguised racism. All of which leaves the attitude of the majority of the public almost impossible to express."

Europe is losing its culture. Western civilization took millennia to build but can be lost very quickly. Edmund Burke 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." The enormous changes the elite politicians of Europe are forcing on the people are not just a temporary thing and they are not looking at the consequences in generations to come and the increasing influence of an alien culture that stones women who have been raped and murders homosexuals, that denies women equality and feels free to exert violence on those who are not of their religion.
Profile Image for Bria.
504 reviews
January 7, 2018
Immigration is truly a fight between the heart and the mind.

The heart wants:
To rescue the people surrounded by war and famine and give them stability.
To provide the same opportunities for education, jobs and economical success that we have.
To save children from mutilation, life as a terrorist, orphanages, and illness.
To ensure that all people have the human rights that we have.

The mind says:

Money-because we are countries already in debt and cannot support millions of people on welfare, using healthcare, needing housing and schooling. We cannot afford this and cannot even afford to send them back to the countries that they came from.

Space- because Europe is already densely populated and thousands of new homes would need to be erected per year along with more schools and more school districts. Europeans have a hard time purchasing a home and getting their own children enrolled in school. How can anyone hope to accomplish these two things as millions of new people arrive each year to Europe?

Safety- because there is a horribly inept process of cataloguing who comes into Europe and where they go, ensuring a very difficult road to citizenship (if they even attempt) and no paperwork trails. Also creates ghettos of immigrants, tent cities where they wait to be processed and an inability to tell who is dangerous and who is not.

Although we want to desperately help everyone, this book does an amazing job of explaining how that is not feasible using current statistics.

Instead of debating how to pay for and house immigrants, we end up debating language and what words we need to use and get lost in definitions.

Even though every person was once an immigrant, immigration has never been this high or this messy. The guilt from WWII still hangs over Europe and every colonization disaster, hate crime and example of racism is attributed to their culture. This culture of guilt, self-hatred and shame is not sustainable and kills any love for one's nation .

"Nazism swallowed up the idea of patriotism"

"And any belief man had in man had been destroyed . . . Europe tried religion, it tried secularism, it tried Fascism . . " and all failed and resulted in unhappiness, WWII and now any ideology scares Europe and they have lost their faith and trust in all of it.

"They are blamed for what is happening to them but given no way to reasonably object because 'racism'."
Profile Image for Catalin Negru.
Author 2 books77 followers
September 23, 2018
Target audience: The book targets mainly Europeans and secondly people in the Western world.

About the author: According to his Goodreads page, Douglas Kear Murray is a British neoconservative writer and commentator. He was the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion from 2007 until 2011, and is currently an associate director of the Henry Jackson Society. Murray appears regularly in the British broadcast media, commentating on issues from a conservative standpoint, and he is often critical of Islamic fundamentalism. He writes for a number of publications, including Standpoint, the Wall Street Journal and The Spectator.

Structure of the book: The book has 372 pages, of which 80% are divided into 19 chapters and an introduction.

Overview: This book is about the issue of immigration mainly in Europe and secondly in the Western world. Its main idea is that Europe, as we know it both in terms of demography, culture and well-being, will collapse due to immigration of bad quality persons from Islamic and African third-world countries. By using common sense, statistics, verifiable facts and logic arguments, the author brilliantly analyzes the problem from a number of angles and points of view: historical, demographical, futuristic, causes, effects, symptoms, from European’s point of view, from migrant’s point of view, and even what can be done to prevent a catastrophe. In addition, the book rightfully slaps the European politicians and elites who created this crisis and started an (almost) unstoppable trend of destruction in the detriment of the people’s will.
I think that the author fails to mention – or he does not state clearly enough – what most Europeans actually want. Yes, Europeans accept immigration from all parts of the world, but only in small quantities and only skilled people, who can be integrated in European society by discarding the old habits and adopting new ones. Moreover, Europeans have no problem with multiculturalism, but a multiculturalism formed of the cultures of Europe. The French, the English, the Dutch, the Germans and so on, lived here for centuries. They fought between each other, they allied with each other, and they exchanged information between each other. This is why they have societies that are close in terms of well-being: because their cultures are similar. Multiculturalism is not a purpose in itself, it is only a transition towards uniculturalism.

Quote: 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.

Strong points: The book is very well researched and I also like the fact that the issue was analyzed from multiple points of view in order to remove bias as much as possible. Numbers do not lie.

Weak points: First, I think that the author does not add the fact that leaders such as Victor Orban used the migrant crisis to consolidate their power and turn their countries into illiberal democracies. This, together with demonizing George Soros, makes the book less credible Second, while I agree with the facts presented in the book, I think that the projections and the conclusions are a little too pessimistic. Yes, if the migration trends continue like this, it is only a matter of time until Islam takes a political dimension in Europe. And that might very well be the beginning of the end. However, I know that an invading culture makes room for itself not only through terrorist attacks, but mainly through micro-aggressions. I am confident that surveillance technology will become so cheap in the near future that everybody will afford to record his life and environment 24/7. And when this thing will be available, there will be no more terrorist attacks or migrants who do not integrate and against their society of adoption.
Profile Image for Jane.
380 reviews
August 28, 2017
Mr Murray has researched his subject exhaustively and the book is a highly compelling read. Why are Europeans being told to get over their concern about taking in so many Muslim refugees, and not listened to? This fear is not being addressed at all in Western Europe. In one example cited, at a town hall meeting in Germany, officials informed attendees that if they didn't like the tremendous influx of refugees, they could simply leave Germany. Why the assumption that people who have always lived in a country should leave in favor of newer inhabitants?

We read how crime statistics are manipulated and Muslim crimes covered up. The fear of being called a bigot has overruled common sense. What can be done about this?

How long does it take before the transformation of Europe into a sort of United Nations of the world is at hand, and why do people in authority think that a good thing?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, atheist and former Muslim who was genitally mutilated, lost her citizenship in Holland when she was too outspoken. The irony is that she valued what she thought was the freedom of Holland, and instead was thrown out for being politically incorrect.

Many politicians in various Western European countries scoff at the idea of German culture, French culture, and the like instead of wanting to preserve it. Why is that?

But to me, the most important question the book asks has less to do with Islam than with Western European culture. The author, an atheist himself, correctly asks how a culture which has done away with religious belief can long stand up against great numbers of Islamic believers? I have long wondered this myself. Mankind looks for transcendence and vague beliefs about tolerance and civil rights will not fare very well against committed Muslims. One of his answers is for greater ties between atheists and churches, where it is realized that our culture and beliefs spring from Judeo/Christian values. The West has become very cynical about its history and sees little value in it. It seems child's play to point out that this is suicidal and that is the point of Mr. Murray's outstanding book.

Profile Image for Mona.
196 reviews26 followers
May 3, 2022
This is certainly a controversial book and I can see why it caused so many heated reviews. This book requires time, attention and open mind. I found myself taking notes and checking things out during reading,  which is a good sign for me. For Americans, this book may be surprising as we are used to massive immigration more than any other nation. But let's keep in mind, that most European churches, manuscripts etc. are older than America. That puts things into perspective. 


1. Author did a good research on the topic of Muslim immigrants. 

2. I admire author's courage to say certain things "as they are" without being politically correct. Considering how sensitive this topic is, I prise the publisher as well. 

3. This book very well presents what I call "cultural incompatibility" between Christian and Muslim cultures. It does not dive into religious basics, just present culturally important facts. It well describes acquisition of Western Europe by migrants through abuse of democracy and liberalism weak points, as well as by high birth rates among migrants in comparison to native Western Europeans. 


1. This book is not about Europe, it's about Western Europe. There is a difference. Author being a Brit seems to forget it.

2. Narrative is not easy, this is certainly not a page turner. 

3. Author, with certain jealousy, acknowledges the striking difference between massive Muslim migration to Western Europe and strong resistance to it by countries of Visegrad group (those countries did not agree to take almost any refuges assigned by EU). However, he does not take it further and does not bother to travel to any of those countries, talk to people and see, what caused this strong response. I think it would add lots of value to the book and possible solutions of the problems which author tries to find answers to. Sometimes, the less affluent neighbor may do something that we can learn from. 

Overall, despite all cons, I believe it's a very good book for people interested in Europe and its culture.
Profile Image for Anni.
544 reviews76 followers
October 15, 2018
"Europe is committing suicide. Or at least its leaders have decided to commit suicide. Whether the European people choose to go along with this is, naturally, another matter.”

Douglas Murray's eloquence and waspish humour evident in his speeches are on literary display in this timely, highly-readable and compelling treatise. He writes from first-hand perspective of his travels around Europe, interviewing people in key regions affected by immigration, particularly in the front-line nations of Italy, Spain and Greece.
His observations, backed by meticulous research and factual evidence, provide the following main arguments for what is causing the current state of emergency in Europe:-

Mass immigration policy by EU leaders:
The genuine concerns of European citizens over the enforced acceptance of mass immigration have been ignored by the main EU political parties, with the mainstream media, including the BBC, presenting one-sided debates or re-defining free-speech as ‘hate-speech’ when discussing immigration. Playing the race card is a familiar ploy to stifle dissent and excuse inaction, even when the concern under discussion is not about race but a society's culture and values. Fear of being called racist has led to politically-correct cover-ups at all levels in government and repression of crime statistics by police authorities.

Left-wing ‘progressive’ ideology about Multiculturalism and diversity:
“While generally agreeing that it is possible for an individual to absorb a particular culture (given the right degree of enthusiasm both from the individual and the culture) whatever their skin colour, we know that we Europeans cannot become Indian or Chinese, for instance. And yet we are expected to believe that anyone in the world can move to Europe and become European. If being ‘European’ is not about race –as we hope it is not– then it is even more imperative that it is about values.”

Decline of Christianity and Colonial guilt:
The neurotic guilt of Western liberal elites has led to historical revisionism and the disparagement of Europe’s cultural heritage and civilisation, with its Judaeo-Christian ethics and values, paving the way for radical Islamic ideology to gain a stronghold in many European cities.

Acceptance of the ‘New Normality’:
Atrocities on civilians committed by Muslim immigrant (or home-grown) terrorists are now commonplace throughout European nations. These include bombings, shooting sprees, massacres by driving into pedestrians, knife and machete attacks, executions, and rape epidemics by Muslim gangs. Law-abiding citizens are being told to avoid trouble in ‘no-go zones’ rather than report it. Nationalism (or patriotism) is now taboo, with populism (i.e. democracy) being used in a pejorative sense.

This book will shock many who rely on the mainstream media for information about what is really going on around them, and who will remain in denial - but as an international bestseller with over 9,000 reviews (mainly 4/5 star) here on Goodreads, Murray’s warnings should not go entirely amiss.
193 reviews
July 15, 2020
I knew Murray was a right-wing author before I started this book but I sincerely believe in the importance of reading against your own beliefs in order to maintain the intellectual sharpness of your arguments. That said, although I was braced before I read the first sentence, I had not expected to be quite so thrown off balance by the sheer page-turning, eloquence of an author casting a devastating beam of light on the various body-blows the EU project has taken over the last 20 years, most of them self-inflicted. Seeing them all gathered together in such a succinctly written book has been an absolute eye-opener. My balance has been restored. It took a few days. I see now that Murray, with great skill, has laced the bulk of truth within this book with his own right-wing agenda - propaganda at its most effective and deadly. In two clear ways he lets his mask slip.

Firstly and most prominently, when discussing the implications of immigration, specifically muslim immigration, he tars all with the same brush. Here is a clarion call - he literally talks of sirens - warning us of the risk to our own indigenous culture as a result of such significant demographic change. He dismisses those who say we have received many thousands of immigrants for centuries, but we have and now they are part of the British and European cultural landscape. I do accept, however, that the magnitude of immigration into the EU over the last eight years or so is new and different. It has brought significant problems at several levels and we cannot let a blind, bending-over-backwards political correctness prevent us from properly addressing them, or even just being honest about them.

Secondly, Murray treads a very thin line indeed in giving tacit credibility to some hard-right, nationalist organisations across Europe and the UK by claiming that many have reformed and are no longer racist or fascist. I am not convinced. Nevertheless, I read on because there can be no denying whatsoever that hard-right parties are on the rise and that many ordinary people feel more heard by them than by the liberal political class doing their über tolerant, inclusive thing - including, as Murray deftly points out, tolerating and including the intolerant. This is why Trump is in the White House. We ignore this at our peril.

I cannot in good faith give less than five stars to a book I could barely put down, even though I disagree with many of the author's arguments. Although I retain my centre-left position, I cannot deny that this book has given me fresh insight into the parlous state of the current European model. Even the lightest overview of European history, however, reveals how fluid and volatile its story has always been. Plus ça change.
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