Book Review: Douglas Murray's The Strange Death of Europe

Robert Low reviews Douglas Murray's The Strange Death of Europe


Europe has a death wish, thanks to its decades-long, open-door policy of admitting millions of immigrants, mainly Muslim, who have little or no intention of adapting to the continent’s long and proud history of enlightenment, liberal values and respect for human rights.

That’s the message of Douglas Murray’s book, The Strange Death of Europe (Bloomsbury £18.99). And, he adds, Europe’s attitude carries within itself the seeds of its own destruction, for it has underpinned the policy of welcoming the immigrants, whether legal or illegal.

But such a huge influx of people with a completely different and illiberal mind-set must inevitably lead to a situation where the continent will jettison its historic values and eventually hand over power to the newcomers and their descendants.

For the best part of two decades, Murray has been the most eloquent young British defender of traditional Western values (and, not coincidentally, of Israel too) in the face of what he sees as a deadly Islamic onslaught, and has courageously stuck to his guns in the face of liberal sneering, condescension and outright abuse.

He is an accomplished speaker and debater, and has written countless newspaper and magazine articles on this theme. And he has pulled it all together in this timely and important book, which has gone to the top of the non-fiction best-seller lists despite little pre-publication publicity.

Its success rather confirms his belief that ordinary people are deeply concerned about Europe’s immigration policy (or lack of it), despite the ruling political and intellectual elite’s insistence — until recently at least — that there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

Murray reserves his deepest scorn for this elite, epitomised by Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose decision to allow a million mainly Syrian refugees into her country in 2016 remains the single most dramatic episode in this long-running saga.

The story is by now very familiar, thanks to the terrible sequence of deadly terrorist attacks carried out by Islamists all over Europe in recent years. Murray dutifully notes them all but his book offers much more, which is why it is such an engrossing read.

He explores in depth the many reasons why Europe has, in his view, decided to commit slow suicide. In the end, he believes it comes down to two things: a deep sense of guilt at its colonial legacy; and a loss of faith — in value, culture, traditions and, above all, religious faith.

While the Christians whose faith is the basis of those beliefs will ultimately stand in the firing line, the most immediate victims of the new Islamic invasion are the continent’s Jews, whether those murdered in Toulouse and Paris or those who have left Sweden and France because of the rising — and constantly under-reported — tide of antisemitism from their Muslim neighbours.

Murray offers some sensible short-term solutions to the immigration crisis, but he clearly thinks that, as long as Europe, alone among the world’s continents, thinks it has a duty to accommodate everyone who wants to live here, despite the growing evidence of the disastrous consequences of this mind-set, the long-term future is bleak.


Robert Low is consultant editor of ‘Standpoint’ magazine.

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