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Barbarians Inside the Gates

Last summer we published a New Oxford Note titled “Barbarians at the Gates of Western Civilization” (Jul.-Aug. 2015) that treated the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS), contending that its radical view of the world is wreaking havoc upon civilization. These radical Muslims, evildoers by vocation, are making the most of their opportunities. They are doing what they can get away with. Though ISIS jihadists desire to burn and smash, and decapitate and terrorize all whom they deem “unbelievers,” it is best we not forget that they are by no means the only barbarians at the gates of Western civilization, not the only ones doing what they can get away with.

Since last summer, Europe has experienced a profound immigration crisis — a clash of civilizations, if you will. Countries such as Germany and Sweden are in a perpetual state of unrest due to their extremely permissive refugee policies as hundreds of thousands of refugees — mainly Muslim men fleeing the ongoing strife in their native countries of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan — have unleashed mayhem from the Greek isles to Calais, bringing with them mores that have no place in Western culture. An estimated 1.1 million asylum-seekers entered Germany in 2015 alone.

Welcomed by well-meaning liberal Europeans who believe they are acting properly out of human compassion, a significant percentage of these refugees are young, unmarried males hell-bent on destroying the welcome wagon. They bring with them intolerant attitudes critical of Western democratic values. For example, in a disturbing twist of irony, Germany (as well as other European countries) is experiencing a sharp rise in anti-Semitism. Not anti-Semitism by native Germans, but vocal hatred of Jews by the same Muslim immigrants Chancellor Angela Merkel has welcomed into the German fold. The facts are plain and simple: The asylum-seekers are pouring in from countries where hatred of Israel and anti-Semitism are commonplace, and they are bringing that hatred with them. As if that weren’t disturbing enough, native Europeans who point this out are themselves derided as “fascists” and “Nazis,” which would lead one to believe that some liberal Europeans could use a refresher course on twentieth-century political history. Where are all the liberals who have long policed anti-Semitism in the West? Why have they suddenly gone silent? Could it be that the idea of hate-filled anti-Semites does not fit their liberal narrative of poor, innocent refugees trying to escape the ugly horrors of war?

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