Angela Merkel signals ruin for Europe

Angela Merkel signals ruin for Europe, by Greg Sheridan.

Angela Merkel is set to win Sunday’s German elections, according to the polls. She will enter a fourth term as Chancellor and rival Helmut Kohl. …

But the bigger story is this: Merkel may well be the chief agent of Europe’s demise.

Such is the contention, not quite so ­explicitly pinned on Merkel, in Douglas Murray’s brilliant new book, “The Strange Death of Europe.” Murray starts with this bold assertion, “Europe is committing suicide”, and by the end of his 350 withering pages it is hard to disagree.

Murray is concerned with two interlocking dynamics. The first is the huge waves of unskilled ­Islamic immigrants who have swept over Europe. The second is the collapse of European civilisational self-belief. At the level of ­official ideology, Europe hates ­itself. Its official love of the EU is in part a postmodern ­vehicle by which to dismiss and denigrate European history. …

Murray’s book is full of the kind of dire statistics that the EU does everything it can to hide.

For example, in three million British households, no adult uses English as their main language. Last year, in France, 33 per cent of high school students identified as Christian, while 25 per cent identified as Muslim. Only 22 per cent of Catholics say religion is important to them whereas more than 80 per cent of Muslims say ­religion is important to them. In the decade from 2001, the Muslim population in Britain nearly doubled to a little shy of three million and has kept rising ever since.

Nor can it plausibly be argued that the Muslims who come to ­Europe embrace European culture and values. Most European Muslims are certainly law-abiding but it is not remotely Islamo­phobic to point out their distinctive values and cultures. In 2008 a poll of British Muslims found that zero per cent thought homosexuality morally acceptable. …

Merkel shoulders some of the blame:

When illegal immigration into Germany from North Africa and the Middle East got going, Merkel did nothing about it. By 2010 she realised how concerned the German public had become and made a justly famous speech in which she said German multiculturalism had been a complete failure. She said inter alia: “The ­attempt to build a multicultural society and to live side by side and to enjoy each other has failed, ­utterly failed.”

The speech was a sensation around the world and Britain’s David Cameron and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy followed in her path with similar efforts. But having given this dramatic speech and reassured her voters, she then did nothing, absolutely nothing, about it. She neither strengthened the norms of her own society nor did she do anything to control ­illegal immigration.

As Murray points out, for much more than a decade now, even people who come to Europe as refugees and manage to get their refugee status refused are never, ever sent home. So in ­Europe, once you get there you stay forever and can live on European welfare.

Cultural self-confidence has being destroyed by the left as it pursues identity politics in pursuit of votes:

But the other half of Murray’s book concerns the new self-­hatred of Europe in every aspect of its official ideology. A pathetic exoticism shrouds official views of immigrant cultures in ludicrous unreality. Murray sums up official European ideology: “We may think badly of ourselves but we are willing to think exceptionally well of absolutely anyone else.”

A central paradox Murray posits is that only a strong, self-­confident, culture with well-established norms can success­fully absorb large numbers of immigrants. The European project of cultural and political suicide will baffle future historians.

hat-tip Stephen Neil