They’re coming to get us

It’s Wednesday and I’m still flabbergasted by the review of Bruce Bawer’s latest book that appeared in the New York Times at the weekend.

The book is called Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom – so you needn’t read further to get the general drift. It’s part of that scaremongering genre about the brown hordes who are coming to get us. Currently it’s ranked at 1,965 on and all six customer reviews give it the maximum five stars.

Note the buzzword “appeasing” in the title, which subtly gets in a reference to Chamberlain and Hitler without actually spelling it out. It’s a word that Melanie Phillips, author of Londonistan (another of these coming-to-get-you books), also uses rather a lot. Strangely, they never use it to describe Blair’s appeasement of Bush, or America’s appeasement of Israel.

Anyway, Bawer’s book was reviewed for the New York Times by Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle in Britain – which presumably, in the eyes of some commissioning editor at the NYT, makes him an expert on Islam.

The review – if it can really be called that – is basically a wholehearted endorsement of Bawer’s views. Pollard does concede that reading it can be “hard going” but even that turns into a virtue “because of the level of detail Bawer offers in support of his argument”. There’s nothing in the review to indicated that Bawer’s views are actually contentious (see the Washington Post) and Pollard ends by saying Bawer is “unquestionably correct”.

Bawer’s previous book in a similar vein, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within, caused shockwaves in 2007 when it was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle award. 

John Freeman, president of the Circle’s board, complained: “I have never been more embarrassed by a choice than I have been with Bruce Bawer’s While Europe Slept. Its hyperventilated rhetoric tips from actual critique into Islamophobia.”