The mass immigration of Muslims into Western Europe over the last four decades or so was a project of elite mainstream politicians, most of them left-wing, who never consulted the electorate on whether they thought this project was a good idea or not. Motivated by a multicultural sensibility (and, in most cases, an invincible ignorance about Islam), these politicians felt compelled not to try to integrate these newcomers, but encouraged them, rather, to preserve their cultural values, however at odds they might be with Western ideas of freedom and equality. For many years there was little organized public resistance to the increasing Islamization of Europe. But then, around a decade ago, things reached a breaking point.
There were several factors. The enthusiastic response to 9/11 by European Muslims who cheered in the streets that day underscored just how foreign many of these people’s values were, and just how hostile they were to the societies in which they lived. The terrorist attacks in Madrid and London, the Danish cartoon riots, the brutal murder of Islam critic Theo van Gogh in Holland, the riots in French and Belgian cities, all raised red flags. European economies suffered increasingly owing to the burden of Muslim families on the welfare state. The growth to adulthood of a generation of European-born Muslims, who had been expected to be fully assimilated, but who, in an extraordinary number of cases, actually proved to be more alienated from mainstream European society than their immigrant parents, was a wake-up call. So were the rising crime rates by these youths, whose religion taught them that unveiled women were legitimate targets for rape and that it was not only acceptable but virtuous to assault Jews, gays, and infidels generally. Furthermore, Europeans became increasingly aware of appalling practices within European Muslim communities, such as forced marriages, female genital mutilation, and honor killings; aware of the vicious anti-Western preaching of these communities’ imams; and aware that these communities, as they grew, were becoming insular no-go zones governed not by Western law but by Sharia.