Can We Learn From Europe?


ACRU Staff


December 8, 2015

This column by ACRU Policy Board Member and Professor of Economics Dr. Walter E. Williams was published December 2, 2015 on

Earlier this year, my column asked, “Will the West Defend Itself?” I pointed out that America’s leftists and progressives believe that the U.S. should become more like Europe. I wonder whether they also want to import European policies that created barbaric extremism among its Muslim population.

France’s recent tragedy is not surprising, given some of its policies that are not widely publicized abroad. France has no-go zones, which are officially called “zones urbaines sensibles,” or sensitive urban zones, where police are reluctant to go. Some of these zones are dominated by Islamic extremists. According to some reports, there is hardly a city in France that does not have at least one ZUS. It is estimated that there are more than 750 such zones in France. According to The Washington Times, “France has Europe’s largest population of Muslims, some of whom talk openly of ruling the country one day and casting aside Western legal systems for harsh, Islam-based Shariah.” It appears that much of France’s Muslim population has no intention of joining the French culture. Many French Muslims are hellbent on importing the failed components of their motherland, such as Shariah, the subjugation of women, suppression of free speech and honor killings.

But France is not alone in tolerating people who have little desire to abandon the culture from which they fled. Ingrid Carlqvist has written an article titled “Sweden Descends into Anarchy“. Carlqvist says, “Once upon a time, there was a safe welfare state called Sweden, where people rarely locked their doors.” She adds: “Since the Parliament decided in 1975 that Sweden should be multicultural and not Swedish, crime has exploded. Violent crime has increased by over 300 percent, and rapes have increased by an unbelievable 1,472 percent.”

One Swedish policeman says, “The situation is slipping from our grasp,” referring to some no-go areas, such as Tensta and Rinkeby. “If we’re in pursuit of a vehicle, it can evade us by driving to certain neighborhoods where a lone patrol car simply cannot follow because we’ll get pelted by rocks and even face riots. These are no-go zones. We simply can’t go there.” As a result of the increasing danger, Swedes are arming themselves in unprecedented numbers and sales of home alarm systems are booming.

Elliot Friedland, writing for the Clarion Project, has an article titled “Belgian Government Admits It Has Lost Control of No-Go Zone.” Security and Home Affairs Minister Jan Jambon says the government does not “have control of the situation in Molenbeek.” Molenbeek, a district of Brussels, has been referred to as “Europe’s jihadi central.”

Two of the terrorists who carried out the recent attacks in Paris were found to be from Molenbeek. Terrorist plots connected to this neighborhood include the 2001 assassination of anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Shah Massoud; the 2004 Madrid train bombings, which killed 191 people; the 2014 attack on a Jewish museum in Brussels; the January attack on a kosher grocery in Paris after the Charlie Hebdo shootings; and the August attack on a Paris-bound train, in which an Islamic terrorist was overpowered by three Americans.

There are zones where the government has lost control in Germany, England and most other European countries, too. Viktor Orban, prime minister of Hungary, explained the situation confronting Europeans: “For us today, at stake are Europe, the lifestyle of European citizens, European values, the survival or disappearance of European nations and, more precisely formulated, their transformation beyond recognition. Today the question is not merely in what kind of a Europe we would like to live but whether everything we understand as Europe will exist at all.”

Europe provides a valuable lesson for Americans. Most Americans, including me, welcome people to our country who come here, as immigrants have in the past, to become Americans. We don’t welcome people who wish to import the failed culture from which they fled. We could extend the welcome mat even further if we abandoned the welfare state. We have far too many Americans living off the earnings of others. We don’t need to encourage others to do the same.



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