Johann Hari, writing in The New Republic, offers an amusing (and slightly disturbing) travelogue on the National Review cruise. Some highlights:
I am standing waist-deep in the Pacific Ocean, indulging in the polite chit-chat beloved by vacationing Americans. A sweet elderly lady from Los Angeles is sitting on the rocks nearby, telling me dreamily about her son. “Is he your only child?” I ask. “Yes,” she answers. “Do you have a child back in England?” she asks me. No, I say. Her face darkens. “You’d better start,” she says. “The Muslims are breeding. Soon, they’ll have the whole of Europe.”
I am getting used to such moments, when holiday geniality bleeds into–well, I’m not sure exactly what. I am traveling on a bright-white cruise ship with two restaurants, five bars, and 500 readers of National Review. Here, the Iraq war has been “an amazing success.” Global warming is not happening. Europe is becoming a new Caliphate. And I have nowhere to run.
The table nods solemnly before marching onward to Topic A: the billion-strong swarm of Muslims who are poised to take over the world. The idea that Europe is being “taken over” is the unifying theme of this cruise. Some people go on singles’ cruises, some on ballroom-dancing cruises. This is the Muslims Are Coming cruise. Everyone thinks it. Everyone knows it. And the man most responsible for this insight is sitting only a few tables down: Mark Steyn. He is wearing sunglasses on top of his head and a bright shirt. Steyn’s thesis in his new book, America Alone, is simple: The “European races”–i.e., white people–”are too self-absorbed to breed,” but the Muslims are multiplying quickly. The inevitable result will be “large-scale evacuation operations circa 2015″ as Europe is ceded to Al Qaeda and “Greater France remorselessly evolve[s] into Greater Bosnia.” He offers a light smearing of dubious demographic figures–he needs to turn 20 million European Muslims into more than 150 million in nine years, which is a lot of humping–to “prove” his case.
But facts, figures, and doubt are not on the itinerary of this cruise. With one or two exceptions, the passengers discuss “the Muslims” as a homogenous, sharia-seeking block–already with near-total control of Europe. Over the week, I am asked nine times–I counted–when I am fleeing Europe’s encroaching Muslim population for the safety of the United States.
At one of the seminars, a panelist says anti-Americanism comes from both directions in a grasping pincer movement–”The Muslims condemn us for being decadent; the Europeans condemn us for not being decadent enough.” Midge Decter, Norman Podhoretz’s wife, yells, “The Muslims are right, the Europeans are wrong!” And, instantly, Jay Nordlinger, National Review’s managing editor and the panel’s chair, says, “I’m afraid a lot of the Europeans are Muslim, Midge.” The audience cheers. Somebody shouts, “You tell ‘em, Jay!”