Richard Fernandez writes that the willful ignorance of European leadership has set the continent up for looming disaster. He says the signs were all present, in the Arab Muslim world and in Europe, pointing to the emergence of male Muslim mobs molesting women. It’s called “taharrush” in Arabic. Nobody in Europe wanted to pay attention to the threat to women — Arab and European — from this mob. Fernandez:

The New Year’s Eve crimes in Cologne were therefore what Naseem Nicholas Taleb would call a White Swan — not the unforeseeable Black Swan that he was famous for describing — but the obvious thing heralded by banners and brass bands that should have been noticed by the authorities. Yet there are none so blind as those who will not see. The Swedish police are now being accused of covering up assaults going back as far back as 2014 at a music festival. Karl Ritter of the Washington Post reported that festival”organizers received reports already in 2014 of groups of young men and boys groping girls in a systematic manner. Efforts were put in place, including more security guards, to prevent a repeat in 2015 but instead the problem got worse”.

Stockholm police spokesman Varg Gyllander confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday there was “a large number” of sexual assaults during the five-day festival and that scores of suspects were detained.

He said police should have reported on the incidents at the time “given the nature of the crime.” He denied suggestions in the newspaper report that police kept quiet because the suspects were foreigners. …

Roger Ticoalu, who heads the city government’s events department, told the AP that a “large part” of those detained were from Afghanistan, many carrying temporary ID-cards issued to asylum-seekers.

The facts were clear and for that reason all the more buried. It was politically sensitive and still is. In Cologne, in ground zero for the story, politicians are putting ludicrous plans in place to forestall assaults at the coming carnival through the use of “pictograms and interpreters”.

More:

When the problem was largely confined to Middle Eastern women it is easy to understand why it was ignored. Now that taharrush has come to Europe it is easier still. Events are being covered up because it runs counter to the Narrative peddled by the Western left. The Narrative is the source of their moral authority, the justification for their special graft.

What makes the pathological denial so catastrophic is that a vast, almost unstoppable torrent of refugees is already on the way to Germany, the fragments of collapsing Islamic countries. Cologne is but a skirmish with the vanguard. The main host is still on its way.

Whole thing here.

Fernandez goes on to say that if Europeans are to survive with their culture intact, it will have to be thanks to “the providence of a God they no longer believe in; the stirrings of memory of a nation they have doomed to oblivion.”

What does this have to do with the Benedict Option? My former TAC colleague J. Arthur Bloom is right, except “higher ground” in this case is a metaphor, not a literal call to run to the hills.

I told this story the other day, but I’ll repeat it. A Christian friend of mine who was involved for years in Republican politics has recently begun working at a national level in the fight to protect religious liberty. As he tells it, he’s always been a standard-issue Main Street Republican: socially conservative and pro-business. Since he started working on the religious liberty issue, it has shocked him to see how Big Business is pressuring Republican legislators even at the state level to back away from any attempt to lock in religious liberty protections in law. What we saw happen last year in Indiana, with major corporations interceding to quash the RFRA, was a Rubicon moment, he said. The business class is actively working to pry social and religious conservatives away from the Republican Party, and sideline them.

And it’s working. I told you last year that multiple Republican sources on Capitol Hill told me that the chance that the GOP Congress will undertake to protect religious liberty is nil.

So, when they come after our institutions and our businesses, we will be increasingly on our own.

Similarly, last year, a prominent Christian physician who works for a major, internationally-known medical research institution, told me that the things coming down the pike in the next 10 years in terms of bioethics shock the conscience. These aren’t things in the far-off future, but rather issues we will be dealing with within a decade. And very few people in his professional world, even the few Christians he knows, have any sense of alarm about it. This grieves him. He told me he’s trying to wake them up, but everybody seems to have the belief that everything’s going to work out in the end.

Over and over again, whenever I interview Protestant and Catholic college professors, they tell me the same story about their Christian students: that they are really nice kids, but know next to nothing about the faith. Nada. Zip. Zilch. These professors aren’t dumping on the kids, but rather on the parents and the churches and the Christian schools that failed to form them. The coming generation of Christians (if they remain Christians) has been catechized not by the church, but by the culture. They don’t even know what they don’t know. 

Now, aside from the personal tragedy that would result from these kids leaving the faith as adults, and all the future generations in their line who may never have the faith because the line was broken, consider the political effect of this mass apostasy. Who will stand up for the orthodox Christian institutions when the state comes after them? Who will employ those Christians who have to resign from their jobs rather than betray their faith? How will you teach your kids what it means to be a Christian when that’s going to cost them something serious? What does religious liberty mean to a people who have ceased to practice or even to understand religion?

These aren’t theoretical questions for some future dystopia. It’s coming. The signs are there for those with eyes to see. If you aren’t going to head for higher ground, whatever that might mean, then you and your Christian neighbors had better start building an ark.

Don’t panic. Prepare.