Four Girls and a Guy

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Islam and Europe...Not So Much

I believe that the growing Islamic population around the world, in particular Europe, is the most important issue in world politics today. According to the June 24th edition of the British news magizine The Economist, the EU existing 25 members have a population of roughly 15 million Muslims , and predict that the number will double to 30 million in 2025. That's not counting the 70 million in EU-applicant Turkey. How exactly is old Europe going to deal with new "Eurabia"? As the train bombings in Madrid, the riots in Paris, the Tube attacks in Britian, and the Danish cartoons prove, not well. As Europe grows more liberal and secluar, it finds itself at odds with its new conservative and religious Muslim citizens. Not to toot our own horns, but Muslium populations generally have a greater degree of sucess in intergreting into American culture for the sole reason that we let them, we encourage them to be active participants in American society, some of the greatest Islamic scholars are Americans. However, European Muslims, often times excluded in the private and public sectors by racism and an overall discomfort with immigrants, have become frustrated with European society and retreat to Muslim communities, that left alone, can breed radicalism. Why should we care? If you believe the experts that claim the battle over Islam is the deciding conflict of this century, then Europe is becoming ground zero. If Europe is able to bring its policy regarding Muslims into the 21st century, meaning giving them a chance at active and welcomed citizendry, then the tides of radicalism might turn, not only in Europe, but all around the world. However, if Europe can not come to grips with its crisis in the making, then it better get cozy with the idea of it becoming, as The Economist states, the new "field of jihad". And the world better get comfortable with radical Islam, for if we cannot stop where its population is booming, what hopes do we have of stopping it at all?

-Emma

3 Comments:

Blogger Adam said...

How exactly is old Europe going to deal with new "Eurabia"? As the train bombings in Madrid, the riots in Paris, the Tube attacks in Britian, and the Danish cartoons prove, not well. As Europe grows more liberal and secluar, it finds itself at odds with its new conservative and religious Muslim citizens.

Yes and no. The terrorist incidents in Britain and Madrid are the fault of a minority acting out, supported by larger transnational organizations If the majority of Arab-Europeans hated Europe and wanted to kill Europeans, they could have carried out a low-tech campaign of Israeli-style suicide bombings of cafes, hotels, buses, and other public places and ground Europe to a standstill. They haven’t.

Eurabia itself is a right-wing term that refers to belief that the Muslims/Arabs will outbreed the Europeans and turn Europe into an Islamic caliphate. That’s pure fantasy. European society will become more multi-ethnic, but the evidence shows (as Stephanie Giry’s essay in Foreign Affairs) reveals, most European Muslims want jobs and an end to discrimination, not AK-47s and veiled women.

Your last point is very true though. Muslims are not used to Europe’s aggressive secular nature, and this has caused a lot of conflict. Arabs in particular have taken some very disgusting habits from back home, such as, honor killing to Europe and this has to be stopped.

Not to toot our own horns, but Muslium populations generally have a greater degree of sucess in intergreting into American culture for the sole reason that we let them, we encourage them to be active participants in American society, some of the greatest Islamic scholars are Americans. However, European Muslims, often times excluded in the private and public sectors by racism and an overall discomfort with immigrants, have become frustrated with European society and retreat to Muslim communities, that left alone, can breed radicalism.

This is a great point. We would never have a riot in Dearborn, Michigan like the one in Paris. For all of our racism and flaws, we are a nation of immigrants and we assimilate.

There is a huge European bias and fear of Muslims dating back to a millennium. This is not entirely racism. The Turks and the Arabs did try to take over Europe, and got as far as Vienna’s gates. But as a result of this, Muslims and Arabs have suffered discrimination that has made them resentful of their neighbors.

If you believe the experts that claim the battle over Islam is the deciding conflict of this century, then Europe is becoming ground zero. If Europe is able to bring its policy regarding Muslims into the 21st century, meaning giving them a chance at active and welcomed citizendry, then the tides of radicalism might turn, not only in Europe, but all around the world. However, if Europe can not come to grips with its crisis in the making, then it better get cozy with the idea of it becoming, as The Economist states, the new "field of jihad". And the world better get comfortable with radical Islam, for if we cannot stop where its population is booming, what hopes do we have of stopping it at all?

This on the other hand is something take issue with. There is no “war” against radical Islam, or “Islamofascists.” What we have is a series of local conflicts that differ immensely from each other in scope and content. There is no unified, monolithic group of radical Islamists all lined up at the gates with bombs strapped to their chests. Each group has a specific grievance related more to specific political issues, and is different in ethnicity, religious sect, objectives ,and political character. Sometimes a few collaborate. But most exist in isolation from each other. However, I don’t blame you for thinking of it that way. The way the news makes things out to be, it sure seems like it.

But if we make it a war against Islam, it’s one we can’t win. As you pointed out, there’s one billion of them, and more on the way.

4:27 PM  
Blogger EmilyM said...

I agree with many of your points. I also think a big issue with racism is the 50% unemployment rate of Muslims in France. Many Eurpoean countries have a very high Mulim unemployment rate that fuels more and more racism.

1:19 AM  
Blogger Adam said...

Yes. The French are also hamstrung from dealing with this because they refuse to admit that racism and discrimination exists. The official French position is that they have moved beyond race, religion, and identity----the French census does not list race and their schools ban any overt display of religious identity.

However, you cannot just wish those things away. Discrimination as a result of fear and prejudice is a reality, as is economic inequality. But if you do not acknowledge such things exist, you won't do anything to stop them--making the problem worse.

11:04 AM  

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