Islam’s European hope

Alhambra in Granada, Spain

Inqiurer News Philippines

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MADRID—Mohamed Merah’s killing spree in and around Toulouse in March, like the 2004 Madrid train bombings and the 2005 suicide attacks in London’s Underground, has highlighted once again the dilemmas that Europe faces with regard to its growing Muslim minority. No social-integration model has proven to be free of flaws. But is the picture really so bleak as those who despair of an emerging “Eurabia” would have us believe?

Neither the multicultural ethos (respect for “cultural diversity in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance,” as British Labor Minister Roy Jenkins put it in 1966), nor official indifference to religious identities (as in France, where the state, as the 19-century historian Jules Michelet put it, “takes the place of God”) has worked as planned. Multiculturalism in Britain has entrenched almost self-contained Muslim communities and turned Islam into a badge of identity to counteract exclusion. Similarly, imposed laïcité (France’s strict republican secularism) seems to have deepened French Muslims’ attachment to their religious identity.

Devastatingly high unemployment rates among European Muslims (three times higher than the national average in most countries) aggravate their social marginalization and cultural self-segregation. Isolated, destitute, and in a state of permanent rage, the French banlieues and immigrant ghettos of British cities have turned into powder kegs where young Muslims easily fall prey to radical religious preaching and political extremism.

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The featured picture is of Alhambra in Spain.

0 replies

  1. It seems to me the Muslims have to distance themselves from extremists, give up ideas of Jihad, stand for separation of Mosque-Church and State, demonstrate loyalty to their individual countries, by supporting the rightful causes, any particularly country may be pursuing.

    Above all unemployed youngsters should get into jobs, how about learning to drive a cab or a truck.

    One simple way to do all this is to join the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

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