It’s a truth universally acknowledged: Europe has a difficult relationship with Islam, immigration and refugees. Populists, nationalists, racists dominate the political landscape, toppling traditional political parties from their pedestals, striking fear into the hearts of liberal and progressives.
It’s all downhill. The far right is setting the agenda. Islamophobia is on the rise. It’s back to the dark 1930s. Right?
Wrong. The media headlines may focus on the grim, corrosive narrative of US President Donald Trump and his many European admirers but the reality of Europe’s interaction with Islam is — and has always been — more complex than the simple, single, one-dimensional story favoured by extremists.
True, the so-called “migration crisis” remains top of the EU agenda, refugee boats are being banned from entering European ports and two EU states, Poland and Hungary, face EU legal action for rule of law violations.