Muslims: 'It May be too Late' (Rzeczpospolita, Poland)
reformers and liberals are a niche group. It is unlikely they are up to the
challenge of convincing the Muslim masses to assimilate ideologically, or at
least to accept European rules of game. … The question is whether better success
is even possible. It may be that in countries where entire neighborhoods and
soon entire towns are Muslim, it is already too late. In those places, politicians
and activists may be unable to prevent a genuine war of civilizations."
It may be too late to
convert Muslim immigrants to our values
The attack on the Parisian office of Charlie Hebdo magazine foreshadows a
great ideological confrontation in Europe. It remains to be seen whether it
will take the shape of a real war between representatives of Western and Muslim
civilizations, or end up a politico-media battle among Europeans to find a new approachto dealing withimmigrants fromother civilizations.
Those eager for a real war have already revealed themselves,
hurling grenades at mosques in provincial France. Let’s hope they don't set the
tone for events to come, which will be stormy enough without real-life
Western Europe must now brace for an edgy discussion of
errors made in its policies toward immigrants from Muslim countries. Because they
have been mistaken - of that there is no doubt.
Those mistakes can be seen when we look at their
consequences. A substantial percentage of Muslims have no intention of honoring
the rules in force in the Western countries that received them, often after the
provision of material support and even citizenship. Rising to rank as a grim
symbol is the first local council in the E.U. with a Muslim majority (a little
town in Denmark) which opened its term in office by cutting spending on
Christmas celebrations and significantly increasing it for the Islamic feast
[presumably Eid al-Adha].
Of course, not all future local councils with Muslim
majorities will act this way, but without a doubt, for many followers of Islam,
the ways of the West are quite unappealing. This is especially
true in the case of Muslim young people who have no opportunity for social advancement. Islam offers
them an easy answer, but one that is hard to reconcile with the ideals of
Such ideals are likely to appear less and less attractive as organizations
flaunting Islam are increasingly successful. Unfortunately the most ruthless Islamic fundamentalists in the Middle East and the terrorist
acts the carry out may seem beguiling to frustrated European Muslims.
All over the world people are dealing with the Muslim return to tradition.
Islamic globalization results in greater displays of religiosity and animus
toward Western “amorality.” It pushes women into hijabs
and niqabs even is their mothers and grandmothers never
covered their hair and even wear short skirts.
No one in Western Europe predicted this. It was supposed to
be the other way round. It seemed that Muslims arrivals would bring another kind
of globalization - in the Western style: liberalization and secularization.
They could keep their colorful costumes and tasty cuisine, but were to reject
their religion, tradition and customs. Europe and its wealth would be so
attractive that on their own, without any pressure, they would become real
Europeans of Muslim origin.
That has failed to materialize. This is especially visible
in France, where the clash of civilizations has begun. France has more Muslims
than any other E.U. country and it has been particularly difficult there to voice
criticism of Muslims and immigration policies related to them.
You can certainly find Muslims who are fully committed to
European values, respect freedom of speech and democracy, and are even ready to
die in their defense such as police officer Ahmed, killed by terrorists near the
offices of Charlie Hebdo.
Yet Muslim reformers and liberals are a niche group. It is unlikely
they are up to the challenge of accomplishing the desirable task of convincing the
Muslim masses to assimilate ideologically, or at least to accept European rules
The question is whether better success is even possible. It
may be that in countries where entire neighborhoods and soon entire towns are
Muslim, it is already too late. In those places, politicians and activists may
be unable to prevent a genuine war of civilizations.