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Lily-livered Europe has surrendered to Muslim bigots

 
mathetes
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05/06/2009 06:25 PM
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Lily-livered Europe has surrendered to Muslim bigots
Lily-livered Europe has surrendered to Muslim bigots

By Ayaan Hirsi Ali


In 2006, I had a debate with Tariq Ramadan, the author of Western Muslims and the future of Islam. In the hypothetical event of a war between Egypt and Switzerland, for which community would he be prepared to die, I asked him.

Mr Ramadan has dual citizenship. He's an Egyptian by birth and a Swiss by naturalisation. His response was one of rage on different levels. Above all I think he was outraged that one should ask such a question. He refused to answer.

Mr Ramadan, like many other Muslims, may have two or more citizenships. From all that he expresses both in person and on paper, it is clear that his loyalty, above all, is to Islam. I do not doubt that he would die for Islam, like most Muslims, and that's his prerogative. But what European countries have done is give citizenship to individuals who feel no obligation to share in their societies for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer and in the event of a catastrophe, sacrifice themselves.

No debate is more explosive than the debate on the future of Islam in Europe


In this way, they evade one of the chief criteria of citizenship. Political allegiance to the constitution of your country is the minimum requirement. It is this state of affairs that makes Christopher Caldwell's book Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration and the West (Allen Lane, £17.99), which opens with the sentence, "Western Europe became a multi-ethnic society in a fit of absence of mind," a chilling read.

This absence of mind, which Caldwell lays bare, is reflected in Europe's immigration policies and especially in its response to Islam. No debate today is more explosive, more sensitive, more confusing and more frightening than the debate on the future of Islam in Europe.

In March this year, the French intellectual Pascal Bruckner and I spoke about Caldwell's book. Bruckner said, "Americans [like Caldwell] do not understand Europe. There are many Muslims who, in their daily lives, are more agnostic and in their practices even atheist, but are just Muslim in name."

This seems to be reassuring. But would these agnostic and unpracticing Muslims, if push came to shove, die for Islam or for France? My guess is they would, most likely, die for Islam.

Caldwell discusses this theme in an interesting light: he does not overlook the Europeans who feel that Islam is a danger to European values but asks, "How can you fight for something


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For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
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05/06/2009 06:33 PM
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Re: Lily-livered Europe has surrendered to Muslim bigots
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