Prof. Fouad Ajami makes great points regarding the European/Islamic relationship in his Wall Street Journal article, which I wish I could link to, but I don’t have access to their interior articles. Nevertheless, I’m retyping some parts I found key in the extended entry.
Here are some quotes
Radical Islamism’s adherents are unapologetic. What is laicite (secularism) to the Muslims in France and their militant leaders? It is but the code of a debauched society that wishes to impose on Islam’s children — its young women in particular — the ways of an infidel culture. What loyalty, at any rate, is owed France? The wrath of France’s Muslim youth in the banlieues (suburbs) is seen as revenge on France for its colonial wars. France colonized Algeria in the 1830s; Algerians, along with Tunisians and Moroccans, return the favor in our own time.
France grants its troubled Muslim suburbs everything and nothing. It leaves them to their own devices, and grants them an unstated power over its foreign policy decisions on Islamic and Middle Eastern matters; but it makes no room for them in the mainstream of its life. Trouble has come even to placid Belgium. In Antwerp, Dyab Abu Jahjah, a young Lebanese, only 32, has stepped forth to “empower” the Muslims of that country. Assimilation, he says, is but “cultural rape.” He came to Belgium in 1991, and he owns up to inventing a story about persecution back home; it was a “low political trick,” he says, and in the nature of things. The constitution of Belgium recognizes Dutch, French, and German as official languages. Abu Jahjah insists that Arabic be added, too.
Europe’s leaders know Europe’s dilemmas. In ways both intended and subliminal, the escape into anti-Americanism is an attempt at false bonding with the peoples of Islam. Give the Arabs — and the Muslim communities implanted in Europe — anti-Americanism, give them an identification with the Palestinians, and you shall be spared their wrath. Beat the drums of opposition to America’s war in Iraq, and the furies of this radical Islamism will pass you by. This is seen as a way around the troubles. But there is no exit that way. It is true that Spain supported the American campaign in Iraq, but that aside, Spain’s identification with Arab aims has a long history. Of all the larger countries of the EU, Spain has been most sympathetic to Palestinian claims. It was only in 1986 that Spain recognized Israel and established diplomatic ties. With the sole exception of Greece, Spain has shown the deepest reserve toward Israel. Yet this history offered no shelter from the bombers of March 11.
Whatever political architecture Europe seeks, it will have to be built in proximity to the Other World, just across the Straits of Gibraltar and in the grip of terminal crisis. There is no prospect that the rulers of Arab lands will offer their people a decent social contract, or the opportunities for freedom. It is a sad fact that the Arab peoples no longer make claims on their rulers. Instead the “drifters,” such as the embittered terrorists who blew into Madrid, now seek satisfaction almost solely in foreign lands.
You can’t agitate against Mubarak in Cairo, but you can do it from the safety of Finsbury Park in London. The ferocity of the debate in the Arab world about France’s decision to limit Islamic headgear in public schools is a measure of this displaced rage. Spain may attribute the cruelty visited on it to its association with America’s expedition into Iraq. But the truth is darker. Jacques Chirac may believe that he has spared France Spain’s terror by sitting out the Iraq war. But he is deluded. The Islamists do not make fine distinctions in the bilad al kufr.
It certainly is going to be interesting to see how the EU deals with these demographic realities.