Europeans and Euro-Islamism
Note that I'm referring here not to the liberal Euroislam discussed by Bassam Tibi but to the 'fundamentalist' Euro-Islamism that has taken hold among some Muslims in Europe.
Robert S. Leiken, director of the Immigration and National Security Program at the Nixon Center and a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution, has an interesting, six-page article, "Europe's Angry Muslims," in the July-August 2005 issue of Foreign Affairs, in which he details the spread of radical Islam among the descendents of Europe's Muslim immigrants and the implications of this spread.
Leiken divides the blame, albeit unequally, between the immigrants and the Europeans:
In Europe, host countries that never learned to integrate newcomers collide with immigrants exceptionally retentive of their ways, producing a variant of what the French scholar Olivier Roy calls "globalized Islam": militant Islamic resentment at Western dominance, anti-imperialism exalted by revivalism. (Leiken, "Europe's Angry Muslims," first page)This is the generation that Al-Qaeda and its ilk want to capture for their Islamist jihad. Even if the Islamist jihadis remain a tiny minority, a larger group of Islamist politicos -- to borrow two categories of Islamists from Quintan Wiktorowicz, "Anatomy of the Salafi Movement," Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 29:3 (2006) -- pose a potentially more significant problem for European politics as Muslim demographic power begins to express itself in votes not for the leftist parties that Muslims in Europe have heretofore supported but for Islamist parties that could attempt to utilize radical multiculturalism toward their ultimate aim of implementating shariah in Muslim-dominated districts.
This problem is exacerbated, as the Norwegian feminist Hege Storhaug notes, by the fact that the European political elite hasn't figured out that many of their partners in dialogue among the 'leaders' of the Euro-Muslim communities are not moderates at all:
Our politicians and intellectuals have to be aware of who they are collaborating with. Today the support is going to the political Muslims and organisations, not to the secular Muslims. Because most politicians don't have a clue who they are in so-called "dialogue" with. (Hege Storhaug, writing for "Symposium: The Death of Multiculturalism?", moderated by Jamie Glazov, FrontPageMagazine.com (Friday, September 8, 2006)European political leaders may be waking up, for some have become aware that many 'moderate' Muslim leaders in Europe speak out for moderation only when they are speaking to European non-Muslims in European languages. When they are speaking in Arabic and attempting to rouse Islamist sentiments, they do not sound moderate at all, as the Danes discovered during the controversy over the Jyllands-Posten cartoons satirizing Muhammad.
What should be done?
I'm no expert on practical affairs, but I would emphasize that radical multiculturalism ought to be vigorously rejected by Europeans, and perhaps they're now beginning to do this. Moderate multiculturalism is necessary in Europe, for the continent is intrinsically multicultural, as I've noted before. A moderate multiculturalism that appeals to universal human rights, presupposes the right to criticize cultures, insists on European legal traditions, and emphasizes free speech would definitely help Europeans learn how to talk about the Islamist problem.
They certainly need to discuss the problem openly, for the native European population is on a demographic decline, not reproducing fast enough to reproduce itself, whereas the Euro-Muslim population has, so far, maintained high birth rates and can expect its 15 to 20 million Muslims to increase significantly over the next couple of generations.