Europe and Islam
ISLAM'S RADICAL IDENTITY IS FORGED BY POVERTY
by Semih Minareci
American Reporter Correspondent
CORDOVA, Tenn. -- A stunning new phenomena is occurring among the European far right. Their walls are being plastered with posters which show Muslim minarets ominously rising behind the city's faded gothic cathedrals. What else we could expect after war-cry of President George W. Bush and his neo-con supporters after 9/11?
The fear that Islam is trying to "take over the world" is built on an ideology that can not understand the differences between personal-beliefs and marginal-reactions. This caricature of the truth seems to succeed only in spreading an anti-Islamic trend into Europe. The anxiety generated by this need to defend a euro-centric identity seems to help increase the far right wing's percentage of the electorate. This causes even more fear from the perspective of moderate Europeans because, as you will remember, similar fears and trends have led us into two World Wars.
It seems that the political geniuses of the "New World Order" were not so ready to handle this particular social crisis. They applauded and screamed happily when they watched on tv as the Iron Curtain was crumbling and the world headed to new and uncharted waters. At the same time there is the lingering unanswered question of the EU – is this union an economic market, or a unity of common values? This, compounded by the other fears outlined here, is leading the social crisis in the Western world to unprecedented dimensions and endless polemics.
Yet, while native Europeans sit in fear of change, Muslim immigrants to Europe do not have any direct connection with the loss of this eurocentric identity – they are not to blame for this perceived clash of civilizations. These men and women came to Europe to decrease their own economic hardships and to bring more ease and joy to the lives of their families. They did not immigrate to lead Islam into the Western front. Indicting the drive of daily economic struggles and the need for a proper human life as a "Trojan horse" is a really bad example of political ethics.
Undoubtedly, there must be something deeper to the West's claim that their most basic values and identity are under attack by Islam. It seems that many Westerners have not paid much attention to the warning signals of Samuel Huntington in his book, "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order." Political leaders and some of the Western media now try to hide the fact that they have lost the competition for power against Islam a long time ago. Certainly, the effort of developing great economic values is wonderful work for humanity. On the other hand, does the West not have any share in this blame? It is precisely this manic drive for supreme economic power that has created the unhappy, self-centered and lonely society that so many Westerners today complain of. How realistic can it be to blame Islam for the destruction of Western values while the society is saying that it is already uncomfortable with having its own high suicide rates and disturbed family values?
Trying to solve the West's identity problems by blaming them on Muslim immigrants is an extremely dangerous polemic. These synthetic and exaggerated reactions created by far right and fanatical religious groups must be controlled before it is too late. Western leaders were very ignorant, and so slow to share wealth and to forge a path to create an economic development strategy for everyone in needy countries.
Also, we have seen that leaders have all but refused to pull income levels to an acceptable level for every nation in the global economy. The West has grown reluctant to truly wage war against poverty. It is a huge strategic mistake to think that now Westerners will remain safe and there will be no social crisis when the income gap has become so huge between nations. It is the myopia of absolute power that it cannot see the revolutions it incurs.
We have to generate some real answers that will change the course of history. We do not want to be forced to say "Yes" when asked, "Will history repeat itself?"
The West will neither be a winner of the game, nor will it even be able to declare herself victorious, unless a solution unfolds against world-wide poverty. There is no patsy for the West to blame for their problems. To end this identity crisis, they must stop playing the victim and take responsibility for their own demise.
We have to have free nations with liberal democracy and wealth-creating economic systems if we still want to look at the future with great hope.