Europe reacts: What do we do about our Muslims?
The week's news at a glance.
We can no longer avoid admitting that Western civilization is under assault, said Ezio Mauro in Italys La Repubblica. How naive we were four years ago when, with easy compassion, we proclaimed, We are all Americans. The truth is that the Islamic fanatics arent targeting America alone, but all Western democracies. We look at a television image from London of a body lying on a stretcher, and we feel that it could be us, for we, too, are civilians, we, too, are Westerners.
Now do we see what were up against? asked Magdi Allam in Italys Corriere della Sera. Many in the West refuse to recognize the aggressive nature of Islamic terrorism. The apologists see terrorism as reactive, a plausible if illegitimate response to Western slights. Those who insist on blaming the West have it half rightWestern countries are at fault not for being too harsh with Muslim countries abroad but for being too lenient with their Muslim populations at home. Britain was a prime example of a country that let radical Islamists live in separatist communities, fostering religious hatred.
In Italy as well, the Islamists have been coddled for far too long, said Vittorio Feltri in Italys Libero. Italy funds the construction of mosques and takes down public displays of Christian imagery to avoid offending a culture that considers ours inferior. Why are we continuing to show tolerance to those who have none? Its time we admitted that we are living in a state of emergency, or better, a state of war. Wartime demands extreme measures. It may be necessary to destroy the bridges of friendship with a people that produces terrorists.
Cracking down on our Muslim populations would be fatal, said Germanys Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, as well as unworthy of democracies. We need our Muslim citizens now more than ever. The jihadists have been busy for years trying to indoctrinate Europes Muslim population with radical ideology and transform them into a kind of enemy within. The way to counter such efforts is to reach out to the Muslim communities across Europe. If each democratic state does not give its Muslims a voice, it will be leaving them to the wolves. The London bombings should prompt all European governments to start talking to local Muslim leaders.
Laszlo Szentesi Zoeldi