I was kicking around the idea of holding a contest to name the Dhimmi of the Year, but it looks as if Franck FrÃ©gosi, a researcher for the European Society, Law and Religion research centre at Strasbourg’s Robert Schuman University, has already won with his recommendation that Europe essentially surrender its culture before a triumphant Islam.
A translation from CafÃ© Babel, with thanks to Joerg:
The question, indeed the challenge, is not so much one of adapting Islam to our European society but of adapting our society to Islam. Discriminatory attitudes against the Muslim community increase Muslim frustration and harden the resolve of certain groups who turn to radicalism. The challenge for us is to create a framework in which Muslims may be integrated into our society as fairly as possible. Most European states use public money to fund religious groups yet Islamic groups very rarely actually receives such money. European mentalities and bureaucracies need to change. In Belgium, for example, Muslim groups cannot receive public funds because the authorities do not acknowledge them as representative bodies.
Is Islam compatible with European humanist values?
The concept of “˜values” is a complex one. We need to ask ourselves what “˜values” this question presumes. Christianity has long defined itself in opposition to Islam. Yet Islam and Islamic culture have deeply affected European history. The famous Islamic architecture in Andalusia remains as a testament to this. At one stage three quarters of the Spanish population were Muslim and parts of the Balkan region still are. This area was at one time part of the Ottoman Empire, the “sick man of Europe” at the beginning of the 20th century. Today we need to look beyond this binary division of history and the systematic opposition of Islamic and Christian Europe. By this more comprehensive yardstick, Turkey”s entry into the European Union is hardly outrageous. Its accession to the EU would simply represent for Muslims a slightly more important place for Turkish Islam within Europe.