A refreshing bit of anti-dhimmitude from JosÃ© Manuel Barroso. Of course, he still repeats the tired cant about the vast majority of European Muslims accepting Western values, which has never been definitively established, but at least he is admitting that Europe’s values are being challenged. And indeed, they already seem to be giving way. From the New York Times, with thanks to Abigail:
STRASBOURG, France, Feb. 15 “” In the face of escalating attacks against foreigners in the Muslim world by violent critics of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, the European Union’s chief executive said today that Europe had to fight for its core European values, including freedom of speech.
“We have to stick very much to these values,” said JosÃ© Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission. “If not, we are accepting fear in this society.”
Referring to his youth during a totalitarian regime in Portugal, Mr. Barroso, a former Portuguese prime minister, said in an interview that Europe had to defend its right to have in place a system that allowed the publication of the cartoons.
“I understand that it offended many people in the Muslim world, but is it better to have a system where some excesses are allowed or be in some countries where they don’t even have the right to say this?” Mr. Barroso said. “This reminds me of my own country up to 1974. I defend the democratic system.”
He said European society was based on principles that included equality of rights between men and women, freedom of speech and a clear distinction between politics and religion.
Mr. Barroso has faced criticism that he has not done enough to support Denmark, a member of the European Union, after threats and attacks over the cartoons, first published in a Danish newspaper.
But in the interview, he expressed solidarity with the Danish people and said, “What is not right is to put the blame on a single people or say the people of Denmark have to be blamed.”
In order to avoid a clash of civilizations in Europe and help integration, Mr. Barroso said, European leaders have to be careful to make a “clear distinction” between nondemocratic Muslims in Europe and those who believe in European values, which “are the vast majority of Muslims,” and to reach out to those.
“Islam is part of Europe,” he said. “We have a very important Islamic heritage.”
Yes, of being invaded, conquered and subjugated. A very important Islamic heritage in Europe.