Fukuyama on Europe’s Identity Crisis and Islam

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Francis FukayamaQuick Post – Francis Fukayama on Europe’s Identity Crisis and Islam
Europe, Muslims, Demographics and Eurabia

On Slate Magazine today, Francis Fukayama’s “Europe vs. Radical Islam” takes to tasks the rash of “decline of Europe, raise of Eurabia” books that have been hitting American shelves lately, specifically “The West’s Last Chance” by Tony Blankley and “While Europe Slept” by Bruce Bawer. However, Fukayama focuses on the most extreme and perhaps even founder of the “decline of the West” crowd: Pat Buchanan’s “Decline of the West”.

Oddly and disappointingly, Fukayama skips over Bat Ye’or “Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis “, though he mentions the word. Its a shame because Eurabia is probably the most credible of all four books that addresses the subject with the fullest sense of reason and moderation with no wild scenerios like the type Blankey represents. Why this major omission?

Regardless, I believe Fukayama goes to the heart of the issue of Muslims in Europe and shifts the question on the need for Europeans to redefine what it means to be British, French, Germany…what it means to be European:

The problem that most Europeans face today is that they don’t have a vision of the kinds of positive cultural values their societies stand for and should promote, other than endless tolerance and moral relativism. What each European society needs is to invent an open form of national identity similar to the American creed, an identity that is accessible to newcomers regardless of ethnicity or religion. This was the idea behind Bassam Tibi’s concept of Leitkultur (guiding or reference culture), the notion that the European Enlightenment gave rise to a distinct and positive universalist culture based on the dignity of the individual. Muslims coming to Europe would be minimally expected to accept this perspective as their own. The German Christian Democrats timidly endorsed a version of this five years ago, only to retreat in the face of charges of racism and anti-immigrant prejudice from the left. Interest in a “demokratische Leitkultur” has been revived in the wake of recent events, however, and a vigorous debate has opened up over how to define it. There will be many missteps along the way: The state of Baden-Württemberg, for example, recently introduced a test that would require the respondent to support gay marriage as a condition for citizenship, something deliberately designed to exclude Muslims.

Time is getting short to address these questions. Europeans should have started a discussion about how to integrate their Muslim minorities a generation ago, before the winds of radical Islamism had started to blow. The cartoon controversy, while beginning with a commendable European desire to assert basic liberal values, may constitute a Rubicon that will be very hard to re-cross. We should be alarmed at the scope of the problem, but prudent in responding to it, since escalating cultural conflict throughout the Continent will bring us closer to a showdown between Islamists and secularists that will increasingly look like a clash of civilizations.

Fukayama nails on the head that Europe needs to find out what being European means before they began a process of incorporating other groups into their societies. The threat of a “Clash of Civlizations” in Europe is very real but fortunately has not fully materialized yet. Time is running short, but that doesnt mean its too late.

2 comments

  1. I thought I have to say some thing, I do not understand what happening to this world, why every one crying wolf?
    Why we all can not see the real enemy?
    why we can not see the major wars of last century craied out and killed over 100 millions (WWI and WWII & civil Wars). These threat to humanty didnot come from Islam?
    Just read this article for yr Chiled sake and tel me who is the real threat?
    An excerpt from Ian Buckley’s, latest article “Why is Islam so feared and derided today?” states:
    “Muslims will have to face the fact that they are hated, not for their vices, but for their virtues. The normal mind to a large extent rebels against such a novel thought. As with the true story of what really happened on September 11th, the average person has a mental block when confronted by the perverse, amoral wickedness implied by ‘hatred of virtues’.”
    And what is virtue: moral excellence, goodness, righteousness, ethical principles, and admirable qualities. Would these definitions of virtue be seen as fundamental to our very well being? If so, then I guess, Muslims may justly be called Fundamentalists. And the opposite of virtue or as Mr. Buckley so aptly put it, “hatred of virtues”, could these be described as: pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and sloth? Are not these sins more apt to be associated with our culture than theirs? And if so, than do Muslims terrify us as they live a life of virtue? Is that what we mean by terrorists? Do we project unto them our fearful demons? And as the disease of narcissism progresses to our eventual unraveling, do we hope and secretly pray that the proverb of ‘Do unto others as you wish them to do unto you’, will never apply to us? The drums of our delusion as Masters of the Universe dissolve into suicide, homelessness, child prostitution, and addiction. We sell an empty bag of tricks, and others aren’t buying it. It was never about land, or even oil, was it? It was about looking at our brother in the eye and knowing that we aren’t even the lesser of two evils, we have reached first place.The full article is:
    The Shadow Puppet’s Master —•— Oct. 31st, 2005 by Barbra-renee Brighenti
    http://www.crescentandcross.com/index.php?page=articles&author=barbra-renee_brighenti.
    When Europe wake up and bark on the right tree?
    God help Europe from the Satans, God bless you all.

  2. Muslim virtues, what i see from many muslims living in Europe i’d never say virtue was even a part of islam.
    Where is virtue in raping young girls in drug pushing high criminality?
    Prisons across europe are bursting at the seams with these virtuas muslims many are not even convicted nowadays just an hand slap.
    To speak of debate, most would just love a debate but are not allowed to even mention such a thing, the media and governments of europe are playing a deadly game that they pray that they can win.
    Democracy in Europe is now a farce!