In his post, Abdulkadir Suleiman makes some very good points. He correctly underscores the rise of anti-Islamic rhetoric in the far-right of European politics. He correctly notes the backlash against multiculturalism which has emerged in the post-9/11 Europe. However, it is in the other things claimed that his argument is undermined.
To me the concept that Europe’s intolerance is rooted in its colonialism is bizarre. It would be a similar claim to say that Turkey’s present political crises were based in its invasion of Austria, or that the US’ neo-conservatism is based on its decades of war against Great Britain. Europe has changed so significantly and thoroughly in the last two hundred years that it is near unrecognisable from the continent which once saw Napoleon march on Moscow and the Germans butcher one another over religion. Culture changes, and causal chains can only last so long. Suleiman seems keen to note other fundamental changes which have occurred since then whilst ignoring others.
It is indeed well known that Europe has been pursuing a culture of tolerance since the Second World War, Continue reading
“How can we have peace if we don’t build relationships?” The plea and key to life beyond war emotes from African Ikenna Ezeibe in the new 2012 film, Dialogue in Nigeria: Muslims & Christians Creating Their Future. Ezeibe was among the 200 adversaries — courageous young women and men who united successfully in Jos, central Nigeria, the centre of recent brutal violence that echoed worldwide.
Refusing to be enemies, they were together during days and evenings of the 2010 International Conference on Youth and Interfaith Communication. Crossing lines of religion, economics, tribe, and gender, they transcended the status quo and discovered empathy for each other. Listening-to-learn, they dignified themselves and the “other” realizing that “an enemy is one whose story we have not heard”. Face to face in small circles, they began with ice-breakers and continued in depth, discovering one another’s equal humanity – fear, grief, needs, hopes, and concrete plans for a shared future.
A link to a video of Dialogue in Nigeria on U-tube can be found below: Continue reading
The forces opposing immigrants and Islam in Europe go hand in hand: elections and the politics of division have served such forces well. In advancing their political agenda, the elites of the continent dislike Muslim immigrants, hate Halaal meat and remain fixated on Islamic fundamentalism. Extremists such as Anders Behring Breivik killed his own people because he felt that the Labour Party was too relaxed about Muslim immigration into Norway. It became the reason that he massacred them on July 2011 in Utoya. Moreover, the spectacular success of the French far-right party, The National Front, in 2012 French presidential election demonstrate the alarming shift of Europe’s politics from traditional liberalism to more radical extremism, cultural intolerance and more importantly, accepting Muslim integration into the European mainstream.
Britain’s far-right, the British Freedom Party has a clearly adopted anti-Islamic policy which it manifests as its ideology. Continue reading