A reader writes:
I don't think the reader comparing actual attacks by American/European Muslims is constructive with regard to your point about Muslims in America. I've spent a bit of time in Europe, and European Muslims, very generally speaking, have not integrated one bit into mainstream European societies. I hate to use such sweeping allegations, but when a Ft Hood event happens here, I am always proud and heartened by the Muslim community's immediate rejection. My Muslim-American friends live all over this country, and though they have their quibbles with American foreign policy (and not nearly as much as one might think), they are PROUD to be Americans, and love their country, at least as much as your average American does.
In France, England, the Netherlands, Denmark, the Muslim communities are - yes, generally - wildly hostile to their governments. This is most apparent in the United Kingdom, where Muslims preach British destruction, virulent homophobia and anti-Semitism, loudly, in the street, to anyone willing to listen. Yes, this is the fringe, but it is not as widely condemned and rejected as it would be here.
And by the way, while I definitely find Muslim European communities to be alarming and worthy of plenty of scrutiny, I think their host societies shoulder plenty of blame in this regard. Americans deserve credit for - generally - looking past religious and ethnic differences a hella lot better than their European counterparts.
I wrote my thesis, in part, on the Muslim experience in France, and it's not pretty. Ask many a Frenchman for his views on Muslims in Paris and try not to be appalled at his reaction. When I was in Denmark this summer, I was surprised at how openly the Danes (ever tolerant and progressive) resented the Muslim immigrant population. This rejectionist attitude only further strengthens the radical imams that are shipped into European cities to prevent assimilation with the infidels.
I should add that your dissenter, and anyone interested in this topic, should read Irshad Manji or Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the subject, because they can express this much better than I can. But the divide is great: both between the manner in which Americans and Europeans have reacted to Muslim societies growing in their midst, AND in the way those Muslim societies react to and view the countries they currently live in.
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