The Muslim in liberal Europe

“…It is quite clear that relations between Muslim immigrants and host societies in the West are ridden with tensions. Concerns for identity and collective identification are deeply ingrained in people. Immigrants invariably carry many ties and loyalties in their cultural and emotional baggage. There is no doubt that contemporary Muslims and Westerners have been socialised and groomed in very different ideals and values. Such socialisation is not absolute; change and transformation are possible, but such processes are very slow and never quite complete. No doubt terrorist activities among Muslims are up until now confined only to some individuals and a few organisations, but extremist Muslims including the al-Qaeda pursue a determined policy to polarise Muslims and non-Muslims across the world. Therefore, subverting secularism, pluralism and multiculturalism in the West enjoys top priority in their strategy to gain power and influence. It is important that the European state should not let the notion of multiculturalism serve as a means for Muslims or any other community to obtain legal exemptions and exemptions that conflict with the overall inclusive and equal citizenship that applies to most of Europe. Equally, it is important that vigilance and surveillance of extremist Muslims is maintained and improved upon but without jeopardising the rights of Muslims in general to equal treatment under the law. Immigrant communities need to be properly informed about not only their rights but also obligations. Without such a dialogue and understanding, the future of multiculturalism and pluralism is bleak in western Europe.”