Europe and Islam: A clash of failures

After the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, and the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris this month, everyone has hastened to remind themselves that some of the first responders, and best citizens of France, are Muslims. This much is true.

But it’s also true that Islam and France are in a complicated dance. Up to 70 percent of France’s prison population is Muslim. Intellectuals fantasize about a religious revolution that is an Islam “Made in France.” Michael Houellebecq’s novel Soumission imagines Islamic vitality buying off French passivity and nihilism and bringing national renewal. Others see the encounter between France and Islam looking like the Clash of Civilizations, as imagined by Samuel Huntington.

But in truth, it is a Clash of Failures. France and Islam each hold out a universal promise for the world. And in each other, they see that promise revealed as a lie.

  • Alain

    So let us say that not all lions are man-eaters, but a wise man still does not invite lions into his home on that assumption thinking he will be safe by being nice to them. Only the wilful blind or dishonest will continue to deny that Islam is not and never can be compatible with any liberal democracy.

    • Maggat

      Please, don’t use lions as they are noble beasts. Try jackals.

      • Alain

        That hippy dude from California thought the same thing about grizzlies in Alaska.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    I like the headline.