Some key components of Europe’s anti-Muslim rhetoric have been discredited. Take the following:
- It is alleged that Muslims in Europe are recipients of and hence unduly influenced by foreign funding, a code word for petro-dollars from Saudi Arabia.
- It is said that radical foreign-born imams (clerics), are a source of militancy and should be deported. Some have been, particularly from France.
- Given Europe’s large Muslim population of about 15 million, the continent is a battleground of the war between Islam and the West.
All these assertions are alarmist nonsense, says a soft-spoken American political scientist, after extensive research in France, Germany, England, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. In her new book The Islamic Challenge: Politics and Religion in Western Europe (Oxford) Jytte Klausen of Brandeis University has outlined conclusions that puncture popular myths.
Haroon Siddiqui in the Toronto Star, 20 November 2005