Sunday, November 06, 2005

France's Test under Fire

The unrest in France is only the latest sign of the growing dissatisfaction of the immigrant population in Western Europe. After living in Amsterdam for a few years, I am convinced that the alienation of non-white residents in Holland, Belgium, France, and other EU countries has become a crucial problem for the continent. It again reminds me of what I've read a while back: Europeans are like the tree people in Tolkin's Lord of the Rings, who have slept as the world around them changed. They can no longer ignore the growing Muslim populations within their own borders. Integration will not be easy after decades of treating the "guest workers" and their families as outsiders. But without it we will see many more burning cars, churches and masques, or even awful bombings, as in London or Madrid. Terrorism may become a much bigger problem for Europe than it has ever been for the United States. And it will be perpetrated by their own people.
This, of course, does not mean that only the governments must take necessary measures. The European Muslim community should also take this problem head-on, quashing the hate that led to the death of controversial filmmaker Theo van Gogh a year ago.

TWP: Rage of French Youth Is a Fight for Recognition

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