Europe, Beware of Islamist Backlash
European countries with sizeable Muslim populations would do well to be cautious in the face of an Islamist backlash
It should by now be clear that we are facing a mood and a movement far transcending the level of issues and policies and the governments that pursue them. This is no less than a clash of civilizations—the perhaps irrational but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage, our secular present, and the worldwide expansion of both.
Bernard Lewis: ‘The Roots of Muslim Rage’ (1990).
Whenever there are sectarian problems in Africa, the Middle East or Europe, Islamism is more often than not the root cause. The recent insurgency in Mali is simply the latest episode, and as Islamist rage spreads across regional fault lines in Africa and the Middle East, the battle between the West and Islamism is clearly intensifying.
In 2010, this conflict was described by the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as an ideological war against the cultural and religious equivalent of revolutionary communism. He believed this conflict would play out as a ‘generational-long struggle’, a view recently echoed by the current British Prime Minister, David Cameron.
It has long been assumed if the Israel-Palestine conflict was resolved, political Islam across the globe would quieten down, and we would co-exist peacefully. I have even recently heard this same spiel from the mouth of a senior British UN Representative.
This notion - that creating a Palestinian utopia would quell the rage boiling beneath the surface of so many Islamic communities worldwide - is idle, ignorant and absurd.