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Modernity

Reader comment on item: Muslim Europe

Submitted by Matthew Scribner (Canada), May 12, 2004 at 10:44

It is all well and good to say that the Muslim world needs to develop, but Western countries should not forget their role in the matter. The problem is that aid pours into the corrupt governments (corruption, by the way, not being a uniquely Islamic trait) of the Arab world instead of going to direct aid programs - where food and education is purchased instead of guns. Moreover, as for immigrants already landed in Europe, authorities must insure that social justice reaches these people. The jobless must get jobs and the uneducated must be educated. Otherwise, people are sitting at home watching pro-Jihad TV, and yes, having more children.

We see the same thing in Palestine, where 60% of the population is unemployed. Giving money to individuals known to be corrupt (Arafat) is useless, but that is hardly an excuse for the West to throw up its hands and turn its back. We must circumvent the corruption and offer jobs and assistance to the people. If Israel can protect its settlements, then surely it can protect "collaborators" from execution at the hands of the PA.

The Muslims of Europe and North America do not have a wall erected in front of them. Yes, they have ties to unsympathetic elements in countries back home, but with any effort at all they will become closer to their new surroundings. The way to do this is not to deprive them of hijab-wearing rights, but to allow influence to flow both ways. Muslim author Irshad Manji sees the Muslim world being reborn in the West, the way the West was reborn from the ideas coming out of the Arab world in the middle ages.
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