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Reverse millet system?

Reader comment on item: Does Europe Have No-go Zones?

Submitted by Conormel (Ireland), Jan 22, 2015 at 10:22

It appears to me that the situation is analogous to the Ottoman millet system, whereby each religious community was afforded the autonomy to run its own affairs within the broader framework of Muslim dominance. As such, Muslims in such areas are unlikely to understand just why non-Muslims find such an arrangement so unacceptable. In a 2007 lecture ("The Third Islamic Wave"), Lewis said something similar:

"When Muslims came to Europe they had a certain expectation of tolerance, feeling that they were entitled to at least the degree of tolerance which they had accorded to non-Muslims in the great Muslim empires of the past. Both their expectations and their experience were very different.

Coming to European countries, they got both more and less than they had expected: More in the sense that they got in theory and often in practice equal political rights, equal access to the professions, all the benefits of the welfare state, freedom of expression, and so on and so forth.

But they also got significantly less than they had given in traditional Islamic states. In the Ottoman Empire and other states before that–I mention the Ottoman Empire as the most recent–the non-Muslim communities had separate organizations and ran their own affairs. They collected their own taxes and enforced their own laws...

...They do not have that degree of independence in their own social and legal life in the modern state. It is quite unrealistic for them to expect it, given the nature of the modern state, but that is not how they see it. They feel that they are entitled to receive what they gave."

http://www.aei.org/publication/the-2007-irving-kristol-lecture-by-bernard-lewis/

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Daniel Pipes replies:

Excellent point.

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