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Reader comment on item: Muslim Europe
in response to reader comment: Building bridges?

Submitted by Malachy (United Kingdom), Jan 18, 2007 at 14:04

Just a few brief comments to Scott. Firstly which acts on the part of the present American administration, as well as previous ones, do you consider to count as helping to save Muslim lives? Perhaps the unquestioning support of the Shah of Iran, a man who tortured and murdered thousands of his fellow compatriots? Or perhaps you are referring to America's support of Iraq in their war against Iran (including providing Saddam Hussein's regime with chemical weapons) which lead to roughly 1 million deaths?

Or maybe you are talking about supplying Israel with the funding and weapons for their armed forces which are used in both the occupied territories of Palestine and Lebanon to kill innocent civilians? Or maybe even the Bush regime's latest fiasco, the invasion of Iraq, which has caused upwards of 300,000 civilian deaths?

I am not trying to deny the positive steps taken by America to help Muslim populations, I am merely tying to suggest that you adopt a more nuanced and realistic view of your own country's foreign policy. Another quick comment, offering unquestioning support to the government of Israel does not amount to an exhaustive effort to establish a Palestinian state.

As for your comments pertaining to Islam vis a vis Western Europe they are a bit alarmist at the very least. While there is a high level of muslim immigration into Western Europe, they are hardly on the verge of taking over. France has the largest amount of Muslim immigrants in Europe, with about 3 million, which against a total population of over 60 million hardly represents the sort of imminent threat to which you are referring.

Also, as somebody who has grown up in France for much of my life, I find the connection you make between last year's urban violence and Islam nothing short of ludicrous. The riots, as virtually all commentators in France recognized, were largely linked to poverty, disaffection and unemployment in urban housing estates and had virtually nothing to do with religion. If you were to look at the rioters themselves more closely you would find that as well as being of North Arican or Turkish, and therefore Muslim, descent

a large portion of them would also have been from French, Portugese or Sub-Saharan African backgrounds...you should at least make an attempt to get your facts straight!


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