June 1, 2018 Raymond Ibrahim
What role if any did Islam play in shaping Europe’s identity, both in the past and the present?
Akbar Ahmed, Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, Washington, DC, and author of the new book, Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Identity, claims that Islam had a largely positive impact on Europe’s identity (including by invoking the Myth of the Andalusian Paradise).
Thus, any European suspicion or rejection of Muslim migrants is wholly unwarranted. As Ahmed elaborates in a recent article:
To understand what is happening in European politics and society today, it is necessary to understand European identity, which can be interpreted in three distinct categories-primordial identity, predator identity, and pluralist identity. Primordial identity emphasizes one’s unique culture and traditions, and predator identity indicates the aggressive, even militaristic lengths that people will resort to in order to protect their identity. Predator identity can be triggered due to perceived threats including globalization, unemployment, economic instability, and the greed and failure of elites. Add the presence of immigrants, and a society can move in extreme and bloody directions which challenge the very notion of a modern democracy.Note that for Ahmed, Europe’s “predator identity” is only “triggered due to perceived threats”—as if Islam never posed any real threat.........This becomes evident when one understands that the West is actually the westernmost remnant of what was a much more extensive civilizational block that Islam permanently severed. As documented in my new book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, nonstop jihad and terror saw three-quarters of the post-Roman Christian world become Islamic, leaving the remaining quarter—Europe proper—in a permanent state of embattlement. ....To Read More...