ISLAM’S IMPACT ON THE WEST’S IDENTITY
The ugly truth.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
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.
As is often the case whenever the sophists apologize for Islam and blame the West, reality is the exact opposite. Both past and present, Islam’s own well documented “predator identity”—which manifested itself in centuries of jihad and atrocities—was and is responsible for the “militaristic lengths that [non-Muslim] people will resort to in order to protect their identity.”