Saturday, December 03, 2005

Why American Muslims haven't turned to terrorism

An interesting analysis from Spencer Ackerman in The New Republic.

In a nutshell: greater economic opportunity, upward mobility (compared to France), and an Americanization, and concomitant moderation of Islam, and America's respect for visible religiosity in the public square (again, compared to Western Europe).
There's nothing predetermined about the contours of an emerging, public American Muslim identity. But, to the great credit and for the mutual benefit of both American Muslims and the United States itself, there exist powerful structural forces, rooted deeply in both U.S. and Islamic history, that portend well. In the wake of the London bombings and the French riots, a great irony of the post-September 11 world is that one of the most urgent requirements of European stability is the emulation of the United States: a place where liberalism and religiosity support a viable and beneficial Western Muslim identity. And perhaps the greatest post- September 11 irony of all is that the comfort many American Muslims feel American life provides for them is best embodied by none other than the hated George W. Bush, for whom basic comfort with deeply held religious beliefs is perhaps the most reliable guide to a person's character. With these ironies in the background, Abdul Rauf promises, "An American Muslim identity is going to happen. No doubt." To which American Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and atheists should say: inshallah.
Worth a read! (Article free, registration required.)


assiniboine said...

Well, one could hardly say that Britain lacks liberalism: compared with the United States? Ahem. And it is Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus who are religious there, without, apparently, any of the difficulty this occasioned for Muslims and Sikhs, at least, in France. Surely the difference is not the greater religiosity of American public life but rather the selectivity of US immigration policiy. Muslim North Africans streamed into France in the '50s and 60s and Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims into England when there were no points systems or other impediments to unskilled immigration. That is to say, prosperity helps. It isn't by-and-large French or English Muslim doctors, lawyers and engineers who are terrorists, after all. (Or rapists in Australia.) Saudi ones yes, but that's a whole other issue.

Gashwin said...

I think you do have a point. But: America hasn't produced (yet?) someone with the murderous rants of the notorous Imam of Lutton either.