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Two little pieces of what looks to me anyway like hopeful signs: that Europe is looking to Australia’s model for how to cope with immigration, and that there may be more atheist, agnostic or otherwise apostate Muslims than we know.
From Quillette, an interview with a Pakistani-Canadian Muslim writer, Ali Rizvi. A few good quotes to give the flavor:
Liberals have often squandered the opportunity to have an honest and morally responsible conversation about [Islam]. And by doing so, they left a void, which has been filled by opportunists from the far-Right, who want to have this dialogue in an irresponsible and xenophobic way.
Many freethinkers and disbelievers in the Muslim community who saw what happened to Salman Rushdie, even in the West, will think twice before coming out. Liberals are not supporting the people that they should be supporting, and they have compromised on their own values. That’s how terrorism works. They want to curb terrorism, but they’re not curbing it, they’re already victims of it.
But then, the Internet came around. Here in the West we use it mainly for sharing cat videos and we enjoy that, but for [Muslims in the Middle East], it is a window onto a world that they had no idea existed at all. These are people who are born and raised there, who didn’t go on vacation to the West like I did. Muslim youth globally are being more exposed to secular influences. They’re seeing Hollywood movies that are now uncensored, and they are thinking about these things, comparing them to their own life. And yes, the conservatives are very worried about this.
Rizvi sees the rise in extremism and terrorism not as signs of Islam’s strength, but of the opposite — its desperate attempt to prevent Muslims from drawing the obvious conclusions from what they can now know about the world.
I hope he’s right.
How, though, to hold the line on immigration into Europe long enough for the Muslim world to, at last, reform along Western lines? I could offer lots of inexpert advice (and have, in these virtual pages) but Gatestone reports something more practical in the works:
Four years ago, the Australian government sparked criticism after it ran an advertisement aimed at discouraging asylum seekers from traveling illegally to the country. “No Way“, the poster read. “You will not make Australia home. If you get on a boat without a visa, you will not end up in Australia. Any vessel seeking illegally to enter Australia will be intercepted and safely removed beyond Australian waters”.
Last year, EU officials came to Australia for help. At a recent summit, European Union member states agreed to copy the Australian model of turning back the migrant boats and sending them to third-countries, to centers there run by local authorities, on the model of the Manus Regional Processing Centre in Papua New Guinea, which was used to house migrants turned away from Australia. Italy is now looking to create similar reception centers on the southern border of Libya.
What do you think, Ricochetti? Reason for optimism or mere aspirins offered to a continent with a metastasizing cancer?Published in