Fascinating on-going debate on the future of Europe between Austin Bay (a blog I've been
slow to latch on to) and the estimable Mark Steyn. I think Steyn's prognosis is far too gloomy. (Andrew Stuttaford thinks so too.)

Here's a thought: what if Christopher Hitchens' piece on that fabled beast, the Arab Street, applies to Muslims in Europe too? (Note what he has to say about the Bosnian experience):

Other Muslim streets are even more problematic for those who lazily assume that
the jihadists are the voice of the unheard. The populations of Bosnia and Kosovo—populations that actually did have to confront anti-Muslim violence on a large scale—are generally hostile to Bin-Ladenism. Nobody has ever used the term "Iranian street," at least in print or on broadcast news, if only because everyone knows that Iranian opinion, as registered during the mock elections or voiced to visiting hacks, is strongly against the reigning theocracy.

I'm not downplaying the Theo van Gogh story and the rest of the bad news. I just wonder how much we really know about the true opinions of European Muslims. (That's another good reason, incidentally, not to support the planned religious incitement ban in the UK. Islamist ideas have to be driven into the open.) It's just an educated guess, but I think the firebrands and the "community" spokesmen are much less representative than the media like to think.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/03/pros-cons-fascinating-on-going-debate.html|||3/01/2005 09:55:00 am|||||||||