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How Islamists Are Slowly Desensitizing Europe And America

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Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine whose offices Islamists attacked in 2015, published an editorial recently titled “How Did We Get Here?” that has raised some eyebrows. In it, they ask how Europe has become where European-born Muslims have attacked the hearts of Paris and Brussels. Their answer has proved distasteful to many on the Left.

The editorial has been harshly criticized and the magazine accused of racism and xenophobia. The Washington Post says Charlie Hebdo blames extremism on individual Muslims—the veiled woman on the street, the man selling kebabs. There’s some truth to this accusation, and to the extent that there is, Charlie Hebdo is wrong. But this, and other critiques, miss the larger point of the article, which is to demonstrate the gradual and quotidian way in which criticizing Islam has been silenced.

It’s worth quoting Charlie Hebdo at length:

In reality, the attacks are merely the visible part of a very large iceberg indeed. They are the last phase of a process of cowing and silencing long in motion and on the widest possible scale. Our noses are endlessly rubbed in the rubble of Brussels airport and in the flickering candles amongst the bouquets of flowers on the pavements. All the while, no one notices what’s going on in Saint-German-en-Laye. Last week, Sciences-Po* welcomed Tariq Ramadan. He’s a teacher, so it’s not inappropriate. He came to speak of his specialist subject, Islam, which is also his religion…

No matter, Tariq Ramadan has done nothing wrong. He will never do anything wrong. He lectures about Islam, he writes about Islam, he broadcasts about Islam. He puts himself forward as a man of dialogue, someone open to a debate. A debate about secularism which, according to him, needs to adapt itself to the new place taken by religion in Western democracy. A secularism and a democracy which must also accept those traditions imported by minority communities. Nothing bad in that. Tariq Ramadan is never going to grab a Kalashnikov with which to shoot journalists at an editorial meeting. Nor will he ever cook up a bomb to be used in an airport concourse. Others will be doing all that kind of stuff. It will not be his role. His task, under cover of debate, is to dissuade people from criticising his religion in any way. The political science students who listened to him last week will, once they have become journalists or local officials, not even dare to write nor say anything negative about Islam. The little dent in their secularism made that day will bear fruit in a fear of criticising lest they appear Islamophobic. That is Tariq Ramadan’s task.

Read more at TheFederalist.com…

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