Is anyone taking notice of what’s occurring in Europe? If you care about flexibility in the West, take a look now. Fault lines in between Islamists and the nonreligious West, etched over generations and deepened and strengthened by failed post-9/11 policies, have tectonically shifted. Almost crossed out by some, European nations are suddenly taking serious and substantial action to push back in earnest against intruding Islamist separatism and radicalization. And the United States, as an observer, stands to discover a lot.

In 2020, as the world remained deeply embroiled in the pandemic, France, Austria, and much of the remainder of the European Union (EU) began to face the Islamist ideological beast within their borders. Led by French President Emmanuel Macron and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, European leaders appear to have woken up from their slumber and recognized it wasn’t simply the militant Islamist acts of terrorism that they required to defeat– rather, it was the concepts that bred them, political Islam or Islamism

The significance of this moment in history and the accuracy of Macron’s medical diagnoses of Islamism within his nation’s borders is highlighted by the truth that some of the world’s leading Islamist demagogues, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, required the boycott of French products in late October. Macron quickly and certainly reacted, “We will not give in, ever.”

France’s 2020 front in the cultural war against Islamism was sparked by the October 16 beheading of Samuel Paty, an intermediate school teacher who had the courage to merely discuss what occurred in the massacre of the Charlie Hebdo personnel in 2015, when the publication staffers showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

After Paty’s murder, Macron responded swiftly by protecting free speech and safeguarding France’s character and values. He accelerated his prepare for a collaborated, all-of-government approach versus “Islamist separatism.” Macron has actually hence started to lead his country in a long-overdue conversation that targets the root cause of the Islamist risk to France–” Islamist separatism.” Many of us committed to Muslim reform versus Islamism have been really requiring such an open discussion for a long time.

In a series of speeches since Paty’s murder, Macron has laid bare why Islamism is inherently separatist and “rejects liberty of expression, liberty of conscience and the right to blaspheme.” He correctly laid the diagnosis and blame at the feet of leaders across the globe who remain in “crisis” and fomenting “jihad.” He has actually required the de-” ghettoization” of Muslim communities. Macron presented legislation reawakening France’s “republican concepts” and straight challenging Islamism’s incompatibilities. He lifted up “laicite” France’s dominant constitutional principle and awareness of secularism– as the nation’s “cement.” Macron basically declared war on foreign influence in Muslim organizations, obstructing financing while surveilling mosques and imams as well as other occupations.

To be clear, Islamism is the religio-political-cultural belief system that the state ought to have an Islamic identity and be guided just by shariah law (Islamic jurisprudence). Islamists belong to a worldwide political movement that eventually looks for power and global hegemony. Like all totalitarian systems, Islamism is not suitable with Western secular democratic ideals. Not all Muslims are Islamists, however all Islamists are Muslims. And while Muslim migrants in Europe are not a monolithic bloc, among them are countless Islamists and Islamist-sympathizers.

French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron
LUDOVIC MARIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Will this cultural war declared by Macron and Kurz work?

M. Zuhdi Jasser is the president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and a co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement based in Phoenix, Arizona.

The views expressed in this short article are the writer’s own.

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