“Why Right Now Is a Crucial Time for Islam in Europe”

By Akbar Ahmed

The World Post – Huffington Post


The sense of absolute horror at the terrible tragedy that took place in Paris has not yet abated. The enormity of what happened — an attack on the foundations of the idea and practice of a free press — is unprecedented. France grieves and so should all right-thinking people who value democracy and human rights. We commiserate with the families who have suffered such tragic loss.

The president of France, Francois Hollande and his political rival and former president, Nicolas Sarkozy, appeared together in a show of unity to condemn what had happened in the strongest words. They faithfully reflected the defiance, anger and shock that the nation felt. World leaders from President Obama to the prime minister of the U.K. rallied around in a show of solidarity with France, vowing to stand by it.

Both Hollande and Sarkozy cast the attacks in Paris in terms of the Huntingtonian thesis of the clash of civilizations between the West and Islam. Hollande condemned the “exceptional barbarism” and Sarkozy declared this to be a “barbaric” attack on civilization itself. It was “a war on civilization,” said Sarkozy. Implicit in such statements was Huntington’s idea of the clash…

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