The World Post – The Huffington Post
By Akbar Ahmed
Europe today is witnessing a major crisis concerning its Muslim communities, one which is already beginning to reveal its troubling global implications. I believe Europeans have much to learn from tiny Bosnia, tucked away in a remote part of the continent. Let me explain.
Europeans feel under siege. Wherever they look, they are confronted with appalling stories of violence and moral turpitude associated with Muslims — the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris followed by the attacks in Copenhagen; Muslims assaulting members of the Jewish community in schools, museums and even markets; and Muslims in the U.K. are condemned for both “grooming,” that is, exploiting young girls for sex by getting them addicted to drugs and drinks and “Trojan Horse” strategies designed to take over schools and impose an Islamic agenda.
In turn, Muslims also feel under siege. Right-wing parties have grown dramatically with a negative focus on Muslims and contest most Muslim-related issues, including, for example, that of rescuing immigrants at sea, which they depict as opening the floodgates to “millions” of potential terrorists. Huge processions numbering up to 25,000 have been organized by Pegida against Muslims. (To her credit, Mrs. Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, spoke at an anti-Pegida rally organized by Muslims in Berlin). Women in hijabs and mosques, both seen as symbols of Islam, have been frequently attacked. Three mosques were targeted in rapid succession even in traditionally peaceful Sweden. As a consequence of the negative reports about them, Muslims tend to see media as one-sided and biased.
In the midst of this ugly confrontation what can Bosnia teach us?
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