Today I attended a fascinating presentation at Cardozo University by three eminent scholars on the politics of religious fundamentalism. One of them, Dr. Bassem 'Tibi, noted in passing that he is working towards creating a Euro-Islamic identity to help provide an alternative to Islamic fundamentalism in Europe. This new identity would be drawing from the rational Islam of the philosopher Averroes and his colleagues.

I wish him the best of luck. The first step in promulgating this new identity would be getting the Muslim population to open up to European culture. Unfortunately, the Wahhabis already have a powerful hold on the Muslim community, and they realize that European culture is their greatest threat. Therefore, they work to widen the gulf between the community and its surroundings to the utmost.

For 'Tibi and his allies to succeed, the present influence of Saudi Arabia must be throttled. Unfortunately, the European governments have not yet decided how to deal with that particular issue. I suspect that until oil becomes irrelevant, Europe will be restricted to fighting a rearguard action against the extremists. I hope that I am wrong; one development that would radically change the situation would be if the Saudi family were overthrown...

1 comment:

Hatcher said...

Overthrowing the Al-Saud would certainly have an effect, but perhaps not the one you're thinking of.

You might be interested in this report from Dutch intelligence on the influence of the Salafi mission supported by the Saudi government in the Netherlands.