It cannot be denied that the European Union has painlessly absorbed Catholic, Protestant, Christian Orthodox and any number of other faiths, so why should the concept of Islam within the European Union cause such dread? To answer this question one needs to question the secularity of Europe itself.
Casanova writes “ western European societies are deeply secular societies [and] have…difficulty in recognizing some legitimate role for religion in public life and in … collective group identities” ( Casanova, 2004, p.97). He adds “Muslim-organized collective identities and their public representations become a source of anxiety …concerning the role of religion in the public sphere.” (Casanova, 2004, p.97). This opinion implies that it is the presence of a collective Muslim mindset as well as the actions of the people having that mindset which raises the issue of religion in secular European thoughts. This statement may be accurate in saying that the public display of religious sentiment makes Europeans uneasy, but is false in suggesting that secular Europe has completely cut off its ties to its religious heritage. Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes about pockets of Muslims living across Europe who choose to confine themselves to their own rituals rather than blending within the community of their adopted country. “ [in] the town of Evry, south of Paris…supermarkets stopped selling pork and alcoholic beverages and ritual seep slaughter has become an official activity [because] Muslims… constitute two thirds of the total population” ( Ali, 2005, p.62). The anxiety caused by the creation within the European Union of such ‘Islamic states’, along with the pictures of Muslim youths becoming trained terrorists has led to a reversal to Judeo-Christian values in a number of European states. Nowhere is this clearer than in the more than 50 year old problem of Turkey’s admission to the European Union. Challand writes “ simplistic arguments…about an alleged Islamic threat take the upper hand and …the fact tat Turkey fulfils most of the criteria to enter the EU are [ignored].” (Challand, 2009, p.71).
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