Den aldrig sluttende debat her på bloggen vedrørende Islam, som særligt synes at optage denne punditokrat og vores trofaste og – trods den til tider hårde meningsudveksling – værdsatte læsere JR og Niels A. Nielsen, får nu næring af både Wall Street Journal, the Economist og Foreign Affairs. De nævnte blade har alle artikler som giver anledning til behersket optimisme på vegne af det europæiske land mange, inklusiv mig selv, har troet ville opleve de værste konsekvenser af muslimsk indvandring: Frankrig.
Artiklerne peger på, at det rent faktisk går bedre med integrationen af muslimer i Frankrig end hidtil antaget. Først Wall Street Journal, der på trods af at muslimer generelt ligger tungt til i kriminalitets og arbejdsløshedsstatistikker synes at konkludere, at det går i den rigtige retning:
At the moment French Muslims, like Muslims elsewhere in Europe, exhibit the pathologies that have long characterized the American underclass. Nearly a fifth of French residents with immigrant origins–a group dominated by North Africans–don't have jobs. Unemployment among young people in the projects runs as high as 50%. Muslims make up a majority of the French prison population, and in jails near urban areas their numbers approach 70% or 80%. It requires only a short commuter train trip from central Paris or Lyon to come across a culture of drugs, welfare dependency and crime.
France touts Europe's highest rate of intermarriage between Muslims and non-Muslims. In the realm of popular culture, its most beloved sports star (Zinédine Zidane) and comic (Jamal Debbouze) hail from Algerian Berber families. Though immigrant birth rates are high, they tend to slow down with each succeeding generation, approaching that of the general French population. A Muslim middle class is tiny but emerging.
An assimilationist outlook may be emerging as well. According to a Pew Global Attitudes survey published in July, 42% of French Muslims consider themselves French first; 47%, Muslim first. (In Britain, the numbers are 7% British first; 81%, Muslim first.)
In the same poll, 78% of French Muslims say that they want to adapt to French customs. Another recent survey, this one for La Vie, a Catholic monthly, appears to show that French Muslims aren't averse to "French" values: 91% of those interviewed approved of gender equality, 73% of the separation of church and state; 69% said that they don't oppose Muslim women marrying outside the faith. […]Messrs. Laurence and Vaisse argue that French Muslims are a diverse and fast-changing group, in many respects moderate.
WSJ er dog ikke blind overfor faren fra Islamismen:
Sounds good. So why are so many French citizens convinced that relations between Muslims and Christians will get worse and not better? The warning signs go beyond the delinquents who grab headlines by burning cars. The Pew survey also shows that Islamism–the militant, fundamentalist form of the religion–is putting down roots in France, as it is elsewhere in Europe.
The group that seems most susceptible to radicalization is the young who were born in France but feel at home neither in the West nor in the birthplace of their immigrant parents. Zacarias Moussaoui, the convicted 9/11 terrorist and a French citizen, is the most prominent example of this cohort. The authors note that up to 200 French Muslims trained in al Qaeda's Afghan camps. The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood is certainly active in Frances's suburban projects.
Artiklen udfordrer også klassik liberale holdninger til vidtgående anti-terror lovgivning, som får en stor del af æren for, at der ikke har været alvorlige terror angreb i Frankrig i lang tid:
It matters, then, that France's anti-terrorism laws are the toughest anywhere in the Western world. French prosecutors can hold terror suspects for years without charge; the definition of "links to terrorism" is loose. Every mosque in France is monitored. Since 9/11, the government has cracked down on foreign financing and moved to train "French imams." All this–more than the slow integrationist trend that Messrs. Laurence and Vaisse celebrate–may be the reason why France hasn't been hit by terrorism since a wave of subway bombings in 1995.
The French approach to assimilation, with its insistence on strict secularism and its dirigiste firmness, does not make for an American-style melting pot. But it may well carve a better path to civil peace, over time, than the policies of Europe's other Muslim-populated countries. The path would run smoother if France could undertake a major economic reform. Remarkably little has been done, even in the year since the riots, to loosen up the restrictive labor codes that do so much to keep poor immigrants–not least poor Muslim immigrants–from finding work and integrating themselves into French life.
WSJs artikel understøttes af en artikel i Foreign Affairs (hele artiklen kan læses her på Realclearpolitics) som også giver et mere nuanceret billede af, hvorledes det går med integration af muslimer i Frankrig. I artiklen hedder det bl.a:
The status of Muslims in France is at once much healthier and more problematic than most recent commentary lets on. France's experience with integration has been shaped by a unique combination of history, philosophy, and contemporary concerns, which together have produced a stop-and-start immigration policy and a wariness about Islam. Still, French sociologists agree that the integration of Muslims into French society has proceeded fairly well. Most Muslims in France — half to three-fifths of whom are believed to be French citizens — have adopted French cultural norms; they enthusiastically endorse republican values, including laïcité (the French state's aggressive official secularism).
They tend to vote somewhat less often and somewhat more to the left than most of the French population, but socioeconomic variables, not religion, account for the differences. Their desire to assimilate has sometimes been met with a form of discrimination fuelled by nativism and a deep distrust of Islam that has made it harder for them to find homes and jobs. But what has turned such vexing problems into crushing burdens is the economic stagnation that has afflicted the whole country and defied reform efforts for three decades.
Også the Economist har beskæftiget sig med Frankrig og dets muslimske indvandrere. Om sidste års voldelige uroligheder hedder det (kræver abonnement):
When the riots started, they were treated in some quarters as a "suburban intifada". "Jihad comes home", ran one newspaper headline. Some American observers regarded the uprising as further proof of Europe's inability to control the spread of radical Islam. France has Europe's biggest Muslim populationan estimated 5m, or 8% of France's inhabitantsso it comes under special scrutiny.
A report into the riots by the French Renseignements Généraux, the domestic intelligence-gathering service, however, found the opposite. Islamists had "no role in setting off the violence or in fanning it," it concluded.
Sammenlign ovenstående artikler med indholdet af a
rtikler om samme emne af R
obert Spencer i Front Page Magazine, og døm selv hvor lødigheden og troværdigheden er størst.
Hvis det kan lægges til grund, at Frankrigs hårdhændede fremfærd i kampen mod terrorisme og fundamentalisme, er spørgsmålet om en sådan fremfærd er nødvendig i velfærdstunge lande med muslimsk indvandring. Det er jo netop i disse lande indvandrere – særligt de muslimske af slagsen – samlet set nærmest undtagelsesfrit klarer sig markant dårligere end den øvrige befolkning. En sådan konklusion er dog ikke tvingende al den stund, at Danmark ikke – endnu – har været udsat for alvorlig terrorisme og at islamismen herhjemme ikke synes at have så fast et greb i de muslimske indvandrere, som i visse steder i f.eks. England.
Hvorom alt er synes den bedste opskrift på succesfuld integration af muslimer stadig at være den amerikanske med en mindre stat, lav eller ingen offentlig forsørgelse af indvandrere og en tradition for religiøs tolerance, faktorer, der synes at fremme en frivillig assimilationsproces med hensyn til demokratiske kerneprincipper. Resultater heraf er, at muslimer i USA klarer sig bedre end den gennemsnitlige befolkning og langt bedre end f.eks. den sorte og overvejende kristne del af befolkningen. Et eksempel de mest islamskeptiske debattører på mærkværdigvis konsekvent nægter at forholde sig til eller tage ved lære af.