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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Postcard: Talking to Muslims in London

It's not bombs they're worried about. It's demographics. Britons think there really is a disillusioned populace of young Muslims, and think that Europeans are worried about the problem of assimilating them ingeneral (consider the Van Gogh murder in the Netherlands), much more than about the threat of some hazily-conceived plan of mass destruction orbiological warfare by the Infidel.

Here, if you press, any given Briton opens up to a string of concrete issue=that make them worry about Europe¹s chances of assimilating Muslims: discontented young Muslim men out of work, traditional Muslim men unwillingto marry their liberated Europeanized Muslim cousins, who instead broker marriages in North Africa (and import their wives here under conditions oflegal invisibility, so that the new wife cannot find out about her legal rights, leave the house, or get a job).

And more interesting to me yet is that the two more lengthy and more revealing conversations I¹ve had on the subject have been with young Muslim women, who express these concerns as grave threats to social and political stability.


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