It has been observed that many of those who have identified themselves with aplomb as an elevated European civilization and condescendingly speak about other cultures, who are beneath them in their opinion, however, significant differ in a fair share of self-confidence concerning superiority of their values and rules of life. It can sometimes boomerang. Here, for example, the question of what in Western Europe is called multiculturalism
Even a decade ago, few people in European capitals doubted that the immigrants from Asia and Africa, with the vast majority of them being Muslims, who were allowed to settle in the Old World, would easily give up their convictions and beliefs and, filled with gratitude for those who provided them with a roof over their heads and the ability to earn a livelihood, quickly and without hesitation accept the orders, the rules of life and the values of a new homeland, adapted to the code of conduct and organically will merge into the European environment.
However, this did not happen, although plans in regards to the first generations of immigrants to some extent were achieved. However, subsequent events have evolved in an unexpected direction. Now the problem of immigrants – foreign labour, which for the countries of Western Europe is not only essential, but without which their economies can not function properly, has become one of the most acute and painful for the European Union. The failure of multiculturalism was recognized practically by all European governments, there is a lot of reasons for that. But perhaps one of the main is the arrogant attitude towards other cultures, beliefs, traditions, and poor knowledge and understanding of the peoples of the East. This has led to a dangerous deterioration of the situation in the Mediterranean region and the Middle East, it is in close proximity to the shores of Europe and developments there directly affect the situation in the EU. The fact that the fourth generation of Muslims on the continent was much more religious than their parents and grandparents has come as a surprise to Europeans: 40% of Muslims in Britain support the introduction of Sharia law in the territory. While in France in 1989, 7% of Muslims under the age of 25 years went to the mosque, now it is 23%. 90% of French Muslims strictly observe the fast in Ramadan. The general opinion is that F. Hollande won the presidential election with the support of 85% of the country’s Muslims.
Now the world’s media are full of reports of confusion and disputes between the elites of the EU about what to do with the tens of thousands of immigrants who seek a better life trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea on the European side by any means, it is obvious that with the onset of the summer months, this problem may become even more rampant. In the end, fear took over, and the idea to conduct military operations on the African coast against illegal immigrants carriers has received support (as the German newspaper Die Welt wrote on May 19 this year, “the purpose of these operations is to undermine the business model of networks of smugglers and carriers of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea “).
Nevertheless, the disagreement about what to do with the problem of migrants among the EU countries has exacerbated. However, an agreement can not be reached and on many other issues related to the relationship with the Muslim world. According to the British Daily Telegraph of 05.03.2015, “rarely has European unity seemed so vital, yet rarely it has been so much under threat.”
However, the greatest concern in the capitals of the EU is caused by the rapid expansion of an area of actions of extremist Islamic organizations and the appearance of such a monster as ISIS having influence among Muslims and ruthless to Western civilization. How and from where does this danger come from almost overnight? – This has puzzled many in the West. A convincing answer to this question is provided by many sources of information. For example, the American edition of Judicial Watch on 05.27.2015 reported that in 2013, the US military intelligence provided information about the formation of the ISIS structure, but at that time President Obama disparagingly called them “the B-side team”, although the DoD Intelligence Agency warned of the strengthening of the terrorist organizations and the possible establishment of the Caliphate. This report was sent on August 5, 2012. In particular, it said that in Syria it was about religious conflicts and that the driving force behind the rebel movement in Syria wasn’t moderate Muslims but Salafis, the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). AQI opposed the Assad government, considering it a “heretical regime.” The official spokesman of the Islamic State, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani al-Shami declared the Syrian regime, “the vanguard of the” Front for Shiites”(the so-called Jabhat al-Shamiyya), who declared war on the Sunnis. AQI believes that the Sunni issue in Iraq is a key issue for all Sunni Arabs and Muslims.
In 2009-2010 the influence of AQI in the western provinces waned, however, religious tribal authorities began to sympathize with the insurgents after the start of the uprising in Syria. The report stated, that the US intelligence passed on information to its leadership on the supply of weapons to extremist groups through Turkey from Libya.
Very eloquent data were prepared by special standing committee of the UN Security Council on monitoring of violent Islamism. It is based on information received from intelligence and security services of the 27 member states of the Organization. It contains the following figures: with the beginning of the Arab Spring, i.e. the last four years, the number of fighters in Syria and Iraq reached about 22 thousand men, and beyond that another 20 thousand foreigners joined the jihadist organizations in Syria and Iraq. The Financial Times of 05/28/2015 states that the number of arrivals of militants from nearly 100 different countries is approaching 25 thousand.
The aforementioned report concludes that these terrorist organizations create an “unprecedented threat” to security at present and in the future. And stresses that many governments have not yet realized the extent of the danger. There is a 70% increase in arrivals of militants observed after March 2014. “As a result,” the report says, “Syria and Iraq have become a real “international nursery for extremism “, similar to the one established by Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in the 90s of the last century, but on a much larger scale.
According to the message of the Beirut newspaper Dayar on May 31, 2015, a representative of the Islamic State in Saudi Arabia in the widespread video address, urged the youth of the Kingdom to join the group and to purify the Arabian Peninsula of the enemies of Islam and especially the Shiites. According to him, they are “apostate infidels” and therefore “it is necessary to liberate the land of their presence”, stressing that the government of King Salman is “unable to defend the Sunnis.”
Support for the Islamic Caliphate is rising in a number of Gulf States, as witnessed by the responses on social networks. The same processes are occurring in Muslim communities in Western Europe.
Almost every day there are reports of massacres or new takeovers of ISIS. The situation in the Middle East and North Africa is indeed becoming more and more dangerous.
Meanwhile, the current leaders of the European Union are fixated on the Ukrainian crisis, striving to tear Ukraine away from Russia, apparently underestimating the looming threat to their own countries. Many experts, including those in the West, warn of the danger of new terrorist attacks (among migrants there could be intentionally smuggled people from the ‘Islamic State’), and some argue that the current leaders of the so-called “Caliphate”, are striving to obtain weapons of mass destruction. That is why the consequences of such a short-sighted approach can be very costly a great many people.
Vladimir Mashin, Ph.D. in History, a political commentator, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.