He makes two sensible points. First, he argues that European nations have no choice but to figure out a way to peacefully co-exist with minority populations which come from predominantly Islamic countries. Second, if 70s-style ‘multiculturalism’ isn’t working, it’s probably not a good idea to replace it with indiscriminate Islam-bashing:
Whether Europeans like it or not, Muslims are part of Europe. Many will not abandon their religion, so Europeans must learn to live with them and with Islam….
Even if all of Europe’s Muslims were Islamists – which is a far cry from reality – they could not threaten the Continent’s sovereignty and, by the same token, its laws and Enlightenment values….
We should distinguish carefully between different kinds of Islam, and not confuse violent revolutionary movements with mere religious orthodoxy. Insulting Muslims simply on the basis of their faith is foolish and counterproductive, as is the increasingly popular notion that we must make sweeping pronouncements as to the superiority of “our culture.” For such dogmatism undermines scepticism, the questioning of all views, including one’s own, which was and is the fundamental feature of the Enlightenment.
The trouble today is that Enlightenment values are sometimes used in a very dogmatic way against Muslims. They have become in fact a form of nationalism – “our values” have been set against “their values.” The reason for defending Enlightenment values is that they are based on good ideas, and not because they are “our culture.” To confuse culture and politics in this way is to fall into the same trap as the multiculturalists.
And it has serious consequences. If we antagonize Europe’s Muslims enough we will push more people into joining the Islamist revolution. We must do everything to encourage Europe’s Muslim to become assimilated in European societies. It is our only hope.