Social Conservatism and Integration
The disparities between American Muslims and European Muslims has been discussed and analyzed thoroughly over the past decade or so. Several causes have been mentioned including the social class of the migrants and the exsisting racial and cultural make up of the respective regions. The debate has heated up especially since the rise of the political right across Europe. But it’s not your typical political right. The SVP of Switzerland, the freedom party, the freedom party of the Netherlands, the Danish Folk Parti and the Swedish Sverigedemokraterna have ironically transformed themselves from fascist social conservatives to the defenders of European liberalism overnight. It’s quite a remarkable transition and although any thinking human could see through the charade they have been quite successful in gaining votes from the traditionally left of centre socially liberal voters of western Europe but I will not go into too much detail over this phenomena now.
Social Conservatives have been in the periphery of most western European nations in the later half of the 20th century while the Unites States has had a quite robust socially and religiously conservative base within a major party. The immigrants who came to Europe in hoards in the past decades have usually been from the working class of Muslim societies which tends to have a very traditional values regarding issues such as abortion, premarital sex, prostitution, and drugs that tend to not really have a voice within liberal societies like the Netherlands, Sweden, or Germany. Speaking as a Muslim brought up in Sweden, I have seen the trend of parents of Muslim to not only retreat to their fundamental moral values but also take a more traditional interpretation of their faith than they would have had in their birth countries. The resurgence of conservatism among immigrant Muslim families is quite a widespread phenomenon that has been very specific to western Europe but has not taken place in north America since those view that many Muslim bring with them already exist within the mainstream of American society.
The concept of religiosity is not foreign and exotic to the American public, and although these recent month has seen an onslaught on anti-Muslim propagation one is often reminded that the breed of hate that is taking place in the United States has mainly been imported from Europe and not as indigenous to the American people.
This integration crisis that has been continually covered here in Europe might be overblown but unfortunately the people who have had the debate sat on the fringes of society and now they are in the mainstream and while many rightly have concerns about a changing society the people in the forefront are blinded by their ignorance and keep dehumanizing people with overtly fascistic rhetoric rather than any constructive criticism. Unfortunately due to the severity of attacks being hurled at each side of the debate any self reflection by anyone seems to be a long away down the road.