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A few decades ago the rise in fundamentalism in the Islamic world started through increased conservative behaviour and dress. Progress in this trend started deviating and taking on more rigid rules of behaviour and in a predominantly male dominated society, women’s lot became gradually worse.
Conservatism slowly turned into rigidity, and that into fanaticism. The most obvious target were women and their dress, as well as how their behaviour should go hand in hand with the very narrow role prescribed to them by this male dominated society.
The concept that man is superior to woman is derived from two phrases often quoted by those who want to establish this dominance. One says that men rule over women, and the second that women have lesser brains and religion. These two quotations have been forever repeated to demonstrate superiority of men and to suppress women to the very narrow role of breeder and male pleasure giver.
With many upheavals and wars in the Middle East after 9/11 and a great deal of displacement of people in the Muslim world, many refugees fled the untenable situations at home and took refuge in the “infidel” west, where they found succour from war and poverty.
Europe being the nearest to the Middle East was the main recipient of these refugees fleeing their war ravaged lands. The continent opened its arms in welcome, took them in, gave them shelter, work and a decent life. Human rights were practiced in every deed and every act. The refugees settled in, became more comfortable but never mingled. They kept to themselves. Their customs, language, religion, life, were too alien to allow them to mingle, let alone integrated with the original inhabitants of any of the European countries that took them in.
Decades passed and they still kept themselves apart. They built their own mosques to which they attached their own schools. Their number increased, for they were following the edicts of their religion where they are requested to increase and populate the world. With the rise in their numbers a new feeling of entitlement started appearing. Those born there felt that they have a right to impose the kind of life they are used to. They still did not mingle or integrate with the original Europeans, but they were becoming increasingly more outspoken and aggressive, demanding that their way of life must be acknowledged and implemented.
That was the time Europeans started fearing this alien invasion of their native space. That was when certain skirmishes started occurring between the two very divergent cultures living side by side on the same piece of land but never mixing or integrating. This is when “Islamophobia” started appearing and taking on a strong, and often violent turn.
With the Arab Spring and the millions of new refugees trying to find safety in Europe, the situation differed. Europe is now fighting to keep its European identity against a huge part of their population demanding that their way of life should predominate as they are becoming the majority. The resistance of Europe to accommodating the new waves of refugees from the Middle East is based on a real fear of the effect of that invasion on the life of Europeans as they know it. Added to that is the violence that accompanied the invading refugees, Europeans have become convinced that accepting refugees was a very bad idea indeed.
In many parts of Europe now the sons and daughters of refugees from the Middle East who have kept their identity intact and have not been changed one iota by living in Europe, are demanding that their laws and rules should prevail. Their increased numbers have changed the demographics in Europe. Whereas Europeans have increasingly limited their number of children, these refugees have increased exponentially, thus unbalancing the demography of Europe.
Now the demands of the increasing population of citizens of Middle Eastern origin who have stuck religiously to their customs, becoming increasingly more and more fundamental in their beliefs and behaviour, wanting the application of their law to “their” country, are being heard everywhere. Many a fundamental group in Europe is now demanding the implementation of the “Shariaa” law. One such frank demand was made in Belgium.http://youtu.be/ZDKk15KcqNk  There all the elements of a fearsome confrontation are found. The native Europeans and the newcomers are on a head-on collision course of cultures that could tear Europe apart bringing it to a state worse than that of the Middle Ages. That it will be violent is inevitable. Also the result is greatly in doubt as each side feels entitled. Will wiser heads manage to prevail and avert a disaster? That still remains to be seen.