A very good article by Daniel Pipes. Please check it out.
Indeed, Europeans are visibly showing signs of impatience with creeping Shari‘a. The legislation in France that prohibits hijabs from public school classrooms signals the reluctance to accept Islamic ways, as are related efforts to ban burqas, mosques, and minarets. Throughout Western Europe, anti-immigrant parties are generally increasing in popularity.
That resistance took a new turn last week, with two dramatic events. First, on March 22, Pope Benedict XVI himself baptized, confirmed, and gave the Eucharist to Magdi Allam, 56, a prominent Egyptian-born Muslim long living in Italy, where he is a top editor at the Corriere della Sera newspaper and a well-known author. Allam took the middle name Cristiano. The ceremony converting him to the Catholic religion could not have been higher profile, occurring at a nighttime service at St. Peter’s Basilica on the eve of Easter Sunday, with exhaustive coverage from the Vatican and many other television stations.
Allam followed up his conversion with a stinging statement in which he argued that beyond “the phenomenon of Islamic extremism and terrorism that has appeared on a global level, the root of evil is inherent in an Islam that is physiologically violent and historically conflictive.” In other words, the problem is not just Islamism but Islam itself. One commentator, “Spengler” of Asia Times, goes so far as to say that Allam “presents an existential threat to Muslim life” because he “agrees with his former co-religionists in repudiating the degraded culture of the modern West, and offers them something quite different: a religion founded upon love.”
Second, on March 27, Geert Wilders, 44, released his long-awaited, 15-minute film, Fitna, which consists of some of the most bellicose verses of the Koran, followed by actions in accord with those verses carried out by Islamists in recent years. The obvious implication is that Islamists are simply acting in accord with their scriptures. In Allam’s words, Wilders also argues that “the root of evil is inherent” in Islam.
Unlike Allam and Wilders, I do distinguish between Islam and Islamism, but I believe it imperative that their ideas get a fair hearing, without vituperation or punishment. An honest debate over Islam must take place.