Cognative Dissident

Thursday, September 30

No, no. Turkey's version of Islam is the one we like...

Stephen Green links to a post about the inevitability of an "Islamic Europe" in the Weekly Standard, and says that it makes him rethink his support for Turkey's entry into the EU. I'm not sure why it should. The article sites difficulties assimilating the culture, in particular, the fact that it's Islamic:
[One problem] is that immigration is turning the E.U. into "an Austro-Hungarian empire on a grand scale." He alluded to certain great cities that will soon be minority-European--two of the most important of which, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, are in his own country--and warned that the (projected) addition of 83 million Muslim Turks would further the Islamization of Europe.

I agree that Muslim pluralities in major European cities are going to cause problems, but these pluralities are going to develop regardless of whether or not Turkey is admitted into the EU.

And Europe will be a lot better off if those Muslim pluralities are predominantly Turkish rather than Algerian.

As far as I can tell, Turkey is the hope of the Islamic world. Mostly obviously, it's not a home to radical islamists. Though the party which recently came to power has fundamentalist roots, it's hasn't made any nods towards sharia. It provides a clear and real example of how Islam and Western values can co-exist. Isn't that precisely what we're trying to do in Iraq?

Additionally, it's a democracy. Sure, it's not perfect, but it's come a long way in the last 10 years, and more importantly it's going in the right direction. The incentive to join the EU is powerful, and has helped the government make lots of reforms that would otherwise be impossible.

Finally, it's economy is relatively good. Granted, it's much poorer than the average EU country, but it won't be joining for at least 10 years, perhaps more and if it maintains anything like the 13.4% growth it had last year (from the most recent issue of The Economist, but requires a subscription), it's going to be just fine by the time it joins. But beyond that, a growing economy is one that provides disaffected young men with something to do besides blow things up.

And that can't be anything but good.

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