Whether on the right or left wing of the political scenario, we are in the presence of the emergence of a discourse of variable geometrics depending on the countries where certain French intellectuals express themselves, but whose objective is still to spread fear of Islam and Muslims. The strategy is to take advantage of every good opportunity to feed suspicion of Muslims. Don’t the uprisings in neighborhoods have anything to do with Islam in France? Never mind! We can always take advantage of it abroad: that was what Finkielkraut, Fourest, Lévy and Fox News network did in the United States, entitling on the lower part of all the images from France, “Muslim riots”.
The procedure is dishonest and dangerous, but the least that could be said is that it works successfully worldwide. Apart from old political divisions, every country has a number of analysts and commentators, from the left and right wing, who are always willing to establish a link between security policies, immigration, social crisis and the danger of Islamism and radicalization. Concepts are vague, remarks are approximate, but the impact is real. In the West, ingredients are being disseminated which are the basis of the theory of the “clash of civilizations”. Maintaining an obsessive debate about Islam and “Muslim communities” that are presented as “non-integratable”, an Islamism with vague and indefinite outlines but the source of all dangers, an immigration conceived as a major invader associated to a simplistic and exclusive discourse about “our-civilization-that-has-to-be-protected” offers a legitimacy to more alarming discourses.
If we look closer, it is evident that those who have spread such theories come from political backgrounds sometimes opposed and with different agendas, but common interests as to the fact of expanding uncontrollably that “new enemy” which is the figure of the “Muslim-who-cannot-be-trusted”. Some, globally, have taken advantage of this clash of civilizations to justify the crazy ideas of spending on armaments and conflicts; others are fearful of the voices of the new Western Muslims that might be heard a great deal denouncing their dictatorships, support for the Palestinian cause and criticism against Israeli policy; others, still believe in a monolithic Islam that is dangerous for the West and its culture, laicism, human rights and women; others also project in statistics about populations and migrations, the fear to a silent colonization; and finally some who predict God’s death, men and women who knee settling down in their cities...
The discourse of rejecting the other one, that was the heritage of right wing parties, has been normalized in the West. We are facing a new racism whose arguments and legitimacy are to be destroyed; we will have to face it with the weapons of rationality and law; it should be imperative to stand up to it in the name of common universal values and shared citizenship. All of them will have to admit self-criticism (including the Muslims); we have to denounce the powers and privileges; to reveal the double-standards that, in the name of a deceitful defense of the great European ideals, undermine the foundations of the Europe that respects rights, dignity and pluralism.

Oumma.com (France) ">Oumma.com (France)
Electronic publication for the Muslim French-speaking community. It has a reported 6 million connections per month.

Des vérités qui peu à peu se révèlent”, by Tariq Ramadan, Oumma.com, November 30, 2005.