8:02 AM, Jan 22, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Secretary of State John Kerry met with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini at the State Department Wednesday and afterwards addressed the press and took some questions. One question from a French reporter concerned problems with Muslim integration in Europe and the potential terrorism ramifications:
Question: [W]e heard recently from President Obama talking about the potential lack of integration of Muslim communities in Europe. He mentioned that as one of the greatest dangers that Europe faces in terms of terror threats that might come. Would you agree with those words from President Obama, and should he have used those? And Mr. Secretary, I’d like to get your opinion on that as well if I can.
Kerry responded by recalling his days as a college student in the 1960s during the civil rights era and the consequent sensitivity of his generation to "this question of minority and rights and integration and so forth." After explaining that although the U.S. has made "unbelievable progress" on race-related matters, "we still have some distance to travel." Eventually, Kerry stressed that "this particular incident of violence [terror attack in Paris] wasn’t a specific targeting that grew out of that [lack of integration]"; however, he said, there is work to do where "one minority or another or another is not able to share fully in the full integration" in the country where they live.
Here is Secretary Kerry's full response to the question:
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, let me just begin quickly on the integration issue. When I was – I entered college in 1962. And in 1963, ’4, ’5, we were deeply embroiled in this country, and we – college students in the Civil Rights Movement. And we were deeply impacted by that and have always been, I think, as a generation, much more sensitive to this question of minority and rights and integration and so forth. We’ve made unbelievable progress in our nation, unbelievable progress in the years since then. But it would be completely disingenuous not to say to you that we still have some distance to travel. We’re not finished. We’re still – you heard the President last night talk about voting rights. So what was won in 1965 still has to be fully embraced and implemented here, and other things that are linked to that. We’ve seen our own struggles in some communities and great debates about race in America in the last year.
So it would be dishonest of me – and I’m not involved in domestic politics right now, so I’m not going to go into it in depth, except to say that therefore, I think I can say with honesty that there is a challenge in many other parts of the world. And Federica is absolutely correct; this particular incident of violence wasn’t a specific targeting that grew out of that, but we all can do work in many parts of the world that I have seen where one minority or another or another is not able to share fully in the full integration in whatever country they happen to be living. So the world has a road to travel on that, and that’s why we continue to put such a high premium here on the issue of human rights and democracy, and to continue to push, because I think we’ve learned through our own experience the difference that it can make to the strengthening of the quality of our democracy, to our society, and people benefit when we live by that high moral standard.
High Representative Mogherini, whose response to the question came before Kerry's, said the following:
On the integration of minorities in Europe, this is a debate, I think, that within member states in Europe, in – I would say in the global community is – has been going on for decades and probably is going on for decades. I would say that there are different models, different histories, and different traditions. What we have to get right in this moment is the fact that we need to work together. You know that very well. Victims of the attack in Paris were not only called Louis or Charb or Anne; there was an Ahmed that was killed by other people that were having names of the same roots, which means that this is a common fight. I would not go on the line of saying that this is minorities against majorities, also because we have different minorities, in Europe as in the United States. We are living in complex societies, and this is our richness. Our strength is the fact that we are different, but we are united and we live together.
8:01 PM, Jan 7, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
White House press secretary Josh Earnest explained to reporters today that the United States needs to "redouble" efforts to explain "what the tenets of Islam actually are." He made the comments in response to a question about how the U.S. might respond to the terror attack today in France.
5:33 PM, Aug 19, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
Yesterday Pope Francis endorsed military action to stop the Islamic State (formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) from persecuting religious minorities, especially Christ
5:33 PM, Aug 5, 2014 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Here, in the parlance of the times, is a “pro-tip.” When attempting to rebut the notion that anti-Semitism in Europe is largely a problem caused by young Muslim men, don’t cite two horrific anti-Semitic atrocities perpetrated by . . . young Muslim men.
1:05 PM, Jun 25, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
Why were the words of Fouad Ajami “never welcomed in the cultural salons of Beirut and Cairo?” asks Samuel Tadros in Tablet magazine.
Tracing the Muslim roots of modern-day Sicily.Aug 5, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 44 • By RICHARD TADA
A band of Muslim raiders sacked Rome in 846 a.d., plundering the city’s churches and getting clean away with their loot. They had come from Palermo, in Sicily, which had been in Muslim hands for 15 years. Sicily was then on its way to becoming a predominantly Islamic and Arabic-speaking island, and it remained under Muslim rule for over two centuries, until the Normans conquered it in the late 11th century.
To be young, Muslim, and American. Jun 24, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 39 • By PETER SKERRY
The Boston Marathon bombings highlighted, once again, the challenges of assimilating Muslim youth. And while the onus of accountability ought not rest exclusively on Muslim Americans, it understandably weighs most heavily on them. Indeed, any fair-minded assessment of recent events must underscore the inadequacies of Muslim-American leaders. Yet the usual criticisms are wide of the mark and fail to identify the institutional as well as intellectual weaknesses of these leaders.
12:45 PM, Feb 13, 2013 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Kosovo, the Albanian-majority Balkan republic, is probably best known for its fervent pro-Americanism, understandable given the role of U.S.-led NATO forces in assisting its 1.8 million inhabitants against Serbian oppression in 1999. American troops in Kosovo are drawn from National Guard units and have fallen below a thousand, but continue to symbolize a commitment that Kosovars consider indispensable to their future.
10:43 AM, Jan 3, 2013 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
The small republic of Kosovo, with a population of less than two million—90 percent ethnic Albanians, of whom 80 percent are Muslim—is the Balkan zone offering the greatest resistance to radical Islam. Some vignettes from recent interviews may impart the flavor of the debate over Islamism in the country:
10:50 AM, May 6, 2011 • By LEE SMITH
Tariq Ramadan is the latest in a long chorus to criticize the Obama administration for killing Osama bin Laden. The organization that his grandfather Hassan al-Banna started, the Muslim Brotherhood, along with its Palestinian branch Hamas, mourned the death of the holy warrior, while more moderate voices, like the Sheikh of Al Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb, simply complained that his death rites were inappropriate. Ramadan seems to align himself with the latter. “It's very strange,” Ramadan told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “that we drop his body in the sea, against all the Islamic rituals, and we are told the Islamic rituals and principles are respected.”
And he's a golfer, too.Aug 30, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 47 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
"Ike’s not a Communist, he’s a golfer." That was Russell Kirk’s succinct response to the claim by John Birchers in the 1950s that President Eisenhower was a Communist.
So what?7:18 PM, Aug 19, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
In March 2009, a Pew poll found that 11 percent of Americans incorrectly believed President Obama was a Muslim. A new Pew poll shows that that number has increased to 18 percent. Does this seven-point jump have any significance? Maybe. Maybe not.