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Quo vadis Europe?

From a Muslim perspective, these results of the 2024 European elections can only cause concern. A commentary.

Islamic Times – It is no great surprise: the growth of the right in Europe is increasingly jeopardising the European idea. Millions of citizens on the continent are clearly longing for the good old days and are demanding calm in times of pressure for change. The desire for a homeland and one’s own culture reflects the phantasm of an “Islamisation” of the West.

In Europe, playing on fears is a successful strategy

And yet the right fears nothing more than differentiation. The game of playing on the fears and resentment of one’s own voters works too well. This mindset also drives the centre-right conservative parties.

Because there is no real, quick solution in sight for ending the high level of immigration to Europe, at least within the constitutional boundaries. This could be honestly admitted. But elections cannot be won that way.

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Another aspect is worrying more and more young people are finding it chic to vote right-wing instead of left-wing or green. This trend is taking away any hope of a speedy end to the renaissance of nationalism.

The problems of the coming years – averting the ecological crisis, jeopardising prosperity and lasting inflation – are not getting any smaller. To use the language of the weather, the dark clouds over Europe can no longer be ignored.

And where do Muslims stand?

On the one hand, the much-vaunted political Islam has so far been unable to win even one seat in the European Parliament. The potential electorate in the European elections amounts to around 0.5%. Attempts to form a convincing list that reflects the diversity of the community have failed.

On the other hand, involvement in established parties has disillusioned many Muslims. So far, there has been no significant welcome from the parties, at least towards practising Muslims.

As a result, Muslims are not a political factor, but rather serve only as an important projection screen in the political debate. That is not a particularly pleasant role.

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In the public eye, the reality of millions of people who pay taxes in this country and who behave in a completely law-abiding manner is judged from the margins and with a view to the extremes. What conclusions are drawn from this situation remains open to discussion within the Muslim community. But society must also ask itself whether the millions of Muslims in Germany are given a fair representation in our institutions.

One thing is clear: the only alternative for Muslims in Europe is to continue to live out their commitment to social peace and justice. Fleeing into parallel societies is not an option.

And the commitment to the idea of a free Europe that does not fall back into the dangerous mechanisms of the past still deserves our full support. The hope that a growing number of Europeans recognise that Muslim and European identity do not have to be contradictions continues to exist.

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