Gary Younge: Why Should Muslims Integrate?

Gary Younge, in the Guardian today, has an opinion piece on the tendency of the liberal left to criticise religious people, as in America, while overlooking their own fundamentalism in opposition to religion. Towards the end he tackles the issue of French demands for Muslims to “integrate”:

“Whether I like it or not, Islam is the second biggest religion in France,” said Nicolas Sarkozy, the finance minister, and once the interior minister. “So you’ve got to integrate it to make it more French.” … It is up to them to explain why any self-respecting Muslim would want to integrate into a society that saw his or her faith as incapable of making a valuable contribution. It is the liberal left’s choice to see religiosity as a potential threat or an opportunity. The trouble is that right now they don’t seem to see its potential at all.

I don’t recall the French who colonised Algeria going native - in fact, they drove many of the natives off their own land and replaced their farms with vineyards. It’s a cheek for them to claim that Muslims are incompatible with their society.

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