Gary Younge: Europe wasn’t all fine until the Muslims came along

Guardian Unlimited: To believe in a European utopia before Muslims arrived is delusional

Gary Younge (regular Guardian columnist on race issues) on the tendency of the European chattering classes to ascribe all sorts of negative characteristics to Muslims, without looking at their own tendency to manifest these things. These include anti-semitism in Germany and riots in France.

I wasn’t aware of the incident of Ashkan Dejagah, the German footballer of Iranian origin who refused to play in Israel on the grounds that it could bar him from future entry to Iran. Younge defends him from the charge of anti-Semitism, but fails to take up the idea of whether his reason for refusing was actually true. It is a fact that several Middle Eastern countries bar people from entering if their passports show an Israeli stamp; Dejagah could easily have been banned from returning to his country of origin if he was no longer a citizen, or arrested on any future attempt to enter Iran if he was. I would also add that the Germans do not regard Jews as a threat anymore precisely because their numbers were vastly reduced. Like the Jews before them, the Muslims are now the country’s most visible religious minority, like the Jews mostly white and, if not ethnically homogenous, then in large part “not German” if born there.

(By the way, I do wish the Guardian would make available an online version of their comment pieces which does not feature the inane and bigoted users’ comments. The comment thread on this particular article starts with an anti-Muslim jibe.)

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