Brussels Airport attacks by Jihadists again bring to life challenge faced by Europe as we know. Europe of Mozart and Goethe and Schopenhauer and Sartre and Beethoven is dead.
The cultured European having his wine and enjoying concerts and Opera is passé.
Today Every European walks with his eyes turned on his back and ears listening to any changes.
In small towns new neighbors are looked at with suspicion and old neighbors are expected to behave. The sound of screeching cars at night makes them awake and sirens and cops are normal scene.
The Radical Islam is not fighting Christianity –which anyhow is dead in Europe—but it is fighting the modernity. Islam is frightened of modernity destroying their religion and culture how so ever unacceptable it may be to European liberals. It is concerned about pre-marital sex/contraception/homosexuality/adultery/ “unprotected” women etc.
Europe does not know how to handle it. The rise of rightwing forces –le Pen in France and PEGIDA in Germany-is going to lit the fires of newer European conflicts. Europe thought– a la Merkel– that they can buy peace with radical Islam by “requesting” them to integrate. But integrate with what? Integrate with “immoral” Europe where women are exhibited as “open meat” [in the words of the Australian Imam] who are “poisonous”
Europe has seen Crusades and 100 years wars-between Christianity and Islam. But never has it had seen a conflict of this nature between “modernity” and Islam. The ongoing tussle in Turkey enlarges the conflict in the underbelly of Europe. Already Europe has 50% unemployment among youth groups and everyday 10000 are marching in the name of refugees. Remember some 200 years before entire Spain and up to the gates of Vienna it was Andalusia Empire and thousands of mosques were converted to Churches after Europe was “cleansed” of Islam.
This time the Europe which is facing crisis is different. It is not the Pews and Stained glasses but concert halls and swimming pools and whole night parties opposed by Radicals.
The issue is regarding life style and one likes it or not radical Islam is “Global moral policeman”. He knows the place of women in society and also the place of Europeans.
Unfortunately Europe has lost the will to fight and stand for whatever are its values. Its own idea of “freedom” is going to devour it when it is offered to Radical Islamists. Europe as we know is dead. Amen.
The author is Professor of Finance at IIM Bangalore. The views are personal