Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Muslim Europe. (Other Nations)

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Muslim Europe. (Other Nations)

Article excerpt

"Europe's Muslim Street" by Omer Taspinar, in Foreign Policy (Mar-Apr. 2003), 1779 Massachusetts Ave., N.W, Washington, DC 20036.

Europe's reluctance to join the U.S.-led war against Iraq reflected more than a different orientation toward power. Europe has a much stronger Muslim constituency than the United States, observes Taspinar, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy: "The 15 million Muslims of the European Union--up to three times as many as live in the United States--are becoming a more powerful political force than the fabled Arab street." That France and Germany alone have nearly 10 million Muslims and only 700,000 Jews helps to explain Europe's different perspective on the Middle East.

Muslims in Europe have seen their clout increase with their growing enfranchisement. Nearly half of the five to seven million Muslims in France (population: 61.4 million) are already citizens. Germany, which began granting citizenship on the basis of birth rather than ancestry in 2000, counts a half-million Muslims among its 82 million citizens, and is adding 160,000 a year. …

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