The charting of any vision for the future should take into consideration the reality on the ground. For example, for Spanish Muslims, who have gone a long way towards establishing their presence as an integral part of society and achieved tangible successes in various sectors including education, legislation, and culture, the March 11, 2004, terrorist attacks in Madrid could have undermined all that had been achieved by the Muslims, due to the misdirected political, security and media campaigns initiated in reaction to the event.Ah, that's where we misunderstood eachother! Muslim credibility was not in the least diminished by those miscreants that blew themselves up in commuter trains in Madrid under the assumption they were the most devout among the worshippers of the Big Black Stone Idol. It was the political, security and media reactions, nay campaigns, nay misdirected campaigns (drumroll and brass fanfare, maestro, if you please) in the wake of those slaughters.
Oh and in response to this:
In the past, European Muslims were viewed as foreigners, alien to society. This, however, is no longer the case, as the vast majority of Muslims are either of European descent, descendents of immigrants, or are themselves immigrants who arrived a few decades ago. They are part and parcel of European society. If Muslims are peculiar by virtue of their religion, then this applies to all religious groups, including Catholics, Protestants, Zoroastrians, Buddhist and others.I would like to respond in the following, slightly irritated manner:
No, you cultural relativist nincompoop. If Muslims are peculiar by virtue of their religion, it is because their religion apparently instructs them to burn cars and embassies, to blow up trains and buses filled with ordinary people going about their ordinary businesses, to kill and threaten any and all that are the slightest bit crictical of said religion and the one calling himself the last prophet. Stop with the constant threatening, lying and degrading of anyone not muslim and you will find you will be considered a damn sight less peculiar and hell, maybe even friendly. The reason those others you mention are considered not nearly as peculiar as are Muslims is because those others are or have learned to adapt to the presence of other faiths and cultures.Anyway, read the whole thing. It is a great example of how 'moderate' muslims actually don't differ that much from their less moderate, more bloodshed oriented co-religionists.
(One tips his hat to Esther of Islam in Europe. Cross posted at the Infidel Bloggers Alliance)