September 23, 2004

EU Enlargement Watch

--"Do we want the river of Islam to enter the riverbed of secularism?"

Jorg Haider? Jean-Marie Le Pen? Silvio tipsy in Sardinia?

No, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin in an interview published today in the WSJ-Europe.

Posted by Gregory at September 23, 2004 10:56 PM
Comments

Two days ago one of my critics pointed out that I was wrong to appeal to Fareed Zakaria as a foreign policy authority, because his column on Turkey was all wrong.

I read that column yesterday, and I think it is all right -- and Prime Minister Raffarin's inelegant statement confirms Mr. Zakaria's argument.

Posted by: Arjun at September 23, 2004 11:21 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Given France's large and growing Muslim minority, this is a bit rich. He's more than a little late.

Posted by: lindenen at September 23, 2004 11:52 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I've long thought Europe was sleepwalking over a cliff on this. Maybe it's too late, at least for "reasonable measures." That's what worries me. Every passing year makes the choices confronting Europe harder and harder. I don't think human nature gives us much assurance that before the question is settled, people won't feel constrained to resort to extreme measures.

A friend from the Netherlands tells me that as much as people on this side of the pond like to tout the catastrophe taking shape their, as evidence of European fecklessness, the Dutch at least are beginning to wake up. She claims things are changing fast, but that the mere threat of a neo-fascist ascendancy keeps much of the electorate cowed, while multi-culti muddleheadedness keeps them demoralized and confounded for a genuinely humane answer. We'll just have to wait and see, I suppose.

Posted by: Sage at September 24, 2004 02:12 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

We should have said the same about NATO when Chirac applied to rejoin:

"Do we want the river of surrender to enter the riverbed of the free world?" or something similar.

Posted by: PJ at September 25, 2004 01:53 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The French government lectures the U.S. on the need for sensitivity to Muslim concerns. As a pro-Muslim American, I agree in principle with the need for sensitivity, even while I disagree with the French government's criticisms over Iraq. However, it seems to me that on the issue of Turkish membership in the EU, the French government is less sensitive to Muslims than the U.S, as evidenced by Prime Minister Raffarin's statement.

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