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A GREAT CHALLENGE FOR THE EUROPEAN INTEGRATION: MUSLIM MINORITIES Oğuz URAS 1 Abstract A successful Western performance at the realization of a coherently united Europe is going to be the most signifcant paradigm shiFt in IR theory after Westphalia. The European Union phenomenon powerfully challenges the concept of modern state both in economic and political terms. On the other hand, socially, the rebirth of menacing nationalism withholds the status quo. The EU has been challenged by the minorities - and of course by the minority perception of the majority- on its way to perfect cohesion. Muslims in Europe have been in cultural confusion for 50 years. This confusion has brought about a friction between the center and the periphery and has led to the neologism oF Islamophobia. The EU was comparatively quick to realize the new world order aFter the 9/11. Its institutions are trying to analyze the current situation in the EU hinterland and are trying to solve the disagreements through various activities. Key Words Islamophobia, Muslim Minorities, Intercultural Dialogue, European Integration. I. Introduction We are being challenged by Islam these years. Globally as well as locally We must take this challenge seriously. We have simply left it fapping around For Far too long, because we are tolerant and rather lazy. 2 The passionate rise of Islam, claiming the succession of previous Abrahamic religions, was perceived as a serious and baleful challenge by the West, which is characterized by Christianity. Normally, this led to a great tension between the partisans of the two religions. Millions have suffered; the 1 Upon completion his BA degree at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration of METU, the author moved to Houston, Texas in 2003. He had language training for one year and had worked as a social studies teacher at several state high schools between 2004 and 2007. Currently he is a teaching assistant at Fatih University, Department of International Relations. 2 This is a translation of a statement made by the Danish Queen Margrethe II in April 2005. Many debates have been held on what she really meant. While radical religious people, both Christian and Muslim, interpreted her words negatively, imperturbable interpretations regarded it as sincere advice to Christians to take intercultural issues more seriously. PERCEPTIONS • Autumn 2008 Oğuz Uras 17
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PERCEPTIONS • Autumn 2008 A Great Challenge for the European Integration: Muslim Minorities 18 survivors saw the others with a gloomy mark on their forehead. The reality of these smudges can be discussed, but it is certain that the opaque vision of the specious devotee caused many things to go wrong and sowed seeds of today s clashes. Whereas, if the sincere thinkers of the bloody centuries could have been accompanied by righteous rulers, we had not have had to deal with many of the conFicting issues which are derived from mutual misunderstanding among peoples. Western enlightenment has two great offspring: The United States of
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