Europe risks repeating past mistakes on Islam
Many have recently sought to understand and explain today’s crisis of legitimacy within Islam, with some analysts placing the blame for that crisis squarely on Islam itself. In my view, today’s crisis of Islamic religious legitimacy and the spread of Salafi ideology are a direct legacy of 20th century European empires. I don’t mean that as a moral cudgel, nor as a plea for political correctness. But to avoid making the same mistakes again, we need to understand both the contingency of that history and the vacuity of the term “Islamic fundamentalism,” which is used as a stand-in for everything from traditional views of gender roles and homosexuality to religiously-inspired mass murder.