The Islamophobia Crisis: Christopher Caldwell in TNR
by Haroon Moghul
I’ve covered Christopher Caldwell before–and so I do once more. The author of a popular monograph on Europe’s alleged Muslim problem, as well as a columnist at the rightly well-regarded Financial Times, Caldwell recently returned to the subject of Islam and Europe with an essay in The New Republic, titled “Europe’s Other Crisis.”
Namely, Muslims. While Caldwell is always an erudite writer, and comfortable moving across genres and sources, his arguments remain seriously and inexplicably selective, and his perspective worryingly one-sided and seriously exaggerated in alarmism. I covered his TNR essay for Religion Dispatches, because it demanded a strong reaction (in no small measure due to the seriousness with which his arguments are received):
Caldwell is so busied with Europe’s “lopsided” relationship with its Muslims that he overlooks the outright slaughter of tens of thousands of Muslims as Western Europe sat by, or even actively hampered the victims’ right to self-defense. It’s unfortunate that such selectivity might be Caldwell’s greatest consistency.
As you can see, I am especially miffed by Caldwell’s blindness to the longstanding population of Eastern European Muslims, who are deeply relevant to, but entirely ignored by, his argument (or, rather, his lack of one):
Caldwell makes no mention of any of this, nor of Eastern Europe’s ancient Muslim communities. There have been Eastern European Muslims for longer than Protestantism has existed, and yet Islam is still, centuries on, the Other, notable only as immigrant victimizer.
Read the full essay here.
Original post: The Islamophobia Crisis: Christopher Caldwell in TNR