Recently in European Affairs Category

Should Britain Make Syrian Christians a Priority?

George Carey, a former archbishop of Canterbury, opined in a September 5, 2015, article in the The Telegraph of London that:

Britain should make Syrian Christians a priority because they are a particularly vulnerable group. Furthermore, we are a Christian nation with an established Church so Syrian Christians will find no challenge to integration. The churches are already well-prepared and eager to offer support and accommodation to those escaping the conflict.

Some will not like me saying this, but in recent years, there has been too much Muslim mass immigration to Europe. This has resulted in ghettos of Muslim communities living parallel lives to mainstream society, following their own customs and even their own laws. Isn’t it high-time instead for the oil-rich Gulf States to open their doors to the many Muslims who are fleeing conflict?

Carey added: “Surely if they are concerned for fellow Muslims who prefer to live in Muslim-majority countries, then they have a moral responsibility to intervene.”

To read the entire article, see “Lord Carey: Britain has a duty to rescue Syria’s Christians.”

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French Writers and the Debate Over the ‘French Condition’

On January 8, 2015, The New York Times published an article by Paris correspondent Rachel Donadio, about French author  Michel Houellebecq, “whose polemical — some say prophetic — new novel, “Submission,” imagines a Muslim becoming president of France in 2022.” See “Before Paris Shooting, Authors Tapped Into Mood of a France ‘Homesick at Home’” I recommend it.

According to The Times,

Even before its official release on Wednesday, “Submission” had already set off intense debates in France — about the line between satire and Islamophobia and between fantasy and realpolitik, about the novelist’s (and Islam’s) treatment of women, and about the political mainstream’s struggles to keep pace with the rise of both Islam and the far right — a debate that the attacks are certain to intensify.

The reference is to the January 7, 2015, attack on  Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newspaper, that resulted in the death of eleven of its staffers.

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‘Bosnia Could Easily Become a Failed State…’

“Though Bosnia is no longer the bloody war zone it once was, it still faces many issues that have hindered its post-conflict recovery and yields cause for concern,” contends Dana Terry in a January 31, 2013, article in Seton Hall University’s Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy. See “Why Bosnia and Herzegovina Should Not Be Ignored.”

Ms. Terry, a first year Masters candidate at the Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations, “There are still Bosnian-Serb radicals who seek to undermine the terms of the 1995 Dayton Peace agreement by advocating secession from the already fractured state. If this issue is ignored, Bosnia could easily become a failed state vulnerable to falling back into the same cycle of bloody ethnic conflict,” she warns.

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Angela Merkel’s ‘Wild Boys’

“Seasoned German foreign policy experts, such as the head of the Bundestag's foreign affairs committee, Ruprecht Polenz, are beginning to worry about Chancellor Angela Merkel's ”wild boys,” reports the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (German Wave) on its an online news site.

"If there are differences in opinion, successful diplomacy consists of not making them worse by using a rough tone”, Polenz told the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger daily, according to Deutsche Welle.

The publication said, Mr. Polenz “was first and foremost referring to the German foreign, defense  and environment ministers, all relatively young and seemingly unruly cabinet members who've chosen to fire some broadsides at the US administration in recent days and weeks.”

If you wan to read more, please see “Berlin cabinet ministers ruffle US feathers.”

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The French Government Must Get a Grip on Reality

“It seems that the targeting of Muslims and Islam has become a kind of national theatre in France,” asserts Palestinian-American journalist Ramzy Baroud, editor of Palestine Chronicle.com, in a post in the December 24-30, 2009 Al Ahram Weekly. “Unlike theatre, however, the disturbing trend can and will turn ugly -- in fact to a degree it already has -- if the image French government doesn't get a grip on reality.”

Mr. Baroud contends that, “The world, including France, is a complex, multifaceted and fascinatingly diverse place; it cannot be co-opted to fit national specificities determined by a group of irritable far right racists with distorted interpretations of themselves and others.”

If you want to read more of Mr. Baroud’s argument, please see “Paying for Europe's identity crisis.”

By the way, I’ve often wondered did former European colonial powers foresee the day that the descendants of those they once colonized would flock their shores the way the colonials did in Algeria, Morocco, India, etc. Will those former colonial powers one day be less European and more more African, Arab, Caribbean and Muslim?

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Is Turkey Disillusioned With Europe?

Daniel Steinvorth, writing from Istanbul, Turkey for the German magazine Der Spiegel, says in an article translated from German and posted November 13, 2009 at the English language Spiegel International Online: “As European opposition to EU membership for Turkey grows, Ankara is looking to forge closer ties to its neighbors.”

“Turkey wants to once again become a leading power in the Middle East -- but its relationship with Israel may suffer as a result,” he asserts.

I highly recommend “Disillusioned with Europe, Turkey Looks East.”

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