Mother Theresa wrote:The OP states that he dislikes Islam, "in its classical form" and he admits its harsh distinction between believers and non-believers is "like all successful religions." Which is why I was only confirming his point and giving examples of where Christianity draws the same harsh distinction that he claims Islam does.
Not adding anything new, I guess, but just illustrating the OP's point about all successful religions (Christianity anyway) making a harsh distinction between believers and non-believers.
Absolutely. The divisiveness that religion fosters between believers and unbelievers is my main criticism of religion in general. Locally, I see more of that behavior from the Southern Baptists than I do the Muslims. But then, the Baptists have the demographic advantage here.
I think that the religious differences tend to become more acute when there are other tensions between religiously diverse ethnic groups. I think that's uniformly true, even of "inclusive" religions like Buddhism. Anti-Muslim sentiment is strong among Buddhists in southern Thailand these days. But that's due to the Muslim attacks against Buddhists, not theological disagreements. Regardless, I don't think there's any doubt that Muslims are more likely to come into conflict with non-believing host societies than other religous groups.
Regarding Jaboney's assertion that integration is as much the responsibility of the host society as it is the migrant society, well, I disagree. As long as we live in a world divided into hundreds of nation-states, immigration will remain a privilege rather than a right. I think it's reasonable for societies to set certain conditions to that privilege, chief among them the expectation that permanent migrants will integrate peacefully. Europeans who want to stem the tide of Muslim integration aren't evil; they just don't want to see more migration of a religious group that isn't fitting in.
As for why Muslims aren't integrating well in Europe but are in North America, I think Jaboney has already answered his own question - the US and Canada have higher standards for immigration. They're looking for professionals, not hordes of working class Turks and Berbers. And yet, working class East Asians integrate far better in Europe and elsewhere than do Muslim groups. Maybe that's because they have a stronger work ethic and don't allow themselves to stay unemployed for long. But I don't think it's a coincidence that some migrant groups can integrate anywhere and others cannot.
One of my biggest problems with Islam is the violent reactions its adherents display against any criticism. A Dutch film maker was murdered because he produced an 11-minute film criticizing the treatment of women in Islam. Danish cartoonists were forced to go into hiding because they drew unflattering cartoons of Muhammad. More disturbing than the actual events was the overwhelming support that Muslims demonstrated for the murderers. European Muslims staged mass protests against the cartoonists, and Danish embassies were attacked abroad. Several people were murdered during the protests, including a nun. I don't think that Islam and democracy mix particularly well.