Idealistic illusions and ignoring the obvious reality became the reasons that prevented the leaders of the old format of the European Muslim movement from developing a vital attitude towards the identity problem, which is fundamental for it.

For example, one of it’s leaders for years convinced himself and others that for in order belong to Europeans the origin does not matter, and to be European, it is enough to speak the European language and live in Europe. From this point of view, any attempt to distinguish French Arabs or Africans speaking French from native French or German Turks or Kurds – from ethnic Germans is racism.

The most interesting, however, is that in conversations the same person complains that German Turks, even those who speak German fluently, are grouped according to ethnic principle. That is, the inconsistency of his theory is obvious to him, too, but he cannot admit it in order to not be seen as “racist”.

You can consider German Turks as Germans, French Arabs as Frenchmen and so on. But the truth is that if a native German or a Frenchman does not have another ethnic identity, then the German Turk or the French Arab has it – in addition to being a German or a Frenchman, he is also a Turk or an Arab, that is, a member of a special community within the German or French society.

This in itself is perfectly natural. But what is not natural, are double standards. A French Arab or an African or a German Turk or a Kurd can have his own, second identity, which is obviously ethnic. But for ethnic Germans or other Europeans to have their own ethnic identity and base their communities on it is considered inadmissible or racist. It turns out that this is a game in one gate – the gate of the indigenous Europeans.

I told this person the story of my friend, a Muslim woman from Russia who lives in the UAE. As a person of European culture, she does not get close with local Arabs. But she made good friends with two French Arabs, who were born in France and grew up in Western culture, while being practising Muslimas. They are Muslimas, they are absolutely people of European culture, European Muslimas. But … they are clearly opposed to the white French, opposing French Muslims and white Frenchmen, as we already wrote.

So, can we really say that there are no differences between the identity of such French Muslims and such European Muslims and the identity of Muslims – white French and white Europeans?

Whom do we want to deceive in this way, if the compatriots of immigrants and “non-whites” perfectly see the difference between us and them? And due to the fact that we will not see it, it will not cease to be seen by them. Just in a situation where dialogue between identities is required or a conflict of their interests arises, we simply will not be ready for them, that’s all.

We must recognize that there is a difference between those who live in Europe and have grasped its culture, but at the same time retained their organic non-European identity, and those for whom the European identity is organic. The Sahaba took as their brothers Bilal and Salman, but the whole world knows them as African and Persian – all are proud of this and everyone is emphasizing it, and no one will think of them as ordinary Arabs, only because they spoke Arabic and lived among the Arabs.

In addition, globalization today is a two-way process. Some non-Europeans move to Europe, some Europeans leave to live on other continents. They will remain Europeans, untill they will preserve the Europeanness for themselves and their descendants. Similarly, millions of people in African countries – former French colonies – are Africans, despite the fact that they speak French or African-Americans consider themselves Africans, although they speak European English language.

There is no racism in considering all this. Racism is to consider one identity better than the other based on its race or language, which we have nothing to do with.

It’s time to recognize reality and stop fooling ourselves and others.


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