author of « Multiculturalism in Western Europe : From Implementation to Failure »
In recent days, the astronomers discovered the first exoplanet in the habitable zone, located in Proxima Centauri star system, and this coming September, sci-fi fans celebrate the 50th anniversary of popular franchise “Star Trek”. The creation of this very popular television series was inspired by Soviet/Russian flight of the first spacecraft Sputnik and the first moonwalk by American Neil Armstrong in the 1950s and the 1960s. But no one is aware that Europe was actually a true space pioneer.
Despite growing claims from the mainstream and many right-wing politicians across the EU arguing that Islam does not belong to Europe, it is not as foreign as it seems, as Muslim communities have already existed in Europe for several centuries. Bosniaks, Albanians, and some Greeks and Slavic Bulgarians, are native Muslim Europeans whose ancestors, through interaction with Arab and Ottoman-Turkish civilizations, converted to Islam. Islam was also recognized in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Even Adolf Hitler tried to find sympathizers of Nazi racist ideology among Bosnian Muslims. Nowadays, the mosques of immigrant communities in Western Europe already converted tens of thousands of people of native descent.
Nearly 30 years ago, Russia and other former USSR states entered an active phase of perestroika (restructuring), when Soviet society started to experience radical changes after deep socio-cultural, political, demographic and economic stagnation that lasted for over two decades.
It is important to mention that EU policies have encouraged austerity measures that affected the welfare policies of nation states including Belgium and France, and that this appears to be harmful for people belonging to non-EU communities who depend on state support. Such a situation was provoked by the global recession and the eurozone crisis that began in Ireland and other Southern European nation states including Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Most EU member states were left with no other choice but to reduce spending on social programs in order to balance federal budgets and avoid any serious form of bankruptcies in the future.