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The questions surrounding Islam with regards to both international security as well as its rise and presence in global society prove to be some of the most difficult in our world today Arguably the debate is even more controversial in Europe where a variant of Samuel P Huntingtons Clash of Civilizations thesis may be manifesting itself within the realms of European sociopolitical consciousness As it nears completion of a Constitution which will bind together all the citizens of the Continent and unite them under a common declaration of equality solidarity democracy and respectfor the diversity of the cultures of the peoples of Europe the EU faces a number of critical dilemmas involving its relationship with Islam The three most pressing seem to be the rise of xenophobic political movements the threat of terrorist cells and perhaps most importantly the lack of dialogue between Europes growing Muslim population and the EU body politic Indeed there is a significant proportion of Europes Muslim population last assessed to number upwards of ten million which feels alienated from their adopted countries irrelative of the fact that many are naturalized EU citizens Their isolation is further enhanced by the recent proliferation of right-wing Nationalist movements which frequently adopt racist undertones towing an anti-immigrant line As Thomas Friedman has noted in his documentary Searching for the Roots of 911 these sentiments of estrangement eventually push some towards religious fanaticism the consequences of which can sometimes prove deadly It is within this context that Europe must approach the following questions How can we ensure the rights and the protection of all our citizens and residents without alienating or discriminating against a significant minority And how do we strengthen our bond as Europeans when the extremes of xenophobia and terrorism threaten to destroy any sense of mutual understanding or collective human rights Before delving into such discussions one must first address the fundamental crisis that underscores all of these ideas the issue
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