Swiss people in a referendum held in November 2009 voted to ban in Switzerland construction of minarets traditionally appended to mosques. An opinion poll conducted by the French Institute for Public Opinion after this Swiss vote showed that 46 per cent French are in favour of banning construction of minarets in France, another 40 per cent support the idea and 14 per cent remain undecided. A 2004 French law bans use of head scarf by Muslim women at public schools. Addressing the French Parliament Mr. Sarkozy, French President said that burqa was not welcome in France as it was in conflict with French values. A French Minister has suggested that burqa wearing women should not be given French citizenship. Some German states have banned use of hijab and burqa in public schools. Mosques and minarets construction projects in Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Greece and Slovenia have met some protests. In Italy there is an anti-mosque bill pending before the Parliament.
Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch film maker was assassinated in November 2004 in Amsterdam by a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim for having produced a documentary ‘Submission’. Tunisia, a Muslim majority country has for long banned headscarves, sporting beard and veil.
In June 2006 Jack Straw, a British Minister said that burqua and niqabs were ‘visible statements of separation and of difference’. In UK Muslims have been demanding sharia courts, Muslim Parliament etc.
Paivi Rasanen, Chairwoman of the Christian Democrats of Finland said on December 12, 2009 that spread of Islam in Europe was cause of real concern that Islam should be taken seriously because this religion seems to include expansionist aspirations and demands for sharia laws.
Organiser [December 13 and 20, 2009] has carried full text of a speech by Dutch MP Geert Wilders about threat of Islam in Europe.“It is my opinion that Islam is more an ideology than a religion. To be precise, Islam is a political, totalitarian ideology, with worldwide aspirations, just like communism and fascism, because like those ideologies Islam does not intend to assimilate in our societies but wants to dominate and submit us all. In Islam there is no room for anything but Islam”, the Dutch MP says.
What we are witnessing in Europe today is reflection of basic conflicts between Christian Europe’s liberal values and the orthodox Islam, between European attempts to integrate immigrant Muslims and later’s refusal to get integrated. Not all but many Muslim immigrants to Europe have refused to adopt local cultures and want to impose their [immigrants’] culture on locals which is causing friction.
Europeans consider minarets, burqua, niqab, bearded men with ankle high baggy pants and skull caps etc as physical hurdles in integration of immigrant Muslims into European culture and European social values. Europeans take these as physical demonstration of Muslims’ refusal to get integrated into main streams, demonstration of cultural separateness and Muslim exclusivism. This gulf, this separateness, this exclusivism is being fanned by mullahs who quote verses after verses of Qur’an to sustain these separatist tendencies.
European attempts to develop multiculturalism is failing as mullahs keep telling faithful Muslims not to take Christians, Jews and other kafirs as their friends, not to give a Muslim girl in marriage to a non-Muslim, not to marry a non-Muslim girl till she accepts Islam, and, that Christianity is not a true religion.
Gulf between non-Muslims and Muslims gets further complicated when mullahs recite the Qur’anic commands: “O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and Christians for friends……” [Surah V.51]. ‘And don’t believe but in Him who follows your religion [Surah III.73]. There are more such verses in Qur’an. For more details on conflicts between Islam and Christianity one may see my book Vedic Equality & Hinduism available from New Age Books, email: [email protected]
There are many verses in Qur’an which are interpreted by jihadi Muslims as Qur’anic sanctions to fight and kill non-Muslims such as Surah III.12, Surah IX.5, 29, 123 etc. Surah IX.5 reads:” So when the sacred months have passed away then slay idolaters wherever you find them……”
Qur’an categorically states that all the three basic premises of Christianity are false so there are fundamental conflicts between Christianity and Islam not only in Europe but also in Africa and in Asia.
Three fundamental beliefs in Christianity are:  Jesus is Son of God,  Trinity of Holy Father, Son and Holy Ghost and  Resurrection. Qur’an categorically refutes each of these three.
Qur’an does not accept Jesus Christ as a ‘Son of God’ or his crucifixion, so, it does not accept his resurrection. It accepts Jesus only as a prophet and only as a son of Mary.
It accepts Jesus as one of the many messengers of Allah. There are many verses in Qur’an accepting Jesus Christ (Isa) as a prophet such as verses (III.38 to55). In Surah (IV.171) it is stated that Messiah, Isa son of Miriam is only an apostle: “And say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you, Allah is only one God, far it be from His glory that He should have a son,…Allah is sufficient for a protector.”
Qur’an refutes crucifixion. Surah (IV.157) says that “they did not kill Isa son of Miriam, the apostle of Allah (Jesus Christ) nor did they crucify him; but it appeared to them so and most surely those who differ therein are only in doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed Him not for sure” and, Surah (IV.158) says that Allah took him up to Himself (i.e. he was not killed on the Cross). (ISBN: 0-940368-56-0)
Surah (V.73) reads: “Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah is the third (person) of the three; and there is no God but the one God, and if they desist not from what they say, a painful chastisement shall befall among those who disbelieve.” In Surah (V.116) concept of Christian trinity has been again declared to be false.
Many Islamic scholars claim that being the last revelation from Allah, Islam is the most perfect and the only ‘true’ religion. They claim that being the last and final revelation Qur’an supersedes other revealed books including Bible. These assertions obviously cause friction between Islam and other religions.
Under the education policy framed by Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad and Jawahar Lal Nehru we Hindus in India have been kept ignorant of these conflicts. Consequently most of we Hindus in India are not aware of the true state of relationship between the two largest religious minority communities of India. Far sightedness demands that Hindus all over the world should know these hard facts as religious differences and perceptions do impact on national and international politics.
It is interesting to watch Christian-Islamic conflicts developing in Europe as either Islam will get Europeanised or violent Islamists might be forced to leave Europe for countries of their parents.
[The writer served as Ambassador/High Commissioner to many countries and belongs to the Indian Foreign Service, 1971 batch. He is available at www.opgupta.org]