chapter  3
22 Pages

The war on terror and Muslims in the West


Historically, immigrant groups have been targeted in times of national security crises. The 9/11 attacks, the 2004 Madrid bombings, and the 2005 London transit attacks have further inflamed the view of Islam as the “enemy,” an image informed by centuries of Orientalist thinking. The persistence of this perception at the public level has made it virtually impossible to extricate Western Muslims from the external political enemy.1

The 9/11 attacks have renewed the debate about the tensions between security, immigration law, and civil rights of minorities, especially Arab and Muslim communities in the West. At the same time, a related debate is occurring in Europe over the extent to which homegrown violence reflects the failure to incorporate immigrants into European societies.