The Islamic invasionThe Islamic invasion
The Algerian crusades, the terrorist attacks during the oil crisis of the 1970s, the western hostages held as described in the Rushdie Affair, the Taliban and violence in the Middle East: all of this has settled into a negative image of Islam, which has added to the tension caused by the social crises Europe is facing: unemployment, social marginalisation and urban violence. Islam in Western countries does not enjoy a positive image. The mass media is in part responsible for this, particularly when it limits itself to echoing the commonly held misconceptions of society. Generally, attention is paid to minor aspects of Islam, one of which is fundamentalism – now used as a passe-partout to speak of many things which are universally regarded as ‘Islamic’. This is born of a superficial vision of reality, or else, of the fact that there is not always the means to study such a topic in any depth. Changing the way Islam is reported, freeing it of rhetoric and commonplace misconceptions could be an effective means of alleviating the fear of Islam amongst Europeans.