If the gates of ijtihad open once again, it will be in Europe

At last, books have appeared to try to fit these changed streets, scattered battles, and stray bombs into a broader intellectual context. They fall, broadly, into two schools. The first presents Europe’s fight as a Huntingtonian “Clash of Civilizations,” a war between democratic Europe and the fifteen million indigestible Muslims it has, they believe, foolishly imported from undemocratic countries. Some even predict—as Ronald Reagan’s former staffer Tony Blankley puts it—that “as hyper-tolerant, or even self-loathing, Europeans are confronted by intelligent, hyper-aggressive Muslims, a Darwinian life-or-death struggle will result in the death of European culture.”

The second school believes that this conservative analysis is a betrayal of democratic Muslim immigrants, a rebuke to the millions who have become Europeans and cannot be casually counted in the camp of jihad. They believe this is a civil war within the Muslim world, between Islamic fundamentalists and the Muslim moderates who despise them. The most optimistic of us even believe that hosting this fight is an extraordinary opportunity for Europe, because—if we manage it right—we can decisively tip Islam away from jihadism and trigger the long-awaited, long-delayed Islamic Enlightenment.

more from Dissent here.