‘Islam is different’ – Christopher Caldwell on immigration

Christopher Caldwell, author of Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, calls for a discussion on immigration. Or rather, Muslim immigration. He’s not necessarily against immigrants as such, you understand. Latin American migration into the US hasn’t been such a problem, according to Caldwell, but that’s because the migrants are at least Christians, and their presence requires “no fundamental reform of America’s culture or institutions”.

However: “Islam is different. Living with Muslim cultures requires larger adjustments, and they touch deeper, more essential parts of European culture. This kind of change needs to be considered when we talk about the costs and benefits of immigration.”

But don’t imagine that Caldwell’s article is feeding paranoid racist fantasies about the “Islamification” of Europe. Not at all. As he assures his readers: “Discussing immigration and its consequences openly is not rude. It is necessary to lower the temperature of the debate.”

Mail on Sunday, 11 October 2009