With ISPI – the Institute for International Political Studies
Victor, from Fontainebleau in France, asks: I’d like to know if the countries of the European Union should put more effort into countering radical Islam in Europe.
Pasquale Ferrara, of the European University Institute, responds:
Talking about radical Islam and phenomena verging on terrorist activity, is one thing. Islam in Europe is a completely different area.
There is an overall policy for fighting against terrorism in the West. Suggesting that radical Islam and international terrorism are on the same footing is not the path to take.
I think we must look at international terrorism distinctly. In talking about Islam the different components must be respected.
In Europe we have a European, which is to say moderate, Islam; we have European citizens, who are born in Europe; we’re not just talking about immigrants whose religion is Islam. What’s more, the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights enshrines the freedom of religion.
If religion, practised by believers, respects pluralism, and if it inspires values of tolerance and respect in the context of countries’ politics and institutions and constitutions which are these believers’ living environment, I think we must have a wide-open attitude.