Tuesday, July 19, 2005

My brain's still not back to normal, but it's good to see that the UK isn't letting recent upsets shunt us down a more Islamophobic line - Britain is still defending potential future Turkish entry to the EU.

This kind of encouragement and inclusiveness is now more vital than ever. Yes, there are obviously concerns. But if we had denied the possibility of discussions with Northern Irish Republicans, as certain quarters seem to be advocating we now do when it comes to Islam (and not just radical Islam either, which shows a brilliant grasp of the complexities of global politics), we'd almost certainly have had more than just the one terrorist attack in the last few years. Cutting off Turkey altogether merely because a small minority of Muslims are psychos would create far more problems than it would solve. By encouraging the old Ottoman Empire, a decent chunk of which is already within the EU, Europe can help foster precisely the kind of mild, human rights-respecting Islamic state we all hope for as an ally. And it would have the added bonus of pissing off all the right people...

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