If European leaders don’t step up to this challenge, finally, someone else will. There is a new pack of suitors on the continent. Qatar recently stepped into the French banlieues with a gift of €50m ($65m) investment and the courting of French Muslim elites. The ancestral nations of many European Muslims, especially Turkey and Morocco, have also intensified their outreach efforts. They’ve built elaborate institutions and consultative mechanisms of their own to stay in touch with and to protect what they consider to be increasingly vulnerable minorities. Even the US has developed programmes that aim to enhance the integration of European Muslims.
These other countries are wooing European Muslim elites into their orbits because they’re often the only ones taking them seriously. If things continue like this, European governments will waste the opportunity to capitalise on recent political sacrifices and progress made in the name of integration and regress to an era before they began to take responsibility for their own citizens.