We Americans used to be more than a little smug about the integration of Muslims into U.S. society in contrast to the way Europeans get along — or don’t get along — with Muslims living in Europe. Unlike Western Europe, America did not import large numbers of Muslims from Asia and North Africa to fill labor shortages after World War II.
America never faced the “guest worker” problem with guests who not only never went home, but summoned their relatives to join them as Europe did in the mill towns of England, the banlieues of Paris, and the industrial cities of Germany. Latin America was the source of our immigration problem.
It was said that the immigrants Europe imported were often from such poor and remote regions of their respective countries that they would have had trouble adjusting to Istanbul, Casablanca and Lahore, never mind, Bradford, Clichy-sous-Bois or Kruezberg.
Our Muslims were better educated, better adjusted, and were willing to integrate into American society rather than holing up in ghettos around industrial towns, some refusing to learn the languages of the countries in which they resided, and sending away for their imams and brides. Rather than making up the poorest level of society, American Muslims were mostly middle class. Continue reading