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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Stockholm Syndrome: Radical Islam and the European Response

  • Author(s): Schulman, Alex
  • et al.

This paper argues that too restrictive an understanding has governed both academic and popular analysis of the social, cultural, and political conflicts between the Western European majorities and their Islamic minorities. These conflicts are typically viewed through the prisms of majority racism and/or minority economic disadvantage. While such social facts are undoubtedly important, I argue that the ideology of radical Islamism must be taken seriously in any analysis of the problem. Thus, I do two things in this essay. I outline the elements in twentieth-century radical Islamic writings that relate to the relationship between (broadly understood) Islamic and Western civilization; I also offer an overview of the now long-lived situation of culture war in Western Europe that supports my argument that Islamic cultural pathology, more than European racism, is the chief causal factor. This is intended as a warning that “clash of civilization” and “Islamo-fascism” models, usually disparaged in the academy, must be taken quite seriously.

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