Islam’s place in Europe
In May, counter-demonstrators, above, stand near police barricades as a far-right, anti-Islam political party protests outside a mosque in Germany.
June 7th, 2012
01:36 PM ET

Islam’s place in Europe

Fareed Zakaria looks at how the immigration systems work – and don't work – in Japan, Europe, Canada and the U.S. in the TV special: "Global Lessons: The GPS Roadmap for Making Immigration Work" on CNN at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 10. Watch on CNN International on Saturday, June 16, at 4 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET

Editor's note: Jonathan Laurence is associate professor of political science at Boston College and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of "The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims." The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jonathan Laurence.

By Jonathan Laurence, Special to CNN

Last month saw a series of riots in Europe, not over the wobbly Euro, but instead over the integration of Muslim Europeans and immigrants. In Bonn, hundreds of German Muslims clashed with police in a violent reaction to a far-right political party’s anti-Muslim gathering. The angry young men who chanted “God is Great” while battling police in the streets have reignited the ongoing debate over Islam’s place in Europe, a debate which has risen to the top of many politicians’ concerns. The German president said in a newspaper interview that while German Muslims clearly “belong” to the country, it is less clear whether or not Islam does.

But something arguably much more meaningful, if less newsworthy, took place days later. Groups representing hundreds of thousands of German Muslims condemned the violence and called on constituents to fulfill the civic duty of voting in regional elections that month. FULL POST

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Topics: Europe • Global Lessons • Immigration • Islam