Facing a precarious future, Europe has only just begun to reckon with increasing Muslim populations and Islamic extremism. If current demographic trends persist, Europe's democratic secular foundations will be in serious jeapordy in about twenty five years. This disturbing reality is causing a backlash, forcing European governments to confront the threat of Sharia law — and even some Muslims are joining the fight. The battle for the fate of the continent is intensifying.
France took the first step in trying to stop the spread of Islam by banning any religious symbols from being worn in public schools, which included the headscarves worn by many Muslim women. This caused outrage in the Muslim world, and President Obama criticized it during his address in Cairo. Then in November, the Swiss voted in favor of banning the construction of minarets on mosques. This has sparked major movements on the continent to take further measures that would have been unthinkable a decade ago.
One by one, the countries of Europe are placing restrictions on wearing the burqas and niqabs in government buildings or even in public. In April, Belgium became the first of them to pass an all-encompassing ban, and the French Council of Ministers followed by passing a similar ban that the National Assembly has just approved. It is expected to pass the Senate in September and then be signed by President Sarkozy.