"Clash of civilizations," some say. Others call it the "failure of multiculturalism." Either way, the cultural conflicts between some Muslims and non-Muslims worldwide continue to play out as Western countries struggle to reconcile their own cultures with the demands of a growing Muslim population.
But herein lies the problem: in many ways, the two cultures are ultimately irreconcilable. There is no middle ground. And hence, the conflicts and the tugs-of-war continue.
Over the past two months, the events surrounding controversial Dutch columnist Ebru Umar have encapsulated that "clash" at its core, a salient metaphor for the tensions, particularly in Europe, between the West's Muslim populations and its own. More, they illuminate the enormity of the problems we still face.