The latest book by Anouar Majid, We Are All Moors: Ending Centuries of Crusades against Muslims and Other Minorities (University of Minnesota Press, 2009) provides a provocative thesis, suggesting that we examine the issue of Muslim minorities in contemporary Europe through the prism of history, specifically the treatment of the Moors (los Moros) in Spain. Here is a sample of his argument (from pp. 3-4).
Indeed, anyone watching the events unfolding in Europe and the United States in recent years cannot help but be struck by the confluence of the two overriding concerns of these two continental states: the mounting anxiety over coexisting with Muslims and the seemingly unstoppable waves of illegal and nonassimilable immigrants. All sorts of explanations have been offerd about these twin elements fueling the global crisis — bookshelves are filled with books about Islam, minorities, and questions of immigration — but no one seems to be reading the intense debate over immigration and minorities who resist assimilation as the continuation of a much older conflict, the one pitting Christendom against the world of Islam. We are often being asked to ponder “what is wrong with Islam” and “what is wrong with the West,” as if these two abstract, ideological entities suddenly bumped into each other in their travels and were jolted by the shock of discovery.
The West encountered an archaic Islam stuck int he primitivism of pre-modern cultures, whereas Muslims discovered a dizzying, fast-dissolving secular West that is guided by the fleeting fantasies of materialism. All of this is by now amply documented. Yet what I propose in this book is that a secular, liberal Western culture and Islam were never really parted, that they ahve been traveling together since (at least) 1492, despite all attempts to demarcate, first, zones of Christian purity and , later, national homogeneity. (full text here)