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Travels among Europe’s Muslim Neighbours

The Quest for Democracy

By Joost Lagendijk and Jan Marinus Wiersma

Since September 11, the European Union’s relations with the Islamic world have been imbued with a sense of urgency. Political developments in the neighboring Islamic countries bordering the Mediterranean could potentially have a tremendous impact on European security. Although the area is nearby, the political distance is great. Amid threatening language about a clash of civilizations, the EU quickly drew the conclusion that conciliation and cooperation, rather than confrontation, constituted the best strategy for dealing with its southern neighbors. The authors of this book visited four countries in the region—Bosnia, Morocco, Egypt, and Turkey. They investigated the social, and often political, role played by Islam. This book explores why it is so difficult for democracy to take root in the Mediterranean region and asks what Europe can and should do to promote democracy with its Islamic neighbors.

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