The shrinkage of U.S. newsmagazines, which at their best combined readable style with deep reporting and research, is as lamentable as the decline or death of so many dailies.
This makes Britain’s 176-year-old The Economist pretty much essential reading, especially for international affairs and (yes) economics. A yearly subscription runs – gasp -- $190, compared with the currently discounted $30 for U.S. competitor Time (where The Guy toiled for three decades).
Roughly once a month, The Economist reaches beyond the current news to insert a hefty “Special Report” package of articles on some broader topic. The Feb. 16 edition offered a package about Islam in Europe plus a bit about North America, 11 pages and seven articles in all, plus an editorial up front. Since the material is behind a pay wall, here are some of the reports and contentions religion writers will want to keep in mind.
The “Here to Stay” headline announced the over-all theme, that Muslims are no longer temporary workers but a permanent sector of society. Though foreign-dominated Islam in Europe still expands, native-born Muslims will soon outnumber immigrants.
The weekly proposed that while second-generation Muslims often felt alienated, with some open to extremism, the third generation is becoming more moderate. We’re told this third generation is gradually “building a Western Islam” no longer beholden to the old countries and Mideast paymasters, and embracing a variety of forms ranging from ultra-traditionalist to revisionist. Important if this pans out
Muslims in America long considered themselves “a cut above” those in Europe, more middle-class or professional, more integrated in society, and having a more harmonious relationship with their chosen nation. But polling indicates reaction against jihadi attacks, and Trump-era nationalism, are changing that.