On May 16 Nicolas Sarkozy became president of France. The prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted to Sarkozy's anti-Turkish stance with respect to membership in the EU. Sarkozy doesn't want to let Turkey in because it's a culturally alien Asiatic country, according to him. (And the French are supposed to be rational and enlightened!)
PM Erdogan said: "This approach of Mr. Sarkozy comes from prejudices. Mr. Sarkozy has to overcome these prejudices. Turkey's E.U. membership is the peace project of the 21st century, an alliance of East and West."
The greatest blow that Islamic fundamentalism could get would be for the world's Islamic community to see Europeans welcome Islamic Turkey into the bourgeois democratic EU. It would completely wipe out the "clash of civilizations" nonsense and boost the national democratic aspirations of the people, as opposed to the ideology of fundamentalism, throughout the Muslim world. If would undo a wee bit of the damage done by the Great Leader Dubya and his oil crusade in Iraq.
[based on a report by Sabrina Tavernise in the NYT]