Europe and secularism

Via DJ Nozem I was directed to a very interesting and very important article on Eurozine about European secularism and its role in shaping European identities. The text contains many useful insights and provides a wealth of discussion material. I’ll give one quote for our readers to consider and debate, emphasis mine, but please do and go read everything.

Internal differences notwithstanding, western European societies are deeply secular societies, shaped by the hegemonic knowledge regime of secularism. As liberal democratic societies they tolerate and respect individual religious freedom. But due to the pressure towards the privatization of religion, which among European societies has become a taken-for-granted characteristic of the self-definition of a modern secular society, those societies have a much greater difficulty in recognizing some legitimate role for religion in public life and in the organization and mobilization of collective group identities. Muslim organized collective identities and their public representations become a source of anxiety not only because of their religious otherness as a non-Christian and non-European religion, but more importantly because of their religiousness itself as the other of European secularity. In this context, the temptation to identify Islam and fundamentalism becomes the more pronounced. Islam, by definition, becomes the other of Western secular modernity. Therefore, the problems posed by the incorporation of Muslim immigrants become consciously or unconsciously associated with seemingly related and vexatious issues concerning the role of religion in the public sphere, which European societies assumed they had already solved according to the liberal secular norm of privatization of religion.

The sentence in bold goes to the heart of what I personally feel to be one of the main issues we are dealing with. Sure, Muslim fundamentalists who are ready to throw bombs and cause physical damage are a real threat and get plenty of media attention, deservedly or not. However, I believe the issues are much larger and much more complex. Terrorists, for better or for worse, are still a minority within a minority. There are bigger forces and trends at play here, as Eurozine points out:

The final and more responsible option would be to face the difficult and polemical task of defining through open and public debate the political identity of the new European Union: Who are we? Where do we come from? What constitutes our spiritual and moral heritage and the boundaries of our collective identities? How flexible internally and how open externally should those boundaries be? This would be under any circumstance an enormously complex task that would entail addressing and coming to terms with the many problematic and contradictory aspects of the European heritage in its intra-national, inter-European, and global-colonial dimensions. But such a complex task is made the more difficult by secularist prejudices that preclude not only a critical yet honest and reflexive assessment of the Judeo-Christian heritage, but even any public official reference to such a heritage, on the grounds that any reference to religion could be divisive and counterproductive, or simply violates secular postulates.

106 thoughts on “Europe and secularism

  1. “First of all, the reason European countries have allowed large numbers of muslim immigrants is because they are secular and, somewhere, subconsciously, expect the muslim immigrants to be secular.”

    There is a more profound reason. Some time in the sixties when secular Europe got hold of a pill, it began “sexual revolution”. Sex without children was a great revolution which continues. No children? Why would you need marriage, family. Perhaps for tax breaks and insurance against ravages of sexual revolution such as AIDS. For the first time in history, people with venerial disease took to the streets to demand equal rights. Marriage for gays? Why? Because nothing can damage heterosexual marriage anymore.

    Two generations later childless but secular and progressive Europe needs immigrants to support overblown retirement system and run basic maintenance of the system. Once it became clear that North Africans don’t integrate at all, secular Western Europe began “expansion”. More or less sucking human potential from Eastern Europe. But the population of Europe continues to collpse. Perhaps Turks would help? Perhaps. But there is a price tag attached: Turks are only nominally secular and quickly turn fundamentalist once they reach Europe…

  2. The first EU expansion was in 1973. The prospect of “returning to Europe” was commonplace in the discourse of the revolutions, back as far as Solidarity. Facts, facts, facts. They may hurt at first but you’ll get used to them.

  3. True. The original expansion was driven by the need to counterbalance the United States. 2004 expansion was a hunt for fresh human potential.
    So is the 2007 expansion (Romania, Bulgaria).
    Taking Turkey instead of Ukraine is a madness.

  4. “If in 1980 1 million of young people left Poland, then 3 million young people were born outside Poland are missing from the population.”

    That would mean that women get on average 6 kids. I somehow doubt that. It could also be that a high percentage got kids with a non Polish partner but in that case you can’t use the 3 million figure. There is another problem with that number and that is that emigrants, like most Polish emigrants, are underclass and get more kids on average (raising kids is for the underclass less costly in opportunity costs). If those Poles would have stayed in Poland they wouldn’t have been underclass and as such would have fewer kids.

    ps. This doesn’t even include the effect that emigrants stay locked into the custom of their country when they left. I don’t know enough about Poland to say that this would have any effect on TFR

    Japan doesn’t have the pill and it has a lower TFR than Europe. I don’t think that the pill explains the low birthrate but that it is due to modern society with its high cost to raise a child succesfully. Nor do i think that one can call European families childless. What is true is that European families have on average few kids but it wouldn’t surprise me if motherhood has infact become more common.

    It is also not true that North Africans don’t integrate. In fact they clearly integrate better than Turks and much better than Chinese. What is true is that they create more havoc but that is something else than integrating.

  5. Since when is Gaddafi an islamist or been right on anything? He certainly can’t count. Number of muslims in Europe is way to high and number of Turks is way to low. Nor can i see how Muslims, who are less than a quarter of EU + Turkey, can take of power.

  6. Europe, destroyed by secular relative values appears to be completely helpless against this process. Perhaps it is time to abandon secularism as incompatible with biological survival. I am not writing it lightly, because secularism brought some positive things but two world wars initiated by secular regimes, plus Soviet system, Cambodia and finally the most sacred secular values: abortion, contraception, divorce, eutanasia, homosexual marriages and multiculturalism (based on moral relativism), tell me that something went terribly wrong!

  7. “Perhaps it is time to abandon secularism as incompatible with biological survival.”

    Crusades, anyone?

    This thread is getting more awful by the minute and I am loathe to add much to it, but it seems clear to me that some of the opponents of secularism here are either blindly reactionary, scared or driven by prejudice. I cannot explain it otherwise, since very few arguments go beyond knee-jerk emotionality and pet pieves.

    “abortion, contraception, divorce, eutanasia, homosexual marriages and multiculturalism” are all things that can be discussed without simply calling them “terribly wrong”. If you put the blame on secularism, please construct a decent theory based on historical insight instead of totally dismissing the concept of cause & effect.

    Secularism may very well have evolved into an ideology, for better or for worse, but I doubt very much that it was secular ideology that caused WWI & WWII & Cambodia, etc. It is much more bloody likely it was simply good old human nature. As always. Wars and atrocities were committed long before the word secularism was even coined. Jeebus! Try harder, people. This could potentially be a really interesting and deep discussion.

    Sorry, I really do not mean to be pedantic, but I was looking forward to reading some new insights. There are a few, but not too many. A bit disappointing.

  8. Since when is Gaddaffi an islamist? Besides he has never been right about anything and can’t count as Turkey has a lot more people than 50 million and Europe has a lot less (atleast if you don’t count parts of the USSR)

    I also don’t see how 100 million, which is less than a quarter of the EU’s population, can control the Eu within a few decades.

    ps. I made some comments sunday and they seem to be deleted.

  9. Not only the Crusades.

    The way Christianity is spread is by war. First they send out some missionaries. Who behave very badly (distruction of property etc.) and are complete failures. They behave so badly that they get in trouble with the local rulers. After which the christian nations send out an army who pillages, rapes and massacred after which the local people are asked the question if they are christians with a gun pointed to their head. “Strangly” they often say yes.

  10. “all things that can be discussed without simply calling them “terribly wrong””

    If you are so “pedantic” please distinguish “something went terribly wrong” from “something is wrong.” Using marxist-leninist jargon such as “reactionary” doesn’t make you more credible either.

    The other one: Telling that “Christianity spread by war” doesn’t meet the lough test, especially in the context of Islam discussed here.

    Tird point: “how can 25% control the rest?”. Easily. There were only a few thousand young man who conquered Egypt. Not many more of those who conquered Spain in 3 years. It took 800 years of crusades to take it back. Why so long? Because whole villages were wiped out, and women transported to harems in the Middle East. Reconquista had to start with repopulation.

    In many countries Muslim minority simply uses terror to “submit” the majority.

  11. “Secularism may very well have evolved into an ideology, for better or for worse”

    Secularism didn’t “evolve” as an ideology, it has started as an ideology. Let me remaind you the ministry responsible for atheisation of France, during French Revolution. When atheisatiom didn’t work, Robespierre tried to introduce a “religion of s supreme being”. Soviets didn’t have to invent atheisation. They invoked great ideals of French Revolution (so did Maoists or Polpot). Eventually, the political role of religion was taken over by ideology. And secularism in its proclaimed neutral form doesn’t exist. It is very much linked to leftist ideology,

  12. Hi Charly, sorry if any comments have gotten deleted. We’re having a bit more comment spam than usual (technical issues with a Movable Type update and preparation for AFOE 3.0), and in the manual process of cleaning them out, we may have inadvertantly caught a few real comments with the broom. Feel free to re-post.

  13. “Secularism didn’t “evolve” as an ideology, it has started as an ideology. (…) It is very much linked to leftist ideology,”

    Mmkay, in a rather narrow sense you are right. But our heritage is a tad broader than that:

    http://www.edwardjayne.com/secular/preface.html

    “Of utmost importance was the initial breakthrough of secular inquiry at the end of the sixth century, B.C., when Thales and his many successors proposed theories of materialism without providing any role to the Homeric gods. Next came skepticism (described as Sophism) promoted by Protagoras, Socrates, and others to challenge the validity of all received truths based on traditional authority. Plato thereupon reinvented Socrates in order to devise a metaphysics that could justify religion on a more sophisticated basis, and Aristotle initiated scientific inquiry that substituted empirical categories for Plato’s theory of ideal forms. Aristotle’s approach also reduced anthropomorphic deity to the abstract status of an “unmoved mover” and raised the possibility of an infinite universe both in space and time.”

    “If you are so “pedantic” please distinguish “something went terribly wrong” from “something is wrong.” Using marxist-leninist jargon such as “reactionary” doesn’t make you more credible either.”

    Please, explain to me the difference between something went terribly wrong, your own words, and something “is” wrong.

    Besides, on reactionism ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactionism ):

    “The term reaction appeared in Europe during the French Revolution, when conservative, and especially Catholic, forces organized to oppose the changes brought by the revolution and to fight to preserve the authority of the Church and Crown.”

    It is true that Marx & Co appropriated the term, but “reactionary” traditionally refers to people trying to reverse change. For your information, I am not a Marxist/Leninist/Pol Pot smoker or whatever and I am not into rhetorics as a means to convince people. Hell, I do not even want to convince people, I want to learn. So, please, do tell me. What “is” wrong?

  14. “The other one: Telling that “Christianity spread by war” doesn’t meet the lough test, especially in the context of Islam discussed here.”

    are you sure about that? You really want to claim that for instance Holland, Northern Germany, Lithuania, the complete continents of Australia and America, Sub Sahara Africa, China, Japan and Korea were not baptisted by force (the latter three were somewhat succesfull in stopping it)

    ps. I’m not good enough in the history of Europe to name every instance where the local population was forcefully baptisted. Historical records of that era are also somewhat limited

  15. How can a minority control a majority? Easy — with terror. Especially if the majority is risk averse and non-fanatic. Just see here, last week:
    http://www.typoskript.net/

    Closed because of death threats. Better be careful what you say here, too. Internalizing censorship is the way to go in Europe.

  16. Yeah, ancient Greeks told many tought many things which doesn’t make them true.

    “It is true that Marx & Co appropriated the term, but “reactionary” traditionally refers to people trying to reverse change.”

    This is the crux of the problem. If the change is destructive, we need “reactionaries” to reverse the biological decline of Europe and its submission to a fanaticism it has never experienced. Evolutionary forces never change genes or design which are critical for survival. Somehow, humans do not have this wisdom and even worse: they deny that the change they are after is destructive.

    “Please, explain to me the difference between something went terribly wrong, your own words, and something “is” wrong.”

    The first statement is about causes. The second is a judgement on effects. I want to remove the underlying causes. In my opinion it is moral relativism that is spinning Europe into biological extinction. And moral relativism has its roots in narrow-minded materialistic approach to life driven by secularism.

  17. Why should I take anyone seriously who, in the space of two paragraphs, says that the idea that Christianity has been proselytised by force “doesn’t meet the lough test” and then refers to the Reconquista?

    Minimal standards of consistency, please. Not to mention spelling. But then, what does one expect from an invasion of apparent Catholic clerical-authoritarian nationalists? Muerta la inteligencia was your slogan, not ourse.

  18. Evolutionary forces never change genes or design which are critical for survival.

    I’m sorry, that isn’t even wrong. If evolution didn’t change things that were critical for survival, it wouldn’t have happened. Survival of the fittest, right? If survival characteristics don’t change, neither does fitness to survive, and hence natural selection would not be adaptive.

  19. “Why should I take anyone seriously who, in the space of two paragraphs, says that the idea that Christianity has been proselytised by force “doesn’t meet the lough test” and then refers to the Reconquista?”

    You don’t have to. Christianity had to invent an equivalent of jihad to survive in Spain. Read a bit about constant raids against pilgrims to Santiago de Compostella. At some point the pilgrims decided to arm themselves and respond to agression. It worked! This was the first crusade. Nevertheless it is true that crusade born as a response to jihad, is an idea foreign to Christianity. Remember however that these were the times when they had no choice.

    “Muerta la inteligencia was your slogan, not ourse.”

    Check your spelling:). English is not my native tongue. I started learning it ~30 when preparing my Ph.D. Thesis in physics. Indeed, I make mistakes when I type fast, but in my publications I use spell checker. Btw. I am a protestant.

  20. “Evolutionary forces never change genes or design which are critical for survival.”

    I meant housekeeping genes, regulatory regions and after all REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEMS which are under assault in the name of “freedom”

  21. Right, so Christianity frequently has been spread by war. I’d go so far as to suggest it usually has been. It’s not as if there wasn’t plenty of fighting in the Book…mostly in the bits that predate Islam the longest.

    @Martha: Are you sure they’re not trying to curdle our precious bodily fluids, Captain Mandrake?

  22. “I meant housekeeping genes, regulatory regions and after all REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEMS which are under assault in the name of “freedom””

    I would like a link to that, seriously. Are you talking about lowered fertility because of polution, for example? Or is there more going on that I am not aware of? This is a serious question.

  23. Well you probably never heard about abortion on demand, massive contraception and promotion of homosexual unions. It really helps biological survival:). “Reason” tells you that you can postpone having children until you cannot have them anymore as fertility declines with age. And the number of birth defects also increases with women’s age. Contraception, I am told brought “freedom” to women. The price is the apparent demographic collapse which cannot be compensated by non-assimilating immigrants. America is in better shape, since it has Latino immigrants who assimilate much better than North Africans or Turks. Perhaps because Latinos are raised on Christianity (which according to some sick secularists here is a religion of jihad or whatever Charly calls it). Nobody even bothers to check spelling in Charly’s writing since he is properly antichristian. Don’t you see this anti-christian aggresion? Secularism as everybody can see, is an ideology, sick ideology, designed to put relative values in the place of moral standards, or man in the place of God. It took all basic principles from Christianity and perverted them as “humanism.” My relatives spent enough time in Gulag to I know how secularist principles work in places where they become dominant. French Revolution was only are sneak preview.

  24. I think there is a profound flaw in your thinking. Nobody has ever been forced to use contraception, marry a homosexual, or have an abortion. People may choose to. That is a matter for them. Where is this “assault” of which you speak? What is the alternative? State coercion?

    I would query whether Latino immigrants in the US are necessarily “better integrated” than Turks in Germany. I would refer you to the existence of transnational criminal gangs like the Mara Salvatrucha 13, as well as the anti-immigrant hysteria among a sizeable sector of US society that is also the most militantly Christian. I would also query in what way Turks in Germany are “non-assimilating”. To the best of my knowledge, they just go to work like everyone else.

    If you, Brussels Journal, Pope Benedict and Pat Robertson are meant to be Christianity, then yes, I have all the anti-Christian aggression you need.

    Leave aside the question of whether, given our environmental and resource issues, population growth is actually desirable…

  25. “Well you probably never heard about abortion on demand, massive contraception and promotion of homosexual unions.”

    Sure, but they are not “genetical”. You yourself mentioned household “genes”. Besides, abortion is a personal choice. There is no democratic Western government I know of that forces women to have an abortion and nobody is forbidden from opposing abortion either. And rightly so. The same goes for contraception.

    Then the issue of “promoting homosexual unions”. Facilitating the union of homosexuals, and providing them with a legal framework of rights and responsibilities, has very little to do with “promotion”, even when I understand why it is interpreted that way. I suppose you probably wish that homosexuals did not exist, but they do exist and always have existed (notorious historical attempts to deny them their existence, notwithstanding: http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/H/history/n-s/pink.html ). By legalising homosexual unions their existence, and both rights and responsibilities, are being acknowledged.

  26. Last sentence should be:

    By legalising homosexual unions their existence and both their rights and responsibilities are being acknowledged.

    If you deny them rights and responsibilities you deny them their right to exist. It is as simple as that, unless of course you consider homosexuality to be a disease or mortal sin that has no right to exist and needs to be eradicated…

  27. “I would also query in what way Turks in Germany are “non-assimilating”. To the best of my knowledge, they just go to work like everyone else.”

    Yes they work like anyone else, but they don’t let their women marry “infidels” and they marry infidel women at will because islam is inheried from father to children. And they have quite a few children. This is how over time entire populations are converted to islam. Remember that conversion from islam is a capital offense.

  28. “If you deny them rights and responsibilities you deny them their right to exist.”

    I respect every human being, but based on elementary biology I deny equivalence of their relationships to marriage. Marriage was designed for millenia for procreation and raising children. Children thrive when raised by mother and father and this is one example where biology advises us against experimenting. One critical responsibility would be to avoid conduct which leads to such a huge prevalence of AIDS among homosexuals. In the early era of AIDS epidemics in San Francisco, local health official closed city baths where homosexual orgies took place. Unfortunately, local judge overruled the order “in the name of freedom”. You can see enough horror like this. Homosexuals continue to be the group where AIDS incidence is highest in the Western World (together with intravenous drug users).
    Homosexual unions were originally invented to provide health insurance for homosexuals since AIDS is such a devastatingly expensive disease. The costs are paid by the society.

  29. Right, so having released your answer from the clutches of our Cthulhu-like spam-chomping monster squid, I gather that A) The scary brown people are taking our women! B) Gays shouldn’t have kids (hmmm, I thought biology had sorted that one) and C) Repent!

    This just seems to me to be an exercise in using Panic of the Day (Muslims Edition) to promote your own hard-right political preferences.

    Homosexual unions were originally invented to provide health insurance for homosexuals since AIDS is such a devastatingly expensive disease. The costs are paid by the society.

    I’m sorry, I’ve read this sentence three times and it still doesn’t make sense. The first civil unions were in the US, where you pay for your own health insurance. The only way they “provide health insurance” is if one partner can inherit the other’s accrued benefits. (I rule out a scenario where only the married can use the health service. Much as it would appear to be Martha’s ideal society, I am not aware of such existing anywhere.) Society didn’t create those benefits, somebody paying the premiums did. Why should they be barred from disposing of their property as they see fit?

    Further, can you provide a single authenticated case of anyone in Germany being even threatened with the death penalty for apostasy? What authority would judge such a sentence, still less carry it out? Please note that Dave “Mad” McMad’s self-declared shariah court of west Hertfordshire or whatever is not a credible entity.

  30. “I think there is a profound flaw in your thinking. Nobody has ever been forced to use contraception, marry a homosexual, or have an abortion.”

    According to the second law of thermodynamics, chaos does not need to be encouraged it is created spontaneously. Somebody mentioned something about inherent flaws in the human beings (sound like a doctrine of the original sin:). Contraception combined with relative values began a slippery slope to sexual revolution, AIDS epidemics, laxed approach to sex ending with abortion and depopulation. It inevitably leads to extinction of European population and its secularism. Homosexual “marriages” are designed to undermine the definition of marriage. Some schools in America prohibit celebration of father’s day and mother’s day because this may be offensive to some children. If I were to define laws of physics based on exceptions, the whole structure of science would collapse. The same is happening when we start
    introducing rules in our society twisted towards exceptions.

  31. Latino’s are not Christians, they are Catholics. You could claim that that is the same but then you could also claim that Christianity and Islam are the same because they are both monotheistic.

    Also the problems with Latino’s in America is exactly the same as we in Europe have with Magrebs.

  32. “Meanwhile, Michael Ledeen tells everyone that having as many kids as possible is fascism, but only if you’re Iranian.”

    With all due respect, you are writing a nonsense. My only concern is that Iranian kids will eventually try to impose their laws in Europe. Their president tells that openly. There is huge assymetry in the way Iranians treat their Christians, for example, and the way Iranians are treated in Europe. However, in your limited views you don’t want to hear about it.

  33. “I’m sorry, I’ve read this sentence three times and it still doesn’t make sense. The first civil unions were in the US, where you pay for your own health insurance.”

    Then you know nothing about America. In the eighties most companies provided insurance free of charge for “spouse” and children. The city of San Francisco imposed “domestic partnership” rule which defined spouse as pretty much anybody living with you in the same household. This is how they wanted to protect themselves from bancruptcy. Prior to that, the uninsured AIDS patiens ended up in city hospitals and their treatment was paid by the city.

    Companies in less “progressive” states still cover families.

    One result of this change is that companies pay only for an employee and you have a right to insure your spouse from your pocket. Needles to say that “spouse insurance” became very expensive which is most unfair for women delivering babies who pick up the tab.

  34. I may add that in America private insurance for an unemployed or self-employed is either not avalable or is prohibitively expensive. “Civil unions” meant access of a high-risk group to either free or relatively cheap insurance (or insurance at all). The ideology of “gay marriage” came later and it continues to undermine the biological definition of marriage.

  35. “Further, can you provide a single authenticated case of anyone in Germany being even threatened with the death penalty for apostasy?”

    It is called “honor killing” and is legal in many Muslim countries. In Europe we need a majority to vote for it. Given the population trends, this only a question of time.

    http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,1972211,00.html

  36. “It is called “honor killing” and is legal in many Muslim countries. In Europe we need a majority to vote for it. Given the population trends, this only a question of time.”

    Okay, Martha, what do you propose? Kick all Muslims out of Europe and fight the inevitable backlash, reestablish the purity of race doctrines and a rekindle the lost theocracies? I am serious. By now you have identified ‘your’ fears, how do you, ideally, want to rest of us to deal with them?

    BTW, honour killings and apostasy are not really related. But since facts do not matter in this debate, let’s forget them altogether and tell the rest of us what we have to do to make you feel comfortable.

    ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing )

  37. Apparently facts do not matter to you. This was killing for apostasy. I propose that before Europe takes over 70 million Turks it should find a way to assimilate those who are already here. It will be much harder and much slower than you think. If Europe cannot survive without immigrants, it should consider Ukrainians first and then work on undoing “sexual revolution”.

    Besides I posted some responses this morning which never appeared on this forum. I hope this is not a censorship.

  38. Ah, the old “quote a foreign-language source – no-one will bother to read it” trick.

    The very first paragraph: Bis zu 30 Prozent aller türkischen Studenten halten „Ehrenmord“ für eine legitime Reaktion auf eine Verletzung der Familienehre. Schockiert berichtet die türkische Tageszeitung „Hürriyet“, die seit über zwei Jahren eine sehr erfolgreiche Kampagne gegen häusliche Gewalt betreibt, über eine Umfrage des Meinungsforschungsinstituts Metropol. Danach sprechen sich insbesondere in den osttürkischen Universitäten viele Studenten für Ehrenmorde aus.

    Up to 30 per cent of all Turkish students consider “honour killing” to be a legitimate reaction to a violation of family honour. The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, which has been leading a very successful campaign against domestic violence for the last two years, was shocked to report this result of a survey by the pollster Metropol. According to the poll, especially large numbers of students in eastern Turkish universities spoke out in favour of honour killings.

    Eastern Turkey is not, to the best of my knowledge, part of Germany, much that Wilhelm II would have liked it. The word “apostasy” is not used even once.

    You are a liar.

    The article is actually quite interesting and relevant, it just doesn’t say what you said it says. Among other things, it describes a German government minister being told by Turkish feminists that the problem has largely died out in Turkey, but survives among emigrants, and also that 55.3% of Turks reject sex before marriage. Or to put it another way, 44.7% of them don’t. I wonder what the figures for Texas are? It also mentions a further study that showed that the rate of domestic violence was no different between Turks and the rest of German society, although opinion was very different.

  39. “Apparently facts do not matter to you. This was killing for apostasy.”

    The poor girl was killed for embracing Western lifestyles (i.e. she got pregnant) not for apostasy. To me, personally, the difference in this case does not matter. I abhor both honour killings (to protect the family HONOUR) and killings because of apostasy.

    Definition of apostasy: Apostasy is a term generally employed to describe the formal renunciation of one’s religion, especially if the motive is deemed unworthy.

    The Turkish girl from your article did not renounce her religion, even if she violated some religious laws. So, yes, facts do matter to me. An interpretation of a fact, turning an honour killing into apostasy, does not make a fact more factual.

    “I propose that before Europe takes over 70 million Turks it should find a way to assimilate those who are already here. It will be much harder and much slower than you think. If Europe cannot survive without immigrants, it should consider Ukrainians first and then work on undoing “sexual revolution”.”

    I am all for integration, but your proposed theory only works if, in this case, all 70 million Turks convert to Christianity. You have constantly been telling us that Muslims will outbreed us. Well, even assimilated Muslims will continue to have Muslim babies, so assimilation is not a solution to your problem now, is it?

    Undoing the sexual revolution? Okay, to what point?

  40. Martha, we are fighting an onslaught of spam. Some comments accidentally end up in the junk file, even mine. This is not censorship. I have reinstated your comments.

  41. “There is huge assymetry in the way Iranians treat their Christians, for example, and the way Iranians are treated in Europe”

    Supposing what you say here is true, does not that mean that even a semi-secular Europe is a better place than full-on religious Iran?

  42. “I am all for integration, but your proposed theory only works if, in this case, all 70 million Turks convert to Christianity. You have constantly been telling us that Muslims will outbreed us. Well, even assimilated Muslims will continue to have Muslim babies, so assimilation is not a solution to your problem now, is it?”

    I don’t want tho convert them to anything. All I am trying to tell is that certain aspects of their religion are not compatible with assimilation. Some of my Muslim friends tell me in private that they disagree with killing for apostasy although in practice such killing is limited since very few dare to take the path. I believe there was one guy in Afghaninstan who was quickly sent to Italy to avoid a public-relations disaster for Karzai.

    There is a bigger problem: Islam is NOT just a religion. It is a political, judicial and religious system in one. Muslims call it “the way of life”. As such, Islam considers itself as an alternative to the entire Western system of life. I am not sure how to separate the religious aspect from the political aspect of Islam. Until we know if it is possible at all, we should not take more immigrants who have no clue how to assimilate and we have no clue how to intgrate them.

    As far as “outbreeding” goes (I don’t remember using this term), this is our problem. People should start understanding that there is no freedom without responsibility. In my view, by abandoning faith in God, afterlife etc., too many Europeans abandoned the idea of FUTURE and children are part of our future. This, in my humble view, is the major weakness of ideological secularism.

    Clearly, religions are needed for biological survival, otherwise they wouldn’t be selected for in human societies. Therefore, to survive, Europe must chose between a religion or extinction. Between absolute values and the relative quicksand. There are two major options here: Christianity or Islam. Islam is not only a religion as I wrote above. It is an alternative to secularism and I see too few secular people ready to comprehend that.

    Secularism should become what it claims to be: a political system neutral to all religions, not a quasi-religious ideology. Ongoing hostility against secularism and Christianity means working for very anti-secular system of Islam (not a religion – but the entire system). That is pretty much all I wanted to say as an intellectual who feels responsible for the ongoing demise of the West.

  43. These numbers do not change much. Many Turks marry Western women and their children are Muslim. Being from a mixed marriage doesn’t make them assimilated (see the shoebomber case).

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