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JakeS:
Whether it's a smart fight to pick if your objective is to push back against religious nuts and/or drive religion back into the purely private sphere... that's less obvious. On one hand, it worked against the Catholic Church. On the other hand, the political context vis-a-vis Islam is different.

that is a good point. what worked for us in europe was satire, derision, mockery, but it was our religious preceptors we were mocking, on the front lines in a culture civil war, during which the evil rule of a bunch of delusional powerfreaks had their hold on the public's faith was justly wrested from them, after centuries of abuse and murder and the same tool may not work the same way twice.

if a muslim charlie hebdo opened up an office in kabul and published there it may be a better equivalent.

this is their affair to sort out, one of many schisms in islam we have little or no control over. they can pray here like they want, but they are not allowed to import any and all aspects of their culture willy-nilly, and it's not racist to want it that way, imo, though many will surely howl that it is. it can be patiently explained that they are guests here and have to respect that, no matter how alien they perceive our ways to be.

what we can control is how far we let religion into our own politics, any religion...

i'll believe we've done that when the house of lords in england stops giving seats to clergy, and the vatican has to pay property tax in italy, to pull two examples i know about.

meanwhile we'd be better off abstaining adding fuel to any fires we don't want burning.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:26:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they are not allowed to import any and all aspects of their culture willy-nilly, and it's not racist to want it that way, imo, though many will surely howl that it is.

The re-islamisation of French citizens of maghrebo-islamic origin is not a matter of re-importing North African customs into France, but largely a matter of importing stylised versions of 9th-century Arabian Peninsula customs. The niqab, for example, is not a North African custom, and its recent introduction into North Africa is the subject of a great deal of social conflict (see Tunisian universities, for example). The Christian equivalent might be for Roman Catholics to start dressing like Romans. Wearing a niqab in public is inherently ridiculous in Europe, and it is neither racist nor religious persecution to ridicule it.

it can be patiently explained that they are guests here and have to respect that

No they are not guests : in their vast majority they are French by birth, and are completely free out of republican principle to practice their inherited or chosen religion as they see fit. What they have to respectis French law and secular custom (laïcité). In practice, there are many obstacles : it's exceedingly difficult to get a permit to create a mosque in France, and I deplore that. (There is, to my mind, a large surplus of Catholic places of worship with respect to effective demand, but every time I suggest that some should become mosques, I get funny looks.)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 03:51:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The re-islamisation of French citizens of maghrebo-islamic origin is not a matter of re-importing North African customs into France, but largely a matter of importing stylised versions of 9th-century Arabian Peninsula customs."

They are not allowed to import dress styles, only first class citizens are allowed that. Muslims have to adapt to the culture that is prescribed to them. On top of that their identity is mocked and ridiculed by caricatures of their religion.

by Katrin on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 06:28:07 AM EST
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