Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fearing Muslims

The NY Times reports today that anti-Muslim sentiment is rising in Europe. On the one hand, this is a big "Duh" moment for anyone who's even half paying attention. However, there's a tone in this article which I find really annoying.
But many Europeans – even those who generally support immigration – have begun talking more bluntly about cultural differences, specifically about Muslims' deep religious beliefs and social values, which are far more conservative than those of most Europeans on issues like women's rights and homosexuality.

"A lot of people, progressive ones – we are not talking about nationalists or the extreme right – are saying, 'Now we have this religion, it plays a role and it challenges our assumptions about what we learned in the 60's and 70's,' " said Joost Lagendik, a Dutch member of the European Parliament for the Green Left Party, who is active on Muslim issues.

"So there is this fear," he said, "that we are being transported back in a time machine where we have to explain to our immigrants that there is equality between men and women, and gays should be treated properly. Now there is the idea we have to do it again."
The arrogance of European "progressives" is on full display here. If citizens want to vote to change (okay, roll back) some aspects of social policy why shouldn't they be able to? But, according to "progressives" they need to be re-educated. Surely, Muslims have as much right to vote freely on social policy as anyone else.

As a non-"progressive" Catholic I say to Muslims, "welcome to the club". Europe's "progressives" have been parading their anti-Catholic bigotry with pride for a LONG time (see Rocco Buttiglione for a recent example). Why shouldn't Muslims feel some of that?

This whole business of "progressives" only being concerned with Muslims' views on various aspects of social policy is a big fat porky. They simply won't admit that they don't trust and don't like Muslims. I've heard it a few times here and read it elsewhere, but it's all so mealy-mouthed. They don't want to agree with those "lunatics" on the "far right", but something deep down is pushing them that way. They can't control it and they live in fear of being outed as "not-quite-so-progressives". It's funny in a way.