Saturday, April 02, 2005

Does "Muslim" Turkey Belong in "Christian" Europe?

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
January 13, 2005, Washington, D.C.
Jonathan Davidson, Senior Advisor for Political and Academic Affairs, European Commission Delegation to the U.S.
Corrado Pirzio-Biroli, Head of the Cabinet of former EU Commissioner Franz Fischler
Omer Taspinar, Director, Turkey Program, The Brookings Institution
Luis Lugo, Director, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Event Transcript available, click here.

Many thanks to Jusuf Salih from University of Virginia’s Department of Religious Studies for his recommendation of this event to the Reflection Cafe

1 comment:

illegalalien said...

A very relevant debate and intersting too that some of the speakers think that the EU is a democratic union of states!

This is a a rather grand assumption that bears no relation to the reality of Europe. Did the people of Europe have a say in the adoption of the Euro? Are all states allowing their people to vote on the constitution? NO!

But we are still democratic? I find this an incredible conceit!

Jonathan Davidson mentioned what can only be described as a limited secularism "secularism in matters of the state." This is another miscalculation, as there is no limited secularisation of European culture going on, but a state sponsored intolerance to the Christian faith. Europe still pushes the private religion ticket, where Christians - and I count myself as one of them - are only tolerated if they keep themselves to themselves. However, if you are a secularist, then the public domain is yours, to the sound of welcoming applause!!

You only have to read the letters pages in The Guardian Weekly to understand that any contrary view in matters of sexuality, genetic manipulation and the like are not received as something which is part of a citizen's freedom of speech, but are happily put down as the thoughts and considerations of bigots!

It will be interesting too see what our Muslim friends make of Europe's Secularisation Project and if they will be treated to the same disdain as their Christian friends!

Geoff Hall
Bristol, UK

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