<<< Das Kreuz mit dem Halbmond: Ethnische und religiöse Transformationen in europäischen Kontexten / The Crux of Islam in Europe: Ethnic and Religious Transformations in European Contexts
Is Islam the Crux of Europe? Faith, Culture and the Honorable Killing of Secularism?
Lanfranco Aceti (University of London)
The British experience of a renewed and strongly pursued political Islamist agenda to impose sharia law within the secular framework of the state, has created a complex social climate that re-presents secular society with the renewed conflict of state vs. religion.
If in England, from the time of Henry the VIII, the separation of church and state had become increasingly evident, the new ideological approaches, supported by a cultural deference toward minority religious groups, question the very basis of a secular Britain and a secular Europe.
The engagement with political Islamist agendas in Europe has increasingly been based both on a patronizing and cultural pandering in order to mask the lack of economic and social integration. But is the lack of upwards mobility a sufficient explanation to an increasingly growing process of erosion of secularized Europe, or is there a merging of a distorted perception of the notion of culture in multicultural interpretations that has created an unholy alliance between Christianity, Judaism and Islam in order to expand into the secular public space?
In this religious conflicting framework, what is the reason for the resurgent and strong return to Christian values? Is this a reaffirmation of cultural identity in the attempt to contrast the impossible dialogue between dogmatic cultural affirmations or is it a more profound malaise that reveals the lack of ethical standing of Europe as a whole in rallying its citizens around core universal democratic values?
This paper, through an analysis of recent cases of censorship of contemporary arts and literature in Europe in order to appease Islamic sensitivities, will argue against a discriminatory and patronizing agenda that condemns Islam to the religious ghetto of incommunicability.