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Multiculturalism and Other Tales

31 July 2014 / 10:07:48  GRReporter
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The subject of immigration in Europe and the integration of Muslims in local communities is among the hottest ones in recent years. Polemics develop between two major groups: on one hand, the Europeans who think national borders should be opened for everyone, and on the other – people who are strongly opposing immigrants. Recently, representatives of another group of citizens appeared in the media. Until now, they did not dare to speak up because they had been afraid of accusations of xenophobia and racism. Most of them consider immigrants welcome as long as they adopt European values.

 Today, GRReporter presents to the readers a publication on this subject, originally published on the commentary and analysis website Protagon.gr. It is authored by Thanos Tsimeros, leader of the Recreate Greece party and member of the Regional Council of Attica.

Multiculturalism and Other Tales

“Mommy, why are these people in the park throwing stones?”

“Don’t worry, my boy. They are stoning a woman who left her husband. This is part of their culture, do not misunderstand them.”

This is multiculturalism. This is cohabitation of different types of ‘values’ comprehension in a single residential area, in a single residential building. And everyone does this in parallel with the other. Multiculturalism does not mean to simply have your dinner in a Chinese restaurant and then in a Mexican restaurant. Is there a place on Earth where this does not happen?  NO! Has it ever existed? NO! Multinationality has existed, meaning the cohabitation of people of various ethnic origins who had adopted a SINGLE culture, common fundamental values.   

To be more specific, one of the Western culture values is the equality of men and women. Yes, it was hard to achieve, it waded through blood, and many Hypatias and many ‘magicians’ burnt at the stake. But it was achieved. Period.

Freedom of speech is yet another value. Whether correctly attributed to Voltaire or not, this quote is very popular: ‘I might disagree with your opinion, but I am willing to give my life in defence of your right to express it.’

Shall I name more? Individual rights, freedom of religion, tolerance to the different, economic freedom. And above all: the ability of society to develop and discover its future face.

And in order to silence the idiots who always have their ‘template’ answers, I duly note that we have military dictatorship, censorship, torture, pious fanatics, dictators, holocausts, men who beat their girlfriends and wives, paedophiles, incest, and murderers. But they are all considered perpetrators of our common values and they are punished for their wrongdoings.  And when a holy fanatic preaches racism from the pulpit, he is considered a comic figure and becomes subject of satiric shows and jokes in the social networks.

Which of these Western values are parts of Islam? None. Can it coexist with Western civilization?

Let’s not hurry to answer prior to realizing a fundamental mistake made in comparing Christianity and Islam. This is no mere comparison of two religious doctrines. All religions, no exception, are not limited to managing God’s rules. They did not get limited to philosophical issues of life and the explanations attempted by their founders or apostles. Religions permeated all areas of human behaviour. They imposed rules, even hygienic ones. According to the Old Testament, when menstruating, a woman is considered impure. According to the New Testament, the man is the head of the woman and sex before marriage is prostitution just like unconventional sex within marriage is considered prostitution. (All religions demonize pleasures because they were threatened by the way they make people free). And in order to strengthen their positions, every religion refers to God’s inspiration and encapsulates itself in it.  God’s inspiration is perfection, i.e. it is final and immutable!

But life goes on. The pattern people according to which people lived 2000 years ago in Judea is out-dated today. Just as out-dated, as the 1400-year old pattern of life in the Arabian desert when Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim (Muhammad, to his friends) ‘launched’ Islam.

The Western civilization realised this albeit with some delay… and restricted religion to the churches. Even religion itself realised how antiquated are its dogmas and ‘connived’ against pregnant brides to perform the ceremony of marriage though they had obviously behaved like ‘prostitutes’. The Pope can still condemn contraception, but no one bans condoms from sale. Every religious organisation can print a booklet on ‘the sins of the mouth and eyes’ but not a single one contemplates proposing legislative measures to punish the sinners. No matter how strong the influence of religion over the secular authorities, no matter how many fanatics protest in front of theatres against ‘blasphemous plays’ no one is publicly beheaded, because he is not a believer, no woman is publicly flogged, because she committed adultery, and no child is subjected to female circumcision.

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