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    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    Brussels fear migrating to center


    Europe appears to be crossing an invisible line regarding its Muslim minorities: more people in the political mainstream are arguing that Islam cannot be reconciled with European values.

    link

    "You saw what happened with the pope," said Patrick Gonman, 43, the owner of Raga, a funky wine bar in downtown Antwerp, 25 miles from here. "He said Islam is an aggressive religion. And the next day they kill a nun somewhere and make his point.

    "Rationality is gone."

    Gonman is hardly an extremist. In fact, he organized a protest last week in which 20 bars and restaurants closed on the night when a far-right party with an anti-Muslim message held a rally nearby.

    His worry is shared by centrists across Europe angry at terror attacks in the name of religion on a continent that has largely abandoned it, and disturbed that any criticism of Islam or Muslim immigration provokes threats of violence.

    Many experts note that there is a deep and troubled history between Islam and Europe, with the Crusaders and the Ottoman Empire jostling each other for centuries and bloodily defining the boundaries of Christianity and Islam. A sense of guilt over Europe's colonial past and then World War II, when intolerance exploded into mass murder, allowed a large migration to occur without any uncomfortable debates over the real differences between migrant and host.

    Then the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, jolted Europe into new awareness and worry.

    The subsequent bombings in Madrid and London, and the murder of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a Dutch-born Moroccan stand as examples of the extreme. 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.

    The Western European secular religion will be no match for the
    religion of islam. Deep religious beliefs produce martyrs, and the secular
    religion is no deeper than the grade school classroom where the Europeans were
    taught.

    If this article can be believed, Europeans are still thinking that this is
    a
    cultural issue. Even worse, them see it as islam being "far more conservative"
    then most Europeans. It's not conservative vs. liberal, it is religion vs.
    non-religion. Take a guess regarding who's more committed.

    I think
    this is why the Pope is trying to re-awaken the religious
    foundations of
    Europe.

    While Europeans are thinking "women's rights and homosexuality", islamics are
    thinking God. Which side do you think will win?

    Europeans had better
    find the address to their local abandoned church, and find out what they have
    been missing.

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