As a non-religious person, but still one that acknowledges and respects the impact of Judeo-Christian thinking on Western culture, I have warned against naïve Christian compassion related to Muslim immigration, as well as a disturbing tendency among too many Christian organizations to ally themselves with Muslims, for "religious values" and against Israel. But frankly, the most useful allies Muslims have in the West more often than not tend to be found among the non-religious crowd.
A number of executives and star presenters at the British Broadcasting Corporation admitted what critics already knew: The BBC is dominated by Left-leaning liberals who are anti-American and biased against Christianity, but sensitive to the feelings of Muslims. Former BBC business editor Jeff Randall said he complained to a very senior news executive about the BBC's pro-Multicultural stance, but was given the reply: "The BBC is not neutral in Multiculturalism: it believes in it and it promotes it."
The anti-Christian element seems to be a trait shared by Multiculturalists in all Western countries. Thomas Hylland Eriksen is a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo. He has written many books and is a frequent contributor of newspaper essays. He is also leading a major project for studying the Multicultural society in Norway.
Hylland Eriksen has proclaimed the death of nations as if he took pleasure in it, and has stated that the Nidaros Cathedral (Nidarosdomen), the most significant church in the country, should no longer serve as a national symbol in our Multicultural society. Mr. Eriksen has recently clashed with two brothers named Anfindsen, who run the bilingual website HonestThinking.org.
According to Hylland Eriksen, "Cosmopolites insist on a world comprising of more colors than black and white. In such a world, the problems presented by Ole-Jørgen Anfindsen are not just petty, but irrelevant."
What are the problems presented by Mr. Anfindsen? Well, he has published numbers indicating that if the current immigration continues, native Norwegians will be a minority in their own country within a couple of generations. And a large proportion of the new population will be Muslims.
Given the fact that ethnic groups who become minorities in their own lands usually have a hard time, and virtually always get persecuted when the newcomers are Muslims, one would assume that this would be interesting information. But for self-proclaimed "Multicultural cosmopolites" such as Thomas Hylland Eriksen, it is "petty and irrelevant" to even consider that this could represent a problem.
Eriksen calls Anfindsen "stupid and ignorant," and hints that "Maybe Anfindsen's agenda is inspired by a kind of perverted Christianity (he has a Christian background)."
"He has a Christian background." Is that supposed to be an insult, and disqualify a person from worrying about whether his grandchildren will be persecuted? In a newspaper essay co-authored by Eriksen, he states that: "Is he [Anfindsen] asking us to once again repeat the obvious in that the murder of Theo van Gogh, various acts of terrorism and death threats against newspaper editors have nothing to do with Islam?"
Nothing to do with Islam? Really?
Mohammed Bouyeri, born in Amsterdam of Moroccan parents, killed Theo van Gogh as he was cycling in Amsterdam on Nov. 2, 2004, shooting and stabbing before slashing his throat and pinning a note to his body with a knife. "I did what I did purely out my beliefs," he told judges while clutching a Koran. "I want you to know that I acted out of conviction and not that I took his life because he was Dutch or because I was Moroccan," but because he believed van Gogh insulted Islam in his film criticizing the treatment of Muslim women.
So a peaceful Christian is accused of having a dark, secret agenda, while a Muslim murderer who brags openly about his Islamic motivations has nothing to do with Islam? Needless to say, Mr. Hylland Eriksen is also rather anti-Israeli. Christians and Jews are bad, Muslims are "misunderstood." This confirms my thesis that Political Correctness is a hate ideology disguised as "tolerance." It is based upon hate against anything considered Western and a desire to eradicate this.
The First Commandment of Multiculturalism is: Thou shalt hate Christianity and Judaism. Multiculturalists also hate nation states, and they even hate the Enlightenment, by insisting that non-Western cultures should be above scrutiny.
It is sometimes claimed that Islam is a "European" or Western religion. Ironically, we can test this by using "cosmopolitan Multiculturalists" such as Mr. Hylland Eriksen. They hate everything that's seen as Western and they like Islam, precisely because it's anti-Western.
Is religion a necessary component of society? Catholic historian Christopher Dawson wrote in his book "Progress and religion" from 1929:
"It is the religious impulse which supplies the cohesive force which unifies a society and a culture. The great civilizations of the world do not produce the great religions as a kind of cultural by-product; in a very real sense the great religions are the foundations on which the great civilizations rest. A society which has lost its religion becomes sooner or later a society which has lost its culture"
Alexis de Tocqueville, the French 19th-century political thinker, stated in Democracy in America:
"Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must be regarded as the first of their political institutions; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is in this same point of view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief. I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion – for who can search the human heart? – but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions."
Lee Harris is the author of Civilization and Its Enemies and The Suicide of Reason. According to him, Christian Europe was a fusion of diverse elements: The Hebrew tradition, Christianity, the Roman genius for law and the Germanic barbarians' love of freedom, among others. What created the communities of reasonable men that eventually made modern reason possible? This was the question taken up by Johann Herder:
"What were the necessary conditions of the European Enlightenment? What kind of culture was necessary in order to produce a critical thinker like Immanuel Kant himself? When Kant, in his Critique of Pure Reason, methodically demolished all the traditional proofs for the existence of God, why wasn't he torn limb from limb in the streets of Königsburg by outraged believers, instead of being hailed as one of the greatest philosophers of all time?"
For Herder, modern scientific reason was the product of European cultures of reason, the world-historical encounter between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry, "with the subsequent addition of the Roman heritage."
The 19th-century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer was an atheist. Yet according to him, it was the Christian idea of God that permitted Europeans to believe that the universe was a rational cosmos.
As Harris points out, "Human beings will have their gods--and modern reason cannot alter this. Can even the most committed atheist be completely indifferent to the imaginary gods that the other members of his community continue to worship?"
And if modern reason required a pre-existing community of reasonable men before it could emerge in the West, maybe modern reason "must recognize that its own existence and survival demand both an ethical postulate and a religious postulate. The ethical postulate is: Do whatever is possible to create a community of reasonable men who abstain from violence, and who prefer to use reason. The religious postulate is: If you are given a choice between religions, always prefer the religion that is most conducive to creating a community of reasonable men, even if you don't believe in it yourself."
According to Theodore Dalrymple, the underlying problem in Western Europe in particular is a lack of purpose, which gives rise to a large amount of social pathology:
"Quite a large proportion of the population does not derive any self-respect from having to work for a living because some people are no better off if they work than if they do not work [due to the welfare state]." They "do not feel they belong to any larger project than their private lives. (…) I am not myself religious. However, I am not anti-religious. I am pro-religion provided that it is not theocratic, so long as there is still a division between church and state."
Dalrymple also believes that "Discipline without freedom leads to misery, but freedom without discipline leads to chaos, shallowness, and misery of another kind," alluding to the total lack of freedom in Islam, but also to the seeming lack of direction in the West.
I agree with Harris and Dalrymple: As long as there is separation between religion and state, those of us who don't have any religious belief should prefer religions which tend to create reasonable and prosperous communities. Our traditional Judeo-Christian religions have proven this capability. Islam never has, and probably never will. As Australia's Cardinal George Pell says, "some seculars are so deeply anti-Christian, that anyone opposed to Christianity is seen as their ally. That could be one of the most spectacularly disastrous miscalculations in history."
Indeed it could. Maybe if Western Multiculturalists get their will, and Islam does conquer parts of the West, they will discover that the new religion is infinitely worse than the old one. Of course, by then it will be too late.