A Secular Europe

Usually during writing responses, I refrain from using first person pronouns, but I will reverse my stance for this week for the issues I had with this reading. Colloquial radical terrorism can find 9/11 at its nucleus. I argue that these violent acts do not “decentre” the West as most academia and media not only suggests but is obsessive and compulsive with perpetuating. 9/11 as a contemporary focal point was a product of systemic conflict within a Western conflict (consider the Soviet-Afghan proxy war) and less so a product of religion. While acts of violence in the name of Islam are conclusively indefensible, the framework of this article considers Islam to be part of a destabilizing force of Western, and in this context European, structures.

We can observe a divide from a series of pivotal events: pre- and post-WWII, pre and post-the collapse of the Soviet Union and the destruction of the Berlin Wall, and pre- and post-9/11. The focus on the collapse of the Berlin Wall is cited as symbolic for radical European change. From indiscriminate indiscrimination to collective unity (negative to positive groupism) in the face of public political unrest on massive scales, the use of Berlin Wall to mobilize a collective force was a revolution that, at the time, was unparalleled. However, the author uses the fall of the wall to both literally and figuratively break the levee between a homogenous Judeo-Christian European religious structure to a more inclusive and intersectional landscape. Quite obviously, two dominant faiths does not equate to coexisting. The author uses terminology that in a post-Holocaust society insinuates that pre- and post-Nazis was overwhelmingly and unflinchingly Christian-Catholic. The breaking levee and subsequent introduction of Islam through immigration had the author states that “Europe is a notion elaborated via the power of modernity and colonialism; in the present it also refers to a project of union that is being implemented by Europeans themselves.” This is somewhat implicit that Islam is being viewed as a colonial force, which is unfair – European powers dismantled and imposed by force religious and cultural values. The employment of the phrase “anachronism” places Islam into a primitive or antiquated context. The general practical application of scripture versus the ignorant notion that all billion Muslims are out for violence and radicalism. This is inherently problematic and blatantly false. The author presents the idea of integration is what is destabilizing Europe and its social, political, and economic structures.

If I am writing this both with my opinion and with my truth, I could not understand why the author, only 10 pages in, was contextualized to suggest that Islam is a threat. Europe has also been presented as the centre. Eurocentric ideology is equally as problematic as the purview that Islam is evil. Europe has been centralized through systematic campaigns of violence and oppression on a global scale across the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Europe has in itself decentralized the world – how can the overarching dichotomy of Islam in scholarship consistently revert back to how this and more broadly speaking other minority groups be an intervening malicious force? Göle is correct in suggesting that “we need to renew our ways of thinking and change our perspective on Europe, seeing it not as an autonomous and self-centered entity …” however their assertion that Islam exists to decentralize a current world order implies that the current world order promotes a utopia, which, when observing the systemic European sociopolitical structure is definitively not.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s