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THE WORLD FROM THE CATHOLIC ANGLE

Recently Dr Ali Selim of Islamic Cultural Centre called for a change in Irish educational system to accommodate the needs of our diverse society in his book Islam and Education in Ireland.

He complains about 1998 Education Act which allows schools to give preference to students on religious grounds, about “Muslim festivals are neither celebrated or marked in the calendar in Irish schools”, suggests days off for Muslim students, and some sort of celebration of Ramadan by schools, he has objections to Relationships and Sexuality Education programme and its attitude to extramarital sexual relations, he also expresses some objections the PE lessons as not acceptable to Muslim girls by means of clothing and visibility to men including male PE teacher, to music lessons, physical contact between members of opposite sex, and so on. In another words his remarks about education system follow nearly exactly remarks done by his counterparts in another European countries and indeed in most countries belonging to Western Civilisation area.

 

As everybody knows Islam is hardly indigenous religion in Judeo-Christian civilisation nor is it the only one currently practised in the West. Having said that, in my opinion people in Europe have absolute right to take liberty of implementing (or not) any of those kinds of proposals.

Actually, bearing in mind that EU educational systems are currently either undergoing a process of removing religion or in effect de-Cristianisation of schools, or are after completing it, implementing such proposals while getting rid of Christian ethos would literally mean discrimination of Christian majority in EU.

There is no point in arguing the complains and proposals in detail, I couldn't disagree with some of them, like a question of relationship and sexuality education, some of them although on reasonable side, are completely impractical, and some, such as observing Islamic festivals and holidays in school calendars are simply not acceptable, firstly because non Muslims are still majority, secondly because if Muslim festivals were observed, all others equally would have to be too, which brings the question if there would be enough time to complete the school curriculum, and thirdly, for Christian majority taking part in other religions rites is a grief sin of breaching of the First Commandment (“you shall not have strange gods before me”). The last one may not be a huge problem for Protestants but certainly is for Catholics.

My overall impression is that the idea of accommodation of diverse society aka Multi Culti is for Muslims some kind of backdoor, an excuse to change schools in Europe the Muslim way.

Actually the Multi Culti idea itself is kind of recipe for failure because it bears the major flaw of any other ideas in human history: complete detachment from reality and human nature.

In particular it implies that different cultures, religions, moralities, views and attitudes can live together peacefully with mutual respect. They simply can't for a number of reasons. They can't because some of them contradict each other, because different things are important to each of them, because tolerance, equality, mutual respect and the likes are purely Judeo-Christian values developed here in western world and nowhere else, and because so far Multi Culti didn't work anywhere in the world and it doesn't look like it ever will.

I know few Muslims. I respect them. I admire their devotion and attachment to their values, which are things that our civilisation is in the process of loosing. I refuse the motion that every Muslim is a dormant ISIS supporter although I don't turn a blind eye on the fact that atrocities in ISIS have been committed by people claiming Islam and Quran inspiration and that many European and American members of Muslim minorities went to Syria and Iraq to fight for the Caliphate.

I respect Muslim culture and beliefs, and I wish them all the best. But it's not my culture. It's not Irish culture, nor it's Polish, German, French, it's not European, nor it's Western culture.

I believe Muslims and Westerners can live together. There is one condition though: a mutual understanding that as it's our land, and thus our culture, religion, and values have absolute priority in every aspect or situation, just as Islam has absolute priority in Muslim countries.

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