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1 Areozol  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 1:21:13am
And now the freedom of religious practice is an individual right. That's something entirely new in European political culture.

Exactly. What you, Americans, have written in constitution (and Supreme Court verdicts), we Europeans have in international treaties, like European Convention on Human Rights: [Link: en.wikipedia.org...] .

2 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 1:46:47am
Freedom of religion in Europe is not a consequence of human rights. It was defined as a compromise after centuries of religious wars. But this compromise - in each European country - is now in crisis. For two reasons. One, the nation-State is in crisis. Because of globalization, European integration, national compromises overrun by supra-national laws. And now the freedom of religious practice is an individual right. That's something entirely new in European political culture.

You also have to keep in mind that the compromise of "freedom of religion" was based on a background of total christian hegemony (even though there were exceptional statements here and there, like this by the new king of Prussia, Frederick II of Prussia, in 1750: "All Religions are equal and good, if only the people that practice them are honest people; and if Turks and heathens came and wanted to live here in this country, we would build them mosques and churches."). It was basically a "live and let live" that Catholics and Protestants eventually extended to each other (for how "religious tolerance" started out, see cuius regio, eius religio) but which seldomly went further than that. That is part of the history.

You also have to keep in mind that the other side of the coin "freedom of religion" that is called "freedom from religion" is likewise flawed in Europe. Consider concepts like the church tax. Christianity is deep in bed with the state in many European countries, a symbiotic development that took many centuries and in which both churches and states changed accordingly to allow for a better "fit". Now, for instance, christian churches and umbrella organizations are often statutory corporations (cf. Landeskirchen), receiving a lot of financial and political support from the state. Non-christian religious movements or organizations often have it in European states. And while a state's biased and unpreferential treatment of non-christians that do not have enough political weight rarely becomes a political issue (like with Scientology), Islam has weight, and the german state has struggled with it heavily for almost a decade now (and vice versa). For the latest attempts, see these articles by the Deutsche Welle on the "German Islam Conference":

Muslim groups consider boycott of German-Islam conference , March 12, 2010.

Second German Islam Conference begins amid criticism , May 17, 2010.

3 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 1:50:38am

urgh

in 1750:

It was 1740.

Non-christian religious movements or organizations often have it in European states.

That should read: Non-christian religious movements or organizations often have it tough in European states.

4 Cheese Eating Victory Monkey  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 11:01:51am

Sarrazin sees Muslims as an existential threat to Germany on a par to hardcore Zionists seeing Iran as an existential threat to Israel.

The author displays his ignorance here. You don't need to be a "hardcore Zionist" to realize that Iran could be an existential threat to Israel. Having a more than superficial understanding of the region is enough.

5 CuriousLurker  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 11:08:17am

re: #1 Areozol

Thanks for the info. Looks like I have some reading to do.

6 CuriousLurker  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 11:21:13am

re: #2 000G

Wow, lots of good info & reading material. Thanks for taking the time to connect some of the dots for me—that helps. I don't remember if it was a comment here on LGF or an article I read recently, but I was kind of taken aback to learn that in Germany changing your religion is a matter that involves the state somehow (IIRC). After your explanation it doesn't seem quite as surprising.

I guess I have a lot to learn.

7 Areozol  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 12:00:50pm

re: #5 CuriousLurker

Thanks for the info. Looks like I have some reading to do.

Keep in mind, that there are additional provisions in EU law, and each country have its own laws regarding this issue in their constitutions...

8 CuriousLurker  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 12:35:48pm

re: #7 Areozol

Keep in mind, that there are additional provisions in EU law, and each country have its own laws regarding this issue in their constitutions...

Good to know that—I'll keep it in mind, thanks.

9 CuriousLurker  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 7:42:37pm

re: #4 Cheese Eating Victory Monkey

Sarrazin sees Muslims as an existential threat to Germany on a par to hardcore Zionists seeing Iran as an existential threat to Israel.

The author displays his ignorance here. You don't need to be a "hardcore Zionist" to realize that Iran could be an existential threat to Israel. Having a more than superficial understanding of the region is enough.

Thanks, I'm aware of that much. Since the article isn't about Israel or Iran, I wasn't particularly concerned about false equivalence in one sentence (out of six pages) affecting the overall accuracy of the story.

Considering that Germany's population is around 91% ethnically German, I find it just a little hyperbolic for Sarrazin to claim that the Muslim immigrants are an "existential" threat, especially since he's made it clear that he thinks they're nothing but a bunch of lazy, stupid degenerates.


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