U.S. commission accuses Western Europe of ‘very aggressive secularism’

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by fantassin, May 1, 2013.

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  1. A US panel criticized Western European countries Tuesday for “aggressive secularism” as it released a report on religious freedom that took aim at laws banning full-face veils in public.

    For the first time, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom — whose members are appointed by the government — included a chapter on the region in its annual review of tolerance of other faiths around the world.

    Because Western Europe generally has a very good record, “it’s easy to overlook the fact that there are some questions and problematic issues emerging there” related to religious dress and customs, commission chair Katrina Lantos Swett told reporters.

    “In some countries a very aggressive secularism is putting people of religious faith in uncomfortable and difficult positions.”

    The report focused in particular on restrictions in Western Europe on religious attire and symbols, ritual slaughter, circumcision, and the building of mosques and minarets.

    “These, along with limits on freedom of conscience and hate speech laws, are creating a growing atmosphere of intimidation against certain forms of religious activity in Western Europe,” the report said.

    U.S. commission accuses Western Europe of ‘very aggressive secularism’ | The Raw Story

    The fact that some nations have put scientology on the list of cults that people need to be wary of still grates with the US...hence this parts of the report:

    "The review also referred to measures against religious groups characterized as “cults” and “sects,” saying France has the most extensive restrictions but also mentioning Germany, Austria and Belgium."

    Poor souls....what are Tom Cruise and John Travolta going to do about this....
  2. Don't they know that's a priest's job?
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  3. Perhaps they are worried that all the oppressed zealots will move to America along with their attire, slaughter and buildings.
  4. Somewhat obscene when an official body advocates the mutilation of children.
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  5. I believe we've been Daily Mail'd.

    No it didn't. The report is 371 pages long with only a handful mentioning Western Europe and almost no mention of the UK. It's a commentary, rather than a criticism; and each comment is backed up with specific facts. It's well written, even-handed and actually focuses on:

    Full report: http://www.uscirf.gov/images/2013%20USCIRF%20Annual%20Report%281%29.pdf
  6. This is what the report actually writes (page 281-2):

    During the past few years there have been increasing restrictions on, and efforts to restrict, various forms of religious expression in Western Europe, particularly religious dress and visible symbols, ritual slaughter, religious circumcision, and the construction of mosques and minarets. These, along with limits on freedom of conscience and hate speech laws, are creating a growing atmosphere of intimidation against certain forms of religious activity in Western Europe. These restrictions also seriously limit social integration and educational and employment opportunities for the individuals affected.

    This commission also has issues with the fact that

    "The French law also penalizes, with imprisonment or very large fines, anyone who coerces a woman or a minor to wear a full-face veil “by threat, violence, force, or abuse of power or authority.” While seeking to address concerns about coercion, if too broadly applied this provision may raise questions of parental rights and freedom of choice. To date no charges have been brought under this section.

    The same commission also notes and seems to regret that:

    Nevertheless, EU members Luxembourg and Sweden and non-EU members Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland continue to ban all slaughter without stunning, including ritual slaughter.

    I am glad to be part of a country which is thus accused !
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  7. To quote a very old Book ...... "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone"
    If this august [and I use the term with tongue in cheek] body was an international entity instead of an adjunct of US government which views the problem from an American perspective, then it might just have some credibility.

  8. I wonder why not like these good ol boys will be too chuffed when they are told they need new holiday clothes for the european vacation this summer. Still cant see them quoting the report when some burka types start appearing in the US bible belt.
  9. They are right of course. Europe has too many busy bodies wanting the nanny state to intrusively shove secularism down the throats of the few remaining Godly in the perversely inverted name of human rights.
  10. Given the number of European monarchies where the Head of State is required by law to be a member of a church or where freedom of religious belief is enshrined in law, I disagree that the Godly are at any disadvantage. They're just having to play on a level proselytizing field for the first time in a millennium and without their traditional tools of fire and sword.
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  11. I don't think aggressive secularism will ever reach the heights of accomplished aggressiveness achieved by religious nutjobs of most established religions right through history to the present day, so I reckon the Godly are pretty safe as league leaders.
  12. ??
  13. Good point, I have never heard of a secularist dragging his daughter down to the bazaar so the barber could perform a non-medical vaginoplasty with a rusty razor, he might, though, perform an aggressive non-circumcism which would cause outrage in some quarters and might even get him and his kid killed.
  14. You're talking complete shit. The two words that turn that from a fair and accurate statement into an expression of regret or accusation of wrongdoing are words that you've put there.

    You're arguing with yourself. Get a grip.