A statue of the Virgin Mary was ordered taken away by a court in the French municipality of Publier. Senator Nathalie Goulet slammed the judges as “ayatollahs of secularism”.
“Everything is Christian”, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote after the war. Two thousand years of Christianity have left a deep mark on the French language, landscape and culture. But not according to France’s Minister of Education, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. She just announced that instead of saying “Merry Christmas”, state officials should use “Happy Holidays” — clearly a deliberate intent to erase from discourse and the public space any reference to the Christian culture in which France is rooted.
Jean-François Chemain called it the “eradication of any Christian sign in the public landscape”. A year ago, the controversy was ignited in the French town of Ploermel, where a court decided that the statue of Pope John Paul II, erected in a square, had to be removed for violating “secularism”.
The newspapers of the French “left”, outraged by the “right’s” ban on burkinis on the French Riviera, have been endorsing this anti-Christian policy.
France’s Council of State has just ruled that “the temporary installation of cribs [nativity scenes] in a public place is legal if it has a cultural, artistic or festive value, but not if it expresses the recognition of a cult or a religious preference”. What precautions to justify a millenary tradition!
In the town of Scaer, a nursing home has been the subject of a similar secularist complaint, for the presence of a fresco of the Virgin Mary. Then, it was the turn of the manger in the train station of Villefranche-de-Rouergue, in Aveyron. In the town of Boissettes, the church bells have been muted by court decision.
Fortunately, some ideas from the Observatory of Secularism — the organ established by President François Hollande to coordinate his neo-secularist policies — have not been implemented. One proposed even to eliminate some Christian national holidays to make room for the Islamic, Jewish and secular holidays.
President Hollande, on the occasion of Easter, “forgot” to express holiday wishes to the Christians of France. But a few months before, Hollande had extended his best wishes to the Muslims during the feast of Eid, which closes Ramadan. “Hollande’s greeting to Muslims is opportunistic and political. For the Socialist Party, it is a crucial electoral clientele”, said the French philosopher Gerard Leclerc in the newspaper, Le Figaro.
This Christianophobia is the Trojan Horse of Islam. As Charles Consigny writes in the weekly Le Point, “Through this tabula rasa of the past, France will make a clean sweep of its future”. Unfortunately, France is not an isolated case. Everywhere in Europe, a weary, secularist absence of purpose and confused values damns Christianity in favor of Islam.
A jihadist terrorist, targeting a symbol of Christian tradition, last week slaughtered 12 people at a Christmas market in Berlin. But Europe is already mutilating her own traditions “to avoid offending Muslims”. We have become our own biggest enemy.
The annual candlelit Saint Lucia (“Sankta Lucia“) procession, a Swedish Christian tradition celebrated for hundreds of years, is “dying” out. Uddevalla, Södertälje, Koping, Umeå, and Ystad are among the growing numbers of cities no longer holding this lovely cultural event. According to Jonas Engman, an ethnologist at the Nordic Museum, the declining interest in the St. Lucia procession accompanies a more general alienation from the culture of Christian Sweden. A study conducted by Gallup International reveals that in observing the Christian religion, Sweden is “the least religious in the West“. In the meantime, with a young, strong, driven sense of purpose and a set of sharia values, Islam is growing.
A German school in Turkey just banned Christmas celebrations. The school, Istanbul Lisesi, funded by the German government, decided that Christmas traditions and carol-singing would no longer be permitted. The Washington Post summarized the decision: “No teaching of Christmas customs, no celebrations and no Christmas caroling”. It is not an isolated incident. A Woolworth’s store in Germany also scrapped Christmas decorations, telling customers that the shop “is now Muslim”.
In Britain, David Isaac, the new head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), told employers that they should not suppress Christian tradition out of fear of offending anyone. Previously, Dame Louise Casey, the British government’s integration “tsar”, warned that “traditions such as Christmas celebrations will die out unless people stand up for British values”.
In many Spanish towns, such as Cenicientos, the municipality of this Autonomous Community of Madrid removed the Christian Stations of the Cross. Then, Madrid’s mayor, Manuela Carmena, decided to remove the city’s traditional Nativity display at the Puerta de Alcalá.
Muslims are also reclaiming “the mosque of Cordoba“. Authorities in the southern Spanish city recently dealt a blow to the claim of ownership of the cathedral by the Catholic Church. Built on the site of Saint Vincent’s church, it then served as a mosque for over 400 years when Islamic Spain was part of a caliphate, before the Christian kingdom of Castile conquered the city and converted it again into a church. Now Islamists want it back.
|Muslims are also reclaiming “the mosque of Cordoba”. Authorities in the southern Spanish city recently dealt a blow to the claim of ownership of the cathedral by the Catholic Church. Built on the site of Saint Vincent’s church, it then served as a mosque for over 400 years when Islamic Spain was part of a caliphate, before the Christian kingdom of Castile conquered the city and converted it again into a church. (Image source: James (Jim) Gordon/Wikimedia Commons)|
Belgium, the most Islamized democracy in Europe, is also purging its Christian heritage. The Nativity, the traditional manger scene, has not been put up in the Belgian town of Holsbeek, just outside Brussels. Claims were scenes it was scrapped to “avoid offending Muslims”.
As reported by the newspaper La Libre, school calendars within Belgium’s French speaking community are also using a new secularized terminology: All Saints Day (Congés de Toussaint) is now be referred to as Autumn Leave (Congé d’automne); Christmas Vacation (Vacances de Noël) is now Winter Vacation (Vacances d’hiver); Lenten Vacation (Congés de Carnaval) is now Rest and Relaxation Leave (Congé de détente); and Easter (Vacances de Pâques) is now Spring Vacation (Vacances de Printemps). Then Belgium installed an abstract, de-Christianized Christmas tree in the capital, Brussels.
The final result of Europe’s self-destructive secularism could seriously be a Caliphate, in which the fate of its ancient and beautiful churches recapitulates those in Constantinople, where the Hagia Sophia, for thousand years Christianity’s greatest cathedral, was recently turned into a mosque. The muezzin’s call now reverberates inside this Christian landmark for the first time in 85 years.
Islamic terrorists targeted Christmas in Berlin, but it is the Christian secularists who are abolishing it all over Europe.
Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.
A Sa’ar 4.5-class Corvette of the Israeli Navy fires its canons during a naval exercise off the coast of Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry on Sunday announced a series of deals for the purchase of combat systems from local defense industries in the amount of $420 million by the end of this year. This is part of a project to acquire warships whose mission would to protect natural gas platforms within Israel’s “economic waters” in the Mediterranean against military threats.
An Israeli soldier training in Krav Maga.
Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando on Thursday adopted a resolution titled “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution calls on members to “avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in settlements in occupied territories.” It also establishes a process for the church to review its investments “for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.”
Rabbi Steven Wernick says Netanyahu recruited progressive Jews to find a compromise for the holy site; now that the PM has reneged, world Jewry won’t be silent
The fight for pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall is a battle already won by Jewry’s Conservative movement. For some 20 years, Conservative Jews have inhabited a spiritual home at Jerusalem’s contentious holy site, which they won through a series of Supreme Court cases — in a section allocated to the Davidson Archaeological
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Photo credit: hebron.com)
In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
During last month’s 2017 Chicago Dyke March, the true face of “inclusion” among “progressives” finally surfaced. According to the Chicago based newspaper Windy City Times, the march proceeded calmly with people “of all races, genders and gender identities” attending, until “the Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).”
Something is terribly broken in the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. I say this as an American Jew who has lived in Israel for almost half a century. But if anyone thinks this started with Women of the Wall or PM Netanyahu’s recent – and I believe unfortunate – backtracking on the agreement over egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, he is suffering from selective memory, if not total denial.
gentleman from times gone by. He was soft-spoken, courtly, and wore his pants hoisted high and held up by suspenders; clearly, a European who had personally endured horrors in the last century.
Indeed, he had personally survived the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, I could not immediately understand why he now attends a very left-wing synagogue—but, totally incomprehensible, was his unexpected and rather passionate defense of Poland and of the Poles. He argued on their behalf as if his very life still depended upon it.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords’ signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.
Matthew Healy at the Atlantic, one of the few remaining liberal anti-censorship magazines, offers a disingenuous counterpoint to the debate over political correctness.
The attempts to silence dissenting points of view are counter-speech, according to Healy. And counter-speech is an important form of free expression.