Jan. 10th, 2015

anglomedved: (Default)

Murder is murder and there is no excuse.

That being said:

-          I am very far from sure that the freedom to drag other people’s religious beliefs through the dirt, especially those of a sizeable minority community, which was one of Charlie-Hebdo's marks-in-trade, is a mark of real civilization in any country. Of freedom perhaps, but of civilization no. There is, I suspect, in certain quarters, a dangerous tendency to equate the two.

-          The causes of immigration are many, but a declining birth rate is a key one. A society (or a part of it) whose values put careers higher than having children will need to import outsiders to keep going. Outsiders entering in this situation enter in a position of strength: to expect them to lap up the values of the host society, and especially the a-religious, consumerist mindset of its elites, is illusory.

Identity as membership of a group is important, especially for those lower down the social ladder. Nationality and religion (or the two fused) remain, whether those higher up the scale like it or not, two very important identity-givers (other than which football club you support) for much of the population. For those of the majority nationality lower down the scale, the local nationalist party (Front National / Ukip etc.) can provide it. For those lower down the scale and not of the majority nationality, religious identity, or the national identity of its parents (as in the case of most of the ‘Frenchmen’ fighting in Syria) are all that remains. Try to suppress its expression, and you are sitting on a powderkeg.


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