Can someone tell me how these eastern European countries keep getting away with infringing on the civil rights of Muslims? Not only that, but doing so while trampling on one of Islam's signs of modesty.* How are these countries Catholic enough to hate Muslims even though (soon enough) they won't be Catholic enough to believe in God?
As a general norm I refrain from cussing on the internet and almost totally on this blog, but, Lord help me, it's ox-crap like this that makes me want to abandon my strange notions about civility and politeness. Especially troubling is the fact that the proposal goes into Parliament after Easter Break. So after celebrating the Death and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, some of these politicians are about to set out and make sure the world can see just how Christian they are, to legislate against the rights of Muslims--who could be powerful cultural and moral allies in our defense of Natural Law--in order, apparently, to appease public opinion.
Of course, it's the New York Times, so it's quite possible that they're exaggerating something. Still. I'm not happy about this, and I don't think Christians should be either, frankly. Even if you're tempted to celebrate the implicit repression of Muslims, remember the things we hold in common: we both, at the most fundamental level, acknowledge that there is something besides public opinion and a feeling of public 'security' to be served in the world. Something transcendent. If in a few years Belgium and France turn on the Catholics, and start making arguments against nuns' habits and public carrying of Rosaries...If in a few years they tell us Christians can't carry big Bibles, because they might be able to fit tiny bombs inside of them...Don't forget that you were warned.
* Yes, yes, I know. The burqa may also be a sign of oppression and women kept down on a pedestal. I'm saying it's a sign of modesty, not that it's a perfect sign of modesty or that it's never been abused. Christian signs of modesty can be abused, too, but I'm trying to point out that a desire for such is something we hold in common with the Muslims, not something we should join Europe in attacking them for. I also don't mean to deny that there might be some security threats here, but that's where vigilance comes in. Banning a particular outfit because it makes identification harder is a lazy and prejudiced way to increase security. If they were willing to ban old-school nuns' habits and ninja garb as well, it might show that security was the real concern. No doubt some Muslims have carried out attacks in Eastern Europe. That is not an excuse to effectively ban faithfully Muslim women from public service--at least, those who feel that the burqa is part of their faithfulness. Those women, the ones caught in this cultural crossfire--. Vigilance is an answer; banning the burqa is a slippery slope, and Europe should tread very very carefully if it insists on treading even an inch down it.