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Feckless Secularism

italicsBy Daniela Gross

“Nearly a quarter of century ago, Yale’s Harold Bloom famously described America as a ‘dangerously religion-soaked, even religion-mad, society.’ When Europeans gaze upon America’s shores, this is pretty much what they see. […]. At a moment when Europol is reporting that Islamic State is planning more Paris-style terror attacks, that’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate because America’s overt religiosity blinds Europe’s elites to the one part of the American experiment most relevant to their needs today: America’s secularism.”

It is the incipit of a long article by William McGurn in the Wall Street Journal, which tackled the rising of Islamic extremism all over the world. Titled “Europe’s Feckless Secularism”, the op-ed highlighted how the European way to secularism has failed. In Europe, reads the article, “the idea is that when you boot religion off the public square, you remove from public life the religious friction that in centuries past fueled devastating conflicts.”

“That’s the theory. The reality is that in many European cities today, a Jew cannot walk the streets in safety. Just this month in Marseille, a man invoked Islamic State as he tried to decapitate a Jewish schoolteacher. The attack led to suggestions that the targets of such attacks—French Jews—would be better off not wearing yarmulkes in public. Many Jews have already given their answer: In 2015 a record number left Europe for Israel. Most were French.”

In other words, states McGurn , “[…] not only is Euro-secularism failing to persuade Europe’s growing Muslim minority of its merits; increasingly it cannot protect its own citizens.” Maybe it is time for Europeans to confront the religiosity of the Americans.