Secularism isn’t pro-Islam

Crommunist is on vacation this week, so blogging will be spotty. I’m going to make sure there’s at least SOMETHING up every day, but they’ll be short. Things should be back to normal by April.

An argument that is commonly leveled against pro-secular activists is that Christianity is the only thing preventing the Western world from being overrun by Islamists. The reasoning (if you can call it that) is that when secularism knocks Christianity out of its privileged position, there will be nothing to stem the creeping tide of Islam from overrunning Western civilization. It belies a worldview that places Islam and Christianity as dueling forces, battling for world domination. In the dichotomous view of good and evil, Christianity is the reason why western civilization exists, while Islam is threatening to tear down our freedoms and impose and international caliphate.

Egypt is showing us that this is not true:

The founding committee of the first Coptic secular party in Egypt, dubbed The Free National Coalition Party and presided over by a Muslim legal expert, is to convene its initial meeting in Alexandria on Saturday to discuss recently proposed constitutional amendments The committee will also discuss the latest sectarian violence against Copts in the wake of a church burning in the village of Sol, located in Helwan, south of Cairo. The attendees will also hash over the bloody clashes between Muslims and Christians in the Moqattam area where at least 13 people were killed and scores injured in recent days.

Secularism is equally intolerant of all forms of religious domination. In Egypt, a country dominated by Islamic traditions, secular forces are aligning to protect the Copts from systematic discrimination. Secularism is inherently friendly to minority groups, since those groups are almost invariably made minorities through systematic discrimination. At the moment in Western countries, Muslims are minorities whose rights are consistently infringed upon by an unfriendly majority. Secularists defend Muslims because of this fact, not because secularism is inherently anti-Christian or pro-Muslim.

To make the claim that secularists are contributing to an eventual Muslim takeover is to set up a dichotomy between Christianity on one side and Islam on the other. This view completely obscures the fact that both Christianity and Islam are worldviews that are fundamentally opposed to individual freedom and the dignity of human persons. The fact that contemporary Western secularists are defending Muslims at the (seeming) expense of Christians has more to do with how Christians treat Muslims than any sympathy that they (we) might have for Islam.

Besides, if we’re strong enough to overthrow centuries of Christian domination, we can definitely handle an influx of Islam. We’re dealing with single-digit percentages here. Let’s try to keep some sense of perspective.

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