Saturday, February 11, 2006

French rags attacked

It seems that the French Council of Muslim Faith is to launch a lawsuit against the tranche of French papers that have printedthe cartoons. On what groundsthey are not too sure given France's legal approach to religion.
This should be fun.
(How is itthat old Europe has had more balls on this issue than old Europe? - I don't get it)


eulogist said...

Do you mean old Europe has more balls on this issue than new Europe? Because in that case I think the distinction is between states that are ruled by religious bigots currently (like Poland), and states that aren't (like Denmark). I guess the former group's silence stems from a desire to have the same exceptions for themselves as are now demanded by the muslims.

Elaib said...

Fair poin, that could well be the case. Though the amount of state interference in the press in many of the 'old Europe' coountries still leaves me suprised by what has been going on.
Your suggestion doesn't explain the pusillamity of the UK press for example.


eulogist said...

True, but perhaps that is très anglo-saxon cultural relativism? This also seems to be the line among American "liberals" (in the US definition of the word).

Old Europe, especially France and the other countries south of the Dutch border, had to fight off the influence of both politicised institutional religion (i.e. the catholic church) and the monarchy in state affairs at the same moment in history. Hence républicanisme and a somewhat aggressive laïcité being two sides of the democratic coin in most of southern Europe.

Northern Europe, including the UK, fought off the catholic church during the Reformation and tends to be more relaxed about mixing religion with politics, because it is part of a Protestant tradition which sees religion less as a state-threatening institution than as the realm of the individual conscience.

Which means most of Central and Eastern Europe *should* fit in the French tradition but doesn't for the most part. Hm... I suppose the bigoted backlash we are seeing in places like Poland right now is the reaction to years of anti-religious oppression by the communists. Talk of counter-productive policies...