måndag 8 augusti 2011

Otøya - a double evil

The evil of the Norwegian bombing and shootings lies not just in the events themselves, but in their consequence, which will be to stifle public debate.

There are real decisions about the future of Europe that need to be openly discussed. From the end of the Roman period until the Reformation - a period of around 1100 years, Western Europe was Catholic-Christian. For the past 450 years it has been split between Catholic and Protestant Christian. That transition was not a smooth one - the period from 1550 to 1650 was marked by almost continuous war and insurrection. Post-Reformation, the character of those countries that had gone over to Protestantism was very different. Indeed, there were differences according to which strand of Protestantism had become dominant.

Christianity has been on the decline in Western Europe for the past 50 years. If Islam became the religion most practised in Western Europe, that would transform the societies in those countries where it happened.

Are we comfortable with this possibility?

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