Secular Humanism caused riots in France?

This entry might be a bit off the usual topic but the article I’m commenting on caught my eye.

In recent weeks, France has been the scene of some serious riots in towns and suburbs populated by poor North and West African families. The riots started after two youths were electrocuted while hiding from police in a power sub-station. Even some Mosques were damaged or set on fire. French officials and conservatives here in the US were quick to blame Muslims for the violence.

An article published on the conservative website Frontpagemag.com by Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu blamed a lack of immigrant assimilation and secular humanism for the violence.

In France: The Cost of Multiculturalism, Cucullu writes:

Columnist Mark Steyn, in a November 3 interview with talk show host Hugh Hewitt, discussed the current alarming situation in France – the Muslim riots that subsequently spread to Denmark and Belgium. These are the opening shots, Steyn says, in the start of a “Eurabian civil war.” The root cause of Muslim disaffection is non-assimilation. This happened for two reasons: Islamic fundamentalist immigrants chose not to assimilate and conscious government policy instituted by their host nations encouraged their separatism. Decades of multicultural secular humanism have excised Judeo-Christian core values from Old Europe, and a lethal element of separatist Islamofascism filled the void. This is a harsh, parasitic movement that intends to destroy its host. Indeed, in some cases the hosts have actually enacted rules to prevent such assimilation and to recognize the immigrant culture as equal to or preferable to the host.

Of course I have a problem with the writer’s conclusions.

First is the assumption that a lack of assimilation was because the immigrants chose not to do it. Assimilation is slowly absorbing the characteristics of the dominant culture – which infers giving up one’s own cultural characteristics. Cucullu is clear that he means that those immigrants in France need to adopt “Judeo-Christian core values” and if they had the riots wouldn’t have happened.

France and many countries in Europe have issues with immigrants. Most are from current or former colonies. The new citizens have learned the language and made efforts to be part of their adopted countries, but due to old colonial classism, the hosts really don’t want them and this causes them to be segregated. These new people are not treated as equal. They may have the same rights by law, but like we saw in the US South for 100 years after the slaves were freed, they aren’t treated as equal.

Second, the assumption is that multicultural secular humanism excised “Judeo-Christian core values from Old Europe” and a “separatist Islamofascism filled the void.”

Saying “multicultural secular humanism” is redundant. Secular Humanism is a belief system that is multicultural (can cross cultural lines). However Cucullu makes the usual conservative mistake by hyping secular humanism into some demonic cabal intent on eating “our children” and destroying the fabric of “our world”. Secular Humanism is not an organized group. Trust me I know because I am one of them and organized is not a word I would use to describe us – at least on the scale Cucullu needs to support the idea that we are excising “Judeo-Christian core values” from Old Europe.

The difference in core values of the host country and immigrants had nothing to do with why groups rioted in France. Unemployment, racism, and discontent were the main reasons for the riot. Secular Humanism has nothing to do with the lack of religiosity of Europe and “Judeo-Christian core values” have no bearing on the “good” or “bad” of a culture. In fact it is a result of state support for religion through special acknowledgement in laws and support with direct tax funding that has led to people moving away from traditional organized religion in Europe. Many just don’t feel the state should tell them how to worship or force them to pay for religions they don’t care to support.

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Founder, editor and host of Secular Left - please be gentle