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Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Is this the cultural clash?

By Poul Højlund, February 16, 2006.

Well, if not, then what?

Of course it creates trouble when you try to mix people of different belief, language, tradition and educational level. Good will on its own simply isn’t sufficient, and when good will partly is absent, it’s doomed to fail.

However, we actually made it a success. Despite all problems it seems that Denmark today has a vast majority of well integrated people of Moslem origin, and that in parallel the vast majority have absolutely no problem with working or living next to each other, Moslem or Lutheran or nothing at all.

So what is the problem? Who called for the cultural clash?

In the cartoon war it has become clear that the influence of old fashioned, medieval Islam from the Arab countries is the problem. Imams from Denmark travelled back to the sources of Islam and found them. They made the conflict, not the Moslems in Denmark.

So what is my point? That traditional Islam as preached in the Arab countries cannot function in a democratic country. Traditional Islam is the opposite of a modern western democracy as it claims to be the complete system, not only a religion.

Moslems living in democratic western countries have taken their time to face this fact. Of course they have; the cultural clash is in their heart and head, and they face difficulties no matter what their choice is.

Islam needs a reformation like the one Luther and Calvin threw upon the then Catholic church. That fact is indisputable. Whether it is going to be the same bloody story once again, I don’t know, but giving in to Islamist's claims for control in Europe will not help that much wanted reformation.


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