Fear and Loathing in Switzerland
(Note: Reposting orignal post from my earlier blog, relevant again in context of possible ban on Niqab by Dutch Govt.)
So what exactly is my problem with Swiss minaret ban? Now all crypto Hindu fascists are more or less gloating over the ban and I think that’s wrong. Before I state my problem though I think it should not be controversial to admit that this ban is motivated by an apprehension of Islam. This is not to accuse Swiss people of Islamophobia.
Islamophobia is a term frequently deployed by our Sec-Lib overlords to browbeat anyone critical of Islam, which is ridiculous as strictly speaking phobia is irrational fear of something, whereas there are at the least more than a few reasons for Swiss (or for that matter anyone, including Muslims) to be wary of Islam. The only purpose for terming any criticism of Islam as Islamophobia is to frame the criticism as a psychological affliction and therefore not worthy of reasoned response. This is a typical example of the how Sec-Lib establishment frames the narrative.
So apprehension of Islam is not my problem. My problem rather is this ban is just a reflexive response which doesn’t actually do anything to address the concern. Present situation in Europe has arisen because of their asinine immigration policy. Almost all European countries have a minority population which is ethnically distinct, socially depressed and culturally disconnected from the rest of population. These differences, hard to reconcile over in any case, turn to impossible hurdles in case of Europe due to two factors. One, specific to Europe nation states, is the gradual erosion of common culture first as a result of secularism and later socialism. In absence of any foundation, European nations are losing their relevance as political or social unit, only surviving owing to the fact that they are mostly mono ethnic, and Pax Americana. However this state of inertia is challenged by the second factor which is supremacist nature of Islam.
These two factors combined are the origins behind tensions in Europe, and to address the European problem these factors must be addressed boldly. The ban on Minarets in no way addresses these factors. In fact, it makes the situation worse because it deludes Europeans into believing that they are confronting the problem as the situation becomes increasingly precarious.
Debates and controversy on Niqab (Face Veil), or Minarets are just proxies for the more fundamental concern about idea of Europe. It is better than European debates on real terms rather than through proxies.