Saturday, September 19, 2015

Thought Control in French Schools

From Fr. Rutler at Crisis:
The current Minister of Education, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, is a member of the Socialist Party, and a Moroccan-born “non-practicing Muslim.”  Before she backed off for the time being, her predecessor, Luc Ferry, with a typical Gallic disinclination for understatement, or “euphémisme,” called her proposals “scandalous, empty-headed, noxious, and partisan.”  Two steps forward, one step back.  In 1945, there were 100,000 Muslims in France. There now are nearly seven million. With increasing Muslim immigration and a current Muslim population now approaching 10 percent, possessing a birthrate three to four times that of the rest of the nation, 40 percent of the population could be Islamic within fifteen years. One should expect tension in classrooms where common warnings about the social destructiveness of Islam are found in Bossuet, Chateaubriand, Condorcet, Flaubert, Montaigne, Montesquieu and de Tocqueville. Thus, they are in the cross hairs of the national education establishment.

Voltaire was more wary of Islam than Christianity: “Nothing is more terrible than a people who having nothing to lose, fight with a combination of rapacity and religion.”  In religious matters a utilitarian, Napoleon idiosyncratically perceived Islam as a threat only to those who threatened him and declared under the Egyptian sun, if only for propaganda, that Mohammed was “a great man.” He objected to Voltaire having attributed to Mohammed,  “whatever trickery can invent that is most atrocious and whatever fanaticism can accomplish that is most horrifying.” In 2005, Voltaire’s play “Mahomet” was revived in Saint-Genis-Pouilly, inciting “street disturbances,” to which the much put upon mayor refused to yield “in the name of France.”  For the poet Vigny, the crescent moon was a suitable symbol of Islam, for it was “trompeuse et sans chaleur”—derivative and without heat. (Read more.)

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