Friday, November 10, 2006

Jean Duchesne Speaks Against Steynian Panicmongering

Jean Duchesne, French theologian and religious thinker, recently lectured at the Archdiocese of Denver. An advisor to cardinals and a significant force behind the theological journal Communio, his opinions are most worthy of consideration. Duchesne's lecture(now available in .MP3) is supposed to be posted soon on the ArchDen website, so I will discuss more about his excellent and lively speech later.

In the Q & A period, one audience member asked about the future of a Muslim-controlled France. Obviously, she was a reader of Mark Steyn whose prognostications of demographic implosion enjoy popularity in conservative circles.

Monsieur Duchesne replied:

Let us be serious. One of the greatest disservices we can do to ourselves is to overestimate Islam in every respect. Currently, since Marxism was easier to define, it was easier to know. Approximately eight percent of the European population is of Muslim origin. If you go by the same standards, eighty percent now are Christians. So there is a great variety within the muslim world. And so please, don't forget one thing: What does Islam mean? Islam means war!

If two Muslims get together, you can call the ambulance. In Iraq, anywhere, there is no unity. So the idea, you cannot, it is wrong, it is simply to panic, to consider that Islam is the global[?] unity with Osama Bin Laden sitting as chairman of their political bureau.. No, absolutely not. But still a number of Muslims are being integrated, and that is not always good news. They're just simply secularizing.

On the other hand, on many issues, we Catholics find ourselves hard to acknowledge we find ourselves saying the same things as the Imams concerning [jobs?] abortions, euthanasia, and other things. So there are things, not everything and anything, that are progressing. And if simply becoming an observant Muslim can save a young man from the French suburbs from yielding to the temptations of violence, drugs or pornography or both, where is the problem?

Once more, there is no such thing as organized Islam coming to take power in Europe. What many see, of course, is demographics. Well, you know, it will take time before eight percent of the population becomes forty percent.

And then, again, to cite another number out there, Islam, in the majority if we look at the current trends, will, fortunately or unfortunately I don't know, have been integrated with the secularized, which is not necessarily a good thing.

Though his accent and the quality of the recording prevented me from recording the rest of the answer verbatim, its gist was that Islamic countries usually require police states simply to avoid anarchy, and that police state, not Sharia, would be the threat of a large, activist, strife-ridden Islamic population in Europe.

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