Tom Hundley's front-page article "A crucible for secularism" appears, at the least, to be incorrectly titled (June 19). It promises a story on French secularism but it turns out to be a commentary on the decline of the practice of Christianity, mostly the Catholic faith, and the fear of the rise of Islam. I have read many Islamophobic pronouncements. George Weigel takes the cake in worrying about "a Europe in which the muezzin summons the faithful to prayer from the central loggia of St. Peter's in Rome, while Notre Dame has been transformed into Hagia Sophia on the Seine--a great Christian church become an Islamic museum." Bernard Lewis, who coined the term "clash of civilizations", is entirely predictable and true to character in his hyperbolic pronouncement that Europe will be Islamic by the end of this century "at the very latest."
Even the picture selected by the Tribune is incongruent with the article; it is not that of a mostly empty church but of Muslims praying on the sidewalk, most likely because of the inadequate space available to them in the limited number of mosques in France .
The entire piece, not just the picture of Muslims praying, is an example of "trompe l'oeil."
The International Strategy and Policy Institute
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