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Clear lines to be drawn

Reader comment on item: Why Shariah Must Be Opposed

Submitted by Geert ter Horst (Netherlands), Aug 5, 2009 at 12:52

The distinction drawn in this article is I think the clear line that should be drawn in Western Society for us all. Within the limits of the law each person and each group should be enabled to follow its own religious teachings, without forcing them on others. Religious (or secular) groups may of course make advocate their views and may try to win over people by their ideas, but they may not missionize in the bad sense of imposing their observances on others.

This line of thought is in the best interests of Judaism and other religions and it should be brought to the attention of politicians in the UK and on the continent. The behaviour described in the examples is unacceptable and must be curtailed in a determinate manner. The inherent danger in it, as I see it, is not in the first place that our society in the future will become governed by Islamic law — something which I don't think will easily happen — but that it may evoke a reaction from the anti-religious part of the secular spectrum that is eager to prohibit all visible manifestations of religious observance in society, and that aims at relegating religion to the private domain of one's home. This would greatly endanger traditional Jewish observance (such as tzitzit, kippah and so on), and it even could make religious Jewish life impossible.

Secularism can be as easy an hiding place for antisemitism as politically inspired Islamism. The article drew the red line exactly in the middle, where it belongs. Freedom, which is seldom won cheaply, should not be cheaply sold.

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