God is political. This is the lesson that I draw from this new controversy that is agitating the University of Geneva. Muslim students pray in the corridors on their portable carpets, taking care to separate men and women, and demand a meditation room. How touching is their piety.
I wouldn’t go about it any other way if I wanted to display a political fight. The demonstration in the corridors: efficiency, high visibility, almost certainty of obtaining media coverage (in which I participate with the awareness that it serves these students, since they will be able to play the victim by calling me an Islamophobe).
After the woke militants who chased away, a few days ago, two lecturers who violate trans ideology, here are the ostensible religious who want to transform the alma mater into a place of worship, unable to resist the imperative need to kneel between classes to adore the Most High. To others. Above all, they want to display their identity, a new phenomenon in vogue, and impose their dogma.
Identities and chapels are of the order of the intimate
Then comes what they have been looking for: the press and politicians seize on the thorny question, from a legal, political and societal angle. The new Geneva law on secularism does not allow the exercise of worship in places of the State, recall the laicards; the State is neutral and must guarantee everyone’s freedom, say the leftists, favorable to the opening of an interreligious room if it can flatter part of their clientele. Incidentally, and assuming that happens, I would give my soul to the devil if Muslim students are satisfied with an ecumenical space that mixes creeds and genders. The debate would then focus on the establishment of time slots for the different communities and obediences. Fortunately, even ultra cathos no longer remember the hour of vespers, the university will save itself a quarrel. For now, I think it’s strong enough to face this one without bending.
But we will have to get used to the idea that we have entered a period where obscurantism competes with the Enlightenment. At the risk of sounding grandiloquent, the university is the place of knowledge, questioning, critical thinking and reason, which have nothing to do with identities and chapels. These last are intimate, and the vast majority of believers, all faiths combined, will agree with me. Wanting to impose them in the state and public space is a political act that requires a political response.
Tolerance, the foundation of the values of our social order, is prodigious and tragic in that it can only be deployed if its adversaries accept it as an axiom. This time is over, since all these identity movements demand without conditions, in defiance of the freedom of others. The consequence of this is the choice, for our social model, between two failures: to bend before communitarianisms in the name of tolerance and thus fragment society, or to fight them by scuttling the patiently built enterprise of tolerance. Voltaire, we miss you.
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Help, God is squatting the halls of the university
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