Ci sono persone così povere che l'unica cosa che hanno sono i soldi.

Santa Madre Teresa di Calcutta

mercoledì 23 settembre 2015

Christianity and Islam: for a pacific cohabitation in the Europe of tomorrow

The emotional recoil, that we are daily subjected to, in front of the pictures of the refugees looking for safety inside our dear, old Europe (that in this historical period introduce itself to the world as the EU with 28 states) leaves us astonished and without words. A lot of thoughts occur to us instead, and we inquire ourselves about how and why all of that could have happened and, above all, what can happen tomorrow. 

Something we often take into consideration concerns the religious faith of the people crossing the boundaries of our continent in this days. Is fair to suppose that the religion of the majority of refugees is Islam. What the Muslim world didn't succeeded in doing with the armies in the XVI century (we all remember the famous battle of Lepanto that put an end to the Ottoman reign in Europe) might achieve in a different way today. We are not trying to say that there is an Islamic "strategy" to invade Europe with million of refugees and then, once they are set up and stabilized, they try to Islamize the all continent. However, due to the actual situation and some other scenarios we are later talking about, not to faraway in the time some cohabitation issues between the two world, ours and their, could occur. 

Let's begin by saying that the actual situation comes from the wrong choices of the European countries. The origin of the conflict that today are causing a multitude of exiles and refugees, wandering through the Mediterranean and around half Europe, depends from the centennial hegemonic policies of the West in Asia and Africa. On this matter we could discuss for days, but is not the point now. Let's just highlight the fact that the last act of this hegemonic presumption of the West, which has been named, tragically ironic for the outcome, as "Arab spring", which presumed to bring democracy to people and nation, governed by brutal tyrants and dictators, has produced death and destructions thousands of times superior; the same has opened the way to the most radical and warlike Islam. (As the self-proclaimed Islamic state, born from the lack of power, demonstrates.) 

However, the actual situation, beyond its origin, has to be dealt with. Is possible to think that the resolution of the conflicts now in act and a normalization of the politic and civil life of the countries from which today we are escaping, will need years, decades. In the meantime, the people that are now coming to live in Europe will be settled and more or less integrated in our environment. The need of integration that should logically be more perceived by the old inhabitant, that are the actual European citizens, assumes that meeting points will be built where the newcomers, adding themselves to the Muslim already in Europe, can be received and start a new life respecting the founding principles of our culture and of our idea of living together in peace. We have to teach to the newcomers that Europe is a place that welcomes the victims of wars and persecutions. There is place for everybody, provided that they want to live in peace, honestly working and respecting the ideas and the beliefs of all. 

Is not longer possible to ignore this problem, and not to solve it. In the European metropolitan cities mosques has been built of different dimension, to permit to the newcomers to practice their rituals. Is, indeed, the religious liberty the first that must be promised to the people as the fundamental of the human being and as the one form which can start a dialogue between men of different faith, but with the same tension of the religious sense. It is necessary that even in Italy, left behind on solving this problem, people would start to reflect and act. The example of Milan, in this case, is significant. The municipality has decided to permit to the exponents of other religious the construction of places of worship, and the Islamic associations have won two of the three areas the administration had made available. At this point we occur in a problem. Which Islam are we dealing with? Islam hasn't got a figure that, as the Pope for Catholicism, represents all the devotees of Mahomet. Historically, different types of Islam have developed, which gave birth to different interpretations of the holy tests and consequently different ways of living and follow the Islamic faith. 

It is not a factor of secondary importance because, depending on the Muslim communities towards which the dialogue will open, the more radical or the more moderate Islam will rise its voice. It is certainly not the case to risk that the first type would prevail, if anything, we must starts a relationship even stronger with the second type to make possible that our society will remain the place of peace development and of cultural and religious growth to every citizens. So, the answer we will give to the religious matter for the millions of Muslims that will leave on our territories in the next years is contributing to keep a spirit of peace and politic and civil stability in Europe, that will permit at the same time an economic and social progress for everybody. But only if the moderate and responsible Islam will develop and the violent one will be ostracized. If not, the risk for the European nations, that today are opening their boundaries to the refugees, will be the possibility of having raised enemies that, once they are integrated inside the countries, using the democratic rules of the hosting nation and after they have acquired the politic, civil and religious rights, they would attempt the enforced islamization of the country. 

The danger exists, also because the secularization has produced in Europe the abandonment of the religious practice by millions of people that do no longer perceive Christianity as a datum point in their lives. The existential nihilism permeate millions of Europeans and a religious way, as the one expressed by the radical Islam, could definitely enter in the existential emptiness of our days and result attractive above all by the European youth. 

Depending on how we will be able to organize this epochal challenges, the future of our continent and our sons will be determinate. 

Translation of Michela Quaglia 

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