Really? Is there? I didn’t know this was actually happening here in Czech. According to an article, Czech Muslims complaining about Islamophobia, from the Czech News Agency some would say it does exist. If you have, the time to read the whole article you will see that there is much debate about this and many disagree if it is or isn’t present. However, I have noticed more veiled women in the city than ever before, going back to my first summers spent here in ’02 and ’03 or to my 18 months in ’04 and ’05. It has been interesting to see. Immigration numbers are up, and that means other cultures and religions will be brought into the larger Czech context. Some Czechs are very skeptical about immigration and “outsiders” coming in (which is easy to understand from a historical point because this went for centuries here and it hardly ever produced positive results) and what that will do to their country. See one of the things that communism prevented here in Czech was immigration. Because of this, immigration, for the most part, is a fairly new thing here. Although there are periods of the history of the Czech lands, especially Prague, where the city was much more multi-cultural than even now (relatively speaking of course). This changing fairly quickly now and it has been interesting to see what has transpired. I don’t know what to think about this presumed Islamophobia, that may or may not be here. Here are a few quotes that I thought I would share with you, that really made me think:
“The situation of the growing hatred and xenophobia has escalated to such an extent that it is necessary to launch a national debate on the phenomenon,” Lukas Lhotjan from Libertas Independent Agency says.
According to these polls, 60 percent of Czechs are afraid of danger coming from Muslims and almost half of Czechs are afraid of a direct terrorist attack.
Three-quarters of Czechs do not want to allow Muslims to build mosques in the Czech Republic although they have no negative experience with them. The reason is a mere prejudice that “is being fueled by the media,” the report says.
Judging from what is said in those quotes you can see why some are raising concern. Concern should be raised, but this is a very, very, dangerous discussion. On one hand you can see why there is concern because there are radicals, but on the other hand there are people who just want a better life than what they had so they immigrate to Europe to find that. Now there very well could be a fine line between to the two parties, or a very blurry line. This has been wrote about and spoke about much (click here for another post) and I even have 3 books on my shelf about it that I haven’t got to yet. It could be very scary in the years ahead, in that vein I read this:
If you ever wanted to see Paris or Rome before you die, but haven’t had a chance to do so, you might want to hurry. Soon enough, most of what we now think of as Western Europe will be transformed into a branch of the Muslim world, which is sure to make it an even less welcoming place for Americans, Israelis and for Jews. (read whole article)
That is concerning and you can see how these fears lead to things, ideas and actions throughout Europe. I think we must be mindful of this, but also we must see this as an opportunity! That is how I want to look at it. The Middle East is coming, and has come, to Europe. We can either foster harsh feelings towards them, or see this an opportunity to love and see Jesus do something much larger than we could imagine. Last fall, we had Josh McDowell come and spend an afternoon with our staff here, and in respects to the low European birthrates, the high birth rates amongst Muslim immigrants, and the growing secularism of Europe, he said the only thing for us to do, is do what we are doing – loving Christ and loving people. In the face of all this I will choose to love Christ and love people, and leave the rest up to Him to take care all of the details….