Although the Western societies are commonly perceived as secular, they exhibit a need of spirituality. Some may say that religion is a private matter, but when a religious fundamentalist commits a crime religion comes out as a destructive power to European
The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) decided to seize the Cathedral, asking the city government to allocate it to the ownership of the church. It should be noted that the ROC has a rather dubious attitude to religion as such. These days it is mostly a tool used by religious leaders to make money.
People turn away from discussions concerning Europe. Islam on the contrary, represents a red fiery zone for European publics, provokes controversies and scandals, mobilizes collective passions, and gives voice and visibility to those who enter in that zone.
Europe has chosen to define itself as an open society. This allows for individual freedom. But it also gives enemies the opportunity to destroy open spaces, guaranteed by the state, intentionally and with the aim of causing maximum harm. However, it is not only terrorists who are putting the European model at risk.
The information biases lead to creating a picture of Muslim migrants as homogeneous crowd of Islamists. Even if experts recognize that not all migrants are extremists, it is often emphasised that terrorists fighting in favour of the Islamic State might be among them.
Yes, I am a liberal, and despite the fact that many Poles consider this word a slap in the face, I don't feel ashamed by making this statement (let's treat it as a sort of political “coming out”). Why am I writing about it now? Well, because after the campaign “Secular School” has been launched, I got bored with constantly explaining the differences between a liberal and a leftwinger.
Liberté! has recently launched a campaign to create a civic legislative initiative that aims at putting an end to financing religion lessons from state budget. The project has reached the leading media in Poland and has stirred up public opinion in a manner that Poles have not seen for a long time.
There are two processes going on in the Polish reality, which at a first glance may seem to exclude one another. On the one hand, there is a mass decrease in the number of church-going believers (circa 2-4 millions in the last few years), and on the other, there is the phenomenon of overtaking the “moral” discourse in Poland by extreme groups related to Church.
Reducing the problem of hate speech to nothing more than a conflict built around the issue of freedom of speech can be nowadays considered a somewhat archaic approach.
We have all been harassed by petty government officials in daily life – the taxi driver who is harassed by a policeman, the small trader who is harassed by a tax inspector, the small town baker who is harassed by the environmental officer – these are often small issues which take place in ordinary small Polish cities