case; that many people may be “Muslims” in a sense which has little to do with piety and religious obligation; that many of the customs which repel us in certain Muslim societies, like female circumcision or honour killings, have If the path to more rewarding work and education is blocked, a sense of alienation and hostility to the receiving society can grow 98
no sanction in the religious tradition. Above all no allowance is made for the fact that this tradition is very various and contested. But this global fear of “Islam” is not only mistaken in fact, it is supremely damaging as policy. Granted that we want to avoid and even outlaw certain practices, such as the two I have just mentioned; that we want to inculcate certain values, such as those of male-female equality, it would seem to be much wiser to make allies of all those who can be brought to agree, rather than alienating whole communities by stigmatizing them as the source of a hideous cultural-moral danger. To talk in a register of the high threat of “Islam” and a threatened “Islamization” is not only to invent non-existent dangers, but also to drive a rift between religions and cultures, which cannot but be damaging to a modern democracy. And when one adds to this that a principal source of hostility to our liberal societies among immigrants comes from their experience of failed integration, the folly of harping on the bogeyman of religion, rather than acting to facilitate integration, and by that stigmatization to make integration still more difficult, becomes more and more evident. 10 Looking at the problems and issues of diversity through the lens of Secularism A, with its negative focus on religion, turns out to be an error of major proportions. To the extent that we want to grasp these problems in terms of secularism, it should rather be secularism B, that which is diversity-oriented. But to be truly diversity-oriented is to focus on the issues of multiculturalism. And in that sense, we can say that secularism in our Western societies needs to take a multicultural turn, which is to say that the two need to converge. That is the thesis which I have been defending here. 99
BIBLIOGRAPHY Gauchet, Marcel. 1998. La Religion dans la Démocratie . Paris: Gallimard, 47–50. Rawls, John. 1993. Political liberalism . New York: Columbia University Press. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Du Contrat Social I, 6. Smith, Christian. 2003. The Secular Revolution. Berkeley: University of California Press. Taylor, Charles. 1996. “Les Sources de l’identité moderne.” In Les Frontières de l’Identité: Modernité et postmodernisme au Québec , edited by Mikhaël Elbaz, Andrée Fortin, and Guy Laforest, 347–364. Sainte-Foy: Presses de l’Université Laval. Taylor, Charles. 2004. Modern Social Imaginaries. Durham: Duke University Press.
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