You just know this latest in the thousand cuts of “multi-kulti” cultural suicide has to do with fear of offending Muslim immigrants. And it does.
But I urge readers to look past the surface and keep in mind who’s doing the slice-and-dice job.
The story at hand involves a school in Oberkassel, Dusseldorf, which has redesignated the traditional St. Martin’s Day festival, held on 11 November, as an absurdly generic “Festival of Light.” German media reported this late last week, and it was picked up quickly by English-language outlets. (It’s worth making the point, as an aside, that we not only have to give up the richness of our own Western culture to supposedly avoid offending those from other cultures; we have to dumb everything down as well, turning ourselves into primitive animists and nature-worshipers. Having a festival about “light” is so 10,000 years ago.)
We can say all the usual, justifiable things about how wrong this is. And we should. But it’s imperative that we also remember who is behind these actions. It’s not the Muslim immigrants.
It’s the self-abnegating leftists who run most Western institutions, including the schools.
There are a couple of key things to note. One is that this issue of renaming St. Martin’s Day came up two years ago, before the current tidal wave of post-Arab Spring migrants began saturating Europe. At that time, St. Martin’s Day was redesignated a “Sun, Moon, and Stars” festival at a kindergarten in Leimenkaut, Germany.
The justification was, of course, that the school didn’t want to “discriminate against” students from other cultures.
How big a deal did the families of those students make of “St. Martin’s Day”? We aren’t told.
But there is a more extensive report on the renaming controversy in 2015. It was in Rheinische Poste on Friday, and is cited largely verbatim in English by Liam Deacon at Breitbart London. It’s an interesting reminder of an important reality.
The school in Oberkassel has its plan. But there are other schools that intend to celebrate St. Martin’s Day just as they always do – in part because the Muslim families themselves are all for it.
The director of Sun Road primary school in Dusseldorf, said: “Especially our Muslim parents appreciate the traditional lore of the Martin procession, and the celebration of St. Martin will stay”.
Similarly, Kerstin Breuer, head of Urban Street School in Kita Velberter, Oberbilk, said: “We celebrate St. Martin and not ‘Festival of Lights.’ This was the parents’ decision as well.” She said that 90 of the 100 children at the school came from immigrant families, about three-quarters of whom are Muslim.
Deacon points out that the 2013 incident (above) occurred at a time when a left-wing politician, Rüdiger Sagel of The Left of North Rhine-Westphalia party, was pushing to excise St. Martin’s Day festivals from the state schools.
Deacon also mentions another culturally-suicidal leftist, Bishop Eva Brunne of Stockholm (Sweden), who in February proposed removing all the Christian symbols from a church in her diocese so that Muslims would feel welcome there.
We shouldn’t make either too much or too little of the enthusiasm of Muslim immigrants for saints’ days in Christian Europe. Accepting saints’ feast days isn’t so much an expression of principled tolerance as it is of Islamic belief, which counts Jesus as a prophet, and has room for honoring some, if not all, of his saintly followers.
But the fact that Muslim parents are happy to join in the St. Martin’s Day celebration is a reminder that many Muslim immigrants are not vicious and radicalized. That probably applies mostly to immigrants who arrived prior to this year – before the epic flood of migrants began. (Those are certainly the immigrants most likely to already have their children established in the German schools.) But it’s an important reality to work with, if the West can possibly find its common sense and bearings again.
The flood of new migrants is likely to disrupt and radicalize the lives of the immigrants who’ve been in Europe longer, just as it will transform life for native-born Europeans.
The longer-resident immigrants don’t have to be subverted and radicalized, however. What happens to them will be decided mostly by the West’s own leadership.
Defenders of Western civilization need to keep this in mind. The greatest threat we face is not from Muslims. It’s from the Western left – ascendant in almost all of our institutions – which is systematically arranging to repudiate its own culture, while opening its gates to the radical Islamist element that does represent an existential threat.