I noticed that in Moscow there are a lot of Muslims, but wherever I walk around I don’t see many women covering their heads. In Europe you see them everywhere. I asked people in Russia how come Muslim women don’t cover their hair and they said: “Well, maybe they don’t need it”.
I think the reason why they don’t need it is because the majority of the Russian population is Orthodox Christian. Muslims know they are tolerated and welcome but they should not try impose Islamic laws on the majority, they should be Russians. I think Russia is a multicultural society, but the reason why it works so well is because it has a Christian foundation.
Europeans are not hateful people in general. Most Europeans travel around the world and are well acquainted with different and even exotic cultures. They are not afraid of foreigners and many enjoy to engage with people of all nations both on a personal and professional level. What appears to be an Islamophopic and hostile attitude towards Muslims, I believe, originates from a moral confusion that is the root cause of failed integration of Muslims in Europe.
The reason why we have all these problems with migrants and refugees is because of our lack of Christian faith.
We have this sort of misguided compassion or mercy towards strangers we don’t even know. I don’t think this is real charity, I think it is a kind of a self-focused feeling. You want to do something, so you feel good yourself. But if you really want to be charitable and love your neighbor you should at least tell him about Christianity or you should be firm and say: “This is a Christian society. We welcome you, but these are our rules, we don’t want your rules to be imposed in our Christian culture”.
Therefore, because our Christian culture is so weak, we have lost our moral compass, we don’t know any more how to distinguish between good and evil. We think that all things are the same; we are driven by this relativism, which is a weak point in our culture. We don’t know when to say no and when to say yes. That’s why many migrants fill in the vacuum with Islamic law in our culture and many people think it is a sign of tolerance to say yes. But there are also a lot of people who don’t agree. We have this huge confrontation within our own circles. The outcome of this moral and spiritual confusion is an Islamophobic attitude.
In a Christian society, all minorities are welcomed, but they should not impose their religion on other people and this is the problem in Europe. We don’t have a Christian framework to keep people in place. Because we are confused spiritually, morally, and culturally, we don’t know any more what is wrong and what is right. And that is the perfect environment for hateful feelings to prevail. On both sides.
Iben Thranholm (examines political and social events with focus on their religious aspects, significance and moral implications. She is one of Denmark’s most widely read columnists on such matters. Thranholm is a former editor and radio host at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR), at which she created a religious news program that set a new standard for religious analysis in the newsroom. She has traveled extensively in the Middle East, Italy, the United States and Russia to carry out research and interviews. She has been awarded for her investigative research into Danish media coverage of religious issues).