I am proud to be a European. Our culture has many faults, yet at the same time it has given the world so much. Science and democracy, equality under law and social inclusion simply would not exist without it. And across culture, art, science, engineering and technology, our culture remains a brilliant star, without which light, we would still be in the Dark Ages. I am very proud and lucky to be a part of that.
Despite this, I believed, for many years, that other cultures were equal.
But I was wrong. Culture is not a level playing field. The very qualities that define Western culture represent a system of morality, which allow us to judge other cultures. And we definitely should judge them.
Look at the picture above. Does it sicken you? It should. It is disgusting, barbaric, wanton, cruelty and bloodlust. It is the perpetration of unnecessary suffering upon an animal that is completely powerless, to the delight of an audience. It is as shocking, and as shockingly ignorant, as nasty little boys pulling the wings off birds. In terms of our culture, which respects life, it is, literally, evil.
As long ago as 2003, the UK’s Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), which advises the government on how to avoid cruelty to livestock, called for an end to these killing methods. FAWC chairwoman, Dr Judy MacArthur Clark, said: “to say that (the animal) doesn’t suffer is quite ridiculous.” This scientific opinion has been supported by many other bodies. Yet nothing has been done to put an end to it.
The apologists for these religious killing methods countered that since the animal had its throat cut, a loss of blood to the brain meant it would feel nothing. The picture you see shows how much that is a lie; the animal is not only fully conscious and in agony, but has been so for some time, as the blood on the ground proves; indeed it is still so full of life that many men are required to restrain it in its death agony. Its torture has been turned into a public entertainment, and the spectators are laughing and jeering and even filming the event.
This cruelty must be stopped. I understand that it is often not the fault of those who follow the most benighted of death-cults that they do so. But the fact is that we all have choice. Most Christians are only so because they were born in notionally Christian societies, and the same is true of Muslims. It is not the fault of the individual that the cult is evil, but the choice to espouse it is. It is not genetically pre-programmed into us.
If you must have a religion, choose one that is not cruel
We may choose not only which religion to espouse, if any, but which parts of that religion are compatible with a modern world view and which are not. No Jew or Muslim is required to eat meat, after all; the wickedness of religious killing could be averted simply by being vegetarian. Those who refuse to dispense with these cruelties, written in ignorance thousands of years ago, are responsible for that choice. If we must have a religion, then either we choose one which is not evil or cruel, or, in the end be judged evil and cruel ourselves.
That being the case, those of us whose culture is the tolerant European one must now stand up and be counted. Perhaps we could turn a blind eye when the evil of ‘halal’ or ‘kosher’ practices is being perpetrated in far-off places where the ignorance of Dark-Age death-cults persists; but we cannot do so when they are happening in lands where our culture is the majority, for that would be an abrogation of our morality and a dereliction of our duty.
Those who would espouse cults that require the evil we see above must either choose another religion, go to a place where such things are considered permissible, or change their own lives or religious culture to conform to the broader morality of the culture they live in.
This evil must stop
Put simply, inhumane halal and kosher practices must be made illegal, and the loophole that their adherents use to circumvent the law that applies to everyone else–of ‘religious tolerance’–must be closed. This applies to everything from the evil of their cruelty to animals to the mutilation and abuse of babies and children, forced marriages and ‘honour’ killing. It has to stop.
It doesn’t matter whether you are an atheist, agnostic or believing European, the culture you are part of, and should be proud to be, has its own morality, which stands above those of individual creeds. It believes in the protection of the defenceless and the innocent, the avoidance of unnecessary suffering, the freedom of individual speech and belief, and the understanding that only that which causes no harm is permissible. Our culture is an umbrella, which welcomes others, as long as they understand that there are rules in the playground, and these rules are set by majority consensus, not religious texts.
If ‘multiculturalism’ has any meaning, it is that those who live in our culture may freely indulge in all parts of their original cultures, as long as they do not offend the broader one. But this noble sentiment has been subverted by cowards and opportunists on one side, and activists and demagogues on the other, to mean ‘anything, no matter how horrific, is permissible if a religious pretext can be found’. That is absurd and must be challenged.
It is time to stand up, reclaim our culture with pride and be counted in the line of duty. It is time to say to those people who offend our morality with their ignorant and barbaric practices, that they may believe that which they will, but while they are amongst us, what they do will be subject to laws that we make, today.
It is time, too, to draw the line against the wickedness of conniving politicians who prevaricate, equivocate or even encourage such perversions, ostensibly in the name of ‘multiculturalism’, but in reality because they simply wish to garner a few more votes at the next election.
It is time to say, ‘This must stop.’
Originally posted 2013-10-11 11:44:54.
Also published on Medium.