Critique Of Heaven And Earth Equality ~ Religion And Political Emancipation According To Karl Marx

Introduction
Both left-wing and right-wing parties and movements claim to defend Western Values while demonstrating against Islam or against Islamophobia and Populism. From both sides we hear words like Liberty and Equality. Both sides are pointing to the Enlightenment as the core of European Values. When defending ‘European Civilisation’, everyone points to the French Revolution and its Manifesto, the Declaration of Human Rights. The French struggle against privilege, for equal political rights was the start of the political emancipation of the citizens that after 1789 spread all over Europe.

I think we all agree that the legacy of the French Revolution is worth to be defended, but there is a new struggle going on about its Interpretation: do the European Values come in a ready-made package, to be accepted and implemented by the whole world or at least by everyone coming to Europe? Or is the French Revolution still an unfinished business and do we still have to struggle for the realisation of equality and liberty in our societies? I would like to show you why I am of the opinion that the latter is the case, by looking more closely into the heritage of this project for liberty and equality from the 18th century.
I will do so, using a text of the German thinker Karl Marx. (Trier, 5 may 1818 – Londen, 14 march 1883) He is mainly known for his economical ideas about Capital and Labour, but his political texts are in no means less insightful.

If you want to know how equal and free a society is, it is always a good idea to look at the rights of those who are looked upon as ‘different’ from everybody else. Those who claim equal treatment because they are being discriminated against. Marx does exactly this. He addresses an issue that was debated fiercely during the 19th century, just like it is today. I am talking about the relation between State and Religion. Back then the big issue was the position of Jews in society. The state was not secular, but Christian, and Jews were second-class citizens with less rights than our minorities have now. Things are different today, but we can still recognize the questions of the 19th century: does Jews have to renounce their religion in order to obtain full citizenship? Are Jews a threat to society because of their different customs and religious practices? Today, we would never pose these questions in relation to Jews. But they are openly discussed in relation to Muslims.

Marx, of Jewish origin himself, intervenes in 1843 in the debate, publishing the essay Zur Judenfrage. On the Jewish Question, is written 24 years before Capital. In this text, he laid a fundament for his later work. The text is a polemic reaction to an earlier article called Jewish Question from Bruno Bauer, who belonged to the same philosophical-political group as Marx, the Hegelians.
His first point, which is crucial, is a change of perspective: while discussing the Jewish Question, do not look at the behaviour and aspirations of the Jews, but look at the role of the State. Marx uses the Jewish Question to analyse the mechanism of political emancipation in a modern society. In this endeavour, the criticism of religion is the condition of a criticism of politics.

Criticism of religion: what religion and political emancipation have in common
What are we talking about? We are talking about human rights. We have to realise that the original Declaration from 1789 was called Declaration of the rights of Man and of the Citizen (French: Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen) In 1948, when the UN adopted the Declaration it became the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Citizen disappeared.
That is striking, since the core of the analysis by Marx lies in the difference between ‘Man’ and Citizen’. In his words, between emancipation as such and political emancipation. By letting the Man and the Citizen fuse into the Human, an essential procedure of political emancipation is covered up. Who is this ‘Man’ in the Declaration?

Niemand anders als das Mitglied der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft. Warum wird das Mitglied der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft ‘Mensch’, Mensch schlechthin, warum werden seine Rechte Menschenrechte genannt? Woraus erklären wir dies Faktum? Aus dem Verhältnis des politischen Staats zur bürgerlichen Gesellschaft, aus dem Wesen der politischen Emanzipation. (p.363-364)
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Muslim Calvinism – Internal Security and The Lisbon Process In Europe

The European Social Survey Data, and Internal Security in Europe

Muslim Calvinism systematically evaluates the freely available data, contained in international open sources, such as the European Social Survey, on the problems of internal security, and social policy in Europe. The book is the attempt to try to present an interpretation pattern for the complex reality of poverty; social exclusion, religious and societal values, and day to day contact of different population groups in Europe with the law.
The optimistic results of this study are in line with recent very sophisticated and advanced quantitative research results, especially by authors from the neo-liberal school of thinking, who maintain that instead of engaging in a culturalist discourse about the general “disadvantages” of Islam, Europe rather should talk about economic-growth-enhancing migration, property rights, discrimination against minorities on the labor markets, and that by and large, Islam is well compatible with democracy and economic growth (see also Noland M. (2004), Noland M. (2005), Noland M. and Pack H. (2004), Pettersson Th. (2006), Pryor F. (2006), Soysa I. De and Nordas R. (2006), and Tausch A. (2003)). If there is anything as “integration deficits” of the Muslim communities in Europe vis-à-vis the law, defined in this study along indicators of document fraud as well as indicators of lack of trust in the police and in European institutions, these deficits are caused rather by market imperfections and market failures in the European political economy, largely characterized by state intervention, and not by any intrinsic destabilizing or simply “evil” “character traits” of Muslims.
In many ways, the polarizing events in France are a kind of laboratory and testing ground for our theories – high state sector involvement, a mediocre Lisbon performance, and a high, and increasing poverty among the country’s Muslims, which all contribute to rising social tensions, violence and protest in the „banlieus”.
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