The Guest Blog

The FT published a new Harris Poll today that suggests Americans are more tolerant of Muslim tradition than Europeans.

As the headline reads: “Majority Support Outlawing the Burka”. That majority lies in the 5 Big EU States and ranges from 50% (German) to 70% (France). In the USA, by contrast, only 33% support a ban on the burka, akin to President Sarkozy’s proposed ban in public places.

So does this mean Europeans are less culturally tolerant than Americans?

Well, you could try to counter that its more about the European secular ideal than cultural intolerance. You could try, but you would fail: the very same FT poll revealed even bigger majorities opposed to a combined ban of the burka, the crucifix and the Jewish cappel. Real secularism does not pick and choose.

Or you could argue that its just a European preference for government intervention that isn’t shared in small government America….or that Europeans are, perversely, more wary of the security risks posed by full body covers than Americans are.

Or you could admit a cold and nasty truth: the EU motto “United in Diversity” is no more than a poor cousin of “E Pluribus Unum”. What are we going to do about it?

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