The latest in another favourite meme: Muslims are the new Catholics

Just a day or two ago we had another “Muslims are the new Jews” post.

While the comparison with Catholics not as blatantly outrageous, this piece by someone called Khurram Dara is just as stupid.

New York City public schools have a rich and intertwined history with religion. As a matter of fact, the first public schools in the city were essentially Protestant. A predominantly Protestant population combined with strong anti-Catholic prejudice at the time had resulted in public schools that taught the King James Bible and used textbooks condemning Catholicism… “Sectarian” schools, including those ran by Catholic organizations, were denied funds. Angered by what had amounted to public funding of Protestant schools, Catholics, led by Bishop John Hughes (who would later become Archbishop of New York), sought funding for their schools.

It’s hard not to draw parallels between the trials and tribulations of Catholics in 19th century America…and the current quandary of the American Muslim.

Yes, there were conflicts between Protestants and Catholics. But in the 19th century, there were several differences between this conflict and today’s conflict with Islam.

First of all, the Catholics were not even remotely in the same ballpark when it comes to violence. There was nothing like 9/11, much less the Muslim violence all over the Muslim world.

Nineteenth century Protestants did not read about Catholics stoning people to death, kidnapping hundreds of young Protestant girls and forcing them to convert, or the religiously sanctioned killing of Catholics who decided to disassociate themselves from the Roman Catholic faith, carried out with the full consent of the Catholic country involved.

Catholics did turn out for worldwide mass riots at the first hint that someone was insulting the Pope. They were not killing cartoonists or going generally insane over the 19th century equivalent of a video.

Secondly, we might ask how this conflict came to be resolved. The author says it was done with U.S. laws requiring the separation of church and state, which it true, yet it misses the point: today, nobody cares at all about the Catholic-Protestant issue. (If they do, they are being very quiet).

The reason is that religion in general has fallen out of favour in the West.  Large numbers of people are not longer interested one way or the other.  Nowadays, Protestants and Catholics feel a kinship in the face of widespread atheism and — Muslims themselves.

Does he really think that Muslims are going to go down this same road? Some of them will, but they always have to be very careful: since Islam is saturated with violence in its holy scriptures, there will always be a hardcore group prepared to kill in the name of this blood-soaked cult.

It is already attracting a disproportionate number of violent, criminal types as converts.  There is simply zero analogy to that phenomenon in the nineteenth century.

I see this as a very weak comparison.