Next Sunday, Christians are celebrating the feast of Pentecost. A Protestant church in the Netherlands is using the occasion to propose the abolishment of the public holiday for the second day of Pentecost. The Dutch have officially been enjoying this holiday since 1815, but the church wants it replaced by an official holiday on Eid-al-Fitr, the day marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
With its proposal, the Christian group says, it wants “to do justice to diversity in religion.” That is politically-correct claptrap. Browsing through today’s papers, I can, however, understand why many Dutch are in a festive mood once Ramadan is over! These days, the headlines are full of incidents, which De Telegraaf, the leading newspaper in the Netherlands, describes as Ramadan rellen (Ramadan riots).
Suppose Christians would, on an annual basis, start to riot after leaving church on Pentecost and demolish property, arson cars, attack police, throw stones through the neighbor’s windows. Suppose the police would feel obliged to mark the Christian Lent in the calendar as days of heightened tensions. Would we not begin to wonder whether there was something wrong with Christianity?