A good news story. (No doubt, it’ll be ignored.)
Back in 1994, Conor Cruise O’Brien gave the CBC Massey Lectures, during which he suggested that Pope John Paul II was reaching out to Muslims in search of allies against secularism and the Enlightenment. It was an interesting argument, if sometimes over-the-top. It also ignored the positive aspects of such an alliance as a bulwark against state power & policy.
[quote=“NYT: French Muslims Find Haven in Catholic Schools”]The bright cafeteria of St. Mauront Catholic School is conspicuously quiet: It is Ramadan, and 80 percent of the students are Muslim. When the lunch bell rings, girls and boys stream out past the crucifixes and the large wooden cross in the corridor, heading for
“There is respect for our religion here,” said Nadia Oualane, 14, a student of Algerian descent who wears her hair hidden under a black head scarf. “In the public school,” she added, gesturing at nearby buildings, “I would not be allowed to wear a veil.”
In France, which has only four Muslim schools, some of the country’s 8,847 Roman Catholic schools have become refuges for Muslims seeking what an overburdened, secularist public sector often lacks: spirituality, an environment in which good manners count alongside mathematics, and higher academic standards.
“Laïcité has become the state’s religion, and the republican school is its temple,” said Imam Soheib Bencheikh, a former grand mufti in Marseille and founder of its Higher Institute of Islamic Studies. Imam Bencheikh’s oldest daughter attends Catholic school.
“It’s ironic,” he said, “but today the Catholic Church is more tolerant of — and knowledgeable about — Islam than the French state.” [/quote]
I have a number of Turkish clients who also attended Catholic schools. There, too, such private institutions provide a higher standard of education, and an important window into a different culture.
I’m looking for other examples of significant, but largely overlooked areas of cooperation/accommodation against state power/policy. Got any?