Global Quickies: 21/12/13

EUROPE (from Criticaldragon1177)
A survey in several Western European countries found that 65% of Muslims believe that religious rules are more important than the laws of the country in which they live. More surprisingly, these views are as widespread among younger Muslims as among older generations.

Skepchick reader Lewis has a blog with tons of information about the current hearings of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Pekka Elo, long time President of the Finnish Humanist Union and editor of the Finnish Humanist Journal passed away on 14 December 2013. He worked for rationalism, humanism and philosophy in Finland since 1970’s.

A fatwa was issued in the Aceh province banning both Christmas and New Year’s greetings and celebrations for Muslim. They also called for the government to shut down public New Year’s parties, including those held in cafes, hotels and entertainment venues.

Some Pentecostal pastors are convincing people infected with HIV to participate in healing ceremonies, after which they burn the person’s anti-retroviral medications and declare the person cured.

Featured image: woman celebrating the Muslim New Year


Born and raised in Mexico City, Daniela has finally decided to abdicate her post as an armchair skeptic and start doing some skeptical activism. She is currently living in Spain after having lived in the US, Brazil and Italy. You can also find her blogging in Spanish at

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    1. Yeah. I also wonder if being a minority influences how people answer: would there be similar results with Christians or Jews in countries where they are a minority?

      1. Judaism is explicit: “The law of the land is your law.”
        There can be extremities where the law of the land deliberately obstructs basic practices, and cannot be followed, but I don’t think that’s the subject here.

    2. We get a hint about Christian Church officials by the way they handle cases of child (and other) abuse and about Christian Church members in that there are not enough people angry enough to effect change in a timely manner.

      The article says that 23% of Christians believe that Muslims are out to destroy Western culture. With Christians being the vast majority that means that on average every 5th to 4th native person a Muslim immigrant meets is at least covertly hostile. With this hostility against them, I think the 65% figure is unfortunately not really surprising. Also, my gut feeling is that the 23% of Christians figure contains a lot of generally xenophobic people who hate/fear any non-European/Western foreigner.

  1. KENYA,

    “Some Pentecostal pastors are convincing people infected with HIV to participate in healing ceremonies, after which they burn the person’s anti-retroviral medications and declare the person cured.”

    I don’t even have to read through that, to know what the long term results will be and they will be bad. How many people are going to die of Aids because they listened to a “faith healer,” who couldn’t tell you, if you were actually cured to save his own life?

    1. If that works so well, I’m sure the quacks healers would have no objection to being injected with blood or otherwise exposed to bodily fluids of the people they claim to have healed.

  2. The actual paper mentions a few things on this, but first it’s worth noting that it specifically compares native Christians to immigrant Muslims – which is a bad idea, as changing only one variable at a time makes inferences a lot simpler. As it is, we can’t tell if the results are due to the fact that these people weren’t raised natively and are retaining the values of the countries they were born in, or if this is something common to all Muslims in the country.

    As for your specific question, it looks like only around 12% of native Western European Christians feel religious rules are more important than those of the country (you’d probably find a much different answer in the US, though).

  3. Yeah, I’m not intimidated by the figures about moslems there, and I feel like most of the time that shit gets trotted put, there’s a hint of fearmongering to it. How about this – I feel that my own personal sense of right and wrong is more important than the laws of my country, and I’m an atheist. If I was religious, of course I’d feel that way about my stupid faith. It’s more an indictment of people’s faith in the government’s ability to do its job.

    Let’s change some minds, but let’s not start doing so from a position of assuming those minds are already specially worse off than those of xtians. “It specifically compares native Christians to immigrant Muslims” Remember the exorcism death in France recently? Immigrant xtians. This is a very good point.

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