This is the salient question that is never asked. Instead, the debate is deceptively framed as a civil rights issue, as though the EU were a pointlessly exclusive Neanderthal society, or supposedly obsolete men's club."We know what it's like to be shut out of a club," Cameron said, referring to Charles de Gaulle's efforts to block British entry into the European organization. "Europe can either decide to become a global actor or it can fence itself off as a Christian club," Erdogan has said.
Never mind the EU's deliberate omission of "God" or "Christianity" in its 439-page constitution. And never mind Turkey's having "fenced itself off" into the most exclusive "club" of all: the supremacist Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Turkey is also a signatory to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, a distinctly Islamic version of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights that is informed by Sharia (Islamic law) rather than what the West recognizes as universal human rights. The Cairo Declaration declares that the Muslim community's role is to "guide" humanity, a point that isn't "clubby" but is downright imperialist.
But there is another implication to the debate: that Western identity is merely an atavistic expression of petty insularity. Free will, free conscience -- the evolution of individual liberty -- is the fruit of Judeo-Christian civilization, one that Islamic doctrine is unable to produce.
Tragically, it is also one that Westerners are throwing away.