The New York Times has an article up about how French Muslim girls are enrolling in Catholics schools, in part because of the relatives freedoms these religious schools offer in terms of their dress vis-a-vis the normal public schools. I found this portion interesting:
The biology teacher at St. Mauront has been challenged on Darwin’s theory of evolution, and history class can get heated during discussions of the Crusades or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2001, after the Sept. 11 attacks, some Muslim students shocked the staff by showing glee, Mr. Chamoux recalled.
I am not one of those atheists who has a realistic hope that religion will ever truly recede from the world. Rather, I do believe that religious institutions adapt to the Zeitgeist because they are of this world, whether they accept that claim or not. Somewhat crassly I have occasionally suggested that European Christianity has been gelded by the Enlightenment, and Islam is having to go through that process right now. I do think that strident anti-religious diatribes may play a role in pushing the boundaries of the ecosystem of the discussion, but ultimately most of the change will likely occur endogenously, in the form of individuals who share the religious presuppositions of the retrogrades whom they are trying to reform. If Muslims see in Christians as a model of worshiping their One True God in a manner that is less barbaric and primitive as they are now I see no harm in that, and only good.