Ed Driscoll

Vacuums Fill

Last year, Mark Steyn wrote that Europe isn’t multicultural, it’s bicultural. And while you can witness the clash of its two cultures more or less nightly on the continent, you can see its future in Britain. On the one hand, there’s a Europe that, beginning with Nietzsche’s famous 1882 aphorism that “God is Dead“, has spent the better part of the 20th century eliminating religion from the public square.

In the past, European efforts to eliminate some religions have been rather more aggressive, of course. But these days, it’s merely a mopping up operation: last year, the EU issued an edict declaring that the words “Christ” and “Jew” be spelled in all lower-case letters. And of course, European (and American) universities are busy eliminating the millennia-old meanings of the initials B.C. and A.D.

But meanwhile, another culture, Europe’s largest group of immigrants, relatively recent arrivals to the continent, takes its religion much more seriously than the postmodern old fogeys in Cambridge and Brussels. And to prove it, they’re building the continent’s the largest place of worship able to hold up to 70,000 worshippers; to be opened in time for London’s 2012 Olympics:

It will be called the London Markaz and it is intended to be a significant Islamic landmark whose prominence and stature will be enhanced by its proximity to the Olympic site. When television viewers around the world see aerial views of the stadium during the opening ceremony in six years