For much of the 20th century, Western political leaders succumbed to the falsehood and temptation that political life could proceed independent of religious issues, a form of humanist hubris that fully flowered in the era in which economic ideologies dominated in terms of world conflict.
This roared to a horrendous halt following the collapse of most communist states, and “religious” passions instantly filled the void. Since then, and ill-prepared cabal of Western leaders bungled their way to the disaster of “religious” conflict that rages today. We now live in a world in which political leaders cannot afford ignorance or disregard of religion. Political problems related to religion abound. They are everywhere.
Among Western leaders, Angela Merkel continues to be the one who seems to excel in intuition into this all-important dynamic. Her cross to bear is PEGIDA. Repeatedly she has shown courage, sensitivity, and intuition.
The Telegraph carries this article about a difficult decision met boldly and commitedly by Chancellor Merkel
Angela Merkel joins Muslim rally against German anti-Islamisation protests
Chancellor Merkel joins thousands of people in Berlin at Muslim solidarity rally for victims of Paris attacks
German chancellor Angela Merkel joined thousands of people at a Muslim solidarity rally for victims of the Paris attacks in Berlin on Tuesday evening, in what was widely seen as a public rebuke to the anti-Islam protests that have gripped Germany in recent weeks.
Mrs Merkel and the German president Joachim Gauck joined a 3,000-strong crowd as the Koran was read under the Brandenburg Gate at a rally shown live on German television.
“The terrorists wanted to divide us. They have achieved the opposite. They have brought us together,” President Gauck told the gathered crowds.
“I say to these fanatics and terrorists: we are not afraid of you. Your hate is our motivation. We stand by our country and its values.”
The rally, organised by the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, was held under tight security with much of the country’s political leadership in attendance, including the vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, and several senior cabinet ministers.
The attendance of so many high-profile figures was seen as a public rejection of the anti-Islam protests under the banner of Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West, or Pegida.
It came after 25,000 people joined a Pegida march in Dresden on Monday night, and more than 100,000 people took part in counter-protests against Pegida across Germany.