Liberalism of a particularly socially-prescriptive kind seems to be filling the void left by religion, and Europe being the historic land of the divine right of kings, creed here has often been more closely bound up with politics than it was in the traditional Muslim polities. In this case, the critique of a particular expression of eros now functions as a blasphemy, or, in the argot of campus codes, a ‘speech violation’. Other blasphemies include, for instance, the idea that men and women are suited to different tasks, that the death penalty is a just punishment for murder, that parents have the right to use corporal punishment to discipline their children, and that unbelievers are less pleasing to God than believers. The list is quite a long one, and it seems to be growing.
George Steiner’s well-known Nostalgia for the Absolute, in which he proposes that Europe’s major modernist ideologies, (Freudianism, Marxism, Nazism) functioned as ersatz religions to fill the space vacated by Christianity, now needs to add the twenty-first century system of social and body beliefs to its catalogue of new secular faiths.
Abdal Hakim Murad, Travelling Home: Essays on Islam in Europe, page 28.