Religion is the main reason the EU is keeping Turkey out
(Former German Chancellor Helmut) Kohl asserted that the EU was “an association of nations with a Christian heritage” and that Turkey, a nation with “an Islamic heritage”, had no place in it.
Slightly later I heard a similar argument from Valery Giscard d’Estaing, the former French president, after a session of the European constitution committee in London. “Turkey belongs to a different civilisation,” Giscard asserted. “As a Muslim society, Turkey will not be at home in Europe.” [Gulf Daily]
Huntington’s theories have been long controversial and considered politically incorrect in civilised circles. But d’Estaing is in charge of a team drafting a new constitution for the EU so his opinion must count for something.
By excluding Turkey, the EU is taking a weasel way to secularism. The convenience of not having to deal with the complexities of a Muslim-majority state within the Union is too attractive to the EU’s leaders, even if they are absolved of being closet religious bigots. In this context, Europe’s concern for the Palestinians or the Kashmiris is an exercise in assuaging its own conscience on the cheap.
Whether the EU eventually admits Turkey or not is a matter for the Europeans and the Turks. However, until such time that it does, the EU’s lofty pronouncements on secularism and treatment of religious minorities in countries such as India must be taken with a huge barrel of salt.