I’ve been thinking about segregation, because I’ve been thinking about the Muslim Brotherhood and sexual segregation. The MB of course mandates sexual segregation where it can, and would mandate it throughout Egypt if it got the power to do so. Many non-MB Egyptians think sexual segregation is right and good.

Marwa, a nursery school teacher who did not provide her last name, stood with some 200 women of all ages who chanted for the downfall of the regime. She wore a veil covering her hair.

‘I cover my body and support gender segregation during the protests, not as an Islamist statement, but because it is not right for men and women to have physical contact,’ she said.

What I’ve been thinking about segregation is the obvious: it’s inherently anti-egalitarian. Where there is segregation there is always superiority and inferiority. Separate but equal was a brazen lie. People who want to impose segregation of any kind are people who want to impose hierarchy.

Thinking about that led me to thinking about a different subject, which is NOMA, or the putative compatibility of religion and science. That too is a secretly hierarchical arrangement. The Non-Overlapping part of NOMA is an announcement that religion contaminates science as opposed to being genuinely compatible with it.

NOMA makes religion and science separate. It segregates the two from each other; that’s the point. If they were genuinely compatible, compatible substantively, they wouldn’t have to be separate. Overlapping would be fine. NOMA then goes on to do a lot of silly flattering of religion, but the real point is the separation.

This is how it works with de facto compatibility. “There are believers who do perfectly good science,” is the motto on that banner. Yes, and they do it by compartmentalizing, which being interpreted means, segregation. They do it by keeping the two rigidly separate. The need to keep them separate points up the fact that they’re not really compatible at all.

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