A final rejoinder

Thursday 12 April, 2007

This need not be a case of either Hirsi Ali or Tariq Ramadan. Timothy Garton Ash and Ian Buruma set Pascal Bruckner straight on a few last points.
read more

The Kiev simulacrum

Thursday 12 April, 2007

After the "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine, the "Blue camp" is now trying to pull off a cheap copy. But Ukrainians are reacting calmly to the happenings on Independence Square. By Oksana Zabuzhko
read more

Verboten

Wednesday 4 April, 2007

It seems no coicidence that the West is volunteering to restrict economic growth, now that it's stopped anyway. And that Germany wants to put a limit on just about every pleasure it's ever known. Why are we punishing ourselves? Because politicians need a remedy for their own feelings of powerlessness. By Jens Jessen
read more

A reply to Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash

Monday 26 March, 2007

It's not enough to condemn terrorism. The religion that engenders it and on which it is based, right or wrong, must also be reformed. Some final remarks on the multiculturalism debate by Pascal Bruckner.
read more

What Europe needs now

Friday 23 March, 2007

A bold vision for 50 years down the line will not help us get on right now. I am content with a vision for the period leading up to the European elections in 2009. Those elections should be coupled with a Europe-wide referendum on three questions: whether the Union, beyond effective decision-making procedures, should have a directly elected president, its own foreign minister, and its own financial base. By Jürgen Habermas
read more

Europeanisation, not Islamisation

Thursday 22 March, 2007

The debate on Europe and Islam should stop profiling people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Tariq Ramadan, and focus on Euro-Islam as a bridge between civilisations. Europe has a civilising identity and the right to preserve it. This is not anti-Muslim, because the idea of Europe is inclusive. Europe respects the identity of immigrants yet expects them to adapt without surrendering their sense of self. By Bassam Tibi
read more

The "Islam in Europe" debate

Thursday 22 March, 2007

Who should the West support: moderate Islamists like Tariq Ramadan, or Islamic dissidents like Ayaan Hirsi Ali? Are the rights of the group higher than those of the individual? With a fiery polemic against Ian Buruma's "Murder in Amsterdam" and Timothy Garton Ash's review of this book in the New York Review of Books, Pascal Bruckner has kindled an international debate. By now Ian Buruma, Timothy Garton Ash, Necla Kelek, Paul Cliteur, Lars Gustafsson, Stuart Sim, Ulrike Ackermann, Adam Krzeminski, Halleh Ghorashi, Bassam Tibi and Margriet de Moor have all stepped into the ring.
read more

Why Ayaan Hirsi Ali is wrong

Wednesday 14 March, 2007

Ayaan Hirsi Ali's ideas on the incompatibility of Islamic faith and the emancipation of women are reductionist and dogmatic. Only openness to migrants' decisions can help Western society steer clear of cultural fundamentalism. By Halleh Ghorashi
read more

The view from the Vistula

Thursday 8 March, 2007

Comparisons of Islam and communism like those drawn by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ulrike Ackermann are gross oversimplifications. But just as many factors played into the fall of communism, the Gordian knot of Islam and Europe needs "fundamentalist" as well as "culturalist" solutions. By Adam Krzeminski
read more

Multiculturalism is not cultural relativism!

Wednesday 7 March, 2007

Jesco Delorme defends Ian Buruma, Timothy Garton Ash and Stuart Sim against charges of cultural relativisim. Looking for criteria on which to base the legitimate demands of minorities, he sketches the physiognomy of liberalism and accuses Buruma's critics of constrictive political thinking.
read more

Arrogance, analogy and Iraq

Thursday 1 March, 2007

The Iraq War enjoyed more public support among intellectuals than any other war since 1914. Today it can safely be said to have been a disaster. Gustav Seibt asks why so many thinking people took a such supportive stance and finds the answers in a misplaced attachment to historical analogies.
read more

In praise of dissidence

Monday 26 February, 2007

In the positions they take on the ongoing multiculturalism debate, Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash are reminicent of those well-meaning Western intellectuals who were willing to criticise Stalinism but not communism. They dream of "change through rapprochement" but they lose their bearings somewhere along the "third way." By Ulrike Ackermann
read more

Don't blame the postmodernists

Wednesday 21 February, 2007

It's dogmatism that's the real problem. At base, relativism is calling into question the notion of there being an absolute truth - precisely what all those of a fundamentalist disposition claim there is. Even worse, fundamentalists refuse to acknowledge that other views have any validity at all. You can't debate with them - about multiculturalism or anything else. By Stuart Sim
read more

The logic of tolerance

Saturday 17 February, 2007

The demands of all "cultures" are not compatible. Of course monotheists, atheists and polytheists should be able to live peacefully side by side, but Sharia law and western democracy are incompatible. There is no way to talk away this incompatibility by vague reference to multiculturalism. By Lars Gustafsson
read more

Give the Peace Prize to Politkovskaya

Tuesday 13 February, 2007

Granting the 2007 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade to Anna Politkovskaya would not be a gesture of criticism directed at Russia as a whole, but a sign of hopeful expectations for the country, its people and its culture. By Gerd Koenen and Norbert Schreiber
read more