‘Although Ramadan’s book is presented as a spiritual meditation on the problems of existence, it is actually an eclectic mixture of current intellectual prejudices and old-fashioned appeals to revelation and dogma’
“It is precisely because Ramadan is unsympathetic to the idea of individual autonomy and moral independence that he can casually dismiss tolerance as the intellectual charity of the powerful. Tolerance is anything but charity.”
Because, Furedi argues, there is no acceptance of the idea of critical judgement in Ramadan’s embrace of Western multiculturalism.
Obviously, I can see danger in many Muslims’ claims to faith (at times an unyielding moral absolutism) mixed with only an acceptance of the West’s moral relativism. I would also point out that to an American, smaller European economies, more stratified societies, and greater cultural homogeneity can lead to less space in Europe than America for immigrants (and we are facing a current round of homegrown terrorists, however low the percentage, the consequences are very high).
One step beyond Ramadan, on this view, might be a Muslim thinker accepting a definition of tolerance that includes critical judgment and more classical liberalism. I would also point out such a definition would likely require greater inclusion of Muslims into European societies as well, if integration is in fact the goal.
Ayan Hirsi Ali’s rejection of the European Left and flirtation with the right (where a narrow nationalism combined with racial identity lurks in darker corners) could be instructive as a possible, but perhaps not necessary, path. She has also been very vocally anti-Islam as a faith entirely.
Perhaps there a few ways around the current stalemate in the Middle-East with our military involved in protracted nation-building in order to achieve security aims. Perhaps I haven’t come up with any.
Also On This Site: Just when I go out on a limb: From Beautiful Horizons: ‘Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan at the 92nd Street Y’. Christopher Hitchens is an equal-opportunity critic of all of religions’ claims to faith, and perhaps, like Hirsi Ali, shared a swing to the right (from that confused Left) that could lead to some moral problems. Repost-Ayan Hirsi Ali At The CSM: ‘Swiss Ban On Minarets Was A Vote For Tolerance And Inclusion’
Free speech (used both well and unwell) meets offended and violent Muslims: ‘Mohammad Cartoonist Lars Vilks Headbutted‘During Lecture’……From The OC Jewish Experience: ‘UC Irvine Muslim Student Union Suspended’…From Volokh: ‘”South Park” Creators Warned (Threatened) Over Mohammed’
A British Muslim tells his story, suggesting that classical liberalism wouldn’t be a bad idea: From Kenanmalik.com: ‘Introduction: How Salman Rushdie Changed My Life’ From Foreign Policy: ‘Germany’s Age Of Anxiety’
Why hobble our economy, if it’s so important to integrating new arrivals?: Via The A & L Daily-Interview With Christopher Caldwell At Spiegel Online…Theodore Dalrymple Still Attacking Multi-Culturalism In Britain