Repost-Frank Furedi At Spiked Via The A & L Daily: ‘The Truth About Tolerance’

Full piece here.

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’

and:

“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 limbFrom Beautiful Horizons: ‘Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan at the 92nd Street Y’.  Christopher Hitchens is an equal-opportunity socialist/post-socialist 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 HeadbuttedDuring 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 OnlineTheodore Dalrymple Still Attacking Multi-Culturalism In Britain

Michael Totten At The World Affairs Journal: ‘The Most Overrated Intellectual in the World’

Full piece here.

Ramadan know how to play the Western end of the debate:

‘According to Ramadan, writes Ahmari, “the American government and ‘powerful American corporations’ nurtured the young activists who triggered the Arab Spring as a way of ‘opening up Arab markets and integrating the region into the global economy.’”

and Totten finishes with:

‘There are plenty of liberal and moderate intellectuals in the Arab world. Real ones. Smart one. Brilliant ones. I’ve interviewed lots of them. Some of them are my friends. Many of them have been bullied and menaced and even murdered by the enthusiastic followers of Tariq Ramadan’s grandfather.

I don’t know if Ramadan’s newest book and his job as an Iranian government tool will finally define him as a committed non-liberal in the eyes of the Western world’s liberals, but it’s bound to happen eventually.’

This is coming at a time when the current American administration has committed itself to about the farthest Left foreign policy platform in living memory (maybe beyond Brzezinski’s Carter admin).

Many Americans want this to be our approach as well, as it’s “working” in Europe.  Here’s Ramadan debating Hitchens:

————–

Via Reuters, Turkey is stepping up military action in Syria, partly to tamp down the Kurds and keep its own population in control, partly to protect itself from the chaos and perhaps gain advantage.

Related On This Site:  Repost-From Beautiful Horizons: ‘Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan at the 92nd Street Y’

There are American traditions which do not seek a holy war, but naturally seek to oppose enemies, defend our citizens, and expand our reach without secular multiculturalism:  Richard Fernandez At PJ Media: ‘The New Middle East’..Daniel Greenfield definitely thinks Islam is the problem: From Sultan Knish: ‘The Mirage Of Moderate Islam’

A British Muslim tells his story, suggesting that classical liberalism wouldn’t be a bad idea…as a more entrenched radical British Left and Muslim immigration don’t mix too well: From Kenanmalik.com: ‘Introduction: How Salman Rushdie Changed My Life’… Via YouTube: ‘Christopher Hitchens Vs. Ahmed Younis On CNN (2005)’

From Michael Totten At World Affairs: “Noam Chomsky: The Last Totalitarian”

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Repost-From Beautiful Horizons: ‘Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan at the 92nd Street Y’

Full post here.

Our author responds to the debate:

“This impression was not helped by his tendency to answer specifics with generalities.  Ramadan’s favorite word seems to be “diversity” and it was trotted out with numbing regularity to serve as many masters as there were sentences that night.  It was the answer to every question, which is to say, once again, not an answer.”

Ramadan knows how to play the Western end of the debate.  One of his arguments that resonates with me is that human nature itself is flawed.  Any religion, secular group, moral philosophy, human rights campaign etc….any person really…ought to be concerned with has been done (and what people are doing) in the name of any set of ideas or principles, which is often violence.  This has some weight.

Hitchens, however, remains unmoved and maintains that the metaphysics of Islam will ultimately create and encourage violence through its moral absolutism and its total metaphysical prescription for all aspects of life, including politics and the public square (though Hitchens was clearly anti-religion, a materialist through and through, on a broader basis).  Muslims are the ones right now in Europe and the Middle-East, he points out, who are violent and threatening violence and it must be stood up to.

I suspect on Hitchens’ view, one of the products of Europe is the secular multiculturalism to which Ramadan often appeals, but which the adherents of secular multiculturalism are not always fully willing and able to defend (free speech for example) against Muslim threats of violence.  This secular tradition has also not been fully integrating Muslims successfully under its banner nor through public policy, the economy, or Europe’s political institutions, often creating fiefdoms and ghettoes.

Many Americans want this to be our approach as well.

————————

Here’s a further debate from Intelligence Squared with Ayan Hirsi Ali on one side, arguing that Islam is the problem (the same absolutism in Islam that will not tolerate questioning of its tenets, and its many violent passages).  A member of the opposing side suggests that Muslim alienation in British life, combined with a European influenced fascist inspired-Islamism is the problem, not Islam itself (yes, it’s colonialist Europe’s fault).  He proposes a more human-rights based Islam.

—————————

R.I.P to the victims of 09/11.

Addition:  Interesting post here from A Reluctant Ombudsman on The Church Of Atheism.  You can be civil, and not bash religion from within your own atheism and stand up against the evils and infringements upon liberty that both religious groups and non-religious groups pose.

Also On This Site: There are American traditions which do not seek a holy war, but naturally seek to oppose enemies, defend our citizens, and expand our reach without secular multiculturalism:  Richard Fernandez At PJ Media: ‘The New Middle East’..Daniel Greenfield definitely thinks Islam is the problem: From Sultan Knish: ‘The Mirage Of Moderate Islam’

Virtual Philosophy has a series on free speech and some links and notes to J.S. Mill’s ‘On Liberty’ among others.  Is Mill’s utilitarianism enough?:  From virtual philosopher: ‘Free Speech: notes and links for course at Free Word Centre’

A British Muslim tells his story, suggesting that classical liberalism wouldn’t be a bad idea…as a more entrenched radical British Left and Muslim immigration don’t mix too well: From Kenanmalik.com: ‘Introduction: How Salman Rushdie Changed My Life’… Via YouTube: ‘Christopher Hitchens Vs. Ahmed Younis On CNN (2005)’

Free speech (used both well and unwell) meets offended Muslims: Mohammad Cartoonist Lars Vilks HeadbuttedDuring Lecture’From The OC Jewish Experience: ‘UC Irvine Muslim Student Union Suspended’From Volokh: ‘”South Park” Creators Warned (Threatened) Over Mohammed’

It’s a big assumption to make: From YouTube: Roger Scruton On Religious Freedom, Islam & Atheism

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Repost-From Beautiful Horizons: ‘Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan at the 92nd Street Y’

Full post here.

Our author responds to the debate:

“This impression was not helped by his tendency to answer specifics with generalities.  Ramadan’s favorite word seems to be “diversity” and it was trotted out with numbing regularity to serve as many masters as there were sentences that night.  It was the answer to every question, which is to say, once again, not an answer.”

Ramadan knows how to play the Western end of the debate.  What place has been made in Europe for its Muslim immigrants?  What place are they making?

Also On This Site:  Virtual Philosophy has a series on free speech and some links and notes to J.S. Mill’s ‘On Liberty’ among others.  Is Mill’s utilitarianism enough?:  From virtual philosopher: ‘Free Speech: notes and links for course at Free Word Centre’

A British Muslim tells his story, suggesting that classical liberalism wouldn’t be a bad idea…as a more entrenched radical British Left and Muslim immigration don’t mix too well: From Kenanmalik.com: ‘Introduction: How Salman Rushdie Changed My Life’… Via YouTube: ‘Christopher Hitchens Vs. Ahmed Younis On CNN (2005)’

Free speech (used both well and unwell) meets offended Muslims: Mohammad Cartoonist Lars Vilks HeadbuttedDuring Lecture’From The OC Jewish Experience: ‘UC Irvine Muslim Student Union Suspended’From Volokh: ‘”South Park” Creators Warned (Threatened) Over Mohammed’

It’s a big assumption to make: From YouTube: Roger Scruton On Religious Freedom, Islam & Atheism

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Walter Russell Mead At The American Interest: ‘History Repeats: In Europe, They Want Jewish Blood’

Full post here.

On Tariq Ramadan’s response to the Toulouse Mohammed Merah attack:

‘Ramadan in no way condones or approves of these murders, but his response still falls short. Ramadan sees no anti-Semitic executioner here, only an oppressed soul driven inexorably by unfair social forces to murder others — most of whom, irrelevantly, happened to be Jews.’

Well, the European Left, multiculturalism, and moral relativism don’t require it of him and neither do the Muslim world nor the Muslim brotherhood (he bridges the two worlds), so why should he?

‘Europe and France should either have kept the immigrants out or welcomed them in as they prepared a place for them. They did neither, and the payback will hurt.’

Very high unemployment, poor living conditions, high birth rates, cultural exclusion into ghettoes and fewer opportunities to really be French (or German, or British) leave men like Merah in no man’s land (and he is by all means accountable for his actions).  A few, like Merah, choose this cowardly path.

Smaller, more regulated and indebted economies, low birth-rates, more culturally homogenous societies united under a technocracy and anti-nationalist post World War II governance (which is understandable and has good reasons but which stuffs nationalist impulses into the shadows, sometimes unreasonably and makes them self-righteous and inflamed) could likely make Europeans face some uncomfortable choices regarding its Muslim immigrants.

And some folks in America want to have a similar set of principles be the highest things around over here.

Comments are well worth reading.

Related On This Site:  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’

For anyone,it takes moral courage to stand up to the messianism, Islamic moral absolutism, and dark theocratic tendencies of the Middle East…liberty is key as well as moral responsibility to think in terms of the legitimacy of rule here at home.  It is often the Left, the materialists (anti-religious) who stand up: …From Beautiful Horizons: ‘Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan at the 92nd Street Y’Via YouTube: ‘Christopher Hitchens Vs. Ahmed Younis On CNN (2005)’From Michael Totten: ‘An Interview With Christopher Hitchens’

‘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’

What kind of threats to free speech do the justice and rights crowd pose?:  Repost-A Canadian Libertarian Making Noise: Ezra Levant

Materialism and Leftism Paul Berman On Bloggingheads: The Left Can Criticize Iran… Paul Berman At The New Republic: ‘From September 11 to the Arab Spring: Do Ideas Matter?’

Western societies are becoming less violent overall? We’ll see about that-Steven Pinker curiously goes Hobbesian and mentions an ‘international Leviathan’:   At Bloggingheads Steven Pinker Discusses War And Thomas Hobbes

Are we back to a clash of civilizations…or are there are other options: From The Atlantic: Samuel Huntington’s Death And Life’s Work

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Frank Furedi At Spiked Via The A & L Daily: ‘The Truth About Tolerance’

Full piece here.

‘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’

and:

“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 HeadbuttedDuring 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 OnlineTheodore Dalrymple Still Attacking Multi-Culturalism In Britain

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