Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Water or gasoline into the flames?

Originally uploaded by berniegolomb.
I came across an interesting article earlier today. 12 intellectuals come out as defenders of enlightenment and liberal values and against Islamism. I will not make more judgements, check for yourself.

The group is in no way unproblematic. It includes the author-in-hiding Salman Rushdie and the controversial politician-in-safehouse Ayaan Hirsi Ali. And of all the newspapers, they publish it in Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper behind the entire turmoil.

I cannot make up my mind. I have the same feeling as quite often when reading Hirsi Ali's comments. Most of the things about liberal values etc are in no way incorrect but I am not sure about the methods and style.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does the fact that members of the group have been persecuted for their opinions make the group problematic? If not, what is it about Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali that justifies branding the group "in no way unproblematic"?

Does the fact that they published their opinion in the the newspaper that published the pictures _in reaction to which_ the turmoil started in some way condemning? What would be more symbolically important forum for this article?

What is it about the methods that you find problematic or thought-provoking? Surely the reaction to the pictures shows that this issue is in need of being discussed. And the fact that this issue is being raised by muslims helps to frame the issue as something else than clash of civilizations. This is not a question of christian west against muslim countries, the issue is if, and to what degree, religious beliefs can enjoy special protection in a secular society and limit the freedom of expression.