Monday, February 26, 2007

Ulrike Ackermann adds her commentary on the debate of multiculturalism kicked off by Pascal Bruckner's response to Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash, and which I have been following here:

In praise of dissidence:

The sympathetic reading of Islam recalls that of
communism before 1989. At the time, the West's self-hatred and invalidation of
the accomplishments of free democracy were expressed in a generous
interpretation of communism. A similar phenomenon is to be seen in attitudes
towards Islam today, in large part thanks to its anti-capitalism and
anti-Americanism. Many Western intellectuals had reservations about eastern
European dissidents because they were only fighting for the so-called "bourgeois
liberties." Many dreamed at the time of a "third way" between capitalism and
communism. The analogy is evident in the terminology: Stalinism could be
criticised but communism was handled with kid gloves. Today, criticism of
Islamism is common sense, but criticism of Islam has to be conducted with
care.

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