Arguments and Aspects in Political Discourse in Ethnic Conflicts in Europe

Ten characteristics of the patterns of ethnic conflict in Europe—the way they are reflected in media and culture. They serve as the key to conceptual understanding of the nature of confrontation, aggression in communication in the public sphere in Europe at present, and erosion of democratic values

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Refugees, Xenophobia, and Islamist Politics: Two Letters

Mina Ahadi is an Iranian exile, living in Germany. She opposed the Shah as well as Khomeini. In 1990 she fled to the West. An adamant secularist, critical of all religion and therefore an opponent of Islamist politics, she does not appear to distinguish between “Islamic” and “Islamist” in her prose. She identifies herself as a communist, she is a leader in the “Central Committee of Former Muslims,” and she is a principled defender of human rights. In two recent open letters, she stakes out positions that not only provide insight into contemporary German political discussions but that are directly relevant to U.S. debates as well.

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Michael Ley on the Suicide of the West: The Islamization of Europe

In his account of the impact of Islam on Europe, Michael Ley pulls no punches, especially for all those readers, like the present reviewer, who still hope that a Muslim humanism and not Islamist terrorism will become the primary social movement in global Islam in the years to come. In a nutshell, Ley’s main theses are the following: Orthodox and radical Islam are the scourge of humanity. Ley calls Sharia Islam “the worst danger for democracy and human rights in the 21st Century.” Only an Islam without Sharia is compatible with human rights. Yet that is a vision for the future; current reality, according to Ley, is different. The Islamization of Europe is, according to Ley, the most visible change in most European societies. While liberal and educated citizens consider the increasing influence of conservative and radical Islam with great concern and regard the future of the continent as rather bleak, their so-called progressive opponents interpret the ongoing Islamization as a cultural enrichment that contributes to the historical overcoming of the obsolete nation-state. Ley goes as far as to say that today the pioneers of radical post-national Europe would prefer to abolish all symbols of national identity: indigenous Europeans should waive all national, cultural, religious, and ultimately also traditional sexual identities.

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The 2016 Telos Conference: Samuel Tadros on Islamism and the Crisis of Modernity

From the 2016 Telos Conference in New York, the following is a video of the keynote presentation by Samuel Tadros, “Islamism and the Crisis of Modernity.” We have previously posted videos of the conference’s plenary session on “Ethical Solidarity in Political Difference” and of a roundtable on the question “What is the Global Dimension of Ethical Life?” Stay tuned for more conference videos and papers in the coming days.

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“They Hate Us”: On the New Year’s Eve Riot in Cologne

What happened in Cologne on New Year’s Eve is taking place now, at this very moment and as a matter of course, in broad daylight a hundred thousand times in North Africa and the Arab world: women are being sexually assaulted, humiliated, and, if they resist the attacks, denounced as “sluts” or “whores.” The Egyptian author and feminist Mona Eltahway described this phenomenon and its causes on May 2, 2012, in Le Monde: “Well, they [the men of the Arab world] hate us. It has to be finally said. . . . Women in the whole world have problems; it is true that the United States has not yet elected a woman president; and it is true that in many Western countries (I live in one of them), women are still treated like objects. That is the point where the conversation usually ends, if you try to discuss the reasons why Arab societies hate women. Name any Arab country, and I will give you a litany of examples for the bad treatment—it is a thousand times worse than you think—of women, which derives from a poisonous mixture of culture and religion which evidently only very few people are willing to address, out of fear of being accused of blasphemy or shock.”

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An Underwhelming Apocalypse: The Islamization of France in Michel Houellebecq’s Submission

Reading the latest novel by Michel Houellebecq, I remembered an essay by Maurice Blanchot that appeared in 1964, entitled “L’Apocalypse déçoit,” roughly translatable as “The Apocalypse Disappoints.” Originally devoted to the intellectual failure on the part of the French intelligentsia to deal with the possibility of nuclear annihilation, the title of that essay seems the perfect commentary to a plot that would sound nothing less than apocalyptic to a very sizable part of contemporary French society: the election of a Muslim president of the French Republic and the Islamization of its civil code. This disastrous occurrence, currently treated in the Western media as nothing less than a catastrophic finis Europae, is narrated by Houellebecq in his increasingly understated voice, now mostly situated halfway between deadpan satire, melancholic brooding, and a touch of occasional melodrama. Gone are the violent Islamic terrorists of Plateforme, the 2001 novel that ended with terrorist attack on European sexual tourists in Thailand. No more spectacular explosions of the 9/11 kind: if the Western way of life will go, it won’t be with a bang, but with a merely audible whimper.

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