Friday, July 07, 2006  

Toward a new "we"

On the anniversary of the London bombings, Tariq Ramadan puts out the call for a new "we," a concept of active cultural engagement on the part of Muslims, multi-culturalists, and others, to create society that engages the questions of cultural responsibility, cross-contact and accountability. This is very similar to the call that was heard (rather faintly, I admit) after 9/11. Ramandan offers the following:
We have ample reason to be concerned. The repeated terrorist attacks throughout the world, along with the "war on terror" and the increased tensions arising from social problems, have combined to portray Islam as a threat to the western societies.

Fear and its accompanying emotional reactions have become part of the public mindset. Such reactions, while often legitimate, are also being exploited with increasing frequency for political ends.

Hardly a western society has been spared its own searing questions of "identity" or its "integration"-related tensions. Muslims find themselves faced with clear-cut alternatives: they can adopt the attitude of the "victim" or they can face up to their difficulties, becoming fully fledged subjects of their own history.

In the final analysis, their fate is in their hands. Nothing will change until they accept full responsibility for themselves, become constructively critical and self critical, and respond to the creeping "evolution of fear" with a firmly grounded "revolution of trust", handling fears and facing legitimate questions.
(the rest)

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