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Fundamentalism means the literal and dogmatic interpretation of holy texts (but these may also be secular texts), the prescriptive indications of which are considered the foundations of all action.

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The use of the expression anti-Semitism to indicate hostility towards the Jews – only the Jews and not as generally thought towards all “Semitic” people – dates back to the second half of the 19th Century, when the word, a neologism derived from linguistics, was spread throughout...

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“Pan-Arabism” is a movement the objective of which is the unification of Arab peoples and nations. This is a modern cultural trend with political finalities, arising as an answer to colonialism and the West’s involvement in the Arab world..

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Generally speaking, “Christianity” means the ensemble of churches, communities, sects, groups, but also the ideas and concepts following the preaching of he who is generally considered the founder of this religion, Jesus of Nazareth, a travelling preacher from Galilee, born between 4 B.

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In the strictest sense Enlightenment means the cultural movement of philosophical origins that spread through Europe after the beginning of the 18th Century until the French revolution and that is characterised by trust in reason and its clarifying power.

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A month of ideas.
Giancarlo Bosetti Editor-in-chief
Association for dialogue and intercultural understanding
ARTICLES for MAY 1 - 31, 2015

Mohammed Abed Al-Jabri
Reforming Arab Reason Between Tradition and Modernity

The Moroccan philosopher Mohammed Abed Al Jabri (27 Dec. 1935 – 03 May 2010) has marked contemporary Arab and Islamic thought with his voluminous works of categorizing and systematizing the tradition. The author of La Critique de la Raison Arabe raised critical issues that he considered existential for intellectual and political renewal in the region. On May 5th 2015 Reset-DoC and its partners organize an “Al Jabri Day” in Rome, Italy, with lectures and contributions in honor of this great Moroccan philosopher and founding father of critical thought in contemporary Arab-Islamic philosophy.

Islam and the West, Recovering the Keys to Openness Mohammed Abed Al-Jabri interviewed by Nina zu Fürstenberg
Opening the Doors of Ijtihad Fred Dallmayr, University of Notre Dame
In depth

Patriotism: Russian foreign policy’s new paradigm

Daniele Fattibene

When reading the Russian press one can deduct that patriotism has become a fundamental key for understanding the Russian Federation’s foreign policy. It is interesting to study the different analyses of this phenomenon, from the most conservative to those most critical of the regime. What does Russian  patriotism consist of? According to Andrej Il’nitskij – a political analyst and a member of Putin’s “United Russia” party - there is now a “democratic patriotism” in Russia. It is a peculiar ideology that starts with a negation of what the country is not – neither a fascist government like Kiev’s nor plutocratic liberalism following the Western model – and protects the state’s traditional values. Russian patriotism is “democratic” – since it is supported by the majority of the country, but also “creative” because it is free from the impediments typical of the liberal ideology. Its pillars are the educational system, the army, the media and the Russian intelligentsia.

Ucraine crisis

Russia: As Moscow prepares its parade
Eastern Europe gathers in Gdansk

Matteo Tacconi

Seventy years have gone by since the end of World War II and, since this marks another decade, in Moscow the commemorations will be grand. Fifteen thousand soldiers will march in the usual military parade in Red Square on May 9th, the day on which Russians commemorate victory in the “Great Patriotic War.” The ground of this great Muscovite square will not only reverberate to the sound of marching boots, but also to the passing artillery pieces, armoured vehicles, missiles and tanks, including the T-14 Armata Tank. This is a new and very modern tank that will be officially presented on May 9th. For the moment no photographs of the tank are in circulation, with the exception of one published on the Russian Defence Ministry’s website. The turret is not visible in this photograph and this has increased expectations regarding this display of grandeur. It is a shame that the most important Western leaders will not see it in real life as they are not travelling to Moscow. Turbulent times added to the great Ukrainian crisis have discouraged visits.


Trivializing the Holocaust

Eric Salerno

As the people of Israel were honoring the victims of the Holocaust (April 16) and in the rest of the world people were remembering the day in which the gates of Auschwitz were opened, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman chose to offend memory and narrative for mere political reasons. He, as other Israeli leaders including Yair Lapid of the centrist party Yesh Atid (“There is a future”) criticized the request by 16 European Union foreign ministers to label Israeli products made beyond the 1949 armistice line as “Made in the West Bank.” A legitimate attack (from the point of those that sustain the ongoing process of colonization of the Palestinian territories) if not for the idea offered by the man responsible for the foreign policy of that country.

History and Politics

Turkey, Beyond the Armenian Genocide Debate

Verda Özer

“Prime Minister Erdoğan’s statement of condolence to the Armenians was a milestone in Turkey’s history.” This was the first sentence of my column in daily Hürriyet on April 26 last year. The then Prime Minister Erdoğan had made an unprecedented move in Turkish history by issuing an official statement offering condolences to Armenians on April 24, the 99th anniversary of the Armenian massacres. This year, however, April 24 arrives in Turkey in a totally different atmosphere. The declaration of Pope Francis last Sunday that “the Armenian Genocide is the first genocide of the 20th century” and the resolution adopted by the European Parliament last week urging Turkey to recognize the genocide have rekindled the longstanding genocide debate in the country.

Nuclear Talks

Iran, a Deal Based on Dialogue
Will be a Win-Win for Everyone

Seyed Hossein Mousavian interviewed by Marina Forti

The historic political framework agreement reached by Iran and the world powers last April 2 in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Tehran's nuclear program has the potential of changing the entire  landscape in the Middle East and beyond. Iran and the group called 5+1 (the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) have indeed found a formula that would reassure the international community on the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program, while terminating all unilateral and multilateral economic sanctions imposed on Tehran. If they succeed in developing a comprehensive deal by the end of June, as it is expected, it will certainly mark a major geopolitical shift, as it will probably open the way for cooperation between Iran and the United States well beyond the nuclear file, on other areas of common interest.

History and Remembrance

On the Centenary of Armenian Genocide
Again a war of Words and Anniversaries

Matteo Tacconi

The centenary of the Armenian genocide will go down in history, if for no other reason that Pope Francis’ words will still echo powerfully over the days and years to come. Many things have been said and written about Jorge Bergoglio’s speech and there is no need to add anything. Here the issue of the genocide’s centenary starts from a different perspective, to be more specific from a location; Gallipoli.

Europe and its neighbours

Ukraine, Before the Minsk Ceasefire Deal

Matteo Tacconi

These were weeks during which negotiations between Kiev and pro-Russian rebels were to take place, but it was all over even before talks began. What is worse is that fighting has increased very violently in the east of the former Soviet republic. “Bus stops, schools, kindergartens, hospitals and residential areas have become normal battlefields in the Donetsk and Lugansk region,” said Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, speaking of the kind of war now being fought in Ukraine; a Yugoslav-styled war one might say. This is perhaps the reason for which Angela Merkel and François Hollande have decided to travel first to Kiev and then to Moscow to re-establish dialogue and avoid a total catastrophe.   

Human Rights

Stuck in Karmooz. Arbitrary Detention
and Crackdown on Refugees in Egypt

Azzurra Meringolo

After a hundred individuals were kept in arbitrary detention at the Karmooz Police station in Alexandria, Egypt, they began a hunger strike to bring international attention to their plight. But their last battle started in October 2014. The majority of the 74 refugees-detainees in Karmooz police station are part of a group of Syrian and Palestinian-Syrians that left from Turkey by boat on 23 October last year. They wanted to reach their family members in Europe, but they were arrested in early November 2014 by Egyptian coast guards, after becoming victims of the smuggler mafia.

History and Dialogue

Israel and Palestine twenty years after Oslo
Rabin's and Arafat’s problematic legacy

Claudia De Martino

Twenty years ago Yasser Arafat, President of the PLO, and Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s Labour Prime Minister, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the brave choices they had made a year earlier in Oslo, agreeing to reciprocally acknowledge each other’s country as an independent nation with a right to statehood, to start the process involving the division of historical Palestine and forever renouncing war.

R. Jahanbegloo and A. Chakrabarti in India

Philosophical investigations in Delhi: about moral choices, intellectual honesty and political freedom

Ananya Vajpeyi, CSDS

Delhi - In the weeks just before and after the new year, when the overall atmosphere of the capital was vitiated on account of the government’s attempts to override Christmas as a Christian observance and an official holiday, replacing it with a so-called “Good Governance Day” and the birth anniversaries of Madan Mohan Malaviya and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, brief visits by two eminent philosophers provided some relief. The visitors were the Bengali philosopher, Arindam Chakrabarti, who teaches at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, and the Iranian philosopher, Ramin Jahanbegloo, who teaches at York University in Canada. Both lectured at public fora, met with students and scholars, and brought to the denizens of beleaguered Delhi a much-needed reminder of the importance of philosophy as the core of humanistic intellectual inquiry and democratic dissent.

Philosophy and Religion

Islamic Philosophy in the Age of Ethical Malaise and Local Turmoil

Like other classical world traditions and civilizations that seek renewal for survival, continuity and contribution to world affairs, the Islamic one is convened and questioned, maybe more than others and more than ever before, seeing its geographical and intellectual positions between the so-called East and West, an archaic dichotomy that disrupts politics and stirs philosophy at the same time. The ongoing dire socio-political chaos in the Arab-Islamic world questions the intellectual tradition of this part of the world, to see where it stands, and what contributions it offers to overcome the turmoil. Reset-DoC is pleased to present three reflections on Islamic Philosophy by Mohammed Hashas (PhD), as part of an ongoing conversation with a civilization that was, and a worldview that is still vibrant and confident that it can still contribute to world intellect and local politics.

Past and Present Conditions for Existence and Difference

Islamic Philosophy I

The Moderns and Contemporaries in Search for a New Paradigm

Islamic Philosophy II

The Question of Ethics: Taha Abderrahmane’s Praxeology and Trusteeship Paradigm

Islamic Philosophy III

Middle Eastern Turmoil

«We need an alliance with moderate Islam in order to defeat ISIS»

Italian MP Khalid Chaouki interviewed by Elisa Gianni

“The first to pay with their lives are those who profess this religion in a peaceful, calm and respectful manner.” With those words the Italian Speaker of the House Laura Boldrini commented on her meeting with the secretary of Italy’s Islamic Cultural Centre, Abdellah Redouane, and the faithful who were meeting for Friday prayers at Rome’s Great Mosque. This was an encounter that the Islamic community had wanted and requested and addressed at Italians and Muslims in order to say “no to terrorism” and reiterate that “Islam is a religion of peace.” Those words were part of the clear and explicit appeal read at a table at which the Italian state’s third highest ranking official sat next to authorities of the largest mosque in Europe.


Malala and Satyarthi, an important Nobel Peace Prize. This is why it concerns us all

Roberto Toscano

This year the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize was greeted everywhere with a chorus of approval. It could not have been otherwise when the award was assigned to two very different people (Malala Yousafzai, a 17-year old Pakistani girl, and Kilash Satyarthi, a 60-year old Indian, she is a Muslim and he is a Hindu), but united by one of the most noble and undisputed causes; the right of all children, poor and wealthy, boys and girls,  to receive an education. The Nobel Peace Prize certainly needed this consensus, allowing one to set aside certain past decisions which were legitimately criticised and had tarnished its prestige.

Interview with Italy’s Deputy Foreign Minister

"ISIS can be stopped, but rebuilding Iraq is up to its people"

Lapo Pistelli interviewed by Francesco Bravi

Deputy Foreign Minister Lapo Pistelli is the Italian government’s delegate for the Middle East and in the past was a professor and OSCE representative as well as being a former member of the Italian and European parliaments’ Foreign Affairs Committees. Pistelli’s long summer started when he returned to Italy with the last flight out of Erbil before U.S. air strikes on ISIS jihadists began. There he saw first-hand Iraq’s wounded image in refugee camps, filled with those who had already abandoned everything to flee the men led by “Caliph” al-Baghdadi, and were now preparing to flee once again. Today, he believes, such an international crisis or the decision-making system in place called upon to remedy matters, are no longer issues to be addressed by desk-strategists, because when events are this harsh, a backlash can only be prevented by the United Nations’ centrality and the flexible of politics and diplomacy.

Inclusive Citizenship - Essays

The Pragmatic Roots of Cultural Pluralism

Richard J. Bernstein, The New School

This essay by Richard Bernstein, the Vera List Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York, is drawn from a lecture held during the series of conferences "For an inclusive citizenship" organized by Reset-DoC. The conferences were held in Milan at the Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli between autumn 2013 and spring 2014. Among other speakers, the conferences have hosted Giuliano Amato, Rainer Bauböck, Michael Walzer, Anna Elisabetta Galeotti, Nilüfer Göle, Susan Mendus and Alain Touraine.

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