We can start from violence and its presence in the Holy Texts. Some people say that insisting on the violence of the Bible is typical of antisemitism as much as doing the same about the violence in the Qu’ran is typical of Islamophobia. But this is not the case: there are many things there as human sacrifice or lapidation that our mind cannot today accept.
Islam in Europe has very different characteristics from where it is the majority religion. Specifically, the position of Islam in the public space in Europe is that of a minority in a pluralistic and secularized context
October 2016, New Delhi – Milan
Ashis Nandy sees vendors of nationalism inflicting damage all over the world, including in his own country, India. In India, the modern ideologies dominant during the liberation struggle against British rule were anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism. These then gave way to secular nationalism after Independence in 1947, under the first Prime Minister of free India, Jawaharlal Nehru (d. 1964). But less than seven decades later, what dominates Indian politics today is Hindu nationalism or “Hindutva”, and this is now being aggressively promoted by the ‘strongman’ currently leading the government in Delhi, Narendra Modi. Nandy, 79, a clinical psychologist by training, an analyst of culture and society, an astute political commentator and today India’s most significant living public intellectual, has embraced the view of one of India’s founding fathers, Rabindranath Tagore, who thought that the idea of Indian nationalism was as absurd as Switzerland having a navy. In this interview below, Nandy will explain why.
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.
Hassan Hanafi with Giancarlo Bosetti 19 September 2006
"It’s because of political conservatism that our societies today are conservative, not because of Islam" according to Hassan Hanafi, Professor of Philosophy at Cairo University, representing a proud Arab and Muslim point of view. In this interview with Reset-Doc the Egyptian philosopher explains how Islam can (and should) be interpreted as a promoting factor for social change, liberalism and secularism: "Islam can be a plus to the Europeans" he asserts "And the Mediterranean can play a key role in going beyond Occidentalism and Orientalism". Hanafi is also a member of the scientific Committee of Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations.