Sunday, May 14, 2006

Capitol Heresies!

I will be appearing in Capitol Hill tomorrow to speak at a conference on Immigration, Integration and Identity. My little intervention will focus on the issue of Integration & Introspection. My main point can be summarized as follows:

To facilitate the integration of Muslim communities in the traditional redoubts of western culture and civilization, namely Europe and the US, each side needs to be self-critical and not just critical of the other. But in truth, and while some criticism along these lines seems to be taking place among western intellectuals and policymakers, we are seeing little serious introspection on part of the Muslim communities involved. This seems to be one of the main driving forces behind the growing frustration of certain figures and groups in the West, both Muslim and non-Muslim. The result: many have begun to vent their frustration in ways that are simply too confrontational and sensational to allow for viable dialogue.