Tariq Ramadan: the West’s Pluralist Future
November 20, 2006 § 3 Comments
The overall sentiment of Pope Benedict XVI’s planned visit to Turkey, is not as warm and welcome as he might have hoped in days prior to that fateful speech last September. Since then there has been a flood of news stories done on the Pope and Islam, that even I have contributed to (, , , ,  and ). And while there has been criticism of Pope Benedict’s statements there has also been criticism of Muslims and their erred responses. Though now, after all of the mudslinging and dust kicking has subsided, perhaps we can have a dialogue. However, not a dialogue between the West and other civilizations, we need a sincere dialogue in the West among Westerners about the future of Islam within our civilization here at home asTariq Ramadan suggests,
“What the West needs most today is not so much a dialogue with other civilizations but an honest dialogue with itself–one that acknowledges those traditions within Western civilization that are almost never recognized. Europe, in particular, must learn to reconcile itself with the diversity of its past in order to master the coming pluralism of its future.” (T. Ramadan, TIME)
Part of what Ramadan is hinting at is reminding Westerners of Islam’s contribution to the West presently and historically. For example, rationalist Muslim thinkers like al-Farabi, Avicenna, Averroes, al-Ghazali, ash-Shatibi and ibn Khaldun, were Western-Muslim scientists and philosophers whose brilliant ideas and discoveries provided and entryway to modernity, let’s not forget.
If interested I have provided a link to a BBC Production on the history Islam in Europe.