The West and the Muslim World

A Muslim Position. 6 authors from countries influenced by Islam. Ed.: Institut für Auslandbeziehungen, Germany.
Aug 2004

Appraisal of Western-Muslim relations compiled by six intellectuals from countries strongly influenced by Islam, namely Salwa Bakr (Egypt), Basem Ezbidi (Palestinian Territories), Dato' Mohammed Jawhar Hassan (Malaysia), Fikret Karcic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Hanan Kassab-Hassan (Syria) and Mazhar Zaidi (Pakistan).

The Report addresses the historical roots of the confrontation between the West and the Islamic world, identifies stereotypes and prejudices, and draws a line through to the causes and effects of the September 11 attacks and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The essays include recommendations and core points for how we can jointly shape the future.

(from an information of the ifa)

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From the preface by
 Alois Graf von Waldburg-Zeil
President of the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations

For many years now, dialogue with the Muslim world has formed a fixed part of German foreign cultural and educational policy. Encouraging dialogue is therefore both the duty and mission of the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa); over the last decade, the latter has made a special contribution in this regard, specifically with its German-Arab media dialogues, its Central Asian conferences for journalists and experts, not to mention its exhibitions of German art.

In the wake of September 11, 2001 it seemed necessary to redefine the basis for such dialogue. Thus it was that in October 2002 the ifa invited scholars, writers, journalists and representatives of NGOs from the Islamic world and from Germany to attend a conference at Neuhardenberg Castle.

As a first step, the conference recommended that a group of intellectuals from the Muslim countries be appointed to document their particular views on the core problems facing relations to the West and in this way to appraise the current state of affairs. The results are published in the present volume. I am of the opinion that a new dialogue can only be initiated with all partners to it being treated as equals if the West is prepared to heed this appraisal and think long and constructively about the criticisms it voices and the proposals it makes.

 

The West and the Muslim World. A Muslim Position

Report, part of the special program "European-Islamic Cultural Dialogue" of the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin

Published by: Institut für Auslandbeziehungen (ifa) Stuttgart, within the ifa forum Dialogue and Mutual Understanding
© 2004 ifa Stuttgart

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