Tariq Ramadan on the global ideology of fear

March 15, 2006

In the current issue of New Perspectives Quarterly, Tariq Ramadan discusses global fear-- fueled by both terrorism and the war against it. He observes three principal effects of fear: it breeds mistrust and potential conflict with the "Other," it allows us to forgo all explanation, understanding, and analysis that may help us understand the Other, and it produces a deafness that allows individuals to remain uninformed. He states that fear transforms all societies and their members into victims. He follows that those victims become incapable of viewing the Other as anything but a potential threat.

Professor Ramadan advocates education. "Against the temptation to close ourselves off, to see reality in black and white, we need an 'intellectual jihad,'" he writes. "We need to resist (jihad means, literally effort and resistance), to strive for the universality of a message that transcends the particular and allows us to understand the common universal values that make up our horizon." This reform should be undertaken to resist the ideology of fear.
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This study is published in the Winter issue of New Perspectives Quarterly. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article please contact journalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net

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