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Thursday, February 23, 2006
The Cartoon Riots: A Case Study in Liberal vs. Radical Political Analysis
Watch the debate between Ali Abunimah and Fouad Ajami on Newshour with Jim Lehrer

Ever since I watched this clip three weeks ago, I've been meaning to do a thoughtful post. Instead of putting it of forever, I've decided to throw together a rough summary of my thoughts even though I don't have time to really do justice to the subject.

In the video, the radical analysis is provided by Ali Abunimah is a longtime activist who we hosted at GC back long ago in the Pre-9/11 days at the Pax Americana conference. In the video he points out the cartoon controversy has tapped into simmering grievances from Muslims fed up with discrimination, ridicule and disrespect from the west. He talks quite powerfully about his own experience growing up as a Muslim in Europe.

Fouad Ajami, on the other hand, provides the classic liberal counterpoint. The European muslims, he asserts just need to learn to tolerate European customs when they're living in Europe. They need to learn to accept being offended occasionally if they want to live in the West as that's what the freedom of expression and European liberalism means.

What do you think? Which argument do you identify with more?

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