Michael Ignatieff on learning from Rushdie’s Fatwa Years

Unfortunately, the article (found here)is behind a paywall, and I usually only link you to free content, but this bit of writing was so good that I can’t help myself:

So we come out of the Rushdie affair with one thing in common: democratic life together is a hard bargain. Each of us, Muslim believer and secular liberal, wishes the other were different. But we are not, and living together requires us to accept what we cannot change.

Living together should not be in resentful silence, each in our own ghettos. It means shouldering a burden of mutual justification without privilege.

Yes, well. Here we have the multi-cultural problem, don’t we? So a movie crosses a line, and we shouldn’t do that sort of thing, out of respect. But it’s acceptable to stone women and execute rape victims because it’s somebody culture to do so? There’s only so much you can ask one to bend their principles for the sake of harmony, there are two ways on the dialogic street if there is meant to be no privileging of individual positions.

I’m predicting lots more resentful silence.

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