Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Enlightenment Fundamentalism": A warning or a slur?

The term "Enlightenment Fundamentalism" has been used by thinkers such as Ian Buruma to criticise other intellectuals such as Hirsi Ali. The term suggests that enlightenment values are parochial western values and that ethical arguments for free speech, for example, actually serve as colonial arguments that promulgate western hegemony.

Paul Berman's book" The Flight of the Intellectuals" is reviewed in Slate. Berman chastises "the liberal left" for failing to defend Hirsi Ali's critiques of Islam in the face of death threats from militant muslims.

"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster