Freedom of speech after Charlie Hebdo; registratie De Balie

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Our freedom of speech after Charlie Hebdo

With Frank Furedi, Abdelkader Benali, Markha Valenta and Merijn Oudenampsen

On the 25th of February, one and a half month after the bloody attacks at Charlie Hebdo, we will discuss freedom of speech and the role of Islam with Frank Furedi, Abdelkader Benali, Markha Valenta, and Merijn Oudenampsen, who all wrote extensively on this subject. In the first days after the shooting many articles appeared. Journalists all over the world tried to give answers to difficult questions about provocation, freedom of speech and words versus violence. On this evening Uitgeverij Leesmagazijn will present a series of essays in which the backgrounds and possible consequences are being described from many different angles. 

One of the most interesting articles out of this collection is the essayCharlie Hebdo: Is Islam to blame?

In this essay Frank Furedi writes about the problems that arise when one wants to have an open and objective discussion about the responsibility the Islam bears. Two simplistic opinions, that mirror each other, but of which neither provides solace, are very present in the debate.

The first being that Islam has an “inherent flaw that drives its zealots to acts of barbaric violence against their foes”. The other is the ‘these are not Muslims’-perspective. Frank Furedi encourages us to look at “why Islamic jihadist ideals have such a powerful appeal over many young people in the west.” According to Frank Furedi, saying that the problem is simply Islam, or simply terrorism, makes it possible to avoid the hard debate. A debate we want to have this evening in De Balie and where we will speak freely about a value so important to us: the freedom of speech.

With: Frank Furedi (sociologist), Merijn Oudenampsen (sociologist),Abdelkader Benali (writer), Markha Valenta (assistant professor of American Studies). Moderated by Pieter Hilhorst.

About Frank Furedi
Frank Furedi is a sociologist and social commentator. He was formerly Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent in Canterbury. His book Invitation To Terror; Expanding the Empire of the Unknown (2007) explores the way in which the threat of terrorism has become amplified through the ascendancy of precautionary thinking. It develops the arguments contained in two previous books, Culture of Fear (2002) and Paranoid Parenting (2001). Both of these works investigate the interaction between risk consciousness and perceptions of fear, trust relations and social capital in contemporary society.

This programme is produced in collaboration with publishing house Leesmagazijn and weekly magazine De Groene Amsterdammer.