Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Words of a terrorist?

The full text (rather than the excerpted Herald version) of Ahmed Zaoui's lecture on the clash of civilizations is here. It's interesting reading, and stresses the need for tolerance and understanding - hardly what you'd expect from a "terrorist".

It's quite significant that he mentions Averroes. The intellectual tradition Averroes represents was a liberal one of tolerance and scientific inquiry; it was suppressed during the thirteenth century for much the same reason as the Catholic Church attempted to suppress Galileo: because the results of that inquiry did not match religious dogma. This suppression is considered to be one of the causes of Islam's subsequent decline.