Edgar Morin and Tariq Ramadan
Complexity was the word that marked the event between Edgar Morin, the French philosopher and sociologist, and Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University, at Piazza Castello to present their book Il pericolo delle idee (At The Risk of Ideas, not yet published in English). The dip in temperature did not deter the crowds, as could be seen by the lengthy queue of people waiting to enter along the walls of the city's Ducal Palace.
The discussion was moderated by the writer and translator Riccardo Mazzeo, who introduced the main theme of the free circulation of ideas. However, the conversation between Ramadan and Morin quickly moved to the current refugee crisis, the war in Syria and religious fundamentalism, and the many complexities that surround each of these issues.
For Morin, the fear generated by certain sectors of the media surrounding the dangers of rising multiculturalism in Western Europe ignores the fact that countries such as France, Spain and Italy already have a rich history of multiculturalism, citing the influence of the stateless nations of Brittany, Catalonia and the Basque Country, among others.
As the conversation turned to the current crisis in the Middle East, Ramadan maintained that the blame belongs to many parties. He highlighted that there is currently very little collaboration between Middle Eastern countries and, in fact, the focus is still on “North-South relationships (between Middle Eastern countries and Western European countries), at the expense of South-South relationships (between Middle Eastern countries).”
Ramadan was keen to affirm that Il pericolo delle idee was not (which takes the form of a series of interviews) written by two intellectuals, but rather a collaborative effort by one intellectual, Morin, and another, Ramadan, who has closely studied his work. In essence, a collaboration between “brothers in humanity.”
Following the event, Ramadan responded to a number of questions related to education and the acceptance of 'the other', as well as the value tolerance and diversity in an open society.