Religious tolerance and intolerance
Michael De Dora
Posted on July 13, 2012
The Boston Review recently conducted an interesting interview with philosopher Martha Nussbaum on her new book, The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age, which discusses the growing anti-Islam agitations in Europe and the United States.
Here’s a taste:
… my views, which are pretty mainstream in America, are found “extreme” and even “offensive” in Germany, and all sorts of quite refined people think that Islam poses a unique problem and that the law should be dragged in to protect the culture. One woman who purported to represent a human rights organization actually disrupted the question period after my lecture by making a long speech, culminating in an attempt to refute my critique of the “health argument” (“the burqa is unhealthy”) by pointing out that she has a burqa at home and when she tries it on she trips over things. Please. When I first wore a long evening skirt I tripped too, but should long evening dresses be illegal? If we apply that standard, there are some candidates for a ban that stand far above these: platform shoes, for example, which even shoe-lovers like me find very hard to walk in without turning one’s ankle. I myself have sprained my ankle twice wearing shoes with two-inch platforms. But I don’t want to ban them either, of course! The problem with these Europeans is that they don’t want to ban platform shoes or spike heels either; they just want to ban practices of others which they have never tried to understand.
You can read the entire interview here.
Tagged: atheism, ethics, god, intolerance, morality, religion, secularism, tolerance