European Islam and Muslim Neighbours – Fears and Opportunities

ERSTE Stiftung and European Stability Initiative (ESI) invite you to a public debate (in English) on:

European Islam and Muslim neighbours – Fears and Opportunities
Friday, 10 June 2011, 7 pm, RadioKulturhaus, Vienna

Never has Europe’s relationship with Islam been more debated. From Vienna to Stockholm, from Berlin to Madrid, and from Sarajevo to Istanbul Europeans discuss the future of European Islam and the fears and opportunities of having Muslim neighbours – inside the EU and next to the EU. Thilo Sarrazin’s book Germany does away with itself (Deutschland schafft sich ab) has triggered a huge controversy. So has the statement of Germany’s President Christian Wulff that “Islam belongs to Germany”. Similarly Austrians, French, the UK and Italy discuss the position of their sizeable Muslim populations in society. Then there is the EU accession bid of Turkey and of Balkan states with large Muslim communities (Albania, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Kosovo). The EU accession of these Balkan states and Turkey would – if successful – make every fifth EU citizen Muslim. Recently, the anti-authoritarian uprisings in Arab countries on the shores of the Southern Mediterranean also promise new dynamics, and challenges for the emerging EU foreign policy. But can a continent in which fear of Islam and populist impulses seem to be in the ascendant respond to and shape all these developments?

Mustafa Akyol, Turkish political commentator and author based in Istanbul, Turkey, author of forthcoming Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty (July 2011)

Sibylle Hamann, Austrian political commentator and author based in Vienna, Austria, author of Weißbuch Frauen/Schwarzbuch Männer: Warum wir einen neuen Geschlechtervertrag brauchen (White book women/Black book men: why we need a new gender contract) (2008)

Zeynep Goknil Sanal, Head of the Capital City Women’s Platform in Ankara, Turkey

Michael Thumann, Die Zeit Turkey and Middle East correspondent, author of Der Islam-Irrtum – Europas Angst vor der muslimischen Welt (The Islam Error: Europe’s Fear of the Muslim World) (June 2011)

Gerald Knaus, Chairman European Stability Initiative (ESI) and associate fellow, Harvard Kennedy School

After the public debate discussion will continue informally over a glass of wine.
The event will be conducted in English (without translation).

RadioKulturhaus, Großer Sendesaal
Argentinierstraße 30a, 1040 Vienna   

Public Transport: subway U1/Taubstummengasse, tram D/Plößlgasse 
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The event on the ORF website: