10 June 2011
Public event in Vienna: European Islam and Muslim neighbours Fears and Opportunities
Sibylle Hamann – Gerald Knaus – Zeynep Goknil Sanal – Mustafa Akyol. Photo: ERSTE Stiftung
Sibylle Hamann – Gerald Knaus – Zeynep Goknil Sanal – Mustafa Akyol. Photo: ERSTE Stiftung

Erste Stiftung and European Stability Initiative (ESI)
organised a public debate (in English) on:

European Islam and Muslim neighbours – Fears and Opportunities

Friday, 10 June 2011, 19:00, RadioKulturhaus (Großer Sendesaal)
Argentinierstraße 30a, 1040 Vienna

ERSTE Stiftung

Moderator:

 

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

     

Panelists:

 

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 commentar 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)

     

Presentation by Gerald Knaus: European Islam and Muslim neighbours – Fears and Opportunities (10 June 2011)

Introduction and panel discussion

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Introduction and panel discussion. Audio: ERSTE Stiftung. All rights reserved.

Questions from the audience

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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?

Analytical work and field research reports are central to the long-term cooperation between ERSTE Foundation and the think tank European Stability Initiative (ESI). ERSTE Foundation and ESI work together to present this knowledge to a European public using various channels, such as a public presentation.

Video contribution by Michael Thumann

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Video: Michael Thumann. All rights reserved.
About us
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com