[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Prof. Ionna Kuçuradi

Dear all,

For your information.


*You have even said that the promotion of respect for all cultures is a
“trap” for human rights.*

**The differences of cultures is a fact. But these differences should not
cause discrimination. I have nothing against people living as they like, *so
long as their world views, ways of living and norms do not prevent
themselves and their children from developing their human potentialities.
The unconditional promotion of respect for all cultures as an attempt to
fight discrimination is well-minded but very problematic. Many cultures
have norms that are incompatible with human rights – take as an example
polygamy or blood feud. This escapes attention, probably due to the
importance of culture in the singular. That is a trap for human rights.
What we need to respect are human beings – not cultural norms. Cultural
norms must be evaluated. *

*What is, for instance, your stand on the claim of schoolchildren or
employees to carry symbols of religious conscience?*

**When I was a student more than 40 years ago, there were no girls wearing
a scarf in Turkey, neither in school nor in the university. *Today there is
a revival, all over the world, of world views and norms that prevent
people, and children in particular, from developing as human beings. This
revival is closely connected with the promotion of “respect for all
cultures”. The best way to solve this problem is through education. The
concept of laïcité is often misunderstood. It does not simply consist in
the separation of religion and the State. Laïcité is a negative principle
which demands that religious and cultural norms in general do not determine
the establishment of social relations and the administration of public
affairs. This is why laïcité is a precondition for human rights and the
reason why it is very important. Those who agree with the claim of
schoolchildren to carry religious symbols are probably not aware that they
push children to give priority to one of their various collective
identities, that they push them to give priority to their cultural identity
and not their human identity, and that by doing this they promote
discrimination.* There is a philosophical problem behind all this. The
premises from which universal human rights and cultural norms are deduced
are different, and so are the ways in which they are deduced. So to better
protect human rights we need a philosophical understanding of their
concepts and foundations. Unfortunately, I still see it missing
Status: O