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[Xmca-l] Re: Prof. Ionna Kuçuradi

Thanks Andy. And I can say the same for Turkey: Because secular and elitist
republic did not feed the masses economically and socially also, these
masses could be easily directed against the bourgeois , elitist republic.
And now, we live the collapse of this republic.


2013/10/19 Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>

> Ulvi,
> the literature on this problem is sooo extensive and sooo complex I am
> almost lost in trying to respond to your message, the more so because the
> domain is so contested and aggravated.
> "Human Rights" has a long history, which I think can be traced back to
> 1776 and the "Rights of Man and the Citizen" of the American and French
> Revolution and were ensconced in the founding of the United Nations in
> 1948. Here "human rights" were raised by advocates of liberalism against
> repressive or aristocratic regimes governing them. But the first time I
> recall "human (universal) rights" being counterposed to culturally specific
> conceptions of right was when Ronald Reagan introduced "human rights" into
> the discourse of "free trrade" in about 1982. This move reflected the
> shared interest of US capitalists and their employees to prevent the
> importation of products of cheap labour. Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew responded
> with the idea of "Asian Rights" which he claimed represented cultural
> differences in the conception of right. (also "human values" and "asian
> values"). So we had perfectly legitimate conceptions promoted for
> self-serving reactionary motives on both sides of this discussion. At the
> same time, Reagan was arming the religious Mujaheddin to fight the secular
> government in Afghanistan.
> Your observation, that 40 years ago women in Turkey went about their
> business without wearing veils, is important. Of course, Turkey has had a
> militantly secularist government since 1922. But even in Cairo or Tehran,
> it was the same. I have seen a photograph of a market place in Cairo in the
> 1950s, filled with women doing their shopping, and not a veil in sight,
> indistinguishable from a market place in London. Why has this happened? I
> would say that the secular, modernist, socially progressive, nationalist
> leaderships which led the people of the Arab world in the decades after the
> Second World War, to free their countries of domination by Western
> colonialism and imperialism, unfortunately failed to deliver the prosperity
> and happiness that they had promised. Oddly, even though these leaders were
> explicitly "anti-western" they were seen as vehicles for modernism. After
> the defeat of Egypt in its struggle with Israel, Egypt reconciled itself
> with the West, and Sadat was seen as a representative of the West. The Shah
> of Iran would be the classic representative of this type. Secularism by
> means of the torture chamber. Even without the actual overthrow of the
> "founding fathers" who had fought the colonial powers, these regimes became
> representatives of "the West"; secularism became identified with foreign
> domination, and the cause of people's misery.
> This spread from the Middle East to the European and American metropolis,
> where it intersected with the discourse of the various emancipatory
> movements which had grown up in the wake of the Civil Rights and Womens
> Liberation movements. And this is where the really perverse results came
> about. Women, blacks, homosexuals, immigrants, etc., etc., all demanded
> respect for *difference*. Initially these movements had begun with the
> demand for equality, which was usually taken on the basis of "justice is
> blind", but developed by separating the notions of equality and sameness,
> and demanding not that people be treated the same, but be accepted as
> different.
> I have friends who fervently support the French line on laiete, which
> seems to unite native French people from extreme left to extreme right and
> everything in between. I can see the logic of it. But I think to some
> extent we have to see the re-assertion of the right to be oppressed by
> one's own religion, as a *social problem* rather a matter of crime and
> punishment, or government regulation.
> It is a tragedy that the great ideals of the Enlightenment have been so
> discredited in the eyes of those who really need those values and forms of
> life. But it cannot be resolved by forcefully imposing emancipation.
> Apologies for all the oversimplification, inaccuracies and omissions in
> this sketch.
> Andy
> ------------------------------**------------------------------**
> ------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.mira.net/~andy/
> Ulvi İçil wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> For your information.
>> http://www.unesco.org/new/en/**media-services/single-view/**
>> news/interview_with_ioanna_**kucuradi_turkish_philosopher/<http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/interview_with_ioanna_kucuradi_turkish_philosopher/>
>> *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
>> internationally.
Status: O