Iberian Interculturalism: Can it Survive Economic Trauma...
Wednesday, March 20 at 12:15pm
Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center, 270 37th and O St., N.W., Washington
the BMW Center for German and European Studies
invite you to a book talk:
Iberian Interculturalism: Can it Survive Economic Trauma and New Extremisms?
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
12:15 pm - ICC 270
Iberia is a place of historic and symbolic significance to all three of the world's major religions. Myths concerning Islam's origins collide with the story of the Christian reconquista, the subsequent Spanish Inquisition, and the massive expulsion of Muslims and Jews some five hundred years ago. Yet Muslims have made a significant comeback in this region, which now hosts one of Europe's newest Muslim communities.
This volume recounts the 'retaking' of Al-Andalus by Iberia's new Muslims, which include groups as diverse as students, farm workers, female professionals, and clerics, and their successful integration into a strongly Roman Catholic culture. Marvine Howe shares not only the experiences of Iberia's Muslims but also the reactions of Spanish and Portuguese officials, academics, NGOs, and ordinary citizens, who have found ways to incorporate Muslims and other immigrants into Iberian society despite domestic and European pressure to do otherwise. She also revisits the events of March 11, 2004, when Muslim extremists launched a devastating attack on Madrid's transportation system, and investigates these events in relation to Al-Qaeda's stated intent to reclaim Al-Andalus for Islam. Howe pursues several basic threads, such as whether Iberia's humane immigration policies can be exported to other European contexts and whether the Andalusian spirit of tolerance and diversity will prevail over a troubled economy and heightened radicalism -- in both the Islamic world and the West.
Marvine Howe was born in Shanghai, China, and has been traveling ever since. She spent most of her career reporting for The New York Times from
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