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Paradoxes of Liberal Democracy

Paradoxes of Liberal Democracy: Islam, Western Europe, and the Danish Cartoon Crisis

Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Paradoxes of Liberal Democracy
    Book Description:

    In 2005, twelve cartoons mocking the prophet Mohammed appeared in the Danish newspaperJyllands-Posten, igniting a political firestorm over demands by some Muslims that the claims of their religious faith take precedence over freedom of expression. Given the explosive reaction from Middle Eastern governments, Muslim clerics, and some Danish politicians, the stage was set for a backlash against Muslims in Denmark. But no such backlash occurred.

    Paradoxes of Liberal Democracyshows how the majority of ordinary Danish citizens provided a solid wall of support for the rights of their country's growing Muslim minority, drawing a sharp distinction between Muslim immigrants and Islamic fundamentalists and supporting the civil rights of Muslim immigrants as fully as those of fellow Danes-for example, Christian fundamentalists. Building on randomized experiments conducted as part of large, nationally representative opinion surveys,Paradoxes of Liberal Democracyalso demonstrates how the moral covenant underpinning the welfare state simultaneously promotes equal treatment for some Muslim immigrants and opens the door to discrimination against others.

    Revealing the strength of Denmark's commitment to democratic values,Paradoxes of Liberal Democracyunderlines the challenges of inclusion but offers hope to those seeking to reconcile the secular values of liberal democracy and the religious faith of Muslim immigrants in Europe.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5267-3
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-VI)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. VII-VIII)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. IX-XII)
  4. Preface
    (pp. XIII-XVIII)
  5. CHAPTER 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-9)

    September 5, 2005, theJyllands-Posten,a newspaper based in Aarhus, a university town in Denmark, published twelve cartoons, some satirizing the prophet Mohammed. The announced reason: the free expression of ideas was being stifled for fear of offending Muslim sensibilities. Now forgotten, or more likely never noticed, many of the cartoons aimed their barbs at those who were complaining of being stifled—mocking the newspaper itself, for example, by showing a boy pointing to a blackboard behind him with an inscription in Persian that “Jyllands-Posten’s journalists are a bunch of reactionary provocateurs.” Another cartoon caricatured the Danish author who won...

  6. Chapter 2 A Clash of Rights
    (pp. 10-51)

    Here is the plotline of a political drama. A newspaper in a western European country, Denmark, has published a set of cartoons offensive to many Muslims. Middle Eastern governments publicly demand that the country’s government apologize for the cartoons. In response, the prime minister of the western European country declares: no apology; no punishment of the newspaper for publishing the cartoons; no restrictions on future publications; no discussion.

    Political leaders in the Middle East and Denmark square off. They assume the role of duelists each defending the honor of their side’s values. Governments famous for their opposition to anything they...

  7. Chapter 3 The Covenant Paradox
    (pp. 52-81)

    From the eighteenth century on, European commentators and intellectuals have flagged racism as a signal of US failing, a blood-red thread running through the US experience from the past to the present. They have similarly noted the absence of a social safety net as a signal of US failing, as evidence that the US state is a halfway station, affirming the political principles of a democratic politics but evading its social obligations.

    The censure of European public intellectuals can be justified. Their complacency cannot. Anyone who can draw breath can see that western Europe, too, is struggling with the inclusion...

    (pp. 82-116)

    Our aim in this chapter is to bring to light how—and why—the ideological foundations of party systems in western Europe pose a potentially explosive threat to the inclusion of immigrants. It has, of course, long been recognized that right-wing ideological values are a major force propelling anti-immigration politics. Though by no means the only symptom, the most florid expression is the rise of radical anti-immigration parties—among others, the National Front in France, Freedom Party in the Netherlands, Flemish Interest in Belgium, and Freedom Party of Austria. A towering stack of studies of such anti-immigration parties has accumulated,...

  9. CHAPTER 5 The Concept of Inclusive Tolerance
    (pp. 117-140)

    The inclusion of immigrants in general and Muslim immigrants in particular is straining liberal democracies in western Europe. From year to year, other issues push themselves to the forefront. As we write, the economic crisis of the Euro zone threatens to undermine the financial foundations of the European Union. Yet even if the crisis is overcome, the inclusion of Muslim immigrants in their new countries will challenge western Europe over the next half century, and if the crisis is not overcome, the challenge of inclusion will be even more daunting. Accordingly, the aim of this chapter is to reexamine—or...

  10. Chapter 6 The Democratic Impulse
    (pp. 141-154)

    Ours is a study of one country, over a fairly brief period of time—on the order of four months—during a political crisis. Still, at every point where direct comparison is possible, the results of our research have agreed with the findings of previous research.¹ And on key points where our procedures are new, the results of a follow-up experiment replicate those of the initial experiment. So with the appropriate qualifications and caveats, we want to put down the broader lessons we ourselves have drawn from our specific results.

    There is a large literature on democratic lamentation. Two of...

  11. Appendix A: Timeline of the Cartoon Crisis
    (pp. 155-156)
  12. Appendix B: Description of the Main Data Set
    (pp. 157-158)
  13. Appendix C: Comparison of Respondents from the Height and Aftermath of the Crisis
    (pp. 159-162)
  14. Appendix D: Scaling and Measurement of Core Variables
    (pp. 163-166)
  15. References
    (pp. 167-176)
  16. Index
    (pp. 177-186)