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dhume.jpgThe violent reaction four years ago to the publication in Denmark of a series of satirical cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed suggests that the cultural divisions highlighted 20 years ago by The Satanic Verses controversy have intensified rather than dissipated. Europe is currently facing what some call its biggest challenge: trying to come to terms with its Muslim minority. Across the continent, debates over the veil, the burka, and more recently the Swiss referendum banning the building of minarets, have prompted passionate, often violent responses. What are the consequences of this, for Europe and for literature, in a society that appears to be segregating along sectarian and racial lines and where intolerance is increasing on both sides of the divide?

Join Jamal Mahjoub, Paul Berman, Alina Bronsky , Peter Stamm, Janne Teller, and Sadanand Dhume as they discuss and debate the issue.

When: Sunday, May 2nd

Where: powerHouse Arena

Time: 5-6:30 p.m.

Cost: Free and open to the public. No reservations.

This Guernica program is co-presented by powerHouse Arena and PEN.

*Previous Guernica/PEN programs include last year’s event honoring the late Nigerian writer and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, and the 2008 discourse between Mia Farrow and Bernard-Henri Lévy on Darfur.

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One Comment on “Black Sheep & Exploding Turbans: A Guernica/PEN Event

  1. Ridicule is the key to getting Islam out of politics. Isn’t that what got the Roman Church off our backs during the Enlightenment? It sure beats going to war. So let there be more books like Satanic Verses, and more satirical cartoons. And the follow-up is important. If Islam is criticized for being violent (all its borders are bloody), and the mullahs, in response, incite crowd violence, well that’s just icing on the cake. Just stay out of the way of the ignorant mob.

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