[Reader-list] Compromise and surrender of principle: A response to an article by Ramachandra Guha

Kshmendra Kaul kshmendra2005 at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 30 16:59:02 IST 2009

Dear Harsh
Thank you for sharing this very informative and educative article.
If you come across a response to this from Ramchandra Guha please do share that too. Marieme Helie Lucas has pointed out in Guha's article "a number of conceptual and factual errors."
On a personal note it was gratifying to see that the "Secular" model of France somewhat mirrors my own (uneducated) perspectives on what a "Secular India" should be. 
Thanks again
--- On Tue, 9/29/09, Harsh Kapoor <aiindex at gmail.com> wrote:

From: Harsh Kapoor <aiindex at gmail.com>
Subject: [Reader-list] Compromise and surrender of principle: A response to an article by Ramachandra Guha
To: "sarai list" <reader-list at sarai.net>
Date: Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 2:08 PM

28 September 2009

Compromise and surrender of principle:
A response to the article by Ramachandra Guha, ’The Beauty of
Compromise: an excess of secularism may be as problematic as bigotry’
(in The Telegraph, 26 September 2009)

by Marieme Helie Lucas

The information about French secularism, past and present, that one
can draw from English speaking media leads to much misunderstanding
and biased opinions. On the one hand one cannot blame writers who have
no direct access to primary sources and have to rely on secondary
ones. On the other hand, the propagation of biased information and
thus of erroneous conclusions in the English language serve the
interests of Muslim fundamentalists in France, and for that reason
alone, it needs to be addressed.

The article by Ramachandra Guha shows bias at several levels: it
overlooks the different definitions of secularism, it presents
erroneous interpretations as facts, it under-evaluates the rise of
Muslim fundamentalism as a political -not a religious- phenomenon and
it accepts a cultural definition of women’s rights.

All of these tend to give credibility to the assertions of Muslim
fundamentalists that combat French secularism.
[. . .]

FULL TEXT AT: http://www.sacw.net/article1150.html
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