Panel 3: The ‘West’ and the 'Islamic World’

Panel 3 put the focus on four people and their individual take on the panel's topic from the perspective of their native country.

Jakob Erle (Denkmark), Asiem El Difraoui (Germany/France), Noha El Mikawy (Egypt) and Mohamed Jouili (Tunisia) shared the current socio-cultural debates that are going on in their countries on the difficulties that seem to exist between 'The West' and the 'Islamic World'. Talking about immigration and foreign policy, the discussants particularly agreed on one aspect.

Jakob Erle from Denmark provided some insights into immigration debates in Danish culture. Denmark, a very small and homogeneous country, has been involved in a lively discourse on immigration, in particular in relation to the countries with muslim citizens. Erle sums up the current state of the discourse, arguing that the general agreement seems to be adaption: "You can live here, but you have to become Danish". However, there is a counter-movement to this assumption, particularly among young migrants. As an example, Erle shows a video by Adam and Noah, two rap musicians from Denmark, dealing with questions of Danish identity. In this video for instance they are visiting a Danish music festival trying to understand why young Danes want to spend their summer weekends on festivals looking like refugee camps.

Asiem El Difraoui, a German political scientist and journalist, working also in France, first of all criticised the panel's title: "We should be beyond these terms of 'The West' and 'The Islam'". Especially participants of NECE should try to shape the discourse by finding new terms and definitions. 

Mohamed Jouili, head of the Tunisian Youth Observatory and Noha El Mikawy from the Ford Foundation in Egypt also agreed on the title of the panel being misleading, as they found it to be somewhat constraining. "Show us what you do, don't tell us what to do. That's the wonder of NECE! We are here to listen to your probems and develop our own strategies.", El Mikawy said. 


Civil Society
Conference Day: 

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