Friday, April 3, 2009

Iranian-Dutch Professor Afshin Ellian distrusts Turkish citizens

Afshin Ellian writes in this article in Elsevier, an influential dutch weekly, that he thinks the reason why Turkey has a hard time accepting Anders Fogh Rasmussen does not hold, because Anders Fogh Rasmussen defended the European values when he was defending the right to free speech during the cartooncrisis in Denmark.

Afshin Ellian's approach to politics in Western countries in general and to the Netherlands in particular is off course influenced by his views on the current regime in Iran and the experience he had there.

But is Afshin Ellian also prepared to learn from dutch history and experiences here?

Recently he used allmost the same phrase "I distrust you guys" when speaking at a conference organized by the scientific institute of one of the ruling political parties, the ChristenUnie.

Because those who study the history of dutch politics will notice that the democracy we have in the Netherlands today has developed both through influences from outside like the French revolution, the French occupation, Hegel, Marx, the socialist movements, the antirevolutionary movement, the Russian revolution, the emancipation movements. The cold war, national socialism, the German occupation.

Off course we can appreciate the civil liberties we have in the Netherlands today, but the way we got there is not so easy to describe. I wish Afshin Ellian would take into account the complexity of this and would also begin to consider democratic development as a dynamic process in which methods, forces and goals should be distinguished.

And I would also remind him of the fact that those deadly dangerous revolutionary movements that have cost Europe so much throughout the 19th and 20th century have allways been considered fruits of the French revolution by leading Christian dutch politicians Groen van Prinster and Abraham Kuyper. Was that just rhetorics?

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