Weekend Roundup: Is Europe Imploding?


Nathan Gardels is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine.

Europe is facing divisive challenges on all fronts. It is being torn within by hardening attitudes toward the growing presence not only of Muslim immigrants, but also of citizens. On Monday, demonstrators thronged the streets of Dresden in support of “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident.” On Wednesday in Paris, 12 people were killed, including cartoonists who lampooned the Prophet Muhammad, in the horrific Charlie Hebdo attack.

While the euro tumbles, northern and southern Europe are bitterly at odds over austerity policies and continuing high unemployment. And a newly aggressive Russia is challenging European values on its eastern frontier.

Writing from Berlin, Alexander Görlach analyzes what is behind rising Islamophobia in Europe. From Paris, Le Huffington Post editorial director Anne Sinclair pays homage to the slain journalists. “Infidel” author Ayaan Hirsi Ali warns that we can’t let political Islamists define the territory of insult. And renowned Islamic scholar Akbar Ahmed looks at the long history, and present social conditions, of Muslims in Europe.

Commenting on the Paris massacre, philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo argues that fanaticism that allows no other truth than its own is the sign of barbarism. Writing from Paris, Dominique Moisi resists the impulse to “sacralize” the Charlie Hebdo satirists. Olivier Roy writes that there is no “Muslim community,” only a “Muslim population” in France.

Writing from Athens, Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras lays out the political program he will pursue if he takes power after Greece’s upcoming elections. Writing from Frankfurt, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi argues that monetary union does not require more integration than already exists in Europe. From Kiev, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko examines how the limbo of Putin’s “no peace, no war” strategy is corroding the political situation. Alexander Motyl compares Ukraine’s Donbas region to the American Deep South during segregation. Fabrizio Tassinari suggests Ukraine learn from Latvia’s experience that “real convergence” must happen within society before the division between East and West can be healed.

Recalling the anniversary of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, Farahnaz Ispahani writes from Karachi that the slain leader was among the few to see the jihadi threat long ago. Amal Clooney and Mark Wassouf, lawyers for Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who is imprisoned in Cairo, argue he should be released and tried outside Egypt. The first president of the Islamic Republic of Iran after the revolution, Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, analyzes the internal political gridlock that is preventing Iran from agreeing to a deal on its nuclear program. Former CIA analyst Graham Fuller sets out his predictions for the Middle East in 2015.

Writing from Havana, dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez reports a continuing crackdown on freedom of expression despite the recent opening to the U.S. American diplomat Thomas Pickering proposes that now is the time to give Guantanamo back to Cuba.

Back in the saddle with a mandate after he triumphed in a snap election, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says a key to Japan’s economic recovery is to bring more women into the workforce. Writing from Seoul, South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se proposes a novel form of multilateral diplomacy — value based partnerships. As the sensational corruption trial of “big tiger” Zhang Yongkang gets underway in Beijing, Minxin Pei asks whether it will be a political show or actually advance the rule of law.

Nobel laureate Michael Spence outlines five reasons why the global economy is on such a slow growth path. In an interview, “Capital in the 21st Century” author Thomas Piketty talks about how the myth of national sovereignty lets globe-spanning corporations off the hook. Nouriel Roubini wonders what robots will do to our jobs. Alexis Crow warns that the OPEC sheikhs may still be standing when shale oil wells start running dry down the road.

In our continuing “Following Francis” series, Vatican correspondent Sébastien Maillard muses that Francis may one day become another “Pope emeritus.” WorldPost Senior Editor Kathleen Miles notes that the first book choice of Mark Zuckerberg’s new book club is “The End of Power,” by WorldPost Contributing Editor Moises Naim.

In this week’s Singularity University series, Peter Diamandis reviews the information technologies that erase borders. Gaia Vince looks at the pluses and minuses of the Anthropocene Age, where humans dominate the planet. Christine Kenneally reflects on the controversies introduced by new developments in genealogy and eugenics.

Finally, in an interview, Susie Orbach argues that “fat is a feminist issue.”


EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels is the Associate Editor of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is the National Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s editorial coverage. Eline Gordts is HuffPost’s Senior World Editor. Charlotte Alfred and Nick Robins-Early are Associate World Editors.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large.

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.


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