Multiculturalism is not dead

“Moderate secularism and respect for religion are vital if we are to move from a multiculturalism of fear towards genuine pluralism” – Tariq Modood, The Guardian

In 2010 Angela Merkel famously declared the death of multiculturalism. The renowned British sociologist Tariq Modood believes Merkel is wrong: multiculturalism is not dead. But in order to make multiculturalism work, it’s high time we rethink political secularism. In De Balie he discusses the multiculturalist challenge with Fouad Laroui who believes in a strict separation between religion and state, and speaks with Tamar de Waal and Tirza de Fockert about the future of multiculturalism in the Netherlands.

Tariq Modood is one of the world’s leading authorities on multicultural citizenship. With his books such as Multiculturalism: A Civic Idea (2007) and Still Not Easy Being British (2010), he provides an important contribution to debates on integration, racism and multicultural citizenship.

“If somebody asks me: what do you belief in? I say: that’s none of your business. Religion is a strictly private matter” – Fouad Laroui

Fouad Laroui is a writer and professor at the University of Amsterdam. In 2002 he received the E. Du Perron Award for his entire oeuvre. In 2006 he wrote Over het islamisme – een persoonlijke weerlegging, on the taboes and clichés about the Islam.

Tamar de Waal is a philosopher of law and teaches at the Amsterdam Law School. She is the chairman of Stichting Civic, which tries to improve integration policy.

Tirza de Fockert is member of Amsterdam’s city council for GroenLinks and anthropologist. She covers amongst others secondary education, poverty policy, integration and status holders (refugees with a residence permit).

Moderated by Jörgen Tjon A Fong


Photo Tamar de Waal by Bram Budel