21st Karlsruhe Dialogues - Speakers
Countering Extremisms: Women’s Role after the Arab Spring
In your opinion, which “enemies” pose the greatest threat to pluralistic societies?
Leaders who normalise hate; words and thoughts are more harmful than bullets and bombs, because they affect the mindset of people differently – especially in pluralistic societies, where differences between people are more visible. So, when leaders criminalise characteristics of people instead of their actions, they are criminalising all members of society who share these characteristics, which will ultimately lead to the segregation of people in that society.
Public trust in elites and the media has been declining in recent years. What do you think can be done in order to restore this trust?
I think there should be a serious debate about the role of media in addressing certain issues. I am not in favour of state regulations to monitor the media, but I think there should be co-operation between states, civil society, and the media in addressing issues such as extremism and terrorism, for example.
The use of the word ‘elite’ is controversial to me; what qualifications should a person have to be considered part of an elite? Who gets to decide on these qualifications? In every group, there are people who know better than others regarding certain aspects of life. But generally, I think we should stop making a distinction between people within society, and only then people will believe in the group of people who lead them.