Lecture 2005
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Mandela Lecture 2005

NiZA, in close co-operation with Hivos, hosted the second Mandela Lecture on Friday, 20 May, in the New Church (De Nieuwe Kerk) in Amsterdam.

Farid Esack

The Mandela Lecture derives its inspiration from the body of thought of Mr Nelson Mandela, as expressed in the broad theme, Peace and Reconciliation: Bridging the Gaps and Uniting Different Communities.

The keynote lecture was held by Mr Farid Esack, a leading Islamic theologian from South Africa, who is currently lecturing as a Professor in Xavier University, Ohio. The co-referent of the Mandela lecture was Mr. Ahmed Aboutaleb, city councilor of Amsterdam. Mr. Aboutaleb is known by his efforts to bridge the differences between the Moslem community and non-Moslems within Amsterdam.

According to Farid Esack, the ‘South African experience’ offers a point of departure for attempts to put an end to conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere. His interpretation of the current tensions between Islam and the West is as follows:
Ahmed Aboutaleb

“Many politicians and intellectuals in the Western world have fallen under the spell of the perception that a fight is on between cultures, a fight in which the West stands for all sorts of ideals on human rights and women’s liberation whereas Islam epitomizes the oppression of women and dissenters. In reality what is going on is a fight between two fundamentalist macho systems.”

Download the second Mandela Lecture