Egyptian feminist Mona Eltahawy cancels her talk in debating centre De Balie/KUDOS Letter!

Egyptian feminist Mona Eltahawy cancels her talk in debating centre De Balie/KUDOS Letter!

woensdag 24 april 2019 02:45

EGYPTIAN FEMINIST MONA ELTAHAWY FIGHTS ISLAMOPHOBIA/CANCELS HER TALK IN THE ISLAMOPHOBIC DEBATING CENTRE DE BALIE, AMSTERDAM

SEE ALSO

https://www.astridessed.nl/egyptian-feminist-mona-eltahawy-fights-islamophobia-cancels-her-talk-in-the-islamophobic-debating-centre-de-balie-amsterdam/  

INTRODUCTION:
Dear Readers,
Hereby I share with you a Shout Out Letter to the Egyptian feminist MonaEltahawy for her cancelling of her talk in the debating centre De Balie in Amsterdam.
Background
The Egyptian writer, journalist and feminist, Mona Eltahawy would pay a visit to the Netherlands [her second] totalk about her feminist ideals and especially about her forthcoming book, The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, which will be published inSeptember 2019.
But debating Centre de Balie and her director Yoeri Albrecht hasturned into an Islamophobic centre.A notorious example was a socalled ”ethnic cleansing debate”, held in De Balie,called ”Waarom haten ze ons eigenlijk” [Dutch for ”Why do they hate us?”] [1]where notorious Islamophobic personages like the Dutch professor of jurisprudencePaul Cliteur [2], the Belgian extreme right wing propagandist Wimvan Rooy and his son [a former politician of the Dutch rightwing Party of Freedom of Geert Wilders] and others, talked inhate speech language about the Islam and muslims.After this notorious debate another hatemonger, the Dutch journalistBernadette de Wit did a plea for the ethnic cleansing of muslims,who didn’t respond to her sick, far right views. [3]
Those facts were unknown to Mona Eltahawy, who lives and worksin Egypt and New York and is, except for radical feminist, beinga muslim herself, also a tough fighter against racism, fascism, Islamophobia and”all forms of bigotry” [her own words] [4]
Luckily, her Dutch progressive contacts and followers [Mona Eltahawy hasa very active twitter account] [5], warned her against the Islamophobic characterof De Balie and so she cancelled her talk tour evening in De Balie! [6]
I applauded this statement and decision of Mona Eltahawy, [whosestruggle I support although not agreeing at all points with her] andtherefore I wrote to her a KUDOS Letter of appreciation, titled”YOUR STATEMENT TO DE BALIE/SHOUTOUT TO YOU!”
See below my KUDOS Letter to Mona Eltahawy, with notes
And down below, the notes, belonging to this Introduction, the Statementof Mona Eltahawy [7] andalso the De Balie reaction on Mona’s cancelling [8]
ENJOY READING!

Astrid Essed

MY KUDOS LETTER TO MONA ELTAHAWY””YOUR STATEMENT TO DE BALIE/SHOUTOUT TO YOU!”

TOMRS M ELTAHAWY
WriterColumnistJournalistChampion of women’s rights and fighter against racism,fascism,Islamophobia and all forms of oppression

Dear Mrs Eltahawy,
Being an admirer of your courage in the struggle for women’s rightsas against racism, fascism and Islamphobia [although we disagreeon some minor points, but that matters not], I was very pleasantly surprised by your cancellation of your evening talk tour at De Balie.  [1]
I am very glad you did, because on this way you are making a powerfulstatement against De Balie’s long time Islamophobia, with racist componentswhen it concerns easpecially Moroccons and other muslims ofcolour.
De Balie angered me since long time, with as horrible point of depth the ”ethnic cleansing” debate ”Why do they hate us” [2] during which notoriousIslamophobe speakers like the Dutch professor of jurisprudencePaul Cliteur [3], the Belgian extreme right wing propagandist Wimvan Rooy and his son [a former politician of the Dutch rightwing Party of Freedom of Geert Wilders] and others incited hatred intheir debate about ”the Islam” and ”muslims”After their hatred debate Bernadette de Wit, a hatemongingjournalist, invoked to the deportation of muslims.There was pretty much outrage about this scandalous talk andde Balie Director Joeri Albrecht [another Islamophobe] did not condemn this ethnical cleansing debate.
I am glad, mrs Eltahawy, that your Dutch friends and contacts warned youand that you canceled your De Balie talk.

KUDOS!BRAVA!
You did the only right thing, given the circumstances

As you wrote in your excellent statement:
”These are dangerous times.” [4]

There is an increasement of racism and fascism in Europe.In the Netherlands, fascist parties like the Party for Freedom[Geert Wilders] and Forum for Democracy [Thierry Baudet] [5]are not only flourising.They are treated like normal parties, especially intalk shows as the media.
This is deadly dangerous.
As for me, on my own way I try to fight racism and Islamophobia [6]and luckily there are far more critical people, but we are too few andour number is diminishing.
Therefore you gave us hope.
Go on Mona Elthawy, with your struggle for what is right.
All the progressive forces will fight together and NEVER give up!
I thank you.
Though long the fight we know that right will triumph at the end!

Kind greetings
Astrid Essed
JournalistHistorianHuman Rights activist

AmsterdamThe Netherlands

NOTES

[1]

https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy/status/1120338489378263040?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1120338489378263040&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdutchturks.nl%2Fmona-eltahawy-boycot-de-balie-vanwege-endlosungsdebat-over-moslims%2F 
https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy/status/1120338489378263040  
It was one particular event that took place at De Balie (that was brought to my attention on Saturday) which began a closer look for me at the centre and made me question whether I wanted to speak there. I explain my position ????. I hope to return to #Amsterdam soon. 
https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy/status/1120335158136197121  

Thank you for your email and your kindwords about my work.I have given this a lot of thought and I am writing totell you what I have decided.
When I was invited to speak at the Balie I was excited to bereturning to the Netherlands, especially Amsterdam, a city where Ihave spoken in the past and where I have made many friends Iremain in touch with.
I was especially eager to talk about my forthcoming book, The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, which will be published inSeptember.
On saturday it was brought to my attention, that de Balie hasbeen a venue in the past for an event by a far right wing Dutch politicalparty at which the deportation of Muslims was discussed.This is an outreageous affront to fundamental human rights and a dehumanization of Muslims.It greatly disturbed me and I have spent the past two days asking for feedback from Dutch friends whose opinions I respect.

This is not a theoretical debate for me.This is about me, my family and fellow Muslims.I was arrested in New York City in 2012 for spray paintingover a racist pro Israel ad which I believed incited violenceagainst Muslims.
Less than a week later, a white supremacist set my brother’sMosque on fire in the U.S. Midwest.This is very personal.
This is also a time for growing hate and bigotry amidthe rise of the far right across Europe, including in theNetherlands.
Less than two months ago, a white supremacist Islamophobe massacred 51 Muslims in New Zealand.Here in the U.S, we have a president who has passed aMuslim ban and continues to incite violence against oneof the first two Muslim congresswomen.
All of this is a reminder that we have left the exclusive worldof theoretical debate and we are beyond the marketplace of ideas.These are dangerous times.
My new book focuses on the fight against patriarchy globally.I insist that feminism and the fight against that patriarchy is onethat is not limited to just fighting against misogyny.Feminism must fight mysogyny, white supremacy, racism, fascism,Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry
With that in mind and after consulting with Dutch friends whose opinion I trust, I believe that de Balie is not a venue I want tobring my views to.
I regret that I did not look more closely at de Balie when I was firstinvited to speak there.In the future I will perform more due diligence on the venues whichoffer me a platform.
I am eager to return to the Netherlands to discuss my newbook and look forward to doing so at a venue that I believeis more suitable to the femonism I advocate with itsrobust fight against all forms of bigotry.
My apologies to all those who bought tickets to see me speak.I thank them for their interest in my work and hope theyunderstand my position.
And I appreciate the efforts of the staff at De Balie who workesdto bring me there.
With regards
Mona

[2]
ETHNIC CLEANSING DEBATE
YOUTUBE.COMWAAROM HATEN ZE ONS EIGENLIJK”WHY DO THEY HATE US?”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3kPoDbGzJM&t=27s  

MY ARTICLE
”MOSLIMHAAT IN DE BALIE/OPROEP TOTETNISCHE ZUIVERINGEN”ASTRID ESSED
IN ENGLISH”MUSIM HATRED IN DE BALIE/INVOCATIONTO ETHNIC CLEANSINGS”

https://www.astridessed.nl/moslimhaat-in-de-balieoproep-tot-etnische-zuiveringen/  

[3]

WIKIPEDIAPAUL CLITEUR

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Cliteur  

[4]

[4]

https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy/status/1120338489378263040?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1120338489378263040&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdutchturks.nl%2Fmona-eltahawy-boycot-de-balie-vanwege-endlosungsdebat-over-moslims%2F 
https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy/status/1120338489378263040  
It was one particular event that took place at De Balie (that was brought to my attention on Saturday) which began a closer look for me at the centre and made me question whether I wanted to speak there. I explain my position ????. I hope to return to #Amsterdam soon. 
https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy/status/1120335158136197121  

Thank you for your email and your kindwords about my work.I have given this a lot of thought and I am writing totell you what I have decided.
When I was invited to speak at the Balie I was excited to bereturning to the Netherlands, especially Amsterdam, a city where Ihave spoken in the past and where I have made many friends Iremain in touch with.
I was especially eager to talk about my forthcoming book, The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, which will be published inSeptember.
On saturday it was brought to my attention, that de Balie hasbeen a venue in the past for an event by a far right wing Dutch politicalparty at which the deportation of Muslims was discussed.This is an outreageous affront to fundamental human rights and a dehumanization of Muslims.It greatly disturbed me and I have spent the past two days asking for feedback from Dutch friends whose opinions I respect.

This is not a theoretical debate for me.This is about me, my family and fellow Muslims.I was arrested in New York City in 2012 for spray paintingover a racist pro Israel ad which I believed incited violenceagainst Muslims.
Less than a week later, a white supremacist set my brother’sMosque on fire in the U.S. Midwest.This is very personal.
This is also a time for growing hate and bigotry amidthe rise of the far right across Europe, including in theNetherlands.
Less than two months ago, a white supremacist Islamophobe massacred 51 Muslims in New Zealand.Here in the U.S, we have a president who has passed aMuslim ban and continues to incite violence against oneof the first two Muslim congresswomen.
All of this is a reminder that we have left the exclusive worldof theoretical debate and we are beyond the marketplace of ideas.These are dangerous times.
My new book focuses on the fight against patriarchy globally.I insist that feminism and the fight against that patriarchy is onethat is not limited to just fighting against misogyny.Feminism must fight mysogyny, white supremacy, racism, fascism,Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry
With that in mind and after consulting with Dutch friends whose opinion I trust, I believe that de Balie is not a venue I want tobring my views to.
I regret that I did not look more closely at de Balie when I was firstinvited to speak there.In the future I will perform more due diligence on the venues whichoffer me a platform.
I am eager to return to the Netherlands to discuss my newbook and look forward to doing so at a venue that I believeis more suitable to the femonism I advocate with itsrobust fight against all forms of bigotry.
My apologies to all those who bought tickets to see me speak.I thank them for their interest in my work and hope theyunderstand my position.
And I appreciate the efforts of the staff at De Balie who workesdto bring me there.
With regards
Mona

[5]

WIKIPEDIAPARTY FOR FREEDOM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_for_Freedom  

WIKIPEDIAFORUM FOR DEMOCRACY

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forum_for_Democracy  

[6]
RACISM IN THE NETHERLANDS/PARTY FOR FREEDOM/PVV, WILDERS AND THE POISON OF RACISMASTRID ESSED1 MARCH 2014
https://www.astridessed.nl/party-for-freedom-pvv-wilders-and-the-poison-of-racism/  

A TSUNAMI OF RACISM, THE POLITICAL VIEWS OF MRWILDERSASTRID ESSED2007

https://www.astridessed.nl/2007a-tsunami-of-racismthe-political-views-of-mr-wilders/ 

OR 

https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/world/2007/04/369132.html  

END OF MY KUDOS LETTER

NOTES, BELONGING TO MY INTRODUCTION

[1]

ETHNIC CLEANSING DEBATE IN DE BALIE
YOUTUBE.COMWAAROM HATEN ZE ONS EIGENLIJK”WHY DO THEY HATE US?”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3kPoDbGzJM&t=27s  

[2]

WIKIPEDIAPAUL CLITEUR

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Cliteur 

[3]
SEE NOTE 1

[4]


https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy/status/1120338489378263040?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1120338489378263040&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdutchturks.nl%2Fmona-eltahawy-boycot-de-balie-vanwege-endlosungsdebat-over-moslims%2F
 
https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy/status/1120338489378263040  
It was one particular event that took place at De Balie (that was brought to my attention on Saturday) which began a closer look for me at the centre and made me question whether I wanted to speak there. I explain my position ????. I hope to return to #Amsterdam soon. 
https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy/status/1120335158136197121  

Thank you for your email and your kindwords about my work.I have given this a lot of thought and I am writing totell you what I have decided.
When I was invited to speak at the Balie I was excited to bereturning to the Netherlands, especially Amsterdam, a city where Ihave spoken in the past and where I have made many friends Iremain in touch with.
I was especially eager to talk about my forthcoming book, The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, which will be published inSeptember.
On saturday it was brought to my attention, that de Balie hasbeen a venue in the past for an event by a far right wing Dutch politicalparty at which the deportation of Muslims was discussed.This is an outreageous affront to fundamental human rights and a dehumanization of Muslims.It greatly disturbed me and I have spent the past two days asking for feedback from Dutch friends whose opinions I respect.

This is not a theoretical debate for me.This is about me, my family and fellow Muslims.I was arrested in New York City in 2012 for spray paintingover a racist pro Israel ad which I believed incited violenceagainst Muslims.
Less than a week later, a white supremacist set my brother’sMosque on fire in the U.S. Midwest.This is very personal.
This is also a time for growing hate and bigotry amidthe rise of the far right across Europe, including in theNetherlands.
Less than two months ago, a white supremacist Islamophobe massacred 51 Muslims in New Zealand.Here in the U.S, we have a president who has passed aMuslim ban and continues to incite violence against oneof the first two Muslim congresswomen.
All of this is a reminder that we have left the exclusive worldof theoretical debate and we are beyond the marketplace of ideas.These are dangerous times.
My new book focuses on the fight against patriarchy globally.I insist that feminism and the fight against that patriarchy is onethat is not limited to just fighting against misogyny.Feminism must fight mysogyny, white supremacy, racism, fascism,Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry
With that in mind and after consulting with Dutch friends whose opinion I trust, I believe that de Balie is not a venue I want tobring my views to.
I regret that I did not look more closely at de Balie when I was firstinvited to speak there.In the future I will perform more due diligence on the venues whichoffer me a platform.
I am eager to return to the Netherlands to discuss my newbook and look forward to doing so at a venue that I believeis more suitable to the femonism I advocate with itsrobust fight against all forms of bigotry.
My apologies to all those who bought tickets to see me speak.I thank them for their interest in my work and hope theyunderstand my position.
And I appreciate the efforts of the staff at De Balie who workesdto bring me there.
With regards
Mona

[5]

MONA ELTAHAWY ON TWITTER

https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor 

[6]


https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy/status/1120338489378263040?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1120338489378263040&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdutchturks.nl%2Fmona-eltahawy-boycot-de-balie-vanwege-endlosungsdebat-over-moslims%2F
 
https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy/status/1120338489378263040  
It was one particular event that took place at De Balie (that was brought to my attention on Saturday) which began a closer look for me at the centre and made me question whether I wanted to speak there. I explain my position ????. I hope to return to #Amsterdam soon. 
https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy/status/1120335158136197121  

Thank you for your email and your kindwords about my work.I have given this a lot of thought and I am writing totell you what I have decided.
When I was invited to speak at the Balie I was excited to bereturning to the Netherlands, especially Amsterdam, a city where Ihave spoken in the past and where I have made many friends Iremain in touch with.
I was especially eager to talk about my forthcoming book, The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, which will be published inSeptember.
On saturday it was brought to my attention, that de Balie hasbeen a venue in the past for an event by a far right wing Dutch politicalparty at which the deportation of Muslims was discussed.This is an outreageous affront to fundamental human rights and a dehumanization of Muslims.It greatly disturbed me and I have spent the past two days asking for feedback from Dutch friends whose opinions I respect.

This is not a theoretical debate for me.This is about me, my family and fellow Muslims.I was arrested in New York City in 2012 for spray paintingover a racist pro Israel ad which I believed incited violenceagainst Muslims.
Less than a week later, a white supremacist set my brother’sMosque on fire in the U.S. Midwest.This is very personal.
This is also a time for growing hate and bigotry amidthe rise of the far right across Europe, including in theNetherlands.
Less than two months ago, a white supremacist Islamophobe massacred 51 Muslims in New Zealand.Here in the U.S, we have a president who has passed aMuslim ban and continues to incite violence against oneof the first two Muslim congresswomen.
All of this is a reminder that we have left the exclusive worldof theoretical debate and we are beyond the marketplace of ideas.These are dangerous times.
My new book focuses on the fight against patriarchy globally.I insist that feminism and the fight against that patriarchy is onethat is not limited to just fighting against misogyny.Feminism must fight mysogyny, white supremacy, racism, fascism,Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry
With that in mind and after consulting with Dutch friends whose opinion I trust, I believe that de Balie is not a venue I want tobring my views to.
I regret that I did not look more closely at de Balie when I was firstinvited to speak there.In the future I will perform more due diligence on the venues whichoffer me a platform.
I am eager to return to the Netherlands to discuss my newbook and look forward to doing so at a venue that I believeis more suitable to the femonism I advocate with itsrobust fight against all forms of bigotry.
My apologies to all those who bought tickets to see me speak.I thank them for their interest in my work and hope theyunderstand my position.
And I appreciate the efforts of the staff at De Balie who workesdto bring me there.
With regards
Mona

[7]

THE MONA ELTAHAWY STATEMENT:


https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy/status/1120338489378263040?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1120338489378263040&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdutchturks.nl%2Fmona-eltahawy-boycot-de-balie-vanwege-endlosungsdebat-over-moslims%2F
 
https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy/status/1120338489378263040  
It was one particular event that took place at De Balie (that was brought to my attention on Saturday) which began a closer look for me at the centre and made me question whether I wanted to speak there. I explain my position ????. I hope to return to #Amsterdam soon. 
https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy/status/1120335158136197121  

Thank you for your email and your kindwords about my work.I have given this a lot of thought and I am writing totell you what I have decided.
When I was invited to speak at the Balie I was excited to bereturning to the Netherlands, especially Amsterdam, a city where Ihave spoken in the past and where I have made many friends Iremain in touch with.
I was especially eager to talk about my forthcoming book, The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, which will be published inSeptember.
On saturday it was brought to my attention, that de Balie hasbeen a venue in the past for an event by a far right wing Dutch politicalparty at which the deportation of Muslims was discussed.This is an outreageous affront to fundamental human rights and a dehumanization of Muslims.It greatly disturbed me and I have spent the past two days asking for feedback from Dutch friends whose opinions I respect.

This is not a theoretical debate for me.This is about me, my family and fellow Muslims.I was arrested in New York City in 2012 for spray paintingover a racist pro Israel ad which I believed incited violenceagainst Muslims.
Less than a week later, a white supremacist set my brother’sMosque on fire in the U.S. Midwest.This is very personal.
This is also a time for growing hate and bigotry amidthe rise of the far right across Europe, including in theNetherlands.
Less than two months ago, a white supremacist Islamophobe massacred 51 Muslims in New Zealand.Here in the U.S, we have a president who has passed aMuslim ban and continues to incite violence against oneof the first two Muslim congresswomen.
All of this is a reminder that we have left the exclusive worldof theoretical debate and we are beyond the marketplace of ideas.These are dangerous times.
My new book focuses on the fight against patriarchy globally.I insist that feminism and the fight against that patriarchy is onethat is not limited to just fighting against misogyny.Feminism must fight mysogyny, white supremacy, racism, fascism,Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry
With that in mind and after consulting with Dutch friends whose opinion I trust, I believe that de Balie is not a venue I want tobring my views to.
I regret that I did not look more closely at de Balie when I was firstinvited to speak there.In the future I will perform more due diligence on the venues whichoffer me a platform.
I am eager to return to the Netherlands to discuss my newbook and look forward to doing so at a venue that I believeis more suitable to the femonism I advocate with itsrobust fight against all forms of bigotry.
My apologies to all those who bought tickets to see me speak.I thank them for their interest in my work and hope theyunderstand my position.
And I appreciate the efforts of the staff at De Balie who workesdto bring me there.
With regards
Mona

[8]

DE BALIE:ONZE REACTIE OP DE AFZEGGING DOOR MONA ELTAHAWY[IN ENGLISH ”OUR REACTION ON THE CANCELLING BYMONA ELTAHAWY]
https://debalie.nl/artikelen/onze-reactie-op-de-afzegging-door-mona-eltahawy/  

[IN ENGLISH]

It is with great regret that we must announce that the Egyptian-American feminist and activist Mona Eltahawy has decided not to speak at De Balie this Wednesday.

She says that a number of people pointed out to her, anonymously, that a debate took place at De Balie two years ago where audience members made some racist remarks. These were statements that De Balie strongly rejected at the time. The NOS media company and de Volkskrant newspaper reported on Eltahawy’s decision yesterday.

We very much regret Eltahawy’s decision. We feel that she represents a very important voice who expresses her views with much fervour and courage.

We also feel that she received inaccurate information about the evening of that debate. In her statement Eltahawy says that the event was organised by an extremist right-wing party. This was not the case. The event was also not organised by De Balie but by a group of volunteers on the occasion of the publication of a book. The event consisted of a two-hour programme on the reasons of Jihadists to hate their victims (both Muslim and non-Muslim). Are they ideologically motivated, or do the reasons have an economic origin? Guests from various backgrounds participated in the event, including Paul Cliteur who later became eligible for the new political party Forum voor Democratie.

After the panel debate, an audience member asked how many fanatical Muslims a society can cope with. The asker stated her belief that this could amount to just 1 to 2 per cent.

Cliteur’s reply, that “this would be a controversial and extreme measure” and that “one should start more carefully”, was troubling. In the wake of this event, we stated on various occasions and on several platforms that we distance ourselves from his views, just as we reject the views of Imam Haitham al-Haddad who advocates the death penalty for apostates and was a guest at De Balie in 2012.

The above-named debates were filmed and can be viewed on our website, precisely because we wish to be fully transparent about the events that take place in our halls.

We would like to stress our conviction that an open and democratic society is vulnerable and that we must struggle passionately to protect the rights of minorities and to preserve the rule of law. We organise events to support this conviction on a daily basis: events about emancipation, equality, freedom of speech, minorities’ and women’s rights, and about democracy and the rule of law in general. We are also, and obviously, against discrimination. We believe that fundamental rights such as freedom of religion apply to all. We strive with great care to be a platform where people of all faiths and convictions can come together to engage in dialogue. Dialogue, in order to better understand each other rather than reject and exclude each other, and so to make our society a place where everyone can live and let live. We expressly do not invite only those opinions that we endorse. We consider it our responsibility to offer a platform to present, and question, and probe different opinions.

We are eager to engage everyone in this dialogue. We invite everyone to share their views and shall continue to do so. We are very sorry that Eltahawy has chosen to withdraw her participation. We shall of course contact all who have already purchased a ticket to this event.

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