Occidentalism: Ian Buruma, Jon Ronson & Ziauddin Sardar
Chair: Lawrence Freedman
In his book, Occidentalism, Ian Buruma shows that the dehumanising picture of the West painted by its enemies is not a new phenomenon, though it cannot be attributed solely to either the right or left, nor to an Islamic source.
Buruma discussed with authors Ziauddin Sardar and Jon Ronson how these longstanding stereotypes fuel the hatred at the heart of movements such as Al Qaeda. They also explored the links between anti-American, anti- Western and antisemitic ideas.
Ian Buruma has a Dutch father and English mother, was educated in Holland and Japan and spent a great portion of his life in Asia. He is the author –among others- of The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan, and Bad Elements. He co-authored Occidentalism with Avishai Margulit. He currently teaches in New York.
Ziauddin Sardar is a broadcaster and critic. His books include Orientalism, and DesperatelySeeking Paradise: Journeys of aSceptical Muslim. He is co-author of Why Do People Hate America?
Jon Ronson is a writer and award-winning documentary film maker. His book Them: Adventures with Extremists was an international bestseller. His most recent book is Men who Stare at Goats.
Lawrence Freedman is professor of War Studies at King’s College, London. He has written extensively on nuclear strategy, the cold war as well as commentating regularly on contemporary security issues.