Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Euston Manifesto

Today, I have mostly been signing Manifestos.

"The Euston Manifesto is a declaration of principles and beliefs supporting universal human rights, and opposing discrimination and tyranny. It was published online on April 13, 2006 by a collection of academics, bloggers and journalists on the British left." - Wikipedia

Read 'The Euston Manifesto' at their website

After a couple of weeks of careful deliberation, I've now signed the Euston Manifesto with the following comment:
"The Manifesto is a timely, thoughtful and suitably strong statement of many of my personal beliefs. I agree with every part of it (while I think some parts more important than others). Two particular aspects merit mention:

Clause 10 is crucial: People should not accept offensive regimes with 'what right do we have to tell them what to do?'. This is a misinterpretation of (otherwise laudable) pluralism and tolerance. I hope the Manifesto will help people to realise this.

Clause 13 follows: we must retain our right to criticize bad ideas e.g. totalitarianism. This includes those within religion e.g. teaching children the Earth is 6000 years old. Such beliefs should not be protected by law. They need to defend themselves in the battle of ideas just like others.

Finally: I'd like the Manifesto to include more detail on reform of the United Nations, ideally a desire to gain a global, democratic assembly.

I hope the Manifesto goes far!"

One of the 'listed' signers is Sami Zubaida, who 1) wrote the enlightening chapter on Islamism on last year's Level 3 OU course (in 'Making the International') 2) Is Professor of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck College, where my philosophy society meets.

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