Sunday, February 25, 2024

Burning Qur’an is sign of unfreedom, not freedom, says Dr. Irfan Ahmad

On 3 August, 2023, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) interviewed political anthropologist Irfan Ahmad about the Quran burning issue in Denmark and West in general. The interview, conducted in the corridor of his office at Ibn Haldun University, Turkey, was about many issues, including, “why does the burning of the Quran spark anger within the Muslim world,” freedom of speech, the proposal by the Danish Prime Minister to ban the Qur’ān burning and so on.

For reasons not entirely made clear to professor Irfan, the DR did not telecast the interview. Given the importance of the topic for public affairs –for example, the 2024 Quran burning in Arnhem, the Netherlands, by Edwin Wagensveld, the Dutch leader of the so-called Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, PEGIDA – as well as academic interests, here is the slightly edited (for length) conversation with the DR Journalist for the public to watch and judge.

Watch the full interview here:

About Irfan Ahmad

A political anthropologist, Irfan Ahmad is professor of Sociology at Ibn Haldun University, Turkey. Until early 2022, he was a senior research fellow at Max Planck Institute, Gottingen, Germany. Most recently, he is the author of Religion as Critique, editor of The Nation Form in the Global Age: Ethnographic Perspectives, and co-editor of The Algebra of Warfare-Welfare: A Long View of India’s 2014 Election. He has been interviewed, inter alia, by Al-Jazeera, Deutsche Welle, Frontline, The Hindu, New York Times, NRC Handelsblad (The Netherlands), Sky News (Australia), and TRT World. Titled, “Drinking Secularism,” at the invitation of The Society for the Anthropology of Religion, American Anthropology Association, he delivered the 2023 distinguished Rappaport Lecture. He tweets @IrfanHindustan.


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