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Multiculturalism and Minority Rights in the Arab World$
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Will Kymlicka and Eva Pföstl

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675135

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675135.001.0001

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Arab Minorities, Liberalism, and Multiculturalism

Arab Minorities, Liberalism, and Multiculturalism

(p.100) 5 Arab Minorities, Liberalism, and Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism and Minority Rights in the Arab World

Francesca Maria Corrao

Sebastiano Maffettone

Oxford University Press

The interaction between local traditions of coexistence and global discourses of multiculturalism should operate bilaterally: we should examine not only how global discourses are being used or contested within the Arab world, but also how Arab voices are shaping global discourses. Yet experience suggests that it is not easy to locate Arab voices within a pre-formulated Western schema of liberal multiculturalism. This chapter argues that if multiculturalism is to be relevant, its relationship with liberalism must be reformulated to make clear that liberalism is prior, and that securing the basic structure of liberal-democracy is prior to pursuing a specifically multicultural liberal-democracy. This is essential for both the Arab world and the West. If multiculturalism in the Arab world cannot take root until a minimal threshold of liberal democracy exists, it is equally true that multiculturalism in the West faces backlash when it is seen as departing from core liberal principles.

Keywords:   Arab minorities, multiculturalism, liberalism, democracy, global discourses, local traditions

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