Reading Paul Berman in Beirut
What does it mean to be a liberal in the West and in the Arab world?
Paul Berman has not been offered a seat at the table of so-called specialists on the Middle East. For them, his fault is to take words at their value in a region where the truth is said to lie in the nuances. But his fault happens to be a liberal one; clarity alone can bring on genuine dialogue. Credit Berman with taking that step, by slicing through the adroit elusiveness of Tariq Ramadan.
Michael Young is opinion editor of the Daily Star newspaper in Beirut and author of The Ghosts of Martyrs Square: An Eyewitness Account of Lebanon's Life Struggle, which the Wall Street Journal listed as one of its 10 standout books for 2010.