Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
In fact, I've just realised that if you want to run around splitting the world up into cultural groups then Europe and the Mediterranean basin and stretching through the Arab world is a natural grouping: shared religion, significant ancient trading and political links,  shared philosophical and political heritage to a large extent until very recently.
Including the Arab world here is a hill too far for me.  political heritage is very hard to see--autocracy vs. democracies primarily.  philosophy greco/roman through all of the western schools, how does that link to arab philosophies.  politics--treatment of women certainly doesn't tie in.  certainly not today, but not 400 years ago either.  yes the religion is grounded in some ways with christianity and Judaism, but the tracks the religions have taken are totally different.  acceptance of new trends, secularism--pretty big difference.  importance of education, economics--totally different.  Arab world still stuck on interest charges being a sin.  I just can't see it.
by wchurchill on Fri Mar 30th, 2007 at 05:38:30 PM EST
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Greek democratic heritage ? You mean the greeks that reinvented the divinity of rulers after Alexander and passed it to the Romans ?

Greek philosophy was kept alive in Arab (and persian) lands for centuries before they communicated it to the Europeans in time for the Renaissance.

Secularism ? See Turkey, and a fair share of the Arab world was ready to secularize 50 years ago. Except the people willing to secularize were commies, so the west funded the religious fundies.

Treatment of women? 30 years ago a wife couldn't open her own bank account without the husband agreeing, in France.

Most of the Arab and muslim world is undergoing a fundamentalist propaganda campaign funded by Saoudian oil. If a similar amount of money was poured into religious organisations in the West, it would very quickly unsecularise.

I'm not sure about 400 years ago, but

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Mar 30th, 2007 at 09:16:06 PM EST
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Historical perspective.  Facts.  Reason.  How refreshing.  How unusual.
by cambridgemac on Sat Mar 31st, 2007 at 11:59:13 PM EST
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