On Saturday, the Mayor of Amsterdam issued a reminder to the cities population of the importance of tolerance in the Dutch society. Cohen’s lecture, titled ‘Freedom and Identity,’ urged unity in disunion as a strategy appealing to respect and self-interest. He suggested that intolerance will only alienate foreigners, especially Muslims. Dutch citizens have a responsibility and interest in making the Netherlands a supportive environment for Muslims while relying on other forces to combat radicalism: individualization, democratization, globalization, and secularization. He made a critiqued the increasing reliance on claims for freedom by bigots to justify their acts of intolerance and condemned the climate of common shouting, impertinence and flawed respect for others. Cohen posed a choice to the audience: do we want a society that excludes minorities, or that incorporates them with respect for their differences?

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