The Alliance of civilization summit has just started few hours ago in the beautiful city of Istanbul and will last until tomorrow. The programme is plenty of insights and thoughts to fight against the alleged “clash of civilization” that after 9/11 sadly become our way to interpret everything happening in the world. Turkish prime minister Erdogan, with Spanish Jose Luis Zapatero, have strongly supported this Forum. There were rumors that also US president Obama and Rasmussen, the new Nato secretary general, will attend the meeting, probably tonight and at a private dinner. If we think about what George W. Bush has meant for the “clash” of civilization and what he has done to ignite it, Obama’s visit is even more meaningful. Moreover, Rasmussen’s presence is very key, too. The Muslim world has not forgotten what Denmark did with Prophet Mohammed’s cartoon, but since this dark page of intercultural relation Denmark has done a lot to improve its image in the Muslim world, and it’s not a matter of “brand” and image building only. Denmark is organising lots of initiatives towards the dialogue, enhancing its presence in the Muslim world and Rasmussen’s visit could be a step further in a process that is anyway happening everyday thanks to danish institutions and people that are doing a lot. I am just wondering where Italy is in all this (a part from our pm ‘s phone calls). We used to have a strategic role in the Mediterranean that we are loosing day by day, being too much concentrated on our little political plays. What role will we be playing in this future alliance of civilization?and are we really doing something to enhance our dialogue with the muslim world like Denmark is doing? I don’t think so, unfortunately.
More from the conference later, if they get us translation. I couldn’t understand a word of Erdogan’s speech in Turkey cause they run out of hearing (official reason: more delegates than expected). Since translation is key for dialogue, and there is no alliance of civilization without dialogue, I really hope they will provide us with it soon. Otherwise it risks to be a big event done for the sake of doing a big event, in a nice luxury hotel but without taking care of these “small” details that make the difference.