Western countries in particular can today no longer be separated from Muslim societies, because they have them within themselves. They are themselves internally globalized.
I held a conference in Harvard where Americans said they didn’t believe in risk. They thought it was just European hysteria. Then the terrorist attacks happened and there was a complete conversion. Suddenly terrorism was the central risk.
To most of us, adulthood means being able to earn a living, possess a home, get married and rear children, and this implies having autonomy or control over one’s life. In the 19th century, becoming an adult was celebrated as a liberation from paternal authority. Today we regard it more as a time of regret and stagnation.
You need education. You need subsistence protection. We need jobs and social security. These are preconditions under which it will perhaps be possible to deal with these complex circumstances.
You cannot make peace with terrorists. The normal dividing lines between war and peace do not apply.
And the terror itself is an example of the world’s uncontrollability.
In the first instance, therefore, global terrorism created a kind of global community sharing a common fate, something we had previously considered impossible.
The basic assumption of the secular society is that modernity overcomes religion.
Romantic love came under attack, first from the Freudians and then from the neuroscientists, who said that being in love was a chemical reaction in the brain. Marriage is no longer seen as a lifetime commitment.
Oh, mercy, I think we’re all storytellers, you know. You think of the excuses you told your parents for why you got home late. I just never gave it up.