Playing the role of mediator between Islam and the West is one that is particularly fraught with danger. Mediators often find themselves in a critical dilemma of placement of the self within larger contesting discourses. Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss-born Islamic scholar, is one such appointed mediator between Dutch statehood and its multiethnic Islamic population. He was invited by the Rotterdam City Council to serve as an integration advisor for its multicultural population. However, his affiliation with an Iranian TV station sponsored by the regime caused considerable consternation, with his credibility being questioned by the Council. The post-Iranian election and uprising triggered a wave of reactions culminating in the dismissal of this prominent scholar, recently named by Time magazine as one of the world’s top one hundred scientists and thinkers. This chapter focuses on the nature of media discourses and ideological leanings among key actors to explain how these issues can escalate, often with severe consequences to those involved. The authors use this event as a springboard to analyze the role of public mediators in complex political and cultural environments, using the lens of mediation and dialogue. By attending to issues of language and the framing of perspectives in the media, this chapter proposes a nuanced and novel approach to mediation and discourse construction in arenas of chronic dispute.

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Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
Department of Media and Communication

Arora, P., & Panikkar, A. (2010). The Ramadan Controversy Dilemmas in Mediating between Cultures through the Study of Dutch and Iranian Media Discourses in the Post-Iranian Uprising. In ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture. Retrieved from