HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), on Tuesday delivered a keynote speech at the opening of Investcorp Building, a new extension of the Middle East Centre at St Antony's College, University of Oxford, touching on the current relationship between the Middle East and Europe.
She spoke about the growing "fear of real, living Muslims" in Europe and contrasted this with Europe's curiosity and "respect for the vast and rich architectural, philosophical and historical traditions" of Islam. She added that "Muslim-phobia" had devalued the lives of Muslims in Europe and America and highlighted a double standard in applying principles of free of speech, human rights and dignity. "Why do Muslim lives matter less than the lives of others? If they matter at all."
In addition, HH Sheikha Moza raised the issue of the use of language in analysing the rise of militancy. "The word 'medieval' is appearing more and more to describe the actions of radicals. But why do we insinuate that somehow those who are perpetuating certain acts of violence do not belong to our age? That somehow they are not 'modern'? It is a naive refusal to accept our collective responsibility. ISIS is as modern as Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. They are all products of our age."