LIU Brooklyn Professor moderates panel discussion, Building Inclusive Cities
Long Island University,
LIU Brooklyn Assistant Professor of Political Science Dalia Fahmy served as the moderator in September for a lively panel discussion, Building Inclusive Cities, featuring New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim to serve as mayor of the United Kingdom’s capital city. The Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit hosted the forum, which was held in Long Island City at LaGuardia Community College.
“What makes London and New York similar is that they’re both cities that symbolize possibility, success, and inclusivity,” said Dr. Fahmy. “And yet today, they’re both cities facing security threats, and caught in the midst of polarizing rhetoric used too often by politicians seeking to advance agendas that seek to divide and capitalize on a 24/7 news cycle. It’s an atmosphere that could leave many people feeling vulnerable.”
The two mayors proceeded to discuss topics ranging from terrorism and its government response, wealth and income inequality, immigration, the Brexit campaign, climate change, and gender pay equality. Through it all, the two mayors continued to return to the theme of inclusivity.
“When you become a successful politician,” Khan said, “whether it’s a mayor, a member of parliament or a president—it’s really important to be inclusive. I will say this with humility but to be frank: I’m not a Muslim mayor, I am a mayor of Islamic faith.”
“Whatever our critique of our society or whatever the imperfections of our democracy,” de Blasio said, “the core concepts are alive and functioning, and it is about deep involvement. The only way negativity wins in this country is if people don’t participate. There is a clear working majority in America for tolerance and inclusion.”
Dr. Fahmy is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Policy, and a recipient of the Kleigman Prize in Political Science. She is the author of two books, and the co-editor of Egypt and the Contradictions of Liberalism: Illiberal Intelligentsia and the Future of Egyptian Democracy, which will be published in January.
LIU Brooklyn’s Department of Political Science, in the Richard L. Conolly College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is dedicated to training students to become informed citizens and effective professionals, with curricula examining domestic and international power structures, socioeconomic relations, and the building blocks of public life. For more information, visit the Conolly College home page.
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