2008-06-27

How to make a farce looks like it is not

When Prospect and Foreign Policy drew up our list of the world’s top 100 public intellectuals a few weeks ago, none of us expected a Turkish Sufi cleric, barely known in the west, to sweep to victory. Nor did we expect every name in the top ten would be from a Muslim background. (Noam Chomsky, who won the last poll in 2005, led the west in 11th place this time.)

How Gülen Triumphed (Prospect)

The World’s Top 20 Public Intellectuals (Foreign Policy)

(FYI, the 2005 poll attracted over 20,000 voters. This year, the number was over 500,000)

To say that the polling is a farce does not mean that Fethullah Gülen should not be regarded as a top public intellectual:

Gülen's ideas address the entire world (Bulent Kenes, Guardian)

Mockery of popular vote (Kerim Balci, Today's Zaman)