Here is Prospect/Foreign Policy’s list of the world’s Top 20 Public Intellectuals, as voted for by some people on the internet.
The list significantly reflects the clash between Islamists and reformers in the Islamic world. Poor old Chomsky has become old hat, and has fallen to 11th place.
1. Fethullah Gülen: The soft Islamist who inspires Turkey’s AKP. Has a lot of fans, evidently.
2. Muhammad Yunus: Microfinance guru and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
3. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi: War criminal, promoter of suicide bombing against civilian targets, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.
4. Orhan Pamuk: Nobel laureate, novelist, critic of the Turkish policy of denying the Armenian Genocide.
5. Aitzaz Ahsan: Defender of the rule of law in Pakistan, hero.
6. Amr Khaled: The Muslim World’s answer to Cliff Richards.
7. Abdolkarim Soroush: Prominent Iranian reformist and democrat.
8. Tariq Ramadan: Muslim Brotherhood activist.
9. Mahmood Mamdani: “His work explores the role of citizenship, identity, and the creation of historical narratives in postcolonial Africa”
10. Shirin Ebadi: The first female judge under the Shah, defender of political dissidents, reformer.
11. Noam Chomsky: Paranoiac.
12. Al Gore: Man with beard.
13. Bernard Lewis: Preoccupied with Islamism.
14. Umberto Eco: Personal friend of Sean Connery.
15. Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Democrat and liberal.
16. Amartya Sen: Nobel laureate, genius development economist, whose Identity and Violence should be read by every policymaker.
17. Fareed Zakaria: Editor of Newsweek International.
18. Garry Kasparov: Chess Grand Master, really really hates Putin.
19. Richard Dawkins: Married to Romana out of Doctor Who.
20. Mario Vargas Llosa: Wonderful novelist, democrat, former Castro fan who now resides on the centre Right.
Hat tip: Alex Ross