“The Right to Indifference”?

“The Right to indifference” — is how the French daily Libération‘s editor Laurent Joffrin interprets the results of a recent poll which, he says, proves wrong both the far-right (& their spectre of imminent holy war between Muslims & Christians decimating Europe) and the communitarian Left, (who claim that because of the past — & present? — colonial attitudes of Europeans, Muslims feel very unwelcome and ill at ease … Read more “The Right to Indifference”?

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (18)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (18th installment) P a r t  I V The Western Exclusion of Islam 33 Now that I’ve come to the end of this book, written in urgency, I would like to enrich the “testimonies against intolerance” collected by Voltaire to form the fifteenth chapter of his Traité sur la tolérance with two verses from … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (18)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (17)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (17th installment) P a r t  I V The Western Exclusion of Islam 32  That is the sickness of Islam.  It has existed throughout history.  It exists now.  It is identifiable through the actions and words of the fundamentalists.  But I do not confuse Islam with its sickness, even if I can see … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (17)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (15)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (15th installment) P a r t  I V The Western Exclusion of Islam 30 Should we think back to the Ismailians when we recall the secrecy so complete in the conduct of the September 11th terrorists? In fact, the examples of dissimulation and disguise as concerns the Ismailian fidâ’is are just as impressive … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (15)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (14)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (14th installment) P a r t  I V The Western Exclusion of Islam 28 Sacrifice and secretiveness have often been mentioned in explaining how the terrorists acted on September 11.  We should be careful when analyzing these two characteristics, and not try to shed light on them only by invoking Islamic history and … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (14)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (13)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (13th installment) P A R T III Fundamentalism Against the West 27 I would like to take up again the question of the decline, and to understand the gap that separates ancient Islam from present Islam, to grasp the causes that led from splendor to wretchedness.  Bîrûni, you will recall, contrasts the elite … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (13)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (12)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (12th installment) P A R T III Fundamentalism Against the West 25 It was such an indoctrination that reanimated a caricature version of a Medinese utopia in the Afghanistan of the Taliban.  The ridiculous regime of the Afghan mullahs was judged by Osama bin Laden to be the unique earthly realization of the … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (12)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (11)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (11th installment) P A R T III Fundamentalism Against the West 23 The second effort at re-Islamization is visible through the transformation of the social body in its relation to pleasure and enjoyment.  Islamic society went from a hedonist tradition, based on love of life, to a prudish reality, full of hatred of … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (11)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (9)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (9th installment) P A R T III Fundamentalism Against the West 19 Islam never had a Dante who summoned the intellectual audacity to make his writing address political events as they appeared in the reality of history.  I dream of this genius that Islam did not create:  he would have constituted the opposite … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (9)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (8)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (8th installment) P A R T II A Genealogy of Fundamentalism 17 In 750 the Abbasids unseated the Umayyads by trying to charge the function of the caliph with sacred character through the spiritual legitimacy conferred by belonging to the “people of the house.” This lineage had been forged by a descent which … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (8)