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)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (7)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (7th installment) P A R T II A Genealogy of Fundamentalism 14  In a text published a few months before her death, Simone Weil warned with great lucidity that “an Americanization of Europe would certainly prepare an Americanization of the whole earth.” [1] She also foresaw the role America would play in the advent … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (7)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (6)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (6th installment) P A R T II A Genealogy of Fundamentalism 12 The movement that tried to take power in the lifetime of Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab came to nothing. The troops of the viceroy of Egypt’s, Mohammed ‘Ali (1769-1848), managed to chase the Wahhabites from the Hejaz after a violent campaign. (Jacques Berque … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (6)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (4)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (4th installment) 7. We have to acknowledge the flourishing of Islamic Fundamentalism and the global dimension it assumed. The event to which we were witnesses on September 11 2001 was made possible only by the mutation the Western model has gone through: it has gone from European to American. It is clear now … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (4)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (3)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (3rd installment) 4. If we look simultaneously at science, the state of technology and the state of the arts, we can say that Islamic civilization kept pace with what was happening in Europe until the baroque and classical eras. There can indeed be an equivalence between what happened in Islam in the eleventh, … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (3)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (2)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (2nd installment) 2. The Islamic world has been unceasingly  inconsolable in its destitution. It knew one very high point of civilization, accompanied by the boldness of hegemony. If we go back to the notion of “world capital” as proposed by Fernand Braudel, it is reasonable to suggest that before its displacement towards Europe, … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (2)