mardi 1 décembre 2020

On the crisis of Islam: In defense of discussion

The murder last month of the French history teacher Samuel Paty, with its atrocious symbolism, marks the latest in a series of terrorist acts perpetrated by young French Muslims, or other Muslims residing in France. As is often the case, it has inflamed emotions to the extreme, rendering it impossible for days or even weeks thereafter to have a reasonable conversation about Islam and related questions.

As secular, democratic intellectuals, descending from the Arab Levant, and from a heritage of which Islam was and is an essential component, we are compelled by this state of affairs to affirm—first of all—that communication between different people, and the thorny examination of complex issues, are the key to disarming the militarization of thought and culture advocated by Islamist nihilists such as Paty’s killer, Abdullah Anzorov, and the many others like him. The more such people succeed in deepening the trenches separating Muslim communities from the world around them, the more they prosper and flourish.

Second, we affirm that this militarization of thought and culture is not limited to these Islamist nihilists alone. Plenty in the West play the very same game, and encourage the Islamists themselves to play it further, for they too seek to deepen the trenches and live in buttressed fortresses, indifferent to all that goes on around them and out on the margins of their settlements.

To read this article by Yassin Al-Haj Saleh, Farouk Mardam-Bey and Ziad Majed, please visit Aljumhuriya