close

Send this page to:

* :
* :
:
* :

Zineb's War on Islamic Fascism

In August 2011, in the midst of the Arab Spring, Zineb El Rhazoui, a young Moroccan-French woman, stood in a packed forum on human rights in the Arab world and launched a strong attack against Driss El Yazami, the president of Morocco’s Human Rights Council, blaming him for ignoring the myriad oppressions inflicted on human rights activists in Morocco. Zineb, a self-proclaimed atheist, had already an impressive number of activism credentials to her name, including being cofounder of the Alternative Movement for Individual Liberties (known in French as MALI), which became famous for challenging the penal code criminalizing fasting in public during Ramadan. She was a journalist out of a job, too, and she was upset.

more

A Prophet in His Own Land

I just finished reading an eye-opening book by the Tunisian scholar Hela Ouardi, a professor of French literature who has waded brilliantly into Islam’s canonical texts, written by Sunnis and Shiites alike, and emerged with a striking portrait of the Prophet Mohammed as he lay dying in Medina. This picture is gleaned and stitched together from voluminous narratives, written over centuries, many of which present different versions of the same event. Since we have no surviving documents from Mohammed's lifetime or the decades immediately following his death to guide us, and since all Muslims rely on the texts Ouardi examines to build their image of the Prophet, this is probably the best that can be done.

more

An Offer We Can't Understand

 A long time ago, one of my professors told me a joke that went something like this: “What do you get when the Godfather meets [the deconstructionist] Jacques Derrida? An offer you can’t understand!”

more

Muslims in the West: Chronicle of a Crisis Foretold

In the 1960s, long before Sudan was blacklisted as a hotbed of terrorism, the Sudanese novelist Tayeb Salih published a novel that is considered a masterpiece of modern Arab literature. Titled Season of Migration to the North, the novel traces the life of Mustafa Sa`eed, a precocious Sudanese boy who eventually gets to study in London but who, in an attempt to resist the West’s seductive hold on him, turns into what we may nowadays call a lone-wolf terrorist, striking back at the West by killing his English wife. Unsettled in England, Mustafa returns to his native country and starts a new life. But he fails to adjust. Torn between cultures and a misfit in both, he brings his tormented life to an end by throwing himself in the Nile River.

more

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 > >>