Monday, November 27, 2006
The few Muslims who wish to live in peace in the world must see things as Mezri Haddad, a Tunisian writer, sees them.
But only a few.
Tunisian Philosopher Mezri Haddad: Islamists 'Have Reduced the Koran to a Nauseating Antisemitic Lampoon'
"Arab Public Opinion... Has Found, in Antisemitism, the Perfect Catalyst For All Its Narcissistic Wounds and Social, Economic, and Political Frustrations"
"The young Iranian president's deliberately outrageous, mortifying, and extremist [statements] aiming at Holocaust denial have provoked stupor and indignation everywhere in the world, with the quite symptomatic exception of the Islamic countries... This deafening silence cannot be explained solely by the fear of suffering from terrorist attacks, as in the heyday of Khomeinist obscurantism. It is also explained by the necessity of getting along with Arab public opinion, which, after years of galvanization by the most reactionary forms of nationalist casuistry and Islamist dogmatism, has found in antisemitism the perfect catalyst for all its narcissistic wounds and social, economic, and political frustrations.
"It must be admitted that some Koranic verses, intentionally isolated from their historical context, have contributed even more to the anchoring of antisemitic stereotypes in Arab-Muslim mentalities. Incidentally, one could say the same about the New Testament, certain passages of which served, in the distant past and the not-so-distant past, to give a theological patina to the most abominable of anti-Jewish persecutions. The Church had to carry out its own 'aggiornamento'... in order to deprive Christian extremists of any evangelical legitimacy.
"All this is to say that the petrifaction of Arab-Muslim mentalities is not at all irremediable - provided that Islamic thinkers show intellectual audacity. Since they cannot purge the Koran of its potentially antisemitic dross, they must closely examine this corpus with hermeneutical reasoning...
"If the West's indignation [at Ahmadinejad's statements] is perfectly understandable and justified, their stupor shows, on the other hand, a certain credulity in their very conception of the Iranian regime. Those who were surprised by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's heinous stigmatizations are the very same people who - distinguishing between the regime and the people who comprise it, and swallowing the fable that there are 'moderate' Islamists and 'extremist' Islamists - have long believed in the normalization of the Islamic Republic [of Iran] and in its ineluctable democratization. As Jesus said [John 20:29], 'Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed'...
"It is true that this rehabilitation of the fundamentalist Iranian regime was possible only following the irruption, on September 11, 2001, of a new, mutant form of the most extreme kind of Islamism: Al-Qaeda and its macabre cortege of candidates for martyrdom... Bin Laden's triumph, his true miracle, consists in not only having given a civilized appearance to hideous theocracies, but also in having given a human, or even humanist, face to neo-fascist movements who aspire to power: Hamas in Palestine... Hizbullah in Lebanon, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and their alter egos everywhere in the Arab world...
How come this one man, sitting in Tunisia, makes more sense, and sees the world more clearly, than all of the liberals in the United States and Europe? How can this be?