Monday, 7 January 2013


Islamophobia is not just an English-language business. A new book just out in France is entitled Ces Grands Esprits Contre l'Islam (Great Minds Against Islam) and it is a compilation of hostile texts, starting with St John of Damascus. The blurb says it is about "the more or less important and more or less crippling [rédhibitoires] problems posed by Islam to persons above all suspicion, which therefore deserve to be dwelt on." Rédhibitoire is used of goods found to have latent defects such that they cannot be accepted. The "great minds" run from St John of Damascus to Robert Redeker by way of Montesquieu, Flaubert and Marx. A sample of Redeker: "Pitiless war leader, pillager, butcher of Jews and polygamous, this is how Mohammed is revealed by the Koran... a book of incredible violence... Jesus is a master of love, Muhammad a master of hate." It is hard to see any point in publishing such a book other than to arouse hatred. It is the sort of stuff churned out by Anders Breivik.

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