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diumenge, 3 d’abril de 2016

El 'afair Daoud' o como la corrección política hace el juego al fundamentalismo contra los musulmanes liberales

Last month the Algerian novelist and journalist Kamel Daoud astonished the readers of Le Monde in Paris by threatening to renounce journalism, not because he is afraid of Islamists at home in Algeria, though a fatwa has been issued against him, but for another reason, which is still more dismaying. He has been severely condemned by people from the Western intellectual class, and silence seems to him an appropriate response.

The denunciations of Daoud are a distressing development. And they are doubly distressing because they conform to a pattern that has become familiar. It goes like this: A writer with liberal ideas emerges from a background in the Muslim countries, or perhaps lives there now. The writer proposes criticisms of Islam as it is practiced, or of sexual repression under Islamic domination (a major theme), or of the Islamist movement. The criticisms seem blasphemous to the Islamists and the reactionary imams, who respond in their characteristic fashion. In the Western countries, intellectuals who mostly think of themselves as progressive make their own inquiry into the writer and his or her ideas. They hope to find oblique and reticent criticisms of a sort that they themselves produce. But they find something else—criticisms that are angrier and more vehement, or more sweeping, or more direct.

The Western intellectuals, some of them, recoil in consternation. And, as if liberated from their reticence, they issue their own condemnation of the offending writer, not on grounds of blasphemy but on grounds that purport to be left-wing. The Western intellectuals accuse the liberal from the Muslim world of being a racist against Muslims, or an Islamophobe, or a “native informant” and a tool of imperialism. Sometimes they accuse the liberal from the Muslim world of stupidity, too, or lack of talent. This was Salman Rushdie’s experience in the years after he came out with The Satanic Verses, back in 1988, which he has described in his memoir Joseph Anton. The experience of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, originally from Somalia, offers probably the most widely discussed example after Rushdie’s. But the pattern of Western condemnation can be observed in many other cases as well, directed at liberal writers of different kinds and views—the authors of political essays, memoirs, literary criticism, journalism, and novels, from backgrounds in countries as diverse as Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Kamel Daoud’s Algerian colleague, the novelist Boualem Sansal, last year’s winner of a prize from the French Academy, has come under this kind of condemnation. And now the pattern has reemerged in regard to Daoud himself.
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