Boualem Sansal and the Islamists
Of interest, if also frightening, is Boualem Sansal's most recent novel 2084: The End of the World, translated from the French original by Alison Anderson. In the story, a "totalitarian surveillance state, a fundamentalist religious autocracy, is portrayed as being totally intolerant of free-thinkers in [a story that serves as] a powerful satire on an Islamist dictatorship," says Brian Martin in a review article, "By 2084, will Islam rule the world?" (The Spectator, March 25, 2017).
Martin notes that "Sansal's prophetic novel very clearly derives its lineage from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four," but I would like to suggest that also lurking in the background is a novel by the Canadian writer Margaret Atwood: The Handmaiden's Tale, which was published in 1985 and has never been out of print (and has been translated into French: La Servante écarlate, 2005). In Atwood's novel, an Islamist-style Christian revolution has established a state in which women must wear burqa-like coverings and be entirely subordinate to men.
Anyway, Martin informs us that in Sansal's Islamist totalitarian state, "Anyone who is detected dissenting from established views, by official investigation or by the evidence of informers, is arrested and taken for public execution by stoning or beheading to one of many stadiums."
"Sansal's target is obvious," says Martin. It is "the desired universal caliphate of Islamist extremists, the so-called Islamic State.
Martin closes his review by reminding us of another Islamist-style takeover, namely the one in "Michel Houellebecq's subtle, threatening, frightening novel Submission[, in which Houellebecq] imagines the democratic takeover of France by Islamist politicians, [and we see that] 2084 follows on [in this], and has terrifying implications for the entire world."
We appear to be in this fight for the long haul.