Monday, March 27, 2017

Boualem Sansal and the Islamists

Boualem Sansal

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.



At 6:30 PM, Blogger King Baeksu said...

We appear to be in this fight for the long haul.

Christopher Hitchens - Barbary Pirates, Muslim Slave Trade and Thomas Jefferson

We've been in it for a very long time.

At 7:22 PM, Blogger King Baeksu said...

The Untold Story of White Slavery

Why is there so little interest in Mediterranean slavery while scholarship and reflection on black slavery never ends? As Prof. Davis explains, white slaves with non-white masters simply do no fit “the master narrative of European imperialism.” The victimization schemes so dear to academics require white wickedness, not white suffering.

Prof. Davis also points out that the widespread European experience of slavery gives the lie to another favorite leftist hobby horse: that the enslavement of blacks was a crucial step in establishing European notions of race and racial hierarchy. Not so; for centuries, Europeans lived in fear of the lash themselves, and a great many watched redemption parades of freed slaves, all of whom were white. Slavery was a fate more easily imagined for themselves than for distant Africans.

With enough effort, it is possible to imagine Europeans as preoccupied with slavery as blacks. If Europeans nursed grievances about galley slaves the way blacks do about field hands, European politics would certainly be different. There would be no groveling apologies for the Crusades, little Muslim immigration to Europe, minarets would not be going up all over Europe, and Turkey would not be dreaming of joining the European Union. The past cannot be undone, and brooding can be taken to excess, but those who forget also pay a high price.

At 9:22 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, KB! I am aware of these things, of course, but I really ought to read more.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(cph here)--good note re: "The Handmaid's Tale", Jeff. One of Atwood's best, and that's saying something. By the way, just last night finished George Saunders' first novel (one of the world's great short story writing treasures already), "Lincoln in the Bardo"--stunning. Extremely great. Top of my list for a few years-worth, now. For our rather abruptly (it seems) screwed-up times here in America, I do believe Saunders actually wrote something that could potentially help heal us.

At 4:23 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks for the rec, CPH - I've been wondering what a "Bardo" is, so I guess I'll try to find out . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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