YOU CAN’T READ THIS BLOG: Reviewing Nick Cohen

The Diamond Mine

Despite the idiotic sneer that such principles are “fashionable”, it is always the ideas of secularism, libertarianism, internationalism, and solidarity that stand in need of reaffirmation.

Christopher Hitchens

 

On 7th December last year, some twenty Muslim men stormed a book launch in Amsterdam and promptly declared a death sentence upon the book’s author. They unfurled a black banner adorned with hateful Arabic, began chanting “Takfir!”, and threatened to break the author’s neck. When the audience bravely formed a human shield around the hunted writer, the men began demanding that the event be shut down. The writer and the audience, to their credit, stood their ground, until the Dutch police arrived, eventually arresting a number of the extremists, whereafter discussion of the recently published book resumed. What is important to note about this small but sordidly telling episode is the nature of the book and the person that had driven these men into such an apparently murderous rage. For the author – a slight but brightly articulate woman called Ishrad Manji – is no apostate, and her book – Allah, Liberty, and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedomis no Satanic Verses. Manji is, in fact, an avowed believer in Islam, and her book, as its title suggests, is nothing more threatening or ‘offensive’ than a reasoned call for a reformist approach to Islam and a plea for moderation amongst her fellow Muslims. For this, apparently, did she deserve nothing less than death.

What must be understood about the reactionary mind it that it hates its own moderates and progressives before it even begins to hate its nominal enemies. “The first aim of religious violence,” argues Nick Cohen in his new book, “is to stop experiment by the faithful and enforce taboos.”

Carry on reading

Advertisements

One thought on “YOU CAN’T READ THIS BLOG: Reviewing Nick Cohen

  1. Hey Miss Jana Beck ;)The History of Love, The Glass Castle, I Was Told There’d Be Cake, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close are a few of my favorites.Oh, and I pceikd up Let the Great World Spin recently for its gorgeous cover and it turned out to be suuuper good as well.Brave New World by Aldous Huxley has a storyline that’s actually incredibly current in our culture today. The similarities are kind of scary. It’d be an interesting topic for a book club.Hope you’re doing amazingly 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s