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Published 6 years ago by AdelleChattre with 2 Comments

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  • Fuyu

    Wow, it's so strange that those two events happen on the same day, yet they're so unrelated yet related that it's hard to even imagine a connection between the events.


    Some intellectuals said Houellebecq had been “irresponsible”. The media pressed him to apologise.

    We need to stop this attitude. We need to stop the idea that someone should have to apologize for some radical idea. Apologies should not be an "I'm sorry things went wrong/people got offended." Apologies should be when a person sincerely feels like they have done something wrong, something I doubt any novel writer would ever do as they've spent a significant amount of time being able to determine if what they're doing is "wrong" to them.

  • JohnPollock

    Thanks for this, I'd missed it. I greatly admire Houellebecq - in the translations I've read, at least. That a former software engineer is considered by many to be France's greatest living writer has a certain irony, but he writes in the clean and spare fashion of doctors or artists, say.

    As to his provocative engagement with Islam, and some people's claims that he's Islamophobic, I'm with Maajid Nawaaz, a British former jihadist, of Pakistani heritage, who now heads up the [Quilliam Foundation] (http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/) on counter-extremism. In response to those - and there are depressingly many - who wish to shut down critical discussion of Islam and Islamism, not infrequently by making claims of underlying racism, Nawaaz argues that we must speak the thing aloud or we'll suffer what he calls ["the Voldemort effect"] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0-vcSoKcj8). The opening of that last video clip, incidentally, has the most chilling juxtaposition of speaking for the right to speak and attempts to close it down.

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