Greek European Culture

Education, Europe - West, Islam, Modern literature

Three glances at Islam

Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House

Chateaubriand: The spirit of Mahometanism is persecution and conquest … Accustomed to follow the fortunes of a master, they have no law that connects them to ideas of order and political moderation: to kill, when one is the stronger, seems to them a legitimate right; they exercise that right or submit to it with the same indifference … Force is their God

E. W. Lane: He [the Egyptian child] receives also lessons of religious pride and learns to hate the Christians and all other sects but his own, as thoroughly as does the Muslim in advanced age.

Alexis de Tocqueville: Muslim society in Africa was not uncivilized; it was merely a backward and imperfect civilization… We have made Muslim society much more miserable, more disordered, more ignorant, and more barbarous than it had been before knowing us.

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  1. james

    In relation to the quote by Alexis de Tocqueville above, how do Muslims in a country like Dubai, reconcile the “superiority” of their religious beliefs, whils’t simultaneously building the single biggest shrine in the world, to the excesses of western consumerism, in this strict “Muslim state”. Are such Muslims not more interested, just like the majority of secular people in the west, in the miserable accumulation of yet more wealth? Muslims have always had a weakness for the gifts of the west, despite their public protestations to the contrary.

  2. Does not building a big shrine seem more a will to promote and enforce Islam, than will to consumerism?

  3. James


    I’m not sure if building complete island replicates of every country in the world, surrounding it with luxurious Hotels and opulent shopping malls, where the world’s extremely wealthy can “hang out” and have a good time, has anything to do with promoting Islam. Perhaps, it simply means, that Muslims, just like Christians and Jews, are as willing to comprise their “beliefs” in order to “make a quick buck”.

    Why this constructed simulacrum of the world that was build in the middle of an arid desert, seems to attract multitudes of the world’s idle rich, no matter what their faith is, or perhaps was, remains a deeply troubling spectre. Maybe the vision, they see is that of the Golden Calf and, they want it, no matter what the cost. In a world where many can no longer believe in any notion of “God”, this secular Mecca, is their ultimate paradise (There’s no need for any other, let alone one with God in residence).

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Three Millennia of Greek Literature