Notre-Dame in Paris has been the background of Victor Hugo’s famous novel Le Bossu de Notre-Dame. Throughout the Middle Ages, the cathedral served as the artistic and architectural model for the Gothic style which would spread all over Western Christendom. Perhaps it is not so surprising that it was also turned into the monument symbolizing the whole of Western Europe.
It is not very surprising, too, that Elena Chudinova‘s novel The Mosque of Notre-Dame, soon to be released in French, as I read on this page, went through so many tribulations before finally being published in France, the country that is home to the largest Muslim minority in Western Europe.
The Mosque of Notre-Dame, originally published in Russian, describes France in the year 2048, at a time when the country has become Muslim. No wonder why, then, the sensitivity of the subject met with such uneasiness among publishers.
No matter what we think about the subject, I think it is important that we be able to read this thought-provoking novel that will certainly make more than one think about an issue too often overlooked, victim of political correctness.
It may be scary to think that Chudinova’s fiction may one day become reality. If it is just fiction, at least for now, it is at least a call to wake up and dare to face the issue of Islam in Europe. We must by no means avoid discussing this issue honestly, and I hope Chudinova’s novel will achieve this.