The secular backlash against Charlie Hebdo

as explained by South African Nobel Laureate JM Coetzee in an essay in his book Giving Offense: Essays on Censorship (published 1996) – The Intellectual Rational, secular intellectuals are not notably quick to take offense. Like Karl Popper, they tend … Continue reading The secular backlash against Charlie Hebdo

Showdown in Anatolia

The Friday Times | Sep 1, 2006 Snow By Orhan Pamuk; Translated by Maureen Freely; Faber and Faber (2004); Rs 395 Our guide, “Orhan the novelist,” is the narrator of his own novel. Culturally and politically Western, Pamuk remains critical of the force the Turkish state applies to enforce its vision of democratic secularism, established by Mustafa Kemal in the 1920s, on its Islamist population. Fictional character Turgut Bey, an honest and humane man who has suffered hardship for his beliefs (he is also the father of the beautiful Ipek) asks a question not too dissimilar from what Pamuk himself … Continue reading Showdown in Anatolia

Notable Muslim thinkers

With thanks to Reza Aslan and Ziauddin Sardar. Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111) wrote many works, including Revival of the Religious Sciences in which he argues that God is movement itself. Another work is The Alchemy of Happiness. He criticised al-Hallaj for publicly disclosing that he had reached a level of spiritual unification with God. Ibn Sina, aka Avicenna (980-1037) considered God’s attributes to be nothing more than ‘guideposts’ that merely reflected the human mind’s understanding of the Divine and not the Divine itself. In the 1990s Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd, a professor at Cairo University, argued that while the Quran … Continue reading Notable Muslim thinkers