The clash of fundamentalisms – Crusades, Jihads and modernity (Tariq Ali) [2002]


Riktigt bra bok, flytande språk och Tariq Ali är som bekant sylvass i tanken. Jag gör alla en otjänst genom att recensera boken idag 20.e februari 2013 (nästan 6 månader efter läsningen), och bestämmer därför att den ska läsas om. Hellre vara tyst och antas vara dum, än att öppna munnen och undanröja alla tvivel. Några axplock:

Hitchens started off with a thoughtful piece on 13 September 2001 in which he stated that the ‘analytical moment’ had to be ‘indefinitely postponed,’ but nonetheless linked the hits to he past policies of the United States and criticised Bush for confusing an act of terrorism with an act of war. He soon moved on to denounce those who made similar but much sharper criticisms, and began to talk of the supposed ‘fascist sympathies of the soft left’ – Noam Chomsky, Harold Pinter, Gore Vidal, Susan Sontag, Edward Said, et al. In more recent television appearances he sounds more like a saloon-bar bore than the fine, critical mind which blew away the halos surrounding Kissinger, Clinton and Mother Teresa.

But the two states would be welded together by a common destiny. Their unity sealed with the blood of Indians and the conquest of the Philippines. Not all the wounds of the Civil War would be forgotten, but global piracy was a healing elixir, although not to everybody’s taste.

America after Florentine explorer, Amerigo Vespucci.

Islam became the cement utilised by Muhammad to unite the Arab tribes and, from the beginning, it regarded commerce as the only noble occupation.

Praying five times each day, for example, played an important part in inculcating military discipline and curbing the anarchonomadic instincs of the new recruits. It was also designed to create a community of believers in the towns, who would after prayers meet and exchange information that was mutually beneficial. No modern political movement – not even the Jacobins and the Bolsheviks – could have got away with five Club or cell meetings each day.

Palermo became a city of a hundred mosques, but Rome survived a Muslim raid and remained sacrosanct. To this day xenophobic northern Italians refer to the Sicilians as ‘Arabs’, a sobriquet not intended as the compliment it once was in al-Andalus.


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