Monday, September 11, 2006

Islamism and the left

This piece by Fred Halliday, which has already been linked elsewhere, repays careful reading. Not the main thrust of the piece but this passage caught my attention:
"The trend culminated in the 1990s with a campaign to silence left and independent liberal voices: [...]the writer and philosopher Nasser Abu Zeid, who had dared to apply to the Qur’an and other classical Islamic texts the techniques of historical and literary criticism practised elsewhere in the world, was sent death-threats before being driven into exile in 1995."
This is why the academic discipline known as form criticism, which has been applied to the Bible for many years, essentially does not exist in Koranic scholarship. This, I think, is a more important example of Islamism limiting intellectual freedom than the non-publication of a few stupid cartoons in the British press.

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