In the News: The Trial of Djemila Benhabib opens Monday September 26th 2016 in Montreal

In an interview published in a Belgian magazine, on the eve of the opening of her court case for defamation, the writer and secular activist warns us of the dangers posed by political Islam.

Djemila Benhabib : « Nous faisons face au projet envahissant de l’islam politique » (“We face the invasive plans of political Islam”), Serge Vandaele,, 2016-09-17

Djemila Benhabib […] grew up in Algeria which she was forced to flee in 1994 when her family was condemned to death by the Front islamique du djihad armé (FIDA or Islamic Front for Armed Jihad)

The Trial

“[…] I am being sued for defamation by an Islamist school with links to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The Burkini

“[…] When I see burkinis on the beaches of Nice, that bereaved and wounded city, I see a complete lack of decency. […] I deplore such insensitivity to the current situation, not to mention all the retrograde ideas which the burkini implies about women. I viscerally reject that outfit because is an insult to me and to all women.”

Islamic Terrorism

“Islamic terrorism did not start in Europe. It was born in North Africa and the Middle East. The Islamic Revolution began first of all in Iran. It took on new dimensions in Europe by exploiting the issue of immigration. It tries to paint the French, Belgians as guilty … even Quebeckers who have no colonial history are singled out as being racist. Always the same arguments are trotted out, regardless of the historical past of the particular country! What is going on here? We are being targeted by the same strategy, the same rhetoric which can be summed up by two infernal points: present Muslims as victims and blame the host country, no matter which one. We must break out of this pattern because if there is one thing we share, it is our responsibility to do so.”

Left-wing Parties and Communautarianism

“[…] The cozy relationship between part of the left and political Islam has its origins in the Iranian revolution which would not have achieved the success it did without the participation of the Iranian left first of all, but also and especially the help of the French left […] the first one to mention the concept ‘political spirituality’ was Michel Foucault. He and others, such as Sartre, gave their stamp of approval to that revolution. This was the beginning of our problems. […] To criticize Islam means running the risk of being accused of Islamophobia… This is complete intellectual chaos. In my opinion there is a principle, an achievement of the Enlightenment, which is that religions can be criticized and that principle applies to all religions. […] What Islamists are trying to do today is precisely this: to cut us off from that humanity, to imprison us behind the double barrier of ethnicity and religion […] We must re-learn to defend our values without shame; but Westerners are having a great deal of difficulty doing that. Just as our adversaries are unabashed, we are hesitant, […]”

States which Support Political Islam

“[…] Without the alliance between Saudi Arabia and the United States since 1945, an exchange of petroleum for security, the configuration of our world would be much different. Because international relations have been built on the basis of that fundamental contradiction, that is, the fact that one of the world’s most powerful democracies is allied with a divine-right theocracy. The situation is absurd, but that is reality. […]”

Translation: D.R.

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