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mercredi, 05 septembre 2018

A West Indian Hindu Looks at Islam


A West Indian Hindu Looks at Islam

V. S. Naipaul
Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1981

The further to the political Right one gets, the easier it is to connect with the mentality and ideas of those of a Hindu background while becoming increasingly alienated from the Bible’s Old Testament and its vicious cast of desert-dwelling thieves, murderers, perverts, and swindlers. One example of this phenomenon is the late V. S. Naipaul’s (1932–2018) look at one prickly Abrahamic faith of the desert: Islam, entitled Among the Believers (1981).

among.jpgNaipaul had a unique background. He was of Hindu Indian origins and grew up in the British Empire’s West Indian colony of Trinidad and Tobago. Naipaul wrote darkly of his region of birth, stating, “History is built around achievement and creation; and nothing was created in the West Indies.”[1] [2] His gloomy take on the region is a bit inaccurate; the racially whiter places such as Cuba have produced societies of a sort of dynamism. Cubans did field a large mercenary force on behalf of the Soviet Union in Africa late in the Cold War, and the mostly white Costa Rica is a nice place to live. But Haiti is a super-ghetto of Africanism. In some cases, the West Indians can’t even give themselves away. At a time when the American people were enthusiastic for expansion, the US Senate bitterly opposed the Grant administration’s attempt to annex what is now the Dominican Republic. Who wants to take over Hispaniola’s problems?[2] [3] Naipaul’s prose is so good that he will be extensively quoted throughout this review.

In Among the Believers, Naipaul takes a look at the nations where Islam dominates the culture but where the populations are not Arabs. He wrote this book in the immediate aftermath of the Iranian Revolution, so we are seeing what happens when a people with a rich heritage attempt to closely follow the religion of their alien Arab conquerors. What you get is a people at war with themselves, and a people who, to put it mildly, turn away from the light of reason. He can express this in civilizational terms as well as individually. For example, in highly readable prose, Naipaul writes of a Malay woman who courts a “born again” Muslim man. Before she got with him, the young lady danced, dived, and went camping, but afterwards she took to the hijab and the drab long gowns, “and her mind began correspondingly to dull.”[3] [4]

When one reads Naipaul’s work, one comes to appreciate Islam; not the sort of pretend appreciation that virtue-signaling liberals have right up until a group of fanatics run them over with a car and then knife them to death as they lie injured [5], but an appreciation of just how terribly the Islamic worldview impacts all of society. After reading this book, one can see that Islam is the following:

  • Islam is the product of unfocused resentment and discontent made into a religion. Anarchism also qualifies as a religious form of undirected anger at unfairness. What I mean here is that it is clear that there are things in this world that are unjust. One way of reacting to life not being fair is to develop a worldview that supposes that it can cure injustice through a set of simplistic ideas married to cathartic violence. This worldview draws in the malcontents and the resentful. Islamic terrorists and the anarchist terrorists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are very similar. Ultimately, Islam requires “absolute faith . . . fed by . . . passion: justice, union, vengeance.”[4] [6]
  • From the perspective of a low-IQ non-white, Islam is an escape from the frightening world of advancing technology and market forces they cannot understand. It is escapism, pure and simple. Naipaul’s view of the 1978 novel Foreigner [7] by Nahid Rachlin is that of an escapist Islamic death pact. The protagonist retreats from a world of “intellect and endeavor” to one where the Muslim believer “will no longer simply have to follow after others, not knowing where the rails are taking them. They will no longer have to be last, or even second . . . Other people in spiritually barren lands will produce [modern equipment].”[5] [8]
  • This escapism is ultimately a project that leads to a nihilistic end. For example, Pakistan “had undone the rule of law it had inherited form the British, and replaced it with nothing.”[6] [9] To add to this idea, “The glories of [Islam] were in the remote past; it had generated nothing like a Renaissance. Muslim countries, where not colonized, were despotisms; and nearly all, before oil, were poor.”[7] [10]
  • Muslims take advantage of America’s foolish open immigration policies. “[T]he United States was more than a place to get an education. It was also – for the Iranian physician, as for the newly rich of so many insecure countries, politicians and businessmen, Arab, South American, West Indian, African – a sanctuary.” From the perspective of 1981, Naipaul is showing the initial infection of Third World pathologies in the United States before they manifested as clearly as they do today.
  • Islam carefully keeps old grudges alive. A family feud involving the descendants of the Prophet Mohammed led to half-trained Iranian pilots flying American-made Phantoms attacking Sunni Kurds centuries later. “To keep alive ancient animosities, to hold on to the idea of personal revenge even after a thousand years, to have a special list of heroes and martyrs and villains, it was necessary to be instructed.”[8] [11] Instructing believers in the ins and outs of these grudges takes a great deal of time away from instruction in other matters.
  • Islam is ultimately a suboptimal worldview for the creation and maintenance of civilization. Like apologists for Communism, apologists for Islamic societies insist that true Islam “has never been tried.”[9] [12]

Quite possibly the most interesting part of this book is Naipaul’s account of the Arab conquest of what is now Pakistan, but which was then called the Sind. Starting around 634, the Muslim Arabs began attempting to conquer the region. They launched at least ten campaigns over seventy years; all were unsuccessful. However, the Arabs eventually won. During the time of the Arab menace, the people of the Sind were weakened by a prophecy of doom, and palace intrigue had weakened their political elite. The Sind people were also awed by the apparent unity and discipline of the Muslims. The common people surrendered in droves, and the Sind’s King was killed in an avoidable death, or glory battle.

For the people of the Sind and their Hindu/Buddhist culture, the Arab conquest was a disaster. “At Banbhore [13], a remote outpost of the earliest Arab empires, you walked on human bones.”[10] [14] However, the Pakistanis today cannot admit to themselves that they lost their traditional culture. The story of the Arab conquest is told in a work called the Chachnama. Naipaul argues that the Chachnama is like Bernal Díaz’s great work, The Conquest of New Spain, except for the fact that the Chachnama’s author was not a soldier in the campaign as was Bernal Díaz; it was written by a Persian scribe centuries after the event. Like all things in Islam, the insights offered by the Chachama are dull at best, and “The intervening five centuries [since the publication of the Chachama] have added no extra moral or historical sense to the Persian narrative, no wonder or compassion, no idea of what is cruel and what is not cruel, such as Bernal Díaz, the Spanish soldier, possesses.”[11] [15]

IndiaWoundedCivilisation.jpgThe arrival of Islam to the Sind is the disaster which keeps on giving. Pakistan’s economy [16] lags behind India’s, although India has a large population of low IQ, low-caste people. Pakistan also cannot produce world-class cultural works like India does. There is no Pakistani version of Bollywood. The best thing the Pakistani government can do is to provide exit visas for its people to go and work elsewhere, as well as advice on the immigration laws of receiving countries.

Perhaps because Naipaul is from the West Indies – a Third World region which has long touched the more dynamic societies of the white man – he is able to so accurately describe the disaster of Third World immigration, especially as it applies to Pakistan and its pitiable people. He is worth quoting at length:

The idea of the Muslim state as God had never converted into anything less exalted, had never converted into political or economic organization. Pakistan – a thousand miles long from the sea to the Himalayas, and with a population of more than seventy million – was a remittance economy. The property boom in Karachi was sustained in part by the remittances of overseas workers, and they were everywhere, legally and illegally. They were not only in Muslim countries – Arabia, the Gulf states, Libya; they were also in Canada and the United States and in many of the countries of Europe. The business was organized. Like accountants studying tax laws, the manpower-export experts of Pakistan studied the world’s immigration laws and competitively gambled with their emigrant battalions: visitor’s visas overstayable here (most European countries), dependents shippable there (England), student’s visas convertible there (Canada and the United States), political asylum to be asked for there (Austria and West Berlin), still no visas needed here, just below the Arctic Circle (Finland). They went by the planeload. Karachi airport was equipped for this emigrant traffic. Some got through; some were turned back.[12] [17]

Once they got there:

. . . the emigrants threw themselves on the mercies of civil-liberties organizations. They sought the protection of the laws of the countries where the planes had brought them. They or their representatives spoke correct words about the difference between poor countries and rich, South and North. They spoke of the crime of racial discrimination and the brotherhood of man. They appealed to the ideals of the alien civilizations whose virtue they denied at home.[13] [18]

Naipaul shows that Islam is a tremendous, though retarding, metapolitical force that works its way into all areas of human societies: the law, philosophy, medicine, and even city planning. He shows the power of its simple theology over less intelligent, Third World minds. He shows its dark, violent core. Once the virus of Islam infects a society, whatever higher culture that society had is destroyed. Islam’s ultimate endpoint is a world of barren desert dunes squabbled over by uncreative, violent fanatics. In short, Islam is so powerful because it is fortified by its own failures and contradictions rather than defeated by them.

Naipaul’s criticism of Islam has drawn its own critics, such as Salman Rushdie [19] and the late Edward Said [20], but in light of the Global War on Terror and the rapid descent of many Islamic lands into even deeper, darker forms of barbarism, they have been given extended life by the imported lights of the white man’s science and technology, and Naipaul has become something of a prophet.

In conclusion, from the perspective of the white man who believes in civilization, Islam must be resisted by all means. Furthermore, “civil rights” is a tool of white displacement. Dismantling “civil rights” agencies is critical. Of the greatest importance, though, is to break free of the tremendous sense of guilt and self-loathing in the Western world. As long as whites continue to worship Emmett Till, Martin Luther King, and the rest of the pantheon of non-white idols, the dull, slack society of Islam will punch above its weigh.

Don’t let your nation become one of those counted as among the Believers.


[1] [21] Patrick French, The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V. S. Naipaul (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008), p. 203.

[2] [22] Unfortunately, the US did purchase the Danish Virgin Islands and capture Puerto Rico. The 2017 hurricane season was the scene of two vicious storms: one devastated Houston, Texas, which recovered rapidly. The other storm destroyed Puerto Rico, which took months to recover basics such as electricity.

[3] [23] Ibid., p. 302.

[4] [24] I’ve had to condense the prose here to generalize what Naipaul is saying about several Iranians during the Islamic Revolution. See p. 80 for the full quote in context.

[5] [25] Ibid., p. 15.

[6] [26] Ibid., p. 169.

[7] [27] Ibid., p. 12.

[8] [28] Ibid., p. 7.

[9] [29] Ibid., p. 124.

[10] [30] Ibid., p. 131.

[11] [31] Ibid., p. 133.

[12] [32] Ibid., p. 101.

[13] [33] Ibid.


Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: https://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/08/a-west-indian-hindu-looks-at-islam/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: https://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/8-28-18-1.jpg

[2] [1]: #_ftn1

[3] [2]: #_ftn2

[4] [3]: #_ftn3

[5] group of fanatics run them over with a car and then knife them to death as they lie injured: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI72LK3Zhi8

[6] [4]: #_ftn4

[7] Foreigner: https://smile.amazon.com/Foreigner-Novel-Nahid-Rachlin-ebook/dp/B00AMQ3ERI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1534882077&sr=8-1&keywords=foreigner+nahid+rachlin

[8] [5]: #_ftn5

[9] [6]: #_ftn6

[10] [7]: #_ftn7

[11] [8]: #_ftn8

[12] [9]: #_ftn9

[13] Banbhore: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banbhore

[14] [10]: #_ftn10

[15] [11]: #_ftn11

[16] Pakistan’s economy: https://www.jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/india-vs-pakistan-economic-comparision-1497247847-1

[17] [12]: #_ftn12

[18] [13]: #_ftn13

[19] Salman Rushdie: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/sir-salman-rushdie-claims-i-was-just-fooling-around-as-his-ratings-of-other-authors-work-go-viral-10156390.html

[20] Edward Said: https://www.newstatesman.com/node/159123

[21] [1]: #_ftnref1

[22] [2]: #_ftnref2

[23] [3]: #_ftnref3

[24] [4]: #_ftnref4

[25] [5]: #_ftnref5

[26] [6]: #_ftnref6

[27] [7]: #_ftnref7

[28] [8]: #_ftnref8

[29] [9]: #_ftnref9

[30] [10]: #_ftnref10

[31] [11]: #_ftnref11

[32] [12]: #_ftnref12

[33] [13]: #_ftnref13

samedi, 12 janvier 2013

Islam In India

Islam In India: William Dalrymple’s jihad negationism

Dr. Elst defends Naipaul's views

Koenraad Elst

Ex: http://www.alfredvierling.com/


Taj Mahal

In several articles and speeches since at least 2004 (“Trapped in the ruins” in The Guardian, 20 March 2004), and especially in the commotion provoked by Girish Karnad’s speech in Mumbai (autumn 2012), William Dalrymple has condemned Nobel prize winner V.S. Naipaul for writing that the Vijayanagar empire was a Hindu bastion besieged by Muslim states. The famous writer has taken the ruins of vast Vijayanagar as illustration of how Hinduism is a “wounded civilization”, viz. wounded by Islam. Dalrymple’s counter-arguments against this conflictual view of Indian history consist in bits of Islamic influence in the Vijayanagar kings’ court life, such as Hindu courtiers wearing Muslim dress, Hindu armies adopting techniques borrowed from the Muslims, styles of palace architecture and the Persian nomenclature of political functions; and conversely, elements of Hinduism in Muslims courts and households, e.g. the Muslim festival of Muharram looking like the Kumbha Mela of the Hindus.
V.S. NaipaulSecularism and Vijayanagar

As is all too common in Nehruvian-secularist discourse, Dalrymple’s analysis of the role of Islam in India stands out by its superficiality. Whenever a Hindu temple or a Muslim festival is found to employ personnel belonging to the opposite religion, secular journalists go gaga and report on this victory of syncretism over religious orthodoxy. Secular historians including Dalrymple do likewise about religious cross-pollination in the past.

It is true that Hindus are eager to integrate foreign elements from their surroundings, from Hellenistic astrology (now mis-termed “Vedic astrology”) in the past to the English language and American consumerism today. So Hindu courts adopted styles and terminology from their Muslim counterparts. They even enlisted Muslim mercenaries in their armies, so “secular” were they. We could say that Hindus are multicultural at heart, or open-minded. But that quality didn’t get rewarded, except with a betrayal by their Muslim regiments during the battle of Talikota (1565): they defected to the enemy, in which they recognized fellow-Muslims. When the chips were down, Hindu open-mindedness and syncretism were powerless against their heartfelt belief in Islamic solidarity. In September 2012, Dalrymple went to Hyderabad to praise the city and its erstwhile Muslim dynasty as a centre of Hindu-Muslim syncretism; but fact is that after Partition, the ruler of Hyderabad opted for Pakistan, against multicultural India. When the chips are down, secular superficiality is no match for hard-headed orthodoxy.

William DalrympleMuslims too sometimes adopted Hindu elements. However, it would be unhistorical to assume a symmetry with what the Hindus did. Hindus really adopted foreign elements, but most Muslims largely just retained Hindu elements which had always been part of their culture and which lingered on after conversion. Thus, the Pakistanis held it against the Bengalis in their artificial Muslim state (1947-71) that their language was very Sanskritic, not using the Arabic script, and that their womenfolk “still” wore saris and no veils. The Bengali Muslims did this not because they had “adopted” elements from Hinduism, but because they had retained many elements from the Hindu culture of their forefathers. “Pakistan” means the “land of the pure”, i.e. those who have overcome the taints of Paganism, the very syncretism which Dalrymple celebrates. Maybe it is in the fitness of things that a historian should sing paeans to this religious syncretism for, as far as Islam is concerned, it is a thing of the past.

A second difference between Hindus and Muslims practicing syncretism is that in the case of Muslims, this practice was in spite of their religion, due to a hasty (and therefore incomplete) conversion under duress and a lack of sufficient policing by proper Islamic authorities. If, as claimed by Dalrymple, a Sultan of Bijapur venerated both goddess Saraswati and prophet Mohammed, it only proves that he hadn’t interiorized Mohammed’s strictures against idolatry yet. In more recent times, though, this condition has largely been remedied. Secular journalists now have to search hard for cases of Muslims caught doing Hindu things, for such Muslims become rare. Modern methods of education and social control have wiped out most traces of Hinduism. Thus, since their independence, the Bengali Muslims have made great strides in de-hinduizing themselves, as by widely adopting proper Islamic dress codes. The Tabligh (“propaganda”) movement as well as informal efforts by clerics everywhere have gone a long way to “islamize the Muslims”, i.e. to destroy all remnants of Hinduism still lingering among them.
Hindu iconoclasm?

Another unhistorical item in the secular view of Islam in India is the total absence of an Islamic prehistory outside India. Yet, all Muslims know about this history to some extent and base their laws and actions upon it. In particular, they know about Mohammed’s career in Arabia and seek to replicate it, from wearing “the beard of the Prophet” to emulating his campaigns against Paganism.

Dalrymple, like all Nehruvians, makes much of the work of the American Marxist historian Richard Eaton. This man is famous for saying that the Muslims have indeed destroyed many Hindu temples (thousands, according to his very incomplete list, though grouped as the oft-quoted “eighty”), but that they based themselves for this conduct on Hindu precedent. Indeed, he has found a handful of cases of Hindu conquerors “looting” temples belonging to the defeated kings, typically abducting the main idol to install it in their own capital. This implies a very superficial equating between stealing an idol (but leaving the worship of the god concerned intact, and even continuing it in another temple) and destroying temples as a way of humiliating and ultimately destroying their religion itself. But we already said that secularists are superficial. However, he forgets to tell his readers that he has found no case at all of a Muslim temple-destroyer citing these alleged Hindu precedents. If they try to justify their conduct, it is by citing Mohammed’s Arab precedents. The most famous case is the Kaaba in Mecca, where the Prophet and his nephew Ali destroyed 360 idols with their own hands. What the Muslims did to Vijayanagar was only an imitation of what the Prophet had done so many times in Arabia, only on a much larger scale.

From historians like Eaton and Dalrymple, we expect a more international view of history than what they offer in their account of Islamic destructions in India. They try to confine their explanations to one country, whereas Islam is globalist par excellence. By contrast, Naipaul does reckon with international cultural processes, in particular the impact of Islam among the converted peoples, not only in South but also in West and Southeast Asia. He observes that they have been estranged from themselves, alienated from their roots, and therefore suffering from a neurosis.

So, Naipaul is right and Dalrymple wrong in their respective assessments of the role of Islam in India. Yet, in one respect, Naipaul is indeed mistaken. In his books Among the Believers and Beyond Belief, he analyses the impact of Islam among the non-Arab converts, but assumes that for Arabs, Islam is more natural. True, the Arabs did not have to adopt a foreign language for religious purposes, they did not have to sacrifice their own national traditions in name-giving; but otherwise they too had to adopt a religion that wasn’t theirs. The Arabs were Pagans who worshipped many gods and tolerated many religions (Jews, Zoroastrians, various Christian Churches) in their midst. Mohammed made it his life’s work to destroy their multicultural society and replace it with a homogeneous Islamic one. Not exactly the syncretism which Dalrymple waxes so eloquent about.
Colonial “Orientalism”?

Did Muslims “contribute” to Indian culture, as Dalrymple claims? Here too, we should distinguish between what Islam enjoins and what people who happen to be Muslims do. Thus, he says that Muslims contributed to Indian music. I am quite illiterate on art history, but I’ll take his word for it. However, if they did, they did it is spite of Islam, and not because of it. Mohammed closed his ears not to hear the music, and orthodox rulers like Aurangzeb and Ayatollah Khomeini issued measures against it. Likewise, the Moghul school of painting shows that human beings are inexorably fond of visual art, but does not disprove that Islam frowns on it.

Also, while some tourists fall for the Taj Mahal, which Naipaul so dislikes, the Indo-Saracenic architecture extant does not nullify the destruction of many more beautiful buildings which could have attracted far more tourists. In what sense is it a “contribution” anyway? Rather than filling a void, it is at best a replacement of existing Hindu architecture with new Muslim architecture. Similarly, if no Muslim music (or rather, music by Muslims) had entered India, then native Hindu music would have flourished more, and who is Dalrymple to say that Hindu music is inferior?

Another discursive strategy of the secularists, applied here by Dalrymple, is to blame the colonial view of history. Naipaul is said to be inspired by colonial Orientalists and to merely repeat their findings. This plays on the strong anti-Westernism among Indians. But it is factually incorrect: Naipaul cites earlier sources (e.g. Dalrymple omits Ibn Battuta, the Moroccan traveler who only described witnessed Sultanate cruelty to the Hindus with his own eyes) as well as the findings of contemporaneous archaeologists. Moreover, even the colonial historians only repeat what older native sources tell them. The destruction of Vijayanagar is a historical fact and an event that took place with no colonizers around. Unless you mean the Muslim rulers.

In the West, we are familiar with the phenomenon of Holocaust negationism. While most people firmly disbelieve the negationists, some will at least appreciate their character: they are making a lot of financial, social and professional sacrifices for their beliefs. The ostracism they suffer is fierce. Even those who are skeptical of their position agree that negationists at least have the courage of their conviction.

In India, and increasingly also in the West and in international institutions, we are faced with a similar phenomenon, viz. Jihad negationism. This is the denial of aggression and atrocities motivated by Islam. Among the differences, we note those in social position of the deniers and those in the contents of the denial. Jihad deniers are not marginals who have sacrificed a career to their convictions, on the contrary; they serve their careers greatly by uttering the politically palatable “truth”. In India, any zero can become a celebrity overnight by publishing a condemnation of the “communalists” and taking a stand for Jihad denial and history distortion. The universities are full of them, while people who stand by genuine history are kept out. Like Jawaharlal Nehru, most of these negationists hold forth on the higher humbug (as historian Paul Johnson observed) and declare themselves “secular”.

Whereas the Holocaust lasted only four years and took place in war circumstances and largely in secret (historians are still troubled over the absence of an order by Adolf Hitler for the Holocaust, a fact which gives a handle to the deniers), Jihad started during the life of Mohammed and continues till today, entirely openly, proudly testified by the perpetrators themselves. From the biography and the biographical collections of the Prophet (Sira, Ahadith) through medieval chronicles and travel diaries down to the farewell letters or videos left by hundreds of suicide terrorists today, there are literally thousands of sources by Muslims attesting that Islam made them do it. But whereas I take Muslims seriously and believe them at their word when they explain their motivation, some people overrule this manifold testimony and decide that the Muslims concerned meant something else.

The most favoured explanation is that British colonialism and now American imperialism inflicted poverty on them and this made them do it, though they clothed it in Islamic discourse. You see, the billionaire Osama bin Laden, whose family has a long-standing friendship with the Bush family, was so poor that he saw no option but to hijack some airplanes and fly them into the World Trade Center. What else was he to do? And Mohammed, way back in the 7th century, already the ruler of Medina and much of the Arabian peninsula, just had to have his critics murdered or, as soon as he could afford it, formally executed. He had to take hostages and permit his men to rape them; nay, he just had to force the Jewish woman Rayhana into concubinage after murdering her relatives. If you don’t like what he did, blame Britain and America. Their colonialism and imperialism made him do it! Under the colonial dispensation which didn’t exist yet, the Muslim troops who were paid by the Vijayanagar emperor had no other option but to betray their employer and side with his opponents who, just by coincidence, happened to be Muslim as well. And if you don’t believe this, the secularists will come up with another story.

India is experiencing a regime of history denial. In this sense, the West is more and more becoming like India. There are some old professors of Islam or religion (and I know a few) who hold the historical view, viz. that Mohammed (if he existed at all) was mentally afflicted, that Islam consists of a manifold folie à deux (“madness with two”, where a wife supports and increasingly shares her husband’s self-delusion), and that it always was a political religion which spread by destroying other religions. But among the younger professors, it is hard to find any who are so forthright. There is a demand for reassurance about Islam, and universities only recruit personnel who provide that. Indeed, many teach false history in good faith, thinking that untruth about the past in this case is defensible because it fosters better interreligious relations in the present. Some even believe their own stories, just like the layman who is meant to lap them up. Such is also my impression of William Dalrymple.

– Koenraad Elst, 30 December 2012

00:05 Publié dans Actualité, Islam | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : inde, islam, islamisme, koenraad elst, naipaul, dalrymple, djihad | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

dimanche, 28 novembre 2010

Nobelprijswinnaar niet welkom in Turkije

Ex: http://www.telegraaf.nl/buitenland/

Nobelprijswinnaar niet welkom in Turkije
Van onze correspondent
ISTANBOEL -  De Britse schrijver V.S. Naipaul, die in 2001 de Nobelprijs
voor de Literatuur won, kan vanwege zijn kritiek op de islam niet deelnemen
aan een internationale literaire bijeenkomst in Istanboel.

naipaul_wife_prize_photo.jpgAanvankelijk was de in Trinidad geboren Naipaul als eregast uitgenodigd voorhet European Writers Parliament, een groot internationaal literair evenement dat vandaag in Istanboel van start gaat. Toen dat bekend werd, protesteerde een groep Turkse schrijvers fel en dreigde met een boycot.

De komst van Naipaul zou "een belediging zijn voor moslims", vanwege eerdere uitlatingen van de schrijver over de islam.

Zo heeft de Nobelprijswinnaar eens gezegd dat islamisering een vorm van
kolonisatie is die rampzalige gevolgen met zich meebrengt. Dat zou volgens
Naipaul vooral gelden voor mensen die zich tot de islam bekeren, omdat ze
hun afkomst en eigen verleden moeten verloochenen.

Volgens de Turkse dichter en filosoof Hilmi Yavuz beledigt de schrijver met
zulke opmerkingen de islam en moslims. Daarom is zijn komst naar het
literaire evenement niet gewenst, aldus Yavuz. Vele andere Turkse schrijvers
zijn dezelfde mening toegedaan. "De uitnodiging aan Naipaul moet worden
ingetrokken en men moet de schrijver vertellen wat daarvan de reden is",
aldus Özdenören. "De aanwezigheid van Naipaul is een belediging voor
moslims", aldus de linkse Turkse schrijver Cezmi Ersöz.

De organisator van het evenement, Ahmet Kot, probeerde nog de protesterende
Turkse schrijvers tegemoet te komen door Naipaul niet meer als eregast te
verwelkomen. Naipaul zou alleen de openingsspeech houden. Het
compromisvoorstel mocht niet baten. De protesterende Turkse schrijvers
hielden voet bij stuk. Daarna hebben het organisatiecomité en Naipaul
gezamenlijk besloten dat het beter is dat hij thuisblijft.