Wednesday, May 03, 2006
When Dr. S assigned this for class I assumed it was ironically titled, but Islam Explained to Children about sums up Ben Jelloun's book. A French Muslim father tries to explain to his worried son what the fuck happened on 9/11, and covers the history of Islam and its cultural highs and lows in striking detail for such a small volume.
Along the way Ben Jelloun makes pleas for tolerance and women's rights and democracy and the separation of Church and State, while attacking fundamentalists and Islmasists and intégristes as backward-thinking and destructive of a once-glorious civilization. Most importantly, he advises his son that doubt is a key component of faith--those who don't doubt they know God's will deserve vigorous criticism.
I don't believe I'd ever read an entire French text without once referring to my dictionary. Kid's books are the way to go!