Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Number #33



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 int├ęgristes 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!

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