The historian and author of How I stopped being a Jew, The Invention of the Land of Israel, and The Invention of the Jewish People comments on Michel Houellebecq's book Soumission and the global dynamics of contemporary dialogue over "Islam and the West".
"Reading the Koran is a disgusting experience. Ever since Islam’s birth it has been distinguished by its desire to make the world submit to itself. Submission is its very nature."- Michel Houellebecq, 31 August 2001, speaking to Sébastien Le Fol and Anthony Palou
Nothing can justify a murder, still less a mass murder committed in cold blood. That’s what happened in Paris at the beginning of January: an absolutely inexcusable crime. There’s nothing original about saying that: millions of people already think and feel the same, and rightly so. But seeing this terrible tragedy, one of the first things that came to my mind was this: does the deep disgust we feel when faced with a murder necessarily oblige us to identify with the victims’ actions? If – as President Holland declared – the victims are the supreme incarnation of freedom of expression, then do I have to be Charlie, too? Am I Charlie, not only because I am a secular atheist, but also on account of my fundamental antipathy toward the oppressive bases of the three great Western monotheist religions?