Writers and artists are grappling with social and political effects of our warming planet by telling stories of fear and dread, of warning and disaster, of encouragement and hope. Written by Bulgarian-German novelist and renowned travel writer Ilija Trojanow, The Lamentations of Zeno is a “topical polemic about global warming and climate change,” an extraordinary evocation of the fragile and majestic wonders to be found at a far corner of the globe.
In For the Muslims, Edwy Plenel (founder of Mediapart) takes on the alarming growth of Islamophobia in France in all the discourses that constitute it: from the vicious and undisguised xenophobia of the Front National to the high-minded fundamentalists of laïcité. We present an excerpt from the book below.
(The FN marching in Paris, 2015)
"There is a problem with Islam in France…" It was hearing for the nth time this refrain which, unchallenged, sets France at war against a religion, acclimatizing it to prejudice, accustoming it to indifference — in short, habituating it to the worst, that decided me to write this book. Faced with the growing acceptability of a discourse similar to that which, before the European catastrophe, maintained the existence of a "Jewish problem" in France, I wanted to respond by resolutely taking the side of our compatriots of Muslim origin, culture or faith, against those who make them into scapegoats for our disquiets and uncertainties.
Following the tragic Orlando massacre at a gay nightclub, both New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called for a return to “the spirit of 9/12,” a reference to a dark period of racism, surveillance, and state sanctioned Islamophobia after the September 11th attacks. In the United Kingdom, instances of xenophobia and Islamophobia have reportedly surged following the EU referendum, leaving migrants and minorities, particularly Muslim women, vulnerable to attack and discrimination. As events unfold and the "Brexit" debates continue, we present a reading list of key titles that shed light on the origins of Islamophobia and ways we can organize to fight it.