Thursday, 8 August 2013

Islamophilia (Douglas Murray)

--The blurb--
"As the country tries to make sense of the slaughter of British soldier Lee Rigby on the streets of London, Douglas Murray delivers an analysis in Islamophilia of how many prominent individuals have, at some point chosen to abandon any hope or wish to criticize Islam. Instead, they have decided to profess some degree of irrational or misguided love for it and make strategic cultural efforts to rewrite history and promote Islam." 
(adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

--The review--
In the wake of the September 11th attacks and others, the rise and rise of Islamophobia has been simultaneously understandable and yet preventable, with it arguably never being right to tar all members of a particular group with the same brush. However, Douglas Murray argues in Islamophilia that too many public figures have gone too far the other way in an attempt to avoid being accused of being 'Islamophobic'. In this short yet well-researched and succinctly-argued ebook, he makes a convincing and thought-provoking case.

This is supplemented well by links to videos and newspaper articles online thanks to the virtues of the ebook format. However, one wonders what will happen if these links become outdated or the publisher ever wants to release the book as a paperback: such supplementary materials are not so easily linked to in this latter case and their availability, as mentioned, can be transient. However, in the current format there's no denying that these sources are helpful (although they are perhaps best read on an iPad or Kindle Fire rather than on a traditional black-and-white ebook reader with a small screen). The sources, too, are well-chosen and complement Murray's argument well.

However, while Murray is frequently convincing, he is also at times borderline aggressive in making his points and is prone to generalization, which may alienate his readers rather than rally them round. Nonetheless, his caustically witty exposé is clever enough to engage and to inspire critical thought, as he brings to the fore examples to support his theory that have hitherto remained largely off the public radar.

The main criticism of this readable treatise is that Murray offers no real solution to the problem of Islamophilia. His conclusion seems rushed and trite, with no practical offering in terms of how readers or public figures ought to be moving forward in the midst of the cultural unrest being experienced in the UK. People feel ill at ease with both Islamophobia and Islamophilia - and quite rightly so. However, just saying the equivalent of "calm down, guys" and "we need to find a middle ground" is insufficient by way of a resolution. This proved a disappointing end to an otherwise intelligent book, and while Murray's other books are worthy of consideration if his methodical and humorous approach is anything to go by, one has to hope that in exploring neoconservatism and the Saville Inquiry, he comes to more pragmatic conclusions than in Islamophilia.

other works by Douglas Murray
Neoconservatism: Why We Need It (2012)
Bloody Sunday: Truth, Lies, and the Saville Inquiry (2011)

2 comments:

Antonio said...

Buenas, enhorabuena por el blog, me gustaría intercambiar enlaces contigo y que nos sigamos mutuamente.
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Salut, félicitations pour le blog, je voudrais échanger des liens avec vous et nous succèdent.
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Bianca said...

C'est fait! Merci de votre visite :)