Islam and the West: A Conversation with Jacques Derrida

Islam and the West: A Conversation with Jacques Derrida Mustapha Chérif, trans. by Teresa Lavender Fagan, foreword by Giovanna Borradori. Univ. of Chicago,  (128p) ISBN 978-0-226-10286-3

The sentiments at the heart of this book are admirable: an understanding that democracy is constantly evolving (“democracy is the only political system… which accepts its perfectibility…. Democracy is always to come”); the belief that it is only by engaging the Other that we can end humanity’s struggles; the need to remember that there is no single way of being Muslim or Western. However, the ideas are enervated by their poor presentation; the conversation between Derrida and Chérif is meandering and esoteric and not intended for a general audience; furthermore, this slim volume is also deeply repetitive and all but devoid of actionable suggestions—readers will be frustrated by repeated calls for dialogue that come unencumbered by suggestions as to how to work toward that goal. The book’s most peculiar flaw is its paucity of Derrida—the short conversation is overwhelmed by two introductions, a conclusion and a touching afterword—a eulogy to the philosopher, who died some 15 months after this discussion took place. (Oct.)

Laisser un commentaire