Maalouf's Disordered World
Thu 11th Apr 2013
I have just finished reading Amin Maalouf's Disordered World. Much of what Maalouf has to say is music to my ears especially in terms of underlying principles. I am entirely with him in rejecting the path trodden by our Arab parents (and indeed, now, by us). Our children have more hope because they have largely rejected the nonsense about God and all the hypocritical tyrannies that it entails. They have rejected conventional social norms with their essentially faith related viciousness. They have embraced freedom, science and democracy. Good luck to them. May they plough a better furrow than we or our ancestors ever did.
I also agree with Maalouf that the European model, despite its limitations and recent lurch to the right, is largely successful. However, European and American hatred of Islam is a typical Christian construct that utterly ignores compassion and decency. I have not much time for Islam or Judaism either; they are responsible for so much misery.
I am also not so sure about one of Maalouf's reasons for hope being the election of Obama who, in my opinion, has shown himself to be an utter coward in not standing up to Israel and its Christian supporters. I am also not sure about Maalouf invoking the Creator. The sooner we ditch the archaic and inhuman concept of God the better.
The main reason why the book succeeds in its thesis is the central argument about cultural diversity and learning. The salvation of humanity lies in appreciating differences as enriching and in seeking to learn all the time. It is only through this process that I can live with many people different to myself whose way of life is anathema to me - through education I gain the understanding necessary to live with Jews, Christians, Muslims and other faiths despite my vehement rejection of all faith as cabalistic and tribal. Recognition, tolerance and acceptance should be our creed through education.
This is a book well worth reading.