Kamel Daoud: Recommended Reading

by | November 21, 2015

Adam Shatz’s April 1, 2015 article, “Stranger Still,” published in the New York Times Magazine is an introduction to Kamel Dowd:

I first heard about the writer Kamel Daoud a few years ago, when an Algerian friend of mine told me I should read him if I wanted to understand how her country had changed in recent years. “If Algeria can produce a Kamel Daoud,” she said, “I still have hope for Algeria.” Reading his columns in Le Quotidien d’Oran, a French-language newspaper, I saw what she meant. Daoud had an original, epigrammatic style: playful, lyrical, brash. I could also see why he’d been accused of racism, even “self-hatred.” . . . The more I read Daoud, the more I sensed he was driven not by self-hatred but by disappointed love.

Kamel Dowd’s November 20 New York Times article, “Saudi Arabia, an ISIS That Has Made It,” is, as Shatz’s says, written in “an original, epigrammatic style: playful, lyrical, brash”:

Black Daesh, white Daesh. The former slits throats, kills, stones, cuts off hands, destroys humanity’s common heritage and despises archaeology, women and non-Muslims. The latter is better dressed and neater but does the same things. The Islamic State; Saudi Arabia. In its struggle against terrorism, the West wages war on one, but shakes hands with the other. This is a mechanism of denial, and denial has a price: preserving the famous strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia at the risk of forgetting that the kingdom also relies on an alliance with a religious clergy that produces, legitimizes, spreads, preaches and defends Wahhabism, the ultra-puritanical form of Islam that Daesh feeds on.

Dowd’s article “Saudi Arabia, an ISIS That Has Made It” is available on the New York Times in French and English.

h/t: Gilbert

2 thoughts on “Kamel Daoud: Recommended Reading

  1. Tim Underwood

    ‘Saudi Arabia, an ISIS That Has Made It’

    Perhaps if this is read at high school morning assemblies, every school day for a few years, the next generation of Americans will see the problem.

    This morning CBC’s Michael Enright had a very informative interview with a women who stated that the new Caliphate, ISIS, has achieves a self sufficient internal economy.

    Naturally Michael was phishing for any reasons to exonerate Islam from terrorism responsibility, perpetuating the claim that it is extremism and not faith that is the problem.

    Wahhabism pretends to know God’s mind in no different manner than Franklin Graham pretends to know it.

  2. Bob

    It’s hard to believe that the US govt. and military are so dumb. I worry that they’re not, and we’re in much deeper doo-doo than anyone has understood so far.

    In the US, when a news program wants an opinion on a war situation, there has been a big chasm between what the military brass say, and what *retired* military brass say. I have to doubt that the militaries of other countries have that feature in their most senior staff.

    There are even folks who say that the top US brass are a bunch of Christian eschatologists trying to bring about a biblical end to the world. If judge Antonin Scalia can be a potty as he is and yet sit on the SCOTUS, then what compelling reason is there to doubt such a crazy-sounding claim?


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