By Paul Berman
Called "important and devastating in its conclusions" via the New York Times, now with a brand new afterword by means of the author
Twenty years in the past, Ayatollah Khomeini referred to as for the assassination of Salman Rushdie—and writers around the globe instinctively rallied to Rushdie’s security. at the present time, in line with author Paul Berman, “Rushdie has metastasized into a whole social class”—an ever-growing workforce of sharp-tongued critics of Islamist extremism, in particular critics from Muslim backgrounds, who continue to exist purely as a result of pseudonyms and police security. And but, rather than being applauded, the Rushdies of this present day (people like Ayan Hirsi Ali and Ibn Warraq) usually locate themselves brushed aside as “strident” or as no higher than fundamentalist themselves, and contrasted unfavorably with representatives of the Islamist move who falsely declare to be “moderates.”
How did this take place? within the FLIGHT OF THE INTELLECTUALS, Berman—“one of America’s major public intellectuals” (Foreign Affairs)—conducts a searing exam into the highbrow surroundings of the instant and exhibits how a number of the West’s top thinkers and newshounds have fumbled badly of their efforts to grapple with Islamist principles and violence.
Berman’s research of the background and nature of the Islamist circulation contains a few striking revelations. In interpreting Hassan al-Banna, the founding father of the Muslim Brotherhood, he indicates the increase of a massive and infrequently violent worldview, components of which survives at the present time within the brigades of al-Qaeda and Hamas. Berman additionally reveals the stunning tale of al-Banna’s affiliate, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who collaborated in my opinion with Adolf Hitler to incite Arab aid of the Nazis’ North African crusade. Echoes of the Grand Mufti’s Nazified Islam should be heard one of the fans of al-Banna even today.
In a gripping and classy narrative Berman additionally exhibits the legacy of those political traditions, most significantly by means of targeting a unmarried thinker, who occurs to be Hassan al-Banna’s grandson, Oxford professor Tariq Ramadan—a determine greatly celebrated within the West as a “moderate” regardless of his troubling ties to the Islamist circulate. taking a look heavily into what Ramadan has truly written and acknowledged, Berman contrasts the truth of Ramadan along with his picture within the press.
In doing so, THE FLIGHT OF THE INTELLECTUALS sheds mild on a couple of sleek issues—on the vastly reinvigorated anti-Semitism of our personal time, on a newly stylish flip opposed to women’s rights, and at the problems we've got in discussing terrorism—and offers a gorgeous statement in regards to the sleek media’s ordinary lack of ability to observe and examine the most risky rules in modern society.