The media has been swamped by a defense of French culture and values as being superior and enduring than the culture of those who were seemingly targeting it. I just want to propose some nuances that would advise to tone down this rhetoric. Given that people like to call the Paris attack, a French 9/11, […]Read More France and the Question of Culture
The recent events in France betray the primacy of the political (and not religious) dimension in the way different communities, groups, and states have handled (and have been handled in) this affair. One facet is Israel’s urge to profit from the situation and attract a few more Jews to the promised homeland to which France […]Read More France and antisemitism: It’s the politics stupid!
Wars, conquests, collective violence, and all kinds of forms of domination and oppression are justified through specific rhetorical strategies, or ideologies. Take a very recent epoch, the one that was dubbed the ‘modern age’ that starts roughly with European ‘enlightenment’ and is still unfolding today. This is an epoch that sees the development and consolidation […]Read More Gaza and the legitimation of killing: Lessons for History
What is mostly fascinating in Lebanon is that it presents an excellent example of the fictions of democracy. It renders visible the inherent tension between power/authority necessary for rules and decisions to be taken and people’s ‘bread and circus’ the democratic processes where unlike the Roman setting, here, we are made to believe that ‘everybody […]Read More Democracy for you
I am more and more convinced that there is no basic difference between what is commonly called “secular” and “divine” rule. And I’m stressing the political dimension of this. Its performative dimension. Of course religiously derived rule is “rule of law” too. But here I’m using the secular concept of “rule of law” as European […]Read More The politics of “the rule of law” and that of “God”
Some time ago NBN (care of Nabih Berri, leader of Amal) had a show on relationships between the sexes that quickly turned into a debate about sex before marriage. The show consisted of an audience of students probably in their twenties, put in front of one Maronite priest, one Shi’a sheikh, and a sociologist from […]Read More Sex, Sex, and Sex (now do your job search engines)
How did the “Lebanese” discover that they had a Phoenician tradition? Or for that matter how did the Arabs discover that they had some past glorious tradition that was decimated by the Ottomans? Don’t we read Arabic history as one that stops around the Abbasid era, and that then picks up around the end of […]Read More Unearthing civilizations
This just in: CBNNews.com – JERUSALEM, Israel – Iranian missiles are making their way to Lebanese-based Hezbollah terrorists via Turkey, according to intelligence reports. Ok, let’s try something: XXXNews.com – BEIRUT, Lebanon – USA missiles, cluster bombs, and uranium-rich weapons, are making their way to the Palestine-based Zionist terrorist army, via USA, according to intelligence […]Read More Hegemony: an illustration
As some of you know, today is ‘independence day’ for what came to be called the “Lebanese”. This time I won’t bother you with my sentences. I’ll just translate Ziad Rahbani’s column that sums well my point of view (bear in mind that the joke is made in the Arabic language and that the gist […]Read More Before the concept of Independence!