Carlos Fraenkel

Carlos Fraenkel teaches philosophy and religion at McGill University. His latest book is Teaching Plato in Palestine.

Imagine his dismay: Salman Rushdie

Carlos Fraenkel, 18 February 2016

Salman Rushdie​’s latest novel is a version of The Arabian Nights – two years, eight months and 28 nights adds up to 1001 of them. But it’s updated in every way. The climax, set in present-day New York, is an apocalyptic battle between reason and unreason, good and evil, light and darkness, with all the bells and whistles of a Hollywood blockbuster – X-Men, The...

In​ scope and ambition David Nirenberg’s Anti-Judaism: The History of a Way of Thinking is reminiscent of Edward Said’s Orientalism. Both offer a strident critique of Western civilisation. For Said, the West’s representation of the Orient is an ideological distortion in the service of Western imperialism. The Oriental is the Other against whom the West defines itself and...

From The Blog
8 February 2017

After Donald Trump’s travel ban went into effect, Justin Trudeau addressed refugees on Twitter: ‘Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength.’ The next day a man opened fire in a mosque in Quebec City, murdering six people and injuring 19 just after the evening prayer. According to initial media reports, which later proved mistaken, there were two shooters, one of them Muslim, who allegedly entered the mosque shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ – as if only Muslims could commit this sort of crime. That's presumably why the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, mystifyingly claimed that the Quebec attack justified Trump’s anti-Muslim policies. The Muslim ‘suspect’, it later turned out, was trying to help the victims. The man charged with the crime, Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27-year-old French-Canadian, is a fan of Donald Trump and Marine le Pen. He apparently wanted to signal that, despite Trudeau’s messages, Muslims are as unwelcome in Canada as in the US.

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