There is No Islamophobic Elephant in This Room: A reflection on Houellebecq’s Submission and its reception

In 1868, a Prussian writer named Hermann Goedsche (pen name: Sir John Retcliffe) wrote a novel entitled Biarritz. This second-rate espionage story overflowing with cheap pornography and violence would have sunken into oblivion if it was not for one scene. That scene describes a meeting between the representatives of the twelve tribes of Israel in the Jewish Cemetery of Prague.

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Burqa Bans

Why are people so obsessed with the way women dress? It’s a subject that fills glossy magazine pages and pops up in newspaper articles. When a woman is raped commentators remark that she shouldn’t have worn a skirt that short, when a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf has bags of flour thrown at her on the high street, it is her fault for provoking people. After all, with all these terror attacks, how dare you identify as Muslim. I mean she could be hiding anything under that scarf.

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Empire and War

The Water Diviner is a sentimental film about war, loss, family and country. It addresses Australia’s elevation of military loss at the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915 (known as Çanakkale Savaşı in Turkey) into a ‘sacred’ national myth about sacrifice and heroism.

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