Champion of an ‘Enlightened’ Islam, the Algerian anthropologist and psychoanalyst Malek Chebel died in Paris on November 12 from cancer at the age of 63.
Born in Skikda, Algeria in 1953, Malek Chebel enrolled at the university of Ain El Bey in 1973. After, he went to France with a grant from the French consulate and received a degree in clinical psychopathology and clinical psychology from Paris 7.
In 1982 Chebel obtained a doctorate in anthropology, ethnology and science of religions at Jussieu. In 1984 he earned a doctorate in political science and later worked at the Sorbonne.
Chebel, who established the Foundation for an Enlightened Islam in France in 2004, published some 20 books on Islam, in which he addressed many sensitive subjects, such as eroticism. He condemned the strict fundamentalist approach to relations between men and women. He has also tackled such taboos as wine and homosexuality in Islam. His publications include a Love Dictionary of Islam (Plon, 2004) and an Encyclopedia of Love in Islam (Payot, 1995). His other main focus is reform of Islam, to which he has dedicated two major books: Islam and Reason: The Struggle of Ideas (Perrin, 2005), and Manifesto for an Enlightened Islam: 27 Propositions for Reforming Islam (Hachette, 2004).
February 9, 2014
Milan – A husband had allowed his wife to work in the bar, but on the condition that she was limited to help in the kitchen. “Instead she poured wine to customers. But we are Muslims” he said in front of a judge “a woman should not even set foot in the bar. This thing is a disgrace to my family.”
So to make it clear to his wife, Abdel I., a 50 year-old Moroccan, according to the indictment began to insult her and attack her by hitting her in front of their two small children. Abdel was charged with harassment and beatings, and in recent days the judge sentenced him to one year in prison with probation and a fine of 7,500 Euros for compensation in addition to the reimbursement of his ex-wife’s legal fees.
And to think that instead she could have remained quietly at home where she needed to be, said Abdel, “I would come home just after six in the evening and without her I had to feed the kids, then take them to bed, and let them sleep …”. So he started to get nervous, so he surprised his wife at work who was pouring wine for the local customers.
Il Giorno: http://www.ilgiorno.it/milano/cronaca/2014/02/09/1023002-violenza-moglie-musulmana.shtml
News Agencies – December 10, 2011
The extreme right Bloc Identitaire, or Identity Bloc, has lashed out at Islam while dining on pork roast and local wine — off limits to practicing Muslims. The group, an emerging force on France’s far-right scene, likens Muslim immigrants to invaders threatening the identity of the French heartland and menacing European civilization. The movement — with a wild pig as its logo — is gaining traction through its blend of Islam-bashing and romanticizing of French rural culture.
Increasingly, it is being used as an “idea box” for the National Front, a well-established far-right party and force in European politics that could play a crucial role in French presidential elections five months away. The Bloc’s campaign against mosque building and its wine-and-pork strategies are also finding a more mainstream audience in the country.
Bloc Identitaire militants ferret out plans by Muslim communities to build mosques and campaign to stop them. An “identity guerrilla” pamphlet spells out how to raise awareness of Muslim initiatives, from mosques to halal food restaurants, and infiltrate culture or sports clubs popular with Muslims.
News Agencies – March 2, 2011
Authorities in the French city of Nice have forbidden a far-right group to hold a “porchetta and rosé apéritif” outside a Muslim prayer hall. The Nissa Rebela nationalist group says it has already submitted a second request for permission for the event after its first was rejected. The permit was denied on technical grounds, according to the Alpes-Maritimes regional council.
Under French law, organisers must seek a licence for all public gatherings at least three days before the event takes place. Nissa Rebela applied after this deadline, the council said.
The group’s members could face six months in prison and a 7,500-euro fine if they go ahead with the event without permission.
But Nissa Rebela insists that the event is still on. The group is calling its supporters to gather outside a Muslim prayer hall on Nice’s rue de la Suisse, where it will be serving pork and wine.
The worshippers at the hall have been conducting evening prayers in the street, since they say the building is too small to house them. Anti-racism groups and local politicians have strongly condemned Nissa Rebela’s plans. The event is deliberately provocative and designed to stir up hatred, said the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi.
Taner Tabak has created a 0% alcohol wine which has passed the Halal Quality Control (HQC) test and received a certificate as halal wine. Wereld Journalisten reports that Tabak managed to make the alcohol-free wine in cooperation with a German company through a new technical process, for which a patent is pending.
In his first interview with with the French Media, President Obama notes his close friendship with French President Nicholas Sarkozy and his motivations for attempting a better dialogue between East and West. Obama adds that the United States is home to many Muslims, and therefore there is national interest for such dialogue. While bemoaning his terrible French, Obama cites many of the things in France, especially from Provence, that Americans love like the cuisine and the wine.
A disgraced former Dutch MP and outspoken critic of Islam has published a children’s book, about a friendship between a Muslim boy and a Jewish girl, that she says seeks to fight prejudice in both communities. Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been living under heavy guard since the 2004 murder of Theo van Gogh, himself a provocative critic of Islam, who directed a film she wrote that accused Islam of condoning violence against women. Her new book, “Adan and Eva,” tells the story of a Moroccan boy and a rich Jewish girl living in Amsterdam. Adan takes Eva to Koranic school, while Adan gets drunk on wine served at a Jewish meal. Their families eventually decide to break up the friendship and Eva is sent to boarding school in Switzerland, while Adan is banished to Morocco. “Everything starts at school. That is where children learn about each other and learn to respect each other. We live in a world of adult prejudice,” Hirsi Ali told De Telegraaf daily. “Reconciliation starts with children.”
After centuries of denying a common history with Islam, Spaniards are once again trying to live together with Muslims. In Granada, home of the Alhambra and former center of Moorish Spain, a multicultural revival is taking shape that sees Christians and Muslims coexisting in mutual respect. The panoramic terrace of the Plaza San Nicolas becomes a magical setting at sunset. Gypsy boys play deeply melancholic melodies on the guitar while their girls dance to the music and whirl brightly colored ribbons. Bohemians pass around liter bottles of beer and cheap red wine, Japanese tourists set up their cameras, and Latin Americans sing cheerfully. From the head of this square on the Albaicin hill sounds the lingering call of “Allahu akbar.” The muezzin has climbed the 59 steps of the tower. He stands between the open Moorish arches and cups a hand to his mouth so everyone who is listening for his call can hear “God is great.” In the day’s last rays of light, the gilded outlines of Arabic ornate lettering glitter mysteriously under the pointed roof. Helene Zuber reports.
Muslim supermarket checkout staff who refuse to sell alcohol are being allowed to opt out of handling customers’ bottles and cans of drink. Islamic workers at Sainsbury’s who object to alcohol on religious grounds are told to raise their hands when encountering any drink at their till so that a colleague can temporarily take their place or scan items for them. Other staff have refused to work stacking shelves with wine, beer and spirits and have been found alternative roles in the company. Daniel Foggo and Christopher Thompson report.