ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reactions to the Paris Carnage

Double Nature of Orthodox Truths

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Paris, a popular left wing argument highlighted the culpability of imperialism in fuelling this violence. This form of anti-imperialism ends up denying historical agency to Muslims, and people in the postcolonial countries as a whole, and often becomes an excuse for Islamic fundamentalism. This article argues for a politics which escapes this trap of speaking a truth that is also a lie.

There was the usual bandying around of accusations after the latest Islamist carnage in Paris on the night of 13 November 2015, when terrorists wreaked havoc in the city, killing around 130 innocent people, mostly left-leaning music lovers who traditionally stand up for refugees. Fingers of accusation were pointed at refugees and immigrants in some European quarters (though there were at least as many expressions of solidarity).

Some sweeping Islamophobic generalisations were inevitably made about Muslims, (in)tolerance and (un)democracy, which must be sweet music to the ears of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as they share an identical understanding of Islam. Valid points were taken by lazy politicians on the right and fashioned into a club to clout Muslims, immigrants, multiculturalism, etc.

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