Excerpts from an exclusive interview published in The newspaper in 2013, granted to me by one of the greatest specialists inIslamMalek Chebel, died in Paris in 2016.
The Algerian scholar has published about ten books, including The Lover’s Dictionary of Islamand the translation of the Koran into French.
This great scholar warned us about an Islamism that could destabilize the West.
Malek Chebel also lived under the threat of “crazy gods,” but that never diminished his courage and freedom of speech.
The assassination of Salman Rushdie by a 24-year-old Lebanese Shia-American coincides with the first anniversary of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, which quickly reconfigured women, banned them from schools and brought the burqa back into fashion.
WHAT DOES THE VEIL HIDE?
For Malek Chebel, the burqa was a “cancer” forced on Muslims. “It is an ethnic garment belonging to a clan culture and has not been confirmed by any serious Islamic theologian. »
As for the veil, he said the woman wears it in a place of worship out of respect and modesty because she is religious. But she shouldn’t wear it demonstratively. “Because, he assured me, as soon as it’s exaggerated that the woman appears everywhere, it’s suspicious. In his eyes, the veil is a political weapon that creates a divide between good and bad believers and turns those who don’t wear it into infidels.
For Malek Chebel, it is impossible to claim feminism by believing in a worldview that disregards women. The women who wear the veil in our countries showed alienation. According to the scholar, it was not a conscious decision. So he understood that the Canadians were confused.
This intellectual leader believed that claiming individual liberty as absolute was an obstacle for us who had not experienced religious wars in North America, which partly explains our lack of suspicion of the demands of Islamic fundamentalists living among us.
Malek Chebel, a fighter for a modern Islam, also warned us about our lack of knowledge of Islam. It is important to know that in Islam “there is a criterion of compatibility with the place where one lives. You cannot impose your religious practices on a country where the majority is not Muslim.”
This majority defines its own identity and its own common values. “If Canadians and Quebecers say: Our culture allows everyone who comes into our country to impose their practices, their burqa, their veil, their harem, then Canada and Quebec will be on the brink. »
Secularity versus religion
Malek Chebel was a visionary. Since then, Justin Trudeau has stated that Canada is post-national. Individual freedom is absolute and there is no ban on religious symbols. Except in modern-day Quebec with its Secularism Act. However, pending court rulings risk rendering the ban on religious symbols for certain categories of citizens unconstitutional.
If he had survived the cancer that killed him in 2016, Malek Chebel would certainly have been deeply saddened by the rise of Islamism in Canada.