Psychoanalysis and the Challenge of Islam by Fethi Benslama

By Fethi Benslama

Fethi Benslama is a psychoanalyst who, even if an earthly philosopher, identifies himself as someone of Muslim tradition who rejects ready-made motives for Islamic fundamentalism. In that spirit, Benslama demythifies either Islam and Western principles of the faith by way of addressing the psychoanalytic root reasons of the Muslim world’s conflict with modernity and next flip to fundamentalism. Tracing this ideological pressure to its origins, Benslama exhibits that modern Islam includes a reasonably contemporary hybridization of Arab nationalism, theocracy, and an try out (both naïve and lethal) to floor technological know-how in religion. Combining textual research and Lacanian and Freudian psychoanalysis, he examines Islam’s beginning, delivering clean readings of the e-book of Genesis, the Koran, The Arabian Nights , and the paintings of medieval Islamic philosophers. Refreshingly, Benslama writes with no ideological bias and undoes the simplistic, Western view of Islam whereas refusing to romanticize terrorism or Muslim extremism. this can be a penetrating paintings that unearths another heritage of the Islamic faith and opens new chances for its destiny improvement.

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32 This theory, which for many Muslims means that they are suddenly cast outside an origin and which li terally reflects Shake­ speare's words in Hamlet " Time is out of joint," sanctions violent extrem­ ist groups to kill and massacre without scruple, as in Algeria, by repeat­ ing the argument of regression: these people are apostates, or, worse still, they are simulacra of Muslims, whose deaths will be a service to Islam. Furthermore, their murders will absolve them of the sin of having re­ gressed to a preorigin and having become Muslims in appearance only.

This hollowing out would target both an intimate region of the subject and his point of contact with the community. This would be the pivot point between narcissism and ideals, between the ideal ego and the ego ideal except that this void is not a place but "no place" ; it is atopic. In the tra­ ditional world, debt (religion) is the guardian of this circle of emptiness, whereas in so-called modern societies we can assume that this function is accomplished by politics. Whenever the function of hollowing out can no longer be maintained, there appear in the body those points of rot and horror that are experi­ enced as the points of jouissance of a cruel god.

The tradition of Judaism suggests this in its idea of a god who withdraws to allow room for his creation. From this it follows that there is an inex­ haustible debt to the creator, whose act assumes a degree of self-limitation, of self-sacrifice, and the experience of loss. If we consider the episode of the opening (jath) and the withdrawal of flesh from the child Muham­ mad's heart, it is clear that it foreshadows the fact that the Koranic text will be based on withdrawal during the period of infantile narcissism.

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