Slavoj Žižek's New Book in German - Islam and Modernity: Some blasphemic reflections

In 2015, Slavoj Žižek published a book in German titled 'Blasphemische Gedanken: Islam und Moderne' loosely translated in English 'Blasphemous Thoughts: Islam and Modernity' published by Ullstein. Inside the book, it says the book has been translated from the English by Michael Adrian.
However, Slavoj Žižek doesn't have any English book with that title.

The book is not a big one. It has close to 70 pages. Besides Introduction and Notes at the end of the book, it has two chapters:
Chapter I. Islam as a way of life
Chapter II. A look at the archives of Islam

The second chapter has, in fact, been published in Slavoj Žižek's 2012 book 'God in Pain'. The title of that essay was 'A Glance into the Archives of Islam'. The first chapter 'Islam as a way of life' has probably been written by Žižek in English first for the German edition.

Here is what written inside about the book (courtesy Google translation):

What is the hatred of the Islamists against the West? And what does Islam really suppress when it oppresses the feminine? Slavoj Žižek offers daring theses: He shows that the conflict between tolerant liberalism and religious fundamentalism arises not only from the contrast between Western prosperity and the need for religious transcendence, but that the fundamentalist also combats his feelings of subjection as well as his own hedonism While the Islamists
counteract their mantra of religious discipline by the violence that they commit in the name of their religion. But why does Islamism despise the liberal concept of convincing others, not by force, but by arguments? Because he fears every form of seduction - the spiritual as well as the one through woman He suppresses it and obscures it. The reason for this goes far beyond the sexual: the woman, not the man, is the original link to divine truth in Islam, and can shake this truth and all faith. The West must insist on its universal values. However, is not the tolerant, but powerless liberalism, but the Secular left the only force we are the Islamic fundamentalism Can be countered.

Bojan Koltaj discusses on Islam and Modernity based on Zizek's German book at Canterbury Univerity in New Zealand :

You can also watch Zizek's own discussion on the book "God in Pain":

Here I'm also adding the Introduction and a few pages of the first chapter of the book via Google translation:


Now, after the shock of the slaughter in the editorial team of Charlie Hebdo, the moment has come to find courage to think. Now and not later, when things are going on, as the friends of cheap wisdom try to convince us. The challenge is precisely to reconcile the act of thinking with the heat of the moment. To reflect in the cold of the afterwards does not lead to a more balanced truth, but normalizes the situation and allows us to avoid the edge of the truth.

Thinking goes beyond the pathos of the general solidarity that exploded in the days after the assassinations and culminated in the spectacle of 11 January 2015. On that Sunday political figures from all over the world held hands with each other, from David Cameron to Sergei Lavrov, from Benjamin Netanyahu to Mahmoud Abbas. If there was ever a picture of hypocrisy, then this.

As the Paris procession passed under his window, an unknown citizen, Ludwig van Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," shouted out of his loudspeakers, the unofficial anthem of the European Union, a little
Political kitsch about the repulsive spectacle, Vladimir Putin, Netanjahu & Co to experience turtles - precisely the heads, therefore, for the mud in which we are stuck. Although I am an accomplished atheist, I believe that God himself was too much, and he therefore felt compelled to interfere with an obscenity that would have paid Charlie Hebdo all the honor: as President François Hollande before the editorial offices of the magazine, the doctor and Charlie -collector Patrick Pelloux, a bird on the presidential was relieved shoulder, whereupon some editors of the magazine had trouble suppressing a laughter - this was a truly divine response of the real to the repulsive ritual. And indeed, the true Charlie Hebdo gesture would have been in a cover picture that mockingly and tastelessly mocked this event, with caricatures of Netanyahu and Abbas, Lavrov and Cameron, as well as other couples who passionately embrace and kiss, while behind their backs the knives whet.

One aspect of the latest events in France remained largely unnoticed: not only were there badges and posters with the inscription "Je suis Charlie", but also those with "Je suis flic"! The national unity, which was celebrated and staged at large public assemblies, was not just a unity of the people, all ethnic groups, classes and religions, But also (and perhaps above all) the unification of people with the order and control forces.

France was, so far as I know, the only western country where policemen had always been the target of crude jokes, in which they were fundamentally as stupid and corrupt - just as it had once been in the ex-communist countries. Today, after the Charlie murders, the police are applauded, praised, and embraced as a protective mother - and not just the police, but also the special forces (in 1968, the "CRS SS" was still chanting for the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité) , The secret services, the whole security apparatus. In this new universe is no place for Edward Snowden or Chelsea Manning - or, to say it with Jacques-Alain Miller: "The resentment against the police is also no longer what it once was, except among the poor youthful Arab or African origin. Such a thing has not yet been seen in the history of France. "What in France, as elsewhere, in rare, privileged moments can be seen is the ecstatic "osmosis of a population with the national army that protects them from external threats. But love of a population to the forces of internal repression? "

The terrorist threat has thus made the impossible possible: it has brought about a reconciliation of the revolutionary generation of the sixty-eight with its archenemy, which is like a French popular version of the American Patriot Act, which took place under public applause Monitoring on offer. How could it come to this?

I. Islam as a form of life

The ecstatic moments of the Paris rallies are, of course, a triumph of ideology: they unite the people against an enemy whose fascinating presence temporarily blurs all opposites. This raises the question: What do they conceal? What are they supposed to disguise?

We should, of course, condemn the murders of Paris as an attack on the core of our liberties, without silence, of the sort: "But provocative, Charlie, the paper has humiliated the Muslims too." We should also oppose all similar references To the mitigating circumstances of a wider context. The attacking brothers were deeply affected by the horrors of the American occupation of Iraq, but why did they not attack the US military, but a French satire sheet? Muslims in the West are de facto a tolerably tolerated and exploited minority - but black Americans are all much more powerful and still do not commit assassinations and murders.
And so on. The problem with such an incantation of the complex background is that it also works very well with regard to Hitler. Finally, he succeeded in using the injustice of the Versailles Treaty for his purposes. But it was not completely justified to fight the Nazi regime with all available means. It is not a matter of whether the grievances that are the cause of terrorist acts are real or not, but the politico-ideological project that crystallizes out in response to injustices.

All of this is not enough - we should think about it, and this kind of thinking has nothing to do with a cheap relativization of the crime, as the well-known mantra wants: "Who are we in the West, the terrible massacres in the Third World? That we are condemning such acts? "And it has even less to do with the pathological anxiety of many Western left-wingers to make themselves guilty of Islamophobia. These fake left-wingers branded any criticism of Islam as the expression of Western Islamophobia, as they accused Salman Rushdie of having provoked the Muslims unnecessarily, and to be responsible for the fatwa with whom he was sentenced to death.

The consequence of such an attitude is exactly what one can expect in such cases: the more the Western left-wingers are tracking their own guilt, the more massively they are accused by Muslim fundamentalists as hypocritists who sought to hide their hatred of Islam. This constellation reproduces precisely the paradox of the superego: the more one adds to what the other wants from one, the more guilty one becomes. The more you tolerate Islam, the stronger the pressure seems to be on one ...

I do not find calls to moderation such as that of Simon Jenkins in the Guardian of 7 January 2015. For Jenkins, our duty is not to "overreact, not to override the aftermath of the attacks. It is to treat every incident as a temporary horror disaster. "But the assassination attempt on Charlie Hebdo was not a mere" temporary horror disaster. " It was followed by an exact religious and political program, and was clearly part of a larger model. Of course we should not overreach, if it is meant to fall into blind Islamophobia. But we must analyze this pattern relentlessly.

Much more important, convincing and effective than the demonization of the terrorists to heroic suicide fanatics is the unmasking of this demonic myth. A long time ago Friedrich Nietzsche believed that Western culture was moving toward the "last man," an apathetic creature without great passions or obligations. Unable to dream, weary of life, this being a risk, and seeking only comfort and security, as an embodiment of reciprocal tolerance: "A little poison from time to time: that makes pleasant dreams. And much poison last, to a pleasant death. [...] One has his lunches for the day and his lunches for the night: but one honors the health. "We have invented happiness," say the last man, blinking. "

It might seem that the crack between the tolerant First World and the fundamentalist reaction to it is more and more the contradiction between a long and satisfying life full of material and cultural richness on the one hand and a life with a higher transcendental goal on the other. Is this contrast not the one between a "passive" and an "active" nihilism, as Nietzsche calls it?


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