La Gazelle - Page 25

P oet, specialist of Islam, essayist and novelist, born in 1946 in Tunis, Abdelwahab Meddeb died at the Bizet clinic, in Paris, on Wednesday November 5th, of lung cancer. Great scholar, with a strong culture both Muslim and Western, he advocated unceasingly for an Islam of Enlightenment, a dialogue between civilizations facing the clash of nations, images and representations. Abdelwahab Meddeb taught comparative literature at the University of Paris-X-Nanterre, managed a journal, Dédale, and produced the show « Cultures d’Islam » on France Culture. 2013). He wrote some thirty books, including Talismano, (Christian Bourgois, 1979),Contre-prêches (Seuil, 2006), Sortir de la malédiction. L’Islam entre civilisation et barbarie (Seuil, 2008), Pari de civilisation (Seuil, 2009), Printemps de Tunis, la métamorphose de l’histoire (Albin Michel, 2011) and A History of Jewish-Muslim Relations - From the Origins to the Present Day (Albin Michel, avec Benjamin Stora, 2013). The events of September 11 led this French-Tunisian poet and novelist, passionate about the most demanding literature, to take part in the debates. « If, according to Voltaire, intolerance was catholicism’s sickness, if Nazism was Germany’s sickness, fundamentalism is Islam’s sickness. », he wrote in the opening of La Maladie de l’islam (Seuil, 2002), his landmark work, in which he invited the Muslim world to search its own conscience and to end the spiral of violence and resentment. He never stopped fighting radical Islamism, as well as igno &